jolietbound wrote:1937 on Bluebird (RCA) but who knows where SB 1 first heard it. I doubt it was completely original to him. Maybe someone knows if an earlier performance history is mentioned for this song prior to 1937?
Re the GD version I thought Demarais was some executive at Chess Records. Again copyright on these old songs is almost random. The performers at that time had no idea about the Library of Congress or the Copyright Office. Some person or the record company later would just write down a piano version with the lyrics and file a claim on a song they thought they could use to extract money from someone.
Probably true. The money in the music business is in songwriting. One of the most interesting examples of a cheesy attempt to capitalize on this was Jon and Sally Tiven, New york songwriters who had the idea of resurrecting long-out-of-circulation artists, such as Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, maybe others I am unaware of, and inducing them to make records of songs credited to the Tivens. Probably made them a few bucks! But the tradition is long of recording songs and taking songwriter's credits, sometimes just by changing a line or two. Look at Bobby Rush's song catalogue; credit for many familiar tunes, sometimes the song, sometimes the title of an old song with new lyrics. Also, listen to the Beatles introduction to "Revolution", copied directly from a Pee Wee Crayton song from the early '50s, which in turn was copied directly from a Buddy Moss song, actually used twice by him, from the late '30s. I would have to find the titles of those songs, but will if anyone says they want to know.
Gone are the days we stopped to decide where we should go, we just ride...