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MMD > Archives > June 1997 > 1997.06.09 > 04Prev  Next

Spiders .aka. Daddy Long Legs
By Matthew Caulfield

There may  be reason for confusion over the "Daddy Long
    Legs"  tune,  because  there  were  TWO different tunes
    composed in 1919 invloving those exact three words.

    Albert Von  Tilzer composed "Dear  Old Daddy-Long-Legs"
    (which I believe is  a One-Step; at least it appears as
    such  on Wurlitzer roll 6557), published June  5, 1919.
    Harry  Ruby  composed  "Daddy  Long  Legs,"   a   waltz
    published March 27, 1919 (also on roll 6557).

    This  may  be  another  the  not-so-rare  case  of  one
    composer capitalizing on another's marketing success by
    riding the coattails of either his  tune title  or  his
    musical theme.

    A famous case of that sort was  the successful suit for
    copyright infringement brought by  the  owners  of  the
    tune  "Dardanella" against  Jerome  Kern,  composer  of
    "Ka-Lu-A."  This was the first case involving the issue
    of "unconscious copying" and,  although Justice Learned
    Hand tended to believe Kern's assertion that he was  so
    familiar  with  the characteristic eighths  pattern  of
    Dardanella that  he imitated it without realizing, Hand
    nevertheless  found  for   the  plaintiffs  and  levied
    damages for infringement against Kern.

(Message sent Mon 9 Jun 1997, 15:45:10 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  aka, Daddy, Legs, Long, Spiders

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