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INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?

DigiTrad:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU


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Helen 27 Mar 99 - 07:28 PM
Alan of Australia 27 Mar 99 - 08:35 PM
Allan C. 29 Mar 99 - 11:11 AM
Joe Offer 29 Mar 99 - 03:26 PM
Alan B 29 Mar 99 - 05:17 PM
Helen 30 Mar 99 - 01:55 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 08 Sep 01 - 12:50 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 08 Sep 01 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,MJR 06 Mar 03 - 07:13 PM
Mary in Kentucky 06 Mar 03 - 07:27 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 21 Feb 05 - 04:45 PM
belfast 22 Feb 05 - 02:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jun 13 - 12:12 PM
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Subject: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: Helen
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 07:28 PM

Hi all,

I seem to remember a thread which stated who wrote Happy Birthday and who holds the copyright. I tried a forum search but I couldn't find anything with this info.

I thought someone said that Michael Jackson bought the copyright. Is this true or have I misremembered the facts? I know he has bought copyrights to a lot of music he didn't write himself.

Also the question arose in a recent converstion about who wrote Happy Birthday. I thought it was Leadbelly or someone like that, but my friend said she thought it was two American women. I remember a discussion about a song, now copyrighted, which was written by 2 women.

Any thoughts, ideas, hints, facts would be greatly appreciated.

Seeya, Helen


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 08:35 PM

G'day,
I'm sure someone has the facts, but my memory tells me that it was two American women late last century, and it's still copyrighted, hopefully NOT by Michael Jackson.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: Allan C.
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 11:11 AM

I deal with copyright on a fairly regular basis. If the song was created more than 75 years ago or if it is now 50 years after the death of the originator, then (in my understanding of the law) the song is in the public domain. However, (and here comes the disclaimer!) despite the apparent simplicity of this law, there are numerous exceptions and gray areas which surface with alarming regularity!


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 03:26 PM

For what it's worth, Click here and here.
This page came up with the following information, which sounds very credible.
The actual tune was written by two kindergarten teachers, also sisters, Mildred and Patty Hill, in the 1890's, in Louisville, KY. It was published in their book "Song Stories for the Kindergarten". During a birthday party for a friend, Patty changed the words of one of their songs "Good Morning to All" to "Happy Birthday to You." Although the original song had been copyrighted, the new lyrics were not until 1935. Under family trust arrangements the only survivng relative is Archibald Hill, a retired professor in Austen, TX and he apparently collects $20,000 in royalties a year.
Now you know.
Kimble Howard
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: Alan B
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 05:17 PM

I heard that Paul McCartney acquired the copyright, about the time the Beatles wrote a song with a similar name. I belive Michale Jackson subsequently bought much of their material, and Happy Birthday also, so your may be right.

I think PM has re- aquired many of his original songs, but I don't know whether that included Happy Birthday. Made an interesting rumour, even if it was not true

All the best


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: Helen
Date: 30 Mar 99 - 01:55 AM

Thanks everyone.

Joe, after I posted this question I did an internet search and found the Kimble Howard quote - right there in the harp mailing list archives where I had originally seen it. In fact (I must be getting old) I think I was the one who started that thread too and had forgotten all about it.

Helen (with a sheepish grin)


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 12:50 PM

For Completeness and to keep it all within the Mudcat:

A Favorite Birthday Song

"Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear [name], Happy birthday to you!"
Our understanding is....

The melody for this well-known song was written by Mildred J. Hill -- a kindergarten teacher and organist in a Kentucky church -- and her sister Patty -- who later became head of the Department of Kindergarten Education at Columbia University's Teacher College.

But originally the song did not even have these lyrics! In fact, it was a school song published in 1893 as "Good Morning to All". In the 1920's the song was published by Robert H. Coleman with "happy birthday to you" added as a second verse. The song grew in popularity and became known as THE birthday song.

Later, Patty and a third sister, Jessica, eventually won recognition for the melody. So now you know the story behind this popular jingle -- a melody written over a century ago, followed thirty birtdays later by the lyrics we know today!

Web Author: Comteq Inc.
Copyright )1998 by Let's Pretend Corporation - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 01:03 PM

Happy Birthday Copyright Question
 


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Subject: Yet another Happy Birthday?
From: GUEST,MJR
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 07:13 PM

I recently learned yet another version of Happy Birthday, to the tune of Merry Widow Waltz:
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday we love you,
Happy Birthday and may all your dreams come true
As you blow out the candles, one may stay aglow,
That's the love light in your eyes where e're you go.

Any ideas who wrote this? How can they be contacted for permission?

Thanks

Marian


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 07:27 PM

Thanks, Marian. How did you know it's my birthday today? ;-)


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 04:45 PM

The first link that Joe posted seems to be not working any more, but I found this link

Happy Birthday Song

which seems to tell a complete tale


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: belfast
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 02:17 PM

In an American sitcom/serial 'Sportsnight' one sports anchor spontaneously sings 'Happy Birthday' to a fellow presenter. The company has to pay royalties.


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Subject: RE: INFO REQ: composer Happy Birthday? copyright?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 12:12 PM

"Happy Birthday" was in the news this morning (Reuters).

A federal lawsuit was filed Thursday asking that the song be declared in the public domain and that Warner/Chappell Music return the millions of dollars "in unlawful licensing fees" that they have received for its performance.
According to the lawsuit, Warner/Chappell receives some $2 million annually in fees for its performance.

Although the song as published in 1893 by Patty and Mildred Hill had the words "Good Morning to All," "the public began singing "Happy Birthday" soon after."

According to Warner, Clayton Summy bought the rights to "Good Morning to All" from the Hill sisters in 1893. The rights were obtained by Birch Tree Ltd., a company that traces its roots to Summy. Birch Tree was acquired by Time Warner in 1998.

The Warner Music interests were sold to the present holder, Access Industries, in 2011.


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