| Aretha Louise Franklin, March 25, 1942-August 16, 2018 (age 76), born in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
A sad day for music on the passing of the Legendary Aretha Franklin. There are plenty of tributes to this amazing singer and rightfully so and if you have been reading my blog you will know I’ve mentioned her before. You will be able to read all about her career and life story elsewhere, what you may not get is a bit of the story behind songs she gave new life too and her originals that have been remade.
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Cover Songs and the Law (copyright)
There have been plenty of lawsuits and or settlements over someone stealing someone else’s song, whether in whole or in part, intentionally or not. Apparently you just can’t be doing that type of thing. I touched on this a bit in previous blogs and there are many examples that I’m aware of (and many I’m not) plus a few more I picked up while doing research, so perhaps a part two or three?
Without getting too technical when it comes to a person wanting to do a cover song they do not need the permission of the owner(s) or writer(s) as the case may be, of the song. There is a thing called ‘Compulsory Licence’ in the U.S. and similar laws internationally under the ‘Berne Convention’ that requires compensation be paid to said owners. So in most countries you just need to credit and pay the people who own the song or the ‘publishing’ rights. I’ll blog about that part another time. Then there is the whole idea of ‘sampling’ a song and how much of it you can use without having to credit the owners. Today I’m focusing on covers where payment and credit was not given originally.
Sometimes it is just the melody, sometimes lyrics, maybe a bit of both or, in the case of John Fogerty you can sound too much like yourself.😕
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Country Artists cover Rock songs
Here are some Rock songs covered by ‘Country’ artists. This certainly goes both ways, but I have found there are many more ‘country’ songs covered by Rock artists and I’ll blog about that in the future.
” Pearl Jam, Written by Eddie Vedder Released on Vitalogy, November 22, 1994, Since their debut album ‘Ten’ in 1991, this hard rocking ‘grunge band’ has built quite the following (this one’s for my nephew Evan!) this songs been covered a dozen times.
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Artists who cover and then ‘own’ the song (Pt. 2)
I can think of few better songs to continue in this vein with (a favorite of many people, myself included) but “At Last
”. Music written by Harry Warren, Lyrics written by Mack Gordon- two of the best in the business.
Etta James owns this song. Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012). Ranked 22 on Rolling Stones greatest singers of all time, she has won several Grammy awards, numerous Blues Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Blues and the Grammy Hall of Fames. Her other hits are numerous and certainly cover song blog worthy, so I’ll save them for later!Read More »