The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #158878 Message #3763320
Posted By: Lighter
06-Jan-16 - 05:44 PM
Thread Name: folk process: tune evolution?
Subject: RE: folk process: tune evolution?
"St. James Hospital" also occurs in a dramatic, minor-key African-American version of "Streets of Laredo" collected by the Lomaxes in the '30s.
The U.S. law journal Northeastern Reporter (1932, Vol. 181, p. 58) acknowledges a 1930 copyright suit concerning "St. James Infirmary."
The court decision notes: "In March, 1929, the plaintiffs revived the old song under the title 'St. James' Infirmary.' *The infirmary heretofore unidentified was given a name* [my emphasis - L]. They put forward an advertising and publicity campaign to sell the old composition under the new name."
The song in question was credited to "Joe Primrose" (actually Irving Mills) of Gotham Music Service. A year later a rival publisher put out a similar song with the same title. Hence the lawsuit.
See also this thread:
I've just updated in with new information about the cowboy song.