Mudcat Café message #556488 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9612   Message #556488
Posted By: GUEST,Genie
22-Sep-01 - 04:24 AM
Thread Name: Origins: AMEN (Jester Hairston)
Subject: RE: AMEN
Yeah, Susan, that's one of the possibilities I was entertaining--that his copyright was for an arrangement or modification. (I have seen, for example, sheet music of Blackjack Davey that says "words and music by Woody Guthrie," but that has most verses either straight out of Child Ballads or just slightly altered! People not only copyright the modified public domain song, but they claim (or their publishers claim) that they "wrote" the "words and music.")

I'll see what I can find out about Jester Hairston's contributions. For one thing, I am an acquaintance of his niece (or great niece), Jackie, who is a choir director in the Bay area. Perhaps she has info on this or has other leads to pursue. I'll also check Google, etc., and post what I find.