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Rock Artists cover Country songs Part 2

Rock Artists cover Country songs Part 2
There are so many great Rock covers of Country songs but certainly one of the most prominent is this one, the original by Roger Miller and the cover by Janis Joplin. “Me and Bobby McGee” by Roger Miller (1969) written by Fred Foster and Kris Kristofferson
Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin (1971). The last song recorded by Janis during the “Pearl” album session only a few days before her death and it went on to become her only #1 Billboard hit song. Covered over 145 times but even Kris Kristofferson himself can’t hear the song without thinking of Janis.
Oh Lonesome Me” written and performed by Don Gibson (1957). He has written and recorded numerous hit songs and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. This song has been covered 163 times but very rarely out of the country music style.
Oh Lonesome Me” by The Beau Brummels (1965) were formed in San Francisco, they had a hit song with “Laugh, Laugh” in 1964. This was a crucial…

Rock Artists cover Country songs

Rock Artists cover Country songs

Rock artists covering country songs became quite the fashion in the early 60’s, often the domain of the groups of the British Invasion, but it was North American Rockers that started the trend.
Your Cheatin' Heart written and performed by the legend-Hank Williams (1952) Covered 173 times

Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps (1958). Vincent was a pioneer in Rockabilly music and has inspired many, still revered and rightly so.
Act Naturally”, Buck Owens (1963) writtenby Voni Morrison and Johnny Russell
Brian Hyland (1964) an American singer was the first to cover this song in a ‘non’ country fashion.
The Beatles (1965) as I have blogged already the Beatles were not afraid to tackle songs from many different genres.

Tulsa Timeby Don Williams (1978), written by Danny Flowers, covered by  Eric Clapton (1978)
Jolenewritten and performed by Dolly Parton in 1973. Much more to say about her ;) but this iconic song has not been given proper justice in the cover…

John Denver

John Denver

Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. December 31, 1943-October 12, 1997. Most will know of the tragic passing of John Denver at the age of 53. Denver was an experienced pilot but according to the investigation a poorly designed fuel switch in his experimental plane caused him to turn around in the cockpit and he lost control. His plane crashed into Monterey Bay near Pacific Grove, California. Apart from being a gifted singer he played a very decent acoustic guitar and wrote some of the most memorable songs of the 1970’s. Known for is concern for ecology, his photography and his humanitarian works he also made inroads in international relations being one of the first U.S. artists to be welcome into post cold war U.S.S.R. as well as touring mainland China.

Babe I Hate to Go” written and performed by John Denver. If you don’t recognize this song title that’s no surprise, he was the only one to call it that when he first released it in December of 1966. His then producer/manager Milt…

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin  A sad day for music on the passing of the Legendary Aretha Franklin. There are plenty of tributes to this amazing singer and rightfully so and if you have been reading my blog you will know I’ve mentioned her before. You will be able to read all about her career and life story elsewhere, what you may not get is a bit of the story behind songs she gave new life too and her originals that have been remade. She had covered at least 217 other songs and 45 of her original tunes have been redone by hundreds of other artists. Apart from her singular and spectacular voice she was a songwriter and a very accomplished piano player. I’ve already talked about one of her biggest hits, “Respect” and also “Chain of Fools”,but she had many more successful songs and covers of other songs.

Spanish Harlem” by Ben E. King (1960) written by Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector. The song was King’s first hit after he left the Drifters and went to #10 on the Pop and #15 on the R&B charts.
Aret…

Cover Songs and the Law

Cover Songs and the Law (copyright)

There have been plenty of lawsuits and or settlements over someone stealing someone else’s song, whether in whole or in part, intentionally or not. Apparently you just can’t be doing that type of thing. I touched on this a bit in previous blogs and there are many examples that I’m aware of (and many I'm not) plus a few more I picked up while doing research, so perhaps a part two or three?

Without getting too technical when it comes to a person wanting to do a cover song they do not need the permission of the owner(s) or writer(s) as the case may be, of the song. There is a thing called 'Compulsory Licence' in the U.S. and similar laws internationally under the 'Berne Convention' that requires compensation be paid to said owners. So in most countries you just need to credit and pay the people who own the song or the 'publishing' rights. I'll blog about that part another time. Then there is the whole idea of  'samp…

Country Artists cover Rock songs!

Country Artists cover Rock songs
Here are some Rock songs covered by ‘Country’ artists. This certainly goes both ways, but I have found there are many more 'country' songs covered by Rock artists and I'll blog about that in the future. “Better Man” Pearl Jam, Written by Eddie Vedder Released on Vitalogy, November 22, 1994, Since their debut album ‘Ten’ in 1991, this hard rocking ‘grunge band’ has built quite the following (this one's for my nephew Evan!) this songs been covered a dozen times.
Sugarland, from Live on the Inside, August 4, 2009
Sugarland likes to cover rock songs; Kings of Leon-Sex on Fire, B-52's-Love Shack, R.E.M.-The one I Love.
Sunday Morning” written by John Cale, Lou Reed, recorded by The Velvet Underground & Nico Dec. 1966. Call them Rock, Avant-garde, artsy, experimental, pre-punk or whatever-they were very influential.
Elizabeth Cook from the album “Balls” 2007
She also covered "Jesus" written by Lou Reed from the Velvet Undergr…

Etta James and others 'Own' your cover (Part Two)

Artists who cover and then ‘own’ the song (Pt. 2)

I can think of few better songs to continue in this vein with (a favorite of many people, myself included) but “At Last”. Music written by Harry Warren, Lyrics written by Mack Gordon- two of the best in the business. Etta James owns this song. Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012). Ranked 22 on Rolling Stones greatest singers of all time, she has won several Grammy awards, numerous Blues Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Blues and the Grammy Hall of Fames. Her other hits are numerous and certainly cover song blog worthy, so I’ll save them for later!

Recorded by Etta November 15, 1960 at Chess Records in Chicago. She would do other versions of this song, but I find her first crack at it to be the best. Not so crazy about the slide show in the video though…but great audio.

The original is by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, September 4, 1942 here is a clip from a from…

The Commitments

The Commitments


The Commitments is a 1991 movie musical based on a 1987 novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle. Why am I talking about a movie? Well this movie has a lot of great cover songs in it, apart from the fact it’s a very entertaining movie, I share a love of this soundtrack with my wife’s brother. I happen to be visiting my brother in law and his lovely wife at their beautiful home on Vancouver Island, so I thought it appropriate to blog about a mutual interest in music.  Briefly, the movie is set on the north side of Dublin and is about a guy named Jimmy who wants to start a soul band inspired by African American musicians from the 60’s and 70’s. He gathers up a crew and they practice in quite interesting fashions and locales, eventually getting a paying gig. There is more to the story, but the end result is some great music and too many songs to cover in one blog, so I will give you some of my favorites. The soundtrack features songs that are for the most part shown at vari…

Aretha Franklin and others 'Own' your cover (Part One)

Artists who cover and then ‘own’ the song (Pt. 1)

Sifting through as many cover songs as I do you come to appreciate a great version of a song. There are likely, no definitely, many cover songs that just don't measure up. I do hesitate to be critical of someone's efforts since I have no talent myself, so for editorial purposes only I'll stick to my previous comment. Of course there are covers that improve on the original due to any number of factors not the least of which is the person(s) singing. However they could have benefited from a different arrangement or a creative producer and most certainly the musicians can make or break a cover song. Sometimes it's a switch in genre or just the right year for the re-release of the song. Sometimes it's all things combined. Here are some songs that we recognize immediately and may believe that it’s the original because its become the ‘definitive’ version of the song. It's likely been in a movie soundtrack or just rec…