Thursday, February 17, 2011

Goin' to Louisiana

Folks have been "borrowing" melodies for ages, from Bach to John Lennon. But perhaps the most outrageous steal involves today's post subject. The Big Three - an early sixties folk group consisting of Mama Cass, Tim Rose, and Jim Hendricks - took Stephen Foster's Old Susanna and wrote an entirely different melody and harmony, calling it The Banjo Song. So give a listen and be amazed at how not just the melody, but even the guitar lick was reused for a chart-topping hit from 1969. I am not naming names but every person alive over 45 should figure it out quickly.

And I have to say that it is wonderful to discover new music (to me) with Mama Cass's great voice.