Category Archives: Music

fulks

Wilmette’s Robbie Fulks up for first two Grammy Awards on Sunday

Pioneer Press, February 9, 2017 — When Robbie Fulks began making his 12th studio album, he set a lofty goal for himself. The country-folk singer-songwriter-guitarist, who lives in Wilmette, recalls saying: “It’s boring doing the same thing over and over again. So how can we raise the game?” That’s when he decided he’d try to win a Grammy. Read the article at Pioneer Press.

Photo: Andy Goodwin

abajournal-thissong

Lawsuits aim to put iconic folk songs back in the public domain

ABA Journal, November 2016 — As he hitchhiked around the country in 1940, Woody Guthrie got sick of hearing Irving Berlin’s patriotic hit “God Bless America” on car radios and jukeboxes. So the itinerant folk singer penned his own anthem in response—with lyrics that challenged the concept of private property. He called the song “This Land.” Five years later, Guthrie included the lyrics in a booklet of 10 songs he’d written. He printed copies and put a 25-cent price on the cover—along with “Copyright 1945 W. Guthrie.”

That same decade, striking tobacco workers in Charleston, South Carolina, lifted their voices to an old African-American spiritual, vowing that they’d triumph: “We Will Overcome.” Or did they sing “We Shall Overcome”? At some point, someone tweaked the lyrics, which had been evolving for decades. The word will became shall, and the phrase down in my heart changed to deep in my heart.

Those new words were on the page when Ludlow Music applied for a copyright in 1960, crediting Zilphia Horton, Frank Hamilton and Guy Carawan—not as authors of the original song but as the people who’d written new verses and a new arrangement. The company filed for another copyright in 1963, adding more verses and another name: Pete Seeger. But were these people responsible for the words in the most famous verse? Or do those words belong to the public? Read the rest of the article at the ABA Journal.

wacobrothers

Waco Brothers release first album in 11 years

Pioneer Press, February 16, 2016 — The Waco Brothers used to make studio records at a fairly brisk pace — releasing seven albums from 1995 to 2005 with their rousing mix of punk guitar riffs and country twang. “We thought it was a really solid string of records,” recalls Jon Langford, a singer-guitarist in the Chicago-based band. … Read more at Pioneer Press.

Photo by Paul Beaty