Songwriters Who Did Not Write their Songs

It’s no secret in the music business that the bigger star you are, the more song royalties you get by claiming “authorship” of a hit song written by a committee of lyricists and composers. You can force yourself into an author share of the profits because, by recording a song, you can make it popular enough that everyone will get paid.  Giving you a little something for something you did not write — instead of guaranteeing an even split of nothing for the actual authors — is one surefire way to win in any business dyad.

Chuck Berry has been accused of not writing his own hit songs that he claims ownership of — because, some argue, the songs are written in chords that are more common on a piano than a guitar.  If you don’t write a lot of music to begin with, having to transpose musical keys from one instrument to another in your head during composition of a song is nigh impossible.  You’d write the song in the familiar, and easier to play, key signatures of the instrument you use to perform.

Johnnie Johnson, one of Chuck Berry’s longtime sidemen and the man who inspired Berry’s classic “Johnnie B. Goode,” filed suit against Berry in a St. Louis Federal District Court on Nov. 29.

The multi-count suit alleges that Johnson and Berry were equal collaborators on early rock classics like “Roll Over Beethoven,” “No Particular Place to Go” and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” to name a few. Johnson claims that Berry registered the copyrights to the songs in his name alone, and therefore was the sole recipient of royalties from those songs. Johnson’s suit also seeks public recognition for his songwriting role on the fifty songs he claims to have written with Berry.


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The End of the World is Nigh as the Facebook MBA Arrives

If you have $22,000.00USD burning a hole in your pants, you too, can incredibly buy an MBA on Facebook from the London School of Business and Finance.  You watch free videos on Facebook to tether you in, and then, when you’re ready, you get officially admitted into the program and take exams and pay up.

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Michael Jackson Steals from Bob Fosse

Despite the best efforts at YouTube take down notices, we all know Beyonce grave robbed Bob Fosse, because We Who Know, saw the video evidence with our own eyes before it was removed.  Beyonce even, eventually, gave Bob Fosse credit for her choreography theft.  This morning, I was delighted to receive an email from Alisa, asking if I knew Michael Jackson had also stolen Bob Fosse’s choreography.

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The Lie of the Lie: Faking the Will Rogers Follies

When I was working on the Broadway production of — “The Will Rogers Follies” — I was contacted by a friend of mine who was teaching at a major East Coast university.

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Experian and the Free Credit Report Conundrum

I’m sure you’ve seen and heard on American television the “Free Credit Report Dot Com” commercial and the insinuatingly craven melody of its accompanying jingle — and so you know how tempting and important it is for you to have access to what the credit reporting agencies say about you. FreeCreditReport.com is operated by Experian.

Experian is one of three monolithic credit reporting agencies in the USA. Equifax and TransUnion are the other two confounding giants. If you have a credit card, loan, or if you want credit or a loan — those three agencies dictate your life and your “credit worthiness” by giving you a “Credit Score” that decides for the banks and credit lending agencies how much Vigorish / vig / juice (interest rate) you’ll pay on a loan.

As an American, you are entitled by federal law to check your credit reports for free once a year — and to then challenge any discrepancies you might find. It is important for you to know what, exactly, is on your credit report because those three megalith reporting agencies do not always agree on what you owe, let alone, who you are.

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