The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32975   Message #566529
Posted By: Genie
06-Oct-01 - 11:38 PM
Thread Name: Original =Best Songs?
Subject: RE: BS: Original =Best Songs?
What a great idea! Do you have any CDs of such compilations?

You know, I think one reason there are so many "singer-songwriters"* singing and recording so many crappy to mediocre songs lies in the extensions of the copyright laws to the point where nothing written (i.e., copyrighted) in the last 75 years can be recorded or performed for $ without paying what can be high royalties..
I would love to record great songs of Hank Williams, the Gershwins, Duke Ellington, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Bob Wills, Lieber and Stoller, Irving Berlin, Jimmie Rodgers, and many other composers/songwriters whose names may be less widely recognized. But to do a CD with ten such songs on it would, I am told, mean paying $7.50 in royalties alone for each CD burned!

I am afraid that many song treasures will be lost to our descendents because copyrights now persist so long after an author's demise.

Even the "great" songwriters often wrote 10 to 1000 so-so songs for every gem. (Irving Berlin, e.g., is said to have written at least 1500 songs--out of which maybe 30 to 60 are really memorable. Hank Williams also wrote a lot more songs than "hits.")
Once the "cream" has risen to the top, it's a shame to let it spoil because it's too expensive to consume it!

Let me illustrate the point with one more example:
Every singer and her/his brother/sister seems to record a Christmas CD that includes all the old Christmas hymns and public domain favorites (Deck The Hall, Silent Night, etc.). Why? I imagine it's because they don't have to pay royalties on these!