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Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs

MGM·Lion 07 Sep 09 - 04:51 AM
Joe Offer 07 Sep 09 - 06:25 AM
MGM·Lion 07 Sep 09 - 06:44 AM
Brakn 07 Sep 09 - 07:08 AM
MGM·Lion 07 Sep 09 - 08:45 AM
meself 07 Sep 09 - 08:50 AM
Azizi 07 Sep 09 - 09:18 AM
pdq 07 Sep 09 - 10:17 AM
Leadfingers 07 Sep 09 - 11:44 AM
MGM·Lion 07 Sep 09 - 12:18 PM
Azizi 07 Sep 09 - 08:41 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Sep 09 - 10:43 PM
Genie 07 Sep 09 - 11:51 PM
Azizi 08 Sep 09 - 04:36 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 08 Sep 09 - 05:01 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Sep 09 - 05:02 AM
alanabit 08 Sep 09 - 05:40 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Sep 09 - 05:45 AM
Azizi 08 Sep 09 - 09:29 PM
Genie 08 Sep 09 - 09:57 PM
Azizi 08 Sep 09 - 10:32 PM
Genie 08 Sep 09 - 11:02 PM
GUEST 09 Sep 09 - 08:24 AM
Severn 09 Sep 09 - 12:09 PM
Piers Plowman 09 Sep 09 - 12:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Sep 09 - 03:14 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Sep 09 - 11:38 PM
Piers Plowman 10 Sep 09 - 11:12 AM
Piers Plowman 10 Sep 09 - 11:16 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 09 - 01:00 PM
Cleverthreads (inactive) 10 Sep 09 - 01:05 PM
Cleverthreads (inactive) 10 Sep 09 - 01:06 PM
frogprince 10 Sep 09 - 01:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 09 - 01:24 PM
Stringsinger 10 Sep 09 - 05:04 PM
Stringsinger 10 Sep 09 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 10 Sep 09 - 05:15 PM
Cleverthreads (inactive) 10 Sep 09 - 05:25 PM
MGM·Lion 10 Sep 09 - 10:31 PM
MGM·Lion 20 Oct 12 - 01:48 AM
Richard Bridge 20 Oct 12 - 04:22 AM
Leadfingers 20 Oct 12 - 04:46 AM
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Subject: forgottens
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 04:51 AM

Reading the Lydia the Tattooed Lady thread, about how few remember Yip Harburg for all the great songs he wrote - Spare a Dime, all in Wiz of 0z &c - got me thinking of others of same sort who ought to be household words like Gershwins, Porter, Kern, Berlin, but aren't

Composer Harry Warren is an example: have looked him up in my 0x Guide to Popular Music. Just a selection:—

words by Al Dubin: 42nd St; We're in the Money; Keep young & beautiful; I'll string along with you; I only have eyes for you; Lullaby of Broadway; September in the rain;

W Johnny Mercer: Jeepers creepers; You must have been a beautiful baby; Jezebel; Acheson Topeka & Santa Fe.

w Mack Gordon: Down Argentina Way; I-yi-yi-yi like you very much; Chatanooga choo-choo; Gal in Kalamazoo; I like to be loved by you; You'll never know;

w Jack Brooks: That's amore

See what I mean?

Lyricist Al Dubin, mentioned above, another example of these 'forgotten greats'. Any others?


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Subject: RE: forgottens
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 06:25 AM

Hmmmm. I dunno. I don't think I'd say they're forgotten. Most of the songs you mention have become "standards," performed regularly for well over half a century. Most of those songs are still earning royalties.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: forgottens
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 06:44 AM

Oh, yes: I didn't say it was the SONGS that were forgotten. That's the point: it's the guys who wrote them that are forgotten. Not Mercer or Gershwins both or Porter or Kern or Berlin. But Warren, Dubin, Harburg [where we came in on other thread] - who could put a name to the writer of We're In The Money [I could - it was Warren & Dubin - but how many others could?] — why aren't they as well remembered?. It is, I reiterate, the writers who are forgotten, tho The Melody Lingers On (& who wrote that one, then, eh?).


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Subject: RE: forgottens
From: Brakn
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 07:08 AM

"who could put a name to the writer of We're In The Money"
I could; Harry Warren was always one of my favourite writers. In the 70s when I got a bit bored with "rock music" I used to work out all the songs from the 30s musicals and invariably my favourites were Warren songs.

Even at the latter stages of his career he produced "An Affair To Remember". A top man.


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Subject: RE: forgottens
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 08:45 AM

As you will gather, I entirely agree with you, Brakn. But I am sure you will agree with my point that he is not remembered as much as deserved; not, indeed, a name to conjure with among the general populace like those others I have specified above. I am much exercised as to why this should be — why Warren, Dubin, Harburg, et al, are not up there in the public consciousness with PorterBerlinGershwinKern... I am just hoping someone will be able to explain this.


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Subject: RE: forgottens
From: meself
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 08:50 AM

"The world knows nothing of its greatest men."


(Hmmm ... now, who was it that said that?)


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Subject: RE: forgottens
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 09:18 AM

While I can't think of the names of any specific composers for this thread (which is kinda the point), one of my pet peeves is that on the Internet, the name of a recording artist is often given with the lyrics of a song instead of the song composer's name. That leads some people to believe that the vocalist named is the actual composer of that song.


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Subject: RE: forgottens
From: pdq
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 10:17 AM

Ernest Ball has been largely forgotten by the public, but gave us:

When Irish Eye's Are Smiling

A Little Bit of Heaven

Mother Machree

Will You Love Me In December as You Do In May?

He did many other "Irish" songs even though he hailed from Cleveland.


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Subject: RE: forgottens
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 11:44 AM

Azizi has made a very good point , but its NOT just on the Net !
How many times do hear (For example) Ride On introduced in a Folk Club as Christie Moore's song ??


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Subject: RE: forgottens
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 12:18 PM

Indeed. This was particularly the case in Music-Hall days, when particular songs were regarded as the 'property' of particular singers, and they would have a gentlemen's·agreement not to cover one·another's; so people would talk of Gus Elen's The 'Ouses in-between or Albert Chevalier's Knocked 'Em in the Old Kent Road or Marie Lloyd's My Old Man, & the actual writers never got a look-in as far as the audience were concerned.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 08:41 PM

Related to this subject is the fact that many songs-particularly rarly Blues songs-were stolen from their composers.

A discussion about this is found in this revived Mudcat thread:

thread.cfm?threadid=84613&messages=73
Jimmy Page- Plagiarist of the Blues?


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 10:43 PM

One of my favorite songwriters is Matt Dennis. He wrote Violets For Your Furs, Let's Get Away From It All, Angel Eyes and several other near-standards done by singers as well know as Frank Sinatra. I have just about everything he ever recorded, and it still sounds fresh to me.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Genie
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 11:51 PM

People have a tendency nowadays to assume that whoever had the first or biggest (in their memory) hit recording of a song wrote it.
(I don't think that was the case much before the 1960s - the era of "singer-songwriters - though.   I'm discovering now that quite a few popular "singers" and "bandleaders" from the 1920s thru 1950s were also composers or lyricists on some of their hit songs too, but they are seldom described as such.)

Also, when people do credit the "songwriter" they tend to credit the composer of the music. Lyricists are given short shrift or forgotten far more often.

E.g., "Elton John songs" usually have lyrics written by Bernie Taupin.
Carole King often gets all the credit for songs she co-wrote with Jerry Goffin (that is, when James Taylor isn't credited instead of either of them).
"Andrew Lloyd-Webber songs' usually have lyrics written by Tim Rice.
George Gershwin is very often given full credit for a song when Ira or Irving Caesar or DuBose Heyward, etc., wrote the lyrics.
A highly-acclaimed lyricist such as Johnny Mercer may be the exception. He seldom wrote music, even for songs that have become known as "Johnny Mercer songs."
Then, of course, there's Woody Guthrie, who seldom wrote his own tunes, yet so many of the songs for which he wrote (new) lyrics are known as "Woody Guthrie songs."


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 04:36 AM

I just re-read my 07 Sep 09 - 08:41 PM post to this thread. "Rarly" was meant to be "early" but that typo has interesting connotations as a combination of rare & early-especially because so many early Blues songs are rare now.

Unfortunately.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 05:01 AM

"People have a tendency nowadays to assume that whoever had the first or biggest (in their memory) hit recording of a song wrote it."

That's one of the fundamental rules that apply, as time goes by.

(Now who wrote that one?)

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 05:02 AM

Kurt Weill, wasn't it?


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: alanabit
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 05:40 AM

Hubert Hupfield I think for a stage show. Casablanca made it more famous, but I believe it had already been performed on stage.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 05:45 AM

Sorry: I have checked and you are right. The 1931 show was called 'Everybody's Welcome'. I think for some reason I was confusing it with 'September Song' ['It's been a long long time']. Can't imagine why — put it down to my advancing-in-geometrical-progression years!


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 09:29 PM

I mentioned this thread in this other Mudcat thread: thread.cfm?threadid=123492&messages=9 Most Moving Love Song - folk or non-folk.

I posted an excerpt in that thread from an online article about the history of the love song "Unchained Melody" which failed to mention the name of the song's writer.

Does anyone know who wrote that song?


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Subject: Songwriters: Unchained Melody
From: Genie
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 09:57 PM

Hy Zaret, the lyricist for Unchained Melody (the title theme from the 1955 movie "The Unchained") died in 2007 at the age of 99.   While hardly a household name, I imagine (or at least hope) he raked in the royalties all those years for all the covers of that song.

Alex North composed the music for that song.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 10:32 PM

Thanks for that information, Genie. I imagine that other people wanted to know who wrote that beautiful song "Unchained Melody" and who composed that wonderful music for that song. Now search engines will lead them to this Mudcat thread and they'll find the answer in your post.

**

Like you, I also hope that both men benefited from all the recordings of Unchained Melody and its use in the movie "Ghost".


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Genie
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 11:02 PM

It is getting much easier to find songwriter credits online than it was a few years ago. More and more sites that list such info -- although most search engines still leave a lot to be desired. And although Wikipedia is in constant flux and often contains dubious info, it tends to be accurate on black-and-white things like dates, etc. At least when someone posts inaccurate info, somebody else usually corrects it promptly.
(Wiki's info is much less reliable when it comes to more subjective stuff, such as whether and in what sense people like Al Jolson and Irving Berlin were "conservatives" or just how screwed up Hank William's personal life was and why.
And, of course, there are authorship questions about some songs that continue to this day, here at Mudcat and elsewhere. Cf. the discussions of the origins of Loch Lomond, You Are My Sunshine, Home On The Range, etc.)


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 08:24 AM

Herman, not Hubert, Hupfeld, not Hupfield, wrote "As Time Goes By."

Herman Hupfeld was also a gay dwarf, I believe...


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Severn
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 12:09 PM

I happen to be reading a book at the moment on the life of the first major African-American to solely specialize in writing lyrics, Andy Razaf, who wrote lyrics for the likes of Fats Waller, Eubie Blake and James P. Johnson among others.. Lyrics to "Ain't Misbehavin'", "Black And Blue", "Porter's Love Song To a Chambermaid""Honeysuckle Rose", "My Handyman Ain't Handy Anymore", "Christopher Columbus", "Squeeze Me", Guess Who's In Town" and many orhers were supplied by Razaf (born Andrea Razafkeriefo). The habit of Waller selling off his share of copyrights for drinking money and the likes of Clarence Williams capitalizing helps obscure his reknown.

The book, by the way, is "Black And Blue: The Life And Lyrics Of Andy Razaf" by Barry Singer (1992, Schirmer Books)


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 12:33 PM

Subject: RE: forgottens
From: MtheGM - PM
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 06:44 AM

"It is, I reiterate, the writers who are forgotten, tho The Melody Lingers On (& who wrote that one, then, eh?)."

Irving Berlin, "The Song is Over".

I haven't forgotten them. How about Walter Jurmann and Bronislaw Kaper? Lots of good German composers and songwriters, too, some of whom came to the US, like Jurmann and Kaper, Friedrich Hollaender and Ralph Benatzky.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 03:14 PM

Herman Hupfeld served in the U. S. Armed Services in WW1, and entertained in camps in WW2.
He is known for that unforgettable hit, "When Yuba Plays the Rhumba on the Tuba."
Also The "Calinda," and Let's Put Out the Lights."


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 11:38 PM

Piers Plowman: YOU might not have forgotten those you name [of some of whom I admit I had never heard]; you obviously take a specialist and scholarly interest, as I endeavour to do; but would you say they were universally recalled, as say Berlin·Porter·Gershwins·Kern·Rodgers/Hart/Hammerstein are & HarryWarren·AlDubin·YipHarburg·et·al FOR SOME REASON aren't? — which is my OP point.

PS I knew really that was Berlin - it was meant as a referential jest, as I am sure you appreciated all along.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 11:12 AM

Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: MtheGM - PM
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 11:38 PM

"Piers Plowman: YOU might not have forgotten those you name [of some of whom I admit I had never heard]; you obviously take a specialist and scholarly interest, as I endeavour to do; but would you say they were universally recalled, as say Berlin·Porter·Gershwins·Kern·Rodgers/Hart/Hammerstein are & HarryWarren·AlDubin·YipHarburg·et·al FOR SOME REASON aren't? — which is my OP point."

I agree, there are quite a few who are not as well-known as Gershwin, Kern, Porter and some others. I do take a specialist and semi-scholarly interest in this style of music, but my main interest is in playing it. It makes up a substantial part of my repertoire.

Jurmann and Kaper wrote "All God's Chillun Got Wings" and "San Francisco (Open Your Golden Gate)" and Kaper wrote "Hi-Lilly Hi-Lo", as well as many German songs, some, at least, together with the lyricist Fritz Rotter. Many were sung by the Comedian Harmonists.

"PS I knew really that was Berlin - it was meant as a referential jest, as I am sure you appreciated all along."

Does that mean I don't get a prize? :(

I think the arrangers also deserve to be remembered and the composers of operettas, too.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 11:16 AM

Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Q - PM
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 03:14 PM

'Herman Hupfeld served in the U. S. Armed Services in WW1, and entertained in camps in WW2.
He is known for that unforgettable hit, "When Yuba Plays the Rhumba on the Tuba." [...]"

The Comedian Harmonists sang this song in German under the title
"Der Onkel Bumba aus Kalumba", (Hupfeld/Rotter/Robinson), 1932. "Rotter" will have been the Fritz Rotter, mentioned above.

There are a couple of Warner Bros. cartoons using this song. They were one-offs without repeated characters, so no longer often seen.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 01:00 PM

I think we agree, librettists should be better known. Many of us who enjoy opera know that Lorenzo Da Ponte wrote the text of some of Mozart's best known operas, but few can name the librettists of many other well-known works. The words carry the action, without which there would be nothing but background music with a few arias only to catch the ear.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Cleverthreads (inactive)
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 01:05 PM

Lorenzo Da Ponte: The Lif and Times of Mosart's Librettist by Shelia Hodges


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Cleverthreads (inactive)
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 01:06 PM

That should be Life and Mozart :-D


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: frogprince
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 01:18 PM

Who will be the first to tell me, from memory, who wrote "Spirit In The Sky"? Not that I consider it great, but I noticed at a dance last weekend that I had no idea, so I referenced it.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 01:24 PM

It was ....

I had to look it up, so I won't post the name.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:04 PM

"As Time Goes By" was written by Herman Hupfeld who wrote only one major hit song
and this was it.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:10 PM

One of the most overlooked composers of well-remembered songs was
Walter Donaldson (often with Gus Kahn)

1. My Blue Heaven,
2. Love Me Or Leave Me
3. Carolina in the Morning
4. Whoopee (the musical) Makin' Whoopee.
5. My Baby Just Cares For Me
and more.


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:15 PM

I'll tell who often gets forgotten: lyricists! People always refer to George Gershwin's this and that, as though nobody else was involved! Also, I remember seeing a Hollywood version of Jerome Kern's life called" Til the Clouds Roll By", and his lyricists were totally written out of the story!


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Cleverthreads (inactive)
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:25 PM

Jimmie Davis twice governor of Louisiana wrote You Are My Sunshine, he also wrote the gospel song Where No One Stands Alone, which was done brilliantly by Blue Murder(mk III) (Martin Carthy, Norman Waterson, Eliza Carthy, Mike Waterson, Coope, Boyes and Simpson)on their CD No One Stands Alone


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 10:31 PM

Indeed re Gershwin: I had following Reader's Letter published in The Guardian 4 years ago:-

        Date:         August 11, 2005 18:44:41 BST
        Subject:         gershwin
        To:          life@guardian.co.uk

Tim Radford writes, "'The things you read in the Bible, it ain't necessarily so,' wrote George Gershwin in Porgy and Bess."

Actually, Ira Gershwin wrote that; brother George just wrote the accompanying la-la-las.

    Michael Grosvenor Myer
         Cambridge


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 01:48 AM

refresh in re new thread on related topic "Alfred Reed ... 'Poor Man'"


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 04:22 AM

I'm quite suprised that Leadfingers suggests that people do not associate "Spirit in the Sky" with its writer. Surely people of the average age around here will remember the original recording (which IMHO is still the best).


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Subject: RE: Forgotten writers of well-remembered songs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 04:46 AM

Not ME Richard - My ONLY comment in this thread was about Christie Moore . Spirit in the Sky was from frogprince


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