Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Coyle, Michael. "Hijacked Hits and Antic Authenticity: Cover Songs, Race, and Postwar Marketing." In Rock Over the Edge: Transformations in Popular Music Culture, ed. Roger Beebe, Denise Fulbrook, and Ben Saunders, 133-157. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2002.

The term "cover" does not accurately describe the history behind or motivations for an artist recording a previously recorded song. In the 1950s, listeners did not make the same associations between song and singer that they make today; therefore re-recording a song was not understood as a reference in any way to the earlier artist. "The music itself" existed independently of its realization; therefore multiple versions of a song could circulate and not be considered to be referential. Re-recording a song that was circulating at the time was known as "hijacking a hit." It was not until Elvis re-recorded older R&B records that were no longer circulating that the cover song in the modern sense of the word came into existence.

Works: Chuck Willis (songwriter), Derek and the Dominos (performers): It's Too Late (151-52); Otis Redding (performer): It's Too Late (151-52).

Sources: Chuck Willis (songwriter and performer): It's Too Late (150-52); Otis Redding (performer): It's Too Late (151-52).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Paul Killinger

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License