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Origins: Harry McClintock aka 'Hats McKay'?

fhbals 02 Mar 09 - 03:20 PM
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Subject: Origins: Harry McClintock aka 'Hats McKay'?
From: fhbals
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 03:20 PM

I'm doing some research on Harry McClintock, author (or at least, claimant) of "Big Rock Candy Mountain," "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum," et al;

I came across a strange reference to McClintock in a biography of Peggy Lee ("Fever: The Life and Music of Miss Peggy Lee"), where the author notes she was sued by a "...banjo player named "Harry McClintock a.k.a. 'Hats McKay'" who claimed to have written the melody to a Lee hit song titled "Manana" some 30 years earlier under the title, "Midnight on the Ocean."

I'm fairly sure this McClintock is *the* Harry McClintock, as he did claim authorship of "Midnight on the Ocean," under the title of "Ain't We Crazy." And McClintock seemed to have a pattern of claiming copyright of public domain material after adding some new lyrics or changing the melody, although he wasn't very successful in convincing courts of his ownership.

In any case, I can't find him ever being referred to as "Hats McKay." Anyone know whether "Hats" was also "Haywire Mac"?

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