The word "appropriation" in this article is used in a negative sense, leading one to think that singers such as Elvis Presley were stealing music they performed. This reminded me of a youtube video playing Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog" back to back with Elvis' version and stating that "Elvis stoled the song." Actually the song writers, Leiber and Stoller, made much more money from Elvis' version than they did from Big Mama's.
If anything, Elvis' versions of songs from earlier records made many more music buyers aware of artists like Big Mama -- and, for example, Arthur Crudup, Roy Brown and Junior Parker -- I bought records by all of these great artists because Elvis' recordings brought those artists to my attention. Otherwise, it's likely that I would never have heard of them.
I'm sure that it wasn't intentional, but if there's any stealing going on, it's by Indy columnist Allison Hussey who didn't think about the implications of her indicating that her "guitar teacher Max Drake" gave her "a CD-R of Thornton's 'Hound Dog: The Peacock Recordings.' " Burning a CD-R actually eliminates any chance a recording artist (estate or owner) has of collecting any artist royalties from their work.
When introduced to other artists like "Memphis Minnie and other lesser-sung heroes," hopefully that wasn't via "artist royalty free" CD-R's as well.
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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