My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Classic Rewind: Moe Bandy – ‘I’ve Done Everything Hank Williams Did But Die’

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7 responses to “Classic Rewind: Moe Bandy – ‘I’ve Done Everything Hank Williams Did But Die’

  1. Luckyoldsun March 1, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Great performance here, by Moe.
    ..
    A very similar song by Keith Whitley sounds positively eerie, because not long after it was recorded Keith in fact followed in Hank Williams’ footsteps to his final act.
    Not sure if the writer of the Keith song ever put in a copyright infringement claim against the writer of the Moe song!

    • Ken March 15, 2018 at 8:42 am

      We’ve been down this road before with unluckyoldsun

      Once again – you cannot copyright a song title. You cannot copyright a concept.
      The melody and the majority of the lyrics of the two songs are entirely different except for the similar title. So in your expert legal opinion on what basis is there copyright infringement?

  2. Luckyoldsun March 16, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    People file copyright claims all the time for expropriating key elements of songs.

    Right, you can’t copyright a song title. The music publishing databases probably have 100-plus songs with titles like “Let’s Fall In Love” or “You’re Beautiful.” But when you get to more specialized, specific titles, like “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Friends In Low Places,” or “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up you Nose,” borrowing a song title could at least raise suspicions of copyright infringement.

    Harlan Howard and his publisher brought a copyright claim against Randy Travis for his early-’90s song “Better Class of Losers,” which had the same title as a Howard song that Ray Price released in the early ’80s. (Mark Chesnutt also covered the Harlan Howard song, but under the title “Uptown, Downtown” on his “Longnecks and Short Stories” CD.) The Harlan Howard song and the Travis song seem to have almost nothing in common, save for the lines “I’m just hanging with a better class of losers” in the former and “I’m going back to a better class of losers” in the latter.

    And the always ornery Irving Berlin had his attorneys contact Bobby Bare’s publisher after Bare wrote a song and put out a single in 1969 with the title “God Bless America Again,” with an obvious allusion to Berlin’s “God Bless America.”

    The writer of “I’ve Done Everything Hank Did But Die” would have a far stronger claim against Moe’s “I’ve Done Everything Hank Williams Did But Die” (written by Bill Anderson) than Harlan Howard had against Randy Travis for “Better Class of Losers,” or Irving Berlin had for “God Bless America Again.” (The Bare song falls in the category of “fair use.”)

    Bobby Bare said that after Berlin (via his lawyers) contacted him to complain about “God Bless America Again,” he wrote back: “You should hear my next single: ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas Again.”

    (I think it’s safe to assume that that was a joke, and Bare did not actually send such a letter.)

    I don’t mind educating you, Kenny, but please–see if you can hold off asking any more questions, until the next time.

    • Ken March 17, 2018 at 12:13 am

      Your long winded dissertation did not refute a single word that I posted. But thank goodness for Wikipedia or you would not have anything to post. Clearly Perry Mason has nothing to worry about.

      Yes a songwriter can file a copyright claim but they have no chance of success unless the song is proven to be an exact duplicate of the lyrics or contains a substantial or key portion of the melody. Bringing a claim is far different that winning a legal decision which was my original point. I could file a claim against you for constantly writing inane comments and wasting readers time by posting uninformed nonsense. But the only court that I would win in is the court of popular opinion.

  3. Luckyoldsun March 20, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    Uh, Ken Boy, you’re the one who responded to MY comment.
    My comment said nothing whatsoever about whether any copyright lawsuit in this instance would succeed. It merely said that I don’t know whether any claim was ever made.
    But I did point out that claims WERE made–by or on behalf of a couple of the 20th Century’s greatest songwriters–in circumstances that were less egregious than the case of the Bandy song.
    As for whose comments were “uninformed nonsense” and who might have been wasting readers’ time: How ’bout we leave it to readers make that determination? You’re not exactly in position to be the judge.

    • Ken March 21, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      And the reason that those claims failed is because of the facts listed in my initial post. Lawsuits are filed all of the time but only the ones that are successful are worth citing.

      Your constant burning desire to post comments about topics that you have no knowledge of or do not understand is tedious. If you limited your posts to topics that you are knowledgeable about you would not waste so much time and space with your uninformed nonsense. But God only knows what those might be.

  4. Luckyoldsun March 24, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Robert Earl Keen had the best response after Toby Keith “borrowed” heavily from REK’s epic alt-country classic “The Road Goes On Forever,” and refashioned it as “Bullets in the Gun.”
    No letters, no lawsuits–just a good, old-fashioned tribute to Toby in song:

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