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Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?

DigiTrad:
BANANA REPUBLICS
CITY OF NEW ORLEANS
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
DYING CUB FAN'S LAST REQUEST
ELECTION YEAR RAG
ELECTRIC CHAIR BLUES
NOWHERE IN A HURRY BLUES
PENNY EVANS
SOMEBODY ELSE'S TROUBLES
TROUBLE WILL FIND YOU
VEGEMATIC
YOU DON'T EVEN CALL ME BY MY NAME


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Ebbie 28 Jul 05 - 02:47 PM
Bill D 28 Jul 05 - 02:58 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 28 Jul 05 - 03:05 PM
MissouriMud 28 Jul 05 - 03:09 PM
Wesley S 28 Jul 05 - 03:09 PM
Peace 28 Jul 05 - 03:14 PM
MissouriMud 28 Jul 05 - 03:15 PM
Peace 28 Jul 05 - 03:25 PM
Peace 28 Jul 05 - 03:31 PM
Ebbie 28 Jul 05 - 03:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jul 05 - 03:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jul 05 - 03:41 PM
Peace 28 Jul 05 - 03:42 PM
Bill D 28 Jul 05 - 04:15 PM
open mike 28 Jul 05 - 04:37 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 28 Jul 05 - 04:48 PM
Brakn 28 Jul 05 - 04:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jul 05 - 04:58 PM
open mike 28 Jul 05 - 05:01 PM
PoppaGator 28 Jul 05 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Puzzled 28 Jul 05 - 05:06 PM
MissouriMud 28 Jul 05 - 05:20 PM
freightdawg 28 Jul 05 - 06:20 PM
Ebbie 28 Jul 05 - 06:41 PM
Bill D 28 Jul 05 - 07:23 PM
Leadfingers 28 Jul 05 - 07:32 PM
John Hardly 28 Jul 05 - 08:00 PM
Bill D 28 Jul 05 - 08:00 PM
Ebbie 28 Jul 05 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,Bryan Bowers 28 Jul 05 - 08:36 PM
Kaleea 28 Jul 05 - 09:11 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Jul 05 - 09:14 PM
harpgirl 28 Jul 05 - 09:40 PM
Auggie 28 Jul 05 - 10:08 PM
Bill D 28 Jul 05 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,Steve Goodman 28 Jul 05 - 10:44 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Jul 05 - 10:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jul 05 - 10:59 PM
Bill D 28 Jul 05 - 11:45 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Jul 05 - 11:58 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 29 Jul 05 - 12:18 AM
GUEST,Dave'sWife 29 Jul 05 - 01:36 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 29 Jul 05 - 09:45 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 Jul 05 - 11:33 AM
Cool Beans 29 Jul 05 - 01:13 PM
PoppaGator 29 Jul 05 - 01:18 PM
John Hardly 29 Jul 05 - 01:23 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 Jul 05 - 01:26 PM
John Hardly 29 Jul 05 - 06:35 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 30 Jul 05 - 09:42 AM
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Subject: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 02:47 PM

Evidently Steve Goodman wrote it - John Prine says so - but why is CW McCall also credited?

It was covered by lots of artists, among them Cash, Denver and Arlo Guthrie.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 02:58 PM

sure...Steve Goodman wrote it....That's not even a CW McColl type song..


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:05 PM

Actually Bill D, CW did record it.   Goodman wrote the song, so I'm not sure what source Ebbie is using. Sounds like somebody goofed.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:09 PM

CW did record it - never heard his version - hope he didnt put the Rubber Duck in it. That's a big 10-4.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Wesley S
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:09 PM

Could there be more than one song with the same title ?


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Peace
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:14 PM

Steve Goodman wrote the song. Words and music. One hundred percent guarantee. Fact. Fact. Fact. Someone goofed.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:15 PM

A lot of lyrics sites confuse the issue when they reference the words by noting "lyrics by ______" , meaning the performer not the writer. There are definitely lyric sites for CW McCalls lyrics that put "lyics by CW McCall" along side City of New Orleans; a bit misleading I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Peace
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:25 PM

I see that all too often on the 'net. I met Steve many years back. I was with about three or four other people when he referred to that song as "his meal ticket"--that was after Arlo turned it into a hit. He responded to some questions about train cars receiving names that stayed with them for their life on the tracks. Indeed it is Steve's song. His and his alone. There were no co-authors. Fact.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Peace
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:31 PM

Google the following just as is

"City of New Orleans", goodman, copyright

It will take you to a gang of sites that make clear the authorship of the song.

I encountered a similar problem with a Pete Seeger song many moons back. It was ascribed to Melanie (the female singer) on many sites. Eventually, I located a reference to the liner notes of an album she did and in the notes was the statement that Pete Seeger had indeed written the song. However, lots of sites had her listed as the author. Nope. She sung it; she didn't write it.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:35 PM

Thanks, Peace.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:37 PM

Steve Goodman, copyright, ASCAP Title Code 330186848. Twenty-seven covers by durn near everybody.

See thread 9788 of long ago, when this was brought out. Cito of


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:41 PM

Twenty-seven legitimate covers, including Goodman's own. There are additional stolen covers on some foreign cds.

Cito? Sloppy today.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Peace
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:42 PM

Welcome, Ebbie. I am sorry for sounding so 'strident'. It wasn't directed your way. I hope you know that.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 04:15 PM

even IF CW recorded it, it still ain't a CW type song..*grin*


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: open mike
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 04:37 PM

on the web site for Stephen Goodman,
you can see the original scrap of
paper that it was written on and
the story about the train trip that
inspired the song.

sort of like seeing the envelope
that Abraham Lincoln wrote the
Gettysburg address on.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 04:48 PM

There is no "if" in "did" Bill D!

I think we have sufficiently verified who wrote the song, but I'm sure that won't stop at least another dozen posts!!!   :)


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Brakn
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 04:52 PM

So Who Actually Wrote it then?




Only joking!!!!


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 04:58 PM

C. W. McCall is listed by ASCAP as one of the recording performers who acknowledge the copyright by Goodman.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: open mike
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 05:01 PM

www.redpajamasrecords.com/
might as well post the link...
Red Pajamas Records


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 05:01 PM

The moral of this story is:

Don't believe everything you see on the Internet!

(except here at Mudcat, of course.)

Lyrics sites are especially prone to this particular kind of misinformation. People associate songs with recording artists, and anyone can listen, transcribe, and submit the lyrics of a song under the name of their favorite performer without ever considering that someone else might have actually written the damn thing.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: GUEST,Puzzled
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 05:06 PM

So who actually wrote this song, then ?


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 05:20 PM

On the flip side of that scrap of paper the following first draft of the chorus can barely be made out -

Good mornin' America, breaker breaker
Say dontcha know me I'm the Rubber Duck
We're just rolling 'cross the USA in a convoy
And the bears can't catch us all so WTF


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: freightdawg
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 06:20 PM

I have here, between my dirty little paws, the LP where CW McCall recorded CONO. The album is "C.W. McCall & Co.", Polydor Records. He takes a very subdued, wistful approach to the song, not quite a whisper but not the robust "Convoy" or "Wolf Creek Pass" type song fer sure.

And there, in living color, is the attribution to Steve Goodman.

For the ultimate in the soft side of Bill Fries (aka CW McCall) check out "Roses For Mama". Just make sure you have a big box of tissues close by.

sniff, sniff.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 06:41 PM

I just wish I could get a clear answer. Will I never know?


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 07:23 PM

nope, Ebbie....it's officially a secret....and fer goodness sake, don't ask Ron Olesko!


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 07:32 PM

The OLD problem - Too many people hearing songs sung and attributing them to the SINGER rather than the WRITER!!
Steve Goodman wrote 'City of New Orleans' and 'Black is The Colour' is Traditional Scots , despite being recorded by Christie Moore


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: John Hardly
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 08:00 PM

It was actually written by Steve Goodman and John Denver.

*ducking for cover*


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 08:00 PM

There are still people who don't want to believe that 'Scarbourough Fair', having been recorded many dozens of times, is OLD.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 08:19 PM

He bites, do he? *G*


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Subject: Corrections to the Digital Tradition
From: GUEST,Bryan Bowers
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 08:36 PM

"The moral of this story is:

Don't believe everything you see on the Internet!

(except here at Mudcat, of course.)

Lyrics sites are especially prone to this particular kind of misinformation. People associate songs with recording artists, and anyone can listen, transcribe, and submit the lyrics of a song under the name of their favorite performer without ever considering that someone else might have actually written the damn thing."

You can't always trust Mudcat. I once recorded Tommy Thompson's beautiful song, "Hot Buttered Rum" and the Digital Tradition credited me for writing it. I sent many, many emails asking that it be changed over a period of several YEARS. They were always ignored. I was particularly concerned because Tommy was so ill in his last years. Finally, it was corrected. But it was too late to make much difference. Tommy had died.

    Hi, Bryan-
    We had the discussion of "Hot Buttered Rum" in the 2001 thread titled Correct the Digital Tradition, and I'm sorry it took so long for the corrections to be made. As a result of that discussion, we have changed things so that we can make immediate corrections to glaring mistakes in the Digital Tradition (contact me, if needed - but only if the mistake is really serious, like the mistake Bryan was concerned about). Unfortunately, this does NOT make changes in the base version of the Digital Tradition, which is a text file. There are a number of reasons for this - it's a problem we're still trying to work out and balance conflicting priorities.
    The usual way to submit corrections to the Digital Tradition is to explain it fully in a new thread or (preferably) an existing thread on the song - and to post a short explanation of the correction in our DT Corrections/Attributions PermaThread - you can always find this thread by putting attrib in the filter and setting the age back.
    -Joe Offer-

    Say, I certainly enjoyed the house concert you did a few months ago at Ray Frank's in Davis, California.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Kaleea
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 09:11 PM

But I read it in black & white!??   used to be the mantra before the www.
I have seen many fer-instances where a song is "lyrics & music by John Lennon" because Lennon was the first name in "Lennon and McCartney" and there is room for only so many characters to be typed in following "lyrics & music by . . .".   Even when the song was actually said by Lennon (&/or McCartney, Harrison, Starr) that it was in fact written by George or Ringo, or Paul!

   Don't believe everything you "see" on cyberspace! Except the recent byline about Elvis being alive & pregnant by aliens.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 09:14 PM

That's true. "Fans" will often look no further than their favourite performer. The web is full of ignorant misinformation promulgated by irresponsible fools who think they are doing the world a favour. They mean so well, and do so much damage. In many cases they'd have the right information if they bothered to look at the copyright details on the record they presumably own; but it's also true that many performers neglect to credit their sources. Some, no doubt, do so in order to avoid having to share royalties; others through simple ignorance or (just perhaps) forgetfulness.

The problem with the DT is that it is administered by a very small number of people who accept information on trust but who are not prepared to allow others directly to make corrections to it. The result is a choice between quantity and quality. In the past they have gone for quantity. As a result, the database still contains a large amount of complete rubbish. Generally, corrections are available in the Forum; unfortunately, the forum itself also contains vast tracts of nonsense posted by people who didn't know what they were talking about.

That is democratic, but ultimately creates more problems than it solves. Until the DT accepts the necessity of responsible delegation, it will continue to be inaccurate, misleading, and years out of date.

It is still, at its best, the most useful resource of its kind available anywhere on the internet. It is time that it made a proper effort to bring its worst content up to the standard of its best.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: harpgirl
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 09:40 PM

Hi Bryan. Regarding TT's Hot Buttered Rum, that's probably because you sent them to Max. You have to put stuff in the main forum to get Max to notice it.


Way cool that you are on Mucat. How's the weather in Seattle? When you coming back to Florida?

Abby


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Auggie
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 10:08 PM

"Way cool that you are on Mucat." Whoa, Yeah, what she said.

For the uninitiated, Bryan Bowers is probably the best autoharp player on planet earth.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 10:41 PM

the way this thread is going prompts me to wonder if Mudcat 'could' someday make a "wiki" database. That is a newish type of informational setup that is editable by anyone, and thus tends toward higher degrees of accuracy. It could allow easy correction of stuff like authors, but might be trickier as people 'corrected' favorite songs to reflect the way they heard it.

Might be worth checking into....


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: GUEST,Steve Goodman
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 10:44 PM

I upped and stole it from C W McCall. Don't tell, he was drunk asa skunk.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 10:45 PM

Except that most "wiki" sites I've seen are far more inaccurate than the DT. Any editorial intervention must be moderated by people who know what they're doing, or you'll just wind up with the lowest common denominator.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 10:59 PM

Joe Offer had the idea of study threads, in which considered information could be placed. Unfortunately, many of us (I include myself) posted unconsidered, unchecked, erroneous material and plain chit-chat, which Joe could remove, but one man can do jusr so much.

This thread, for example, needed just one entry from readily available sources, plus informed comment. By chit-chat, I don't mean posts with good content (Open Mike, and Goodman's website information, for example, and directly received information from the author, co-performers, etc.).

I suppose we will continue to have to wade through quantity to find a nugget of quality, to re-phrase Malcolm Douglas.
(Hmmm, Waist Deep in Big Muddy becomes waste deep...?)

    The DTStudy threads didn't completely disappear - I still start one every once in a while. Our "Origins" theads started about the same time, and they proved to be more practical. Threads keep the "origins" tag only if they truly contain origins information and documented lyrics. The "origins" threads are not edited, while the DTStudy threads are.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 11:45 PM

well, Malcolm, the unfortunate state of things is that the DT is, for now, locked into a format that must be updated by a special routine somewhere, instead of just allowing a few knowlegable people to FTP new data and corrections as they are noted. I wonder how much trouble it would be to do it the other way?...(I wonder if "Another Digital Tradition" is done the easier way?)

I guess one major problem with WIKI is that those who DO know stuff can't monitor it all for stupid, gratuitous change every day....still, one can wish...


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 11:58 PM

The DT pages are generated, as I understand it, "on the fly" from an underlying database; they are not static html.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 12:18 AM

Stevie was an old friend of ours. He wrote that song!! No two ways about it!

Arlo was working the Quiet Knight folk club in Chicago, 3 blocks from where Carol and I were living then. Richard Harding, owner of that club, convinced Arlo, late one night right before closing, to listen to this fellow's song. Well, Arlo grudgingly listened. He loved it. Recorded it. (But strangely changed the tune on one line.)--- And the rest is history.

If you'd like to know some of that history, please read the thread I will resurrect soon called WHO IS STEVE GOODMAN.

(BRIAN, hello!!)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: GUEST,Dave'sWife
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 01:36 AM

I have always loved this song. I just put it on a Mix-CD for my 2 year old nephew. Little kids always love this one and so I made a CD of a bunch of songs that he would like that his parents could sing along to without going stark raving mad. Sometime I'll have to post the Track list.

We live so far away from the child, I figure I can at least attempt to warp his mind in a good direction with music.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 09:45 AM

I hope that what I am about to write hasn't already been wtitten above - but anyway. Arlo "modified" Steve's tune slightly when he stuck a extra chord in the "I'll be gone 500 miles" section. It sounds "gimmicky" and unnecessary to me, but that's the version most people will be familiar with.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 11:33 AM

My memory is hazy, but I seem to remember that there was a controversy about John Denver changing the lyrics in the song.   I don't have a copy of his version handy, does anyone with a better memory recall?


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 01:13 PM

Yeah, there was this song called "Thank God, I'm a City Boy." John Denver may have changed a word.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 01:18 PM

Note re Beatles songs, per Kaleea's message:

John and Paul had agreed at some early date to share songwriting credit as "Lennon/McCartney." As time passed, they gradually stopped co-writing as each began to work by himself, but their contractual partnership was still in force. This means that most of the later "Lennon/McCartney" songs were actually written by one or the other of the two, not by both.

The smaller number of Beatles songs written by George and Ringo were never attributed to Lennon/McCartney, but to Harrison and/or Starkey/Starr. (George wrote one or two songs per album, but there are few if any Ringo compositions in the Beatles catalog ~ his vocal solos were mostly "covers" (e.g., Buck Owens' "Act Naturally"). I know he is credited as co-writer of "Photograph" with George, but I believe that was during the post-Beatles era.)

Of course, the truly ignorant may indeed lump all Beatles songs together as Lennon/McCartney composisions, just like somebody attributed Steve Goodman's song to one of the many singers who recorded it. But any song atributed to "Lennon/McCartney" by a reputable source was definitely written by either John or Paul, if not both. George's songs were all properly credited to "Harrison," and I believe he may even have had a different publishing company from John and Paul's. Same for whatever Ringo might have contributed.

I'm sure that I'll be hearing back from someone who can identify Ringo's compositions. Was he credited for "Yellow Submarine"? Or maybe "Octopus's Garden"?


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: John Hardly
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 01:23 PM

Ron, That's why I joked about John Denver. I think the info is in the archives -- search under John Denver and I bet you'll find the specifics. It centered around him having added a verse, recording it thus, and adding his name to the credits.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 01:26 PM

I did a search, but the lyrics appear to be Goodmans.   I remember hearing a story of how Arlo was upset when he heard Denver's version because of a lyric change.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: John Hardly
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 06:35 PM

Ron,

Here's the thread with a quote attributed to Goodman about meeting Denver and the ensuing re-write. I can't attest to the accuracy of the quote, however, because it comes from MaGrath of Harlow. Shifty man, that one.


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Subject: RE: Who Actually Wrote City of New Orleans?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 30 Jul 05 - 09:42 AM

Ah yes... it was "old grey men". Very odd.


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