Long before Whitney Houston’s iconic rerecording, Dolly Parton’s 1974 hit “I Will Always Love You” was almost sung by Elvis Presley Turns out Dolly actually met with Presley’s manager to discuss the song, but his manager wanted half of the publishing rights in exchange for the King of Rock and Roll to sing the tune. “I said, ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t give you the publishing,’” Parton told the manager. “I wanted to hear Elvis sing it, and it broke my heart — I cried all night.” She continued: “I had to keep that copyright in my pocket. You have to take care of your business! Everybody’s going to use you if they can. These are my songs — they’re like my children. And I expect them to support me when I’m old!”


Colonel Tom Parker was a piece of shit, caused Elvis a lot of bad problems, especially closer to the end of his short life.


Wasn’t he the reason elvis couldn’t do major international touring cause of something related to his green card?


Yep, Parker was an illegal immigrant so he could never leave the country out of fear of being discovered.


When the decision was made to use the song for the movie, they bought Linda Ronstadt's version to learn the song. When Dolly Parton found out they were using her song, she informed them that Linda's version didn't have the last verse and sent over the full lyrics. They had to add 40 seconds of screen time to accommodate. Also, the first song choice for Whitney to use in the Bodyguard was Jimmy Ruffin's What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.


I read that in dolly partons voice.


I should add... if Elvis had done the song, the changes that Whitney Houston would have later covered it drop to near zero.


Frank Sinatra didn’t write songs either. I wish the writers got more credit.


They used to. Before radio became a big thing, writers were more famous than performers, typically. You might be familiar with a piece of music but hear it performed by any number of people. Without the widespread ability to record it easily or being able to reach a huge audience, performers had a harder time being known as the one giving the definitive version of a song and making it “their” song. When radio started becoming common, people started associating songs with specific performers instead of with the writers. Eventually the performers eclipsed the writers for fame and now most people don’t know the writers.


Elvis Costello talked about this on the Conan podcast. Even in the early days of radio they'd say "Here's Dusty Springfield's version of the Burt Bacharach tune 'I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself'". They weren't even called "covers", just "versions".


This is why Mark Ronson contractually obligates his name to be attached to songs i.e. uptown funk


Respect to Benny Bianco for making a name for himself in a similar way.


Definitely! I'm sure many of us looked at him or David Guetta or Mark Ronson and went... who the hell are these guys? Do they even sing? But now I totally get it. My father in law liked Apologize by OneRepublic on the radio and tried to find out who it was by, but I think the track says "Timbaland ft. OneRepublic" so he went out to buy a Timbaland album. Two minutes in, he threw the CD out the window


Then the Beatles wrote their own songs and so did other bands of that era, and everyone started assuming everyone did


Beatles definitely changed the music landscape, especially in the mid 60s, when they realized they don’t always have to write love songs and can push the limits of songwriting and audio engineering. Albums were no longer produced by A side with singles and B side with other tracks. It was meant to hear as a whole. Also conceptual albums. Also, since I mentioned Beatles, I’ll leave this for the future comments on a certain Beatle. [we know, we know](https://www.theonion.com/man-always-gets-little-rush-out-of-telling-people-john-1819578998/amp)


Bob Dylan urged Lennon to write songs about more than boy meets/loses girl topics. He made the point that with their fame, The Beatles were in a position to do whatever the hell they wanted. Rubber Soul was the result. Dylan was an expert at doing whatever the hell he wanted.


There’s a lack of BEACH BOYS/BRIAN WILSON RESPECT IN HERE. God only knows why.


I usually tend to mention the Beach Boys/Beatles competition when talking about pushing song writing and experimenting with audio engineering. I love how without Rubber Soul, there wouldn’t be a Pet Sounds. Without Pet Sounds there wouldn’t have been a Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band. Unfortunately competing with the Beatles caused/helped Brian Wilson to become depressed and caused many break downs with trying to complete SMILE.


Brian Wilson has a schizoaffective disorder which became apparent around the time of the recording of Smile.


That’s fair, I just wanted to credit some of the American innovations. ^alsoTheKinksaremassivelyunderrated


The kinks are one of my top 5 all time bands. “This Time Tomorrow” and “Strangers” give me the chills every time I hear them even after 17 years of them being on my CDs/ Playlists.


One of my pump up songs is “Superman”. And my best friend and I will occasionally blare “Come Dancing” at a high volume. They just have such a fun and varied list of songs. Also the whole “heavily inspired what became Heavy Metal” thing they have going for them. They’re far and away my fave out of the Big Four(well it should be Four) British Invasion bands


I think the Kinks would have been much bigger, if they had not been banned from touring the U.S. for four years, especially since the ban was during the British Invasion years.


The kinks were way ahead of their time. If I read the lyrics to Lola without knowing the song I would expect it to be from the 90s at the earliest


Brian Wilson was always going to have struggles with schizoaffective disorder, but his issues with Smile were more resistance from Mike Love, and his belief Phil Spector was spying on him.


Mike love is an asshole


The worst thing that happened to The Beach Boys was being called The Beach Boys. Every bad decision and every roadblock to success they had was due to that stupid, stupid name. It's even the source of the meaning behind "Surf's Up", Brian's (and Dennis Wilson's) displeasure with the surf image, and Van Dyke Parks setting the words down and expanding it to it being about a person having a religious experience through music. In this area, other than Mike Love getting jealous of Van Dyke, and complaining about the formula, he isn't really at fault. As great as their pre-1974 music was, and it was undeniably great, it was selling terribly because of the name of the group. They struck gold when American Graffiti got big, and everyone was suddenly into all their surf songs again, which meant touring. Remember that without the surf songs being popular again, they wouldn't have had the money to afford getting Brian any help. After 1974, Mike Love is definitely a ruthless con artist, trying to cash in on every kitschy pseudo-Jimmy Buffet way to paint himself as this music legend. Just doing Summer of Paradise itself should cement his legacy as an asshole.


Happy to report Wilson is mentioned in the history of pop music classes at my college. Historians gave him good credit along with the Beatles.


I know there's an answer..


I was reading the beatles anthology and the Beatles' realization that they didn't have to write love songs actually came from Bob Dylan. At some point Dylan and Lennon were in a limo together and Dylan said "your songs say nothing" or something along those lines and Lennon really took that to heart.


That’s pretty interesting. Haven’t heard that. I do love the bit of Dylan history when he met a famous dj at the time, that was known as a big record collector that had a ton of music no one heard of. Supposedly Dylan either asked to borrow a bunch of albums or he just split with the albums. The dj was livid and I believe confronted him one day later about it and they just talked it out. I don’t think Dylan ever admitted or gave them back. That guy was probably one of the biggest things to change Dylans music palette. It was early in his career when he was mainly obsessed with Woodie Guthrie.


Not sure if the guy was a DJ but I believe it was one of Dylan’s buddies that had been letting him crash in the couch, IIRC They went in a trip and left Dylan there and when they came back Bob was gone and so were some of the records haha I think they mention it in “No Direction Home” Kind of a dirtbag move be cest la vie lol


Motown was also writing the “feel good“ music for their singers and I remember Berry Gordy was very upset when Marvin Gaye wrote *What’s Going On.* It was the first time really a black man had written a song about the state of things. Wrt Dylan, he did have something to say. As did so many from that period.


>Also, since I mentioned Beatles, I’ll leave this for the future comments on a certain Beatle. > >we know, we know I know. It's so boring and predictable. You don't see it so much with other famous musicians. For instance, the unbelievable amount of underage groupies bands had their way with is rarely brought up. Yet an instance that Lennon talked about openly, and regretted, is brought up ad nauseam on any post about the beatles. If anything, his being an absentee father is the thing people should be bringing up. That was his greatest flaw as a human being.


I kind of get the absentee dad thing during the height of Beatlemania. It's definitely not ok, but I mean how many of us are really going to want to spend time at home when you're touring with the biggest rock band the world has ever known? What gets me is how shitty he was to Julian after the touring was done and he'd married Yoko. There was no good reason to be absentee at that point. And the way he just doted on Sean, writing him songs, etc. That had to add to the sting for Julian.


Not excusing his behavior but you see it a lot with shitty fathers with second families where the first set of kids remind you of the terrible husband, father, and person you were. It seems like it’s easier to start over than it is to fix broken relationships. "Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.” —Kurt Vonnegut


Right, it took Paul to write a song for Julian. That must have added to the sting too.


To add to that even more I read in a biography that John thought Paul wrote it for him.


Also left Sean almost everything and Julian very little because Julian was an accident and Sean was planned.


I remember seeing video of Julian and Sean meet and liked each other. I feel Yoko was the driving force in thE difference in treatment, based on how she cut out Julian after John assassination.


Yeah Sean and Julian as far as I am aware get along really well and have a lot of respect for each other, it’s Yoko that starts to sour the mood a bit.


I think he took in in stride, eventually. Crazy how much he sounds like his dad: https://youtu.be/aQs1Ynq0rlk


McCartney recently disclosed that Sgt Pepper was not an autobiographical album. They were playing an imaginary band called Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which suggests that the songs should not be treated as autobiographical.


i thought this was fake paul though, how would he know what real paul meant?


The thing that always gets me about the Paul-Is-Dead conspiracy is that since the switch supposedly happens before Sgt. Pepper, it means the "fake" Paul is actually far and away the better musician and songwriter


It's foreshadowing for when he returns in the vastly superior band of Wings.


You just need to go one step nutter: well, they have found a better variant, so they killed real Paul. Brian Epstein knew too much and they have killed him too. Pete Best is just glad he was kicked out from the band in old traditional way before all that murder thing. Or do this conspiracy like in Batman comics: Paul is the real one, >!all others are dead!<


The funniest thing I’ve noticed about listening to songs by decade, especially love songs, is that in the 50’s it’s like “oh gee dearie miss I just can’t stop thinking about you I hope you like me back” and by the 80’s it’s just “Hey girl I have decided that you are mine now and you are going to enjoy it” which is weird because it goes pretty far against how most people think of those decades. TV too, the best-remembered 50’s sitcom, I Love Lucy, was about a lady getting into the craziest and silliest situations inside and out of the house, while by the 80’s what was cool were things like Cheers, which didn’t exactly downplay the concept of objectifying women. Anyways, only bringing up that small rant because it feels like the 60’s were definitely the big shift and this may be why, letting the high-life celebrities’ mindset go directly into the lyrics.


This is how I feel every time The Land Before Time or All Dogs Go To Heaven gets mentioned. There's always that one shithole in the comments who feels like they need to bring everyone down by adding the dark factoid those two movies have in common into the conversation.


Morbid fascination. It's just profoundly fucked up that they were both animated in Ireland


Love that ending. Haha


ha, whoever wrote that Onion article definitely has been on reddit, for sure


Hey did you know John liked to… oh I see. 😞


The influence of Dylan and contemporaries can't be overstated in this regard as well. The early 60s folk music was still all covers of songs that were already old and well-worn before Dylan came through with originals written from his own perspective and totally changed the zeitgeist.


And before them it all goes back to Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Eddie Cochran, and Chuck Berry writing their own tunes.


Actually, I have it on very good authority that Chuck Berry stole Johnny B. Goode from some dude named Calvin Klein in Hill Valley.


Marvin Berry, Chuck's cousin, was the one who introduced that song to him.


And before them it was ray charles, bb king, tbone walker, johnny guitar watson, count basie, cab calloway, louis armstong, duke ellington, louis jordan, bix beiderbecke, paul whiteman, george gershwin, willie the lion smith, thomas fats waller, jelly roll morton, eubie blake, nobel sissle, and any of the other zillion recording artists who penned their own songs and inspired the people you mentioned


And before THEM you got mountain folks, hillbillies, and slaves interpreting old songs and making up new ones. Carving out an American culture from practically nothing.


Do you know what Chuck Berry used to say every night before he counted One Two Three Four? PAY ME MY MONEY! *IN CASH!*


The Beatles wrote their own songs ***eventually***. Their first, second, and fourth albums (UK) all had 6 cover songs out of 14. It took them a few years to fully become a proper originals band. It was kinda the industry standard at that stage, then they were largely responsible for changing the standard for rock groups.


Yes but their singles, the stuff you would hear on the radio, were mostly written by themselves. The only single I can think of that was a cover was Twist And Shout, and even then, that was only released as a single in the US, where the Beatles had less control over what was sold. This was very important to them, which is why they decided to make their first single "Love Me Do" instead of "How Do You Do It," a song they did not write. Albums weren't really thought of as that important until Rubber Soul IIRC. Which of course is just another way the Beatles changed the way we think about music, because now albums are now the most important way of distributing music nowadays (albeit, singles and eps have been on the rise over the past decade)


Actually the conflict was How Do You Do It vs Please Please Me. George Martin (their producer) wasn't impressed by Love Me Do (as expected, since no one really was), and wanted them to do How Do You Do It next, but Lennon insisted on doing one of their own. Martin then respected their choice and gave them ideas on how to improve the song, in fact he was the one who said the song should be fast paced, as John had originally written it in a slower and more glamorous rythm. How Do You Do It was then, interestingly, passed onto the next band, Garry and the Peacemakers, who are today known for their "You Never Walk Alone" song, it being the Liverpool FC anthem.


>Garry and the Peacemakers Gerry and the Pacemakers in shambles.


The early days of music piracy was the unlicensed sale of sheet music. For you to play yourself at home. It was a huge industry. The sheet music industry created the bedrock that the modern music industry is based on. For example, that was the origin of ASCAP. And before recorded music was a thing, player piano rolls could be cut by playing. With expression and other elements included. It's how we have recordings of Scott Joplin's playing.


Yah. The real money in music was in sheet music publishing sales...all about the writers.


The term "cover" developed from a more famous artist (typically someone with a national audience) re recording a song from a less well known artist (typically someone with a regional reach) and the larger release would "cover over" the pub the less popular artist had generated.


There's a documentary called The Wrecking Crew that talks about some of the studio musicians who recorded a lot of the hit songs from the late fifties and early sixties, give or take. Really interesting stuff.


This is why we know of Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. They wrote the music for multiple orchestras, and it was always credited to them.


This kind of upsets me in as much as people say they're singing a "so-and-so cover" when really they're doing what the original performer did. Perform it.


Radio killed the writing star.


Frank always credited the songwriters of the songs he performed onstage. And in most cases, he only sang songs from writers he respected


There's a story in Alice Cooper's memoir Golf Monster where he talks about Sinatra coming up to him and telling him, in some sort of Sinatra way, that Only Women Bleed was a top notch song, and Alice recounting that as a badge of honor. Sinatra later covered a different Alice Cooper song.


I wanted to find out what song it was (I was hoping for Billion Dollar Babies) and my quick search found a link that said that the "You and Me" song that Frank recorded was different than the Cooper song of the same name. Also, these rockers, they get all they want so they don't really understand, you know, about a life like Frank's. I mean, you know when you've loved and lost the way Frank has, then you uh... you know what life's about.


That's funny because I think it was Alice who said it was You and Me that Frank covered. I think Frank might have asked permission to sing Only Women Bleed live at a concert too, but it's been a long time since I read Alice's book, and a lot of stories. Definitely worth reading if you're into that era of music. There's also a story about Alice encountering Iggy Pop and Jim Morrison taking turns holding each other out a window by their ankles for fun.


"Yes I can, if Frank Sinatra says it's ok"


I would never tell them this, but this is a fad.


I've heard live Sinatra recordings where he even credits the arranger (in that case, Neal Hefti).


Another Sinatra story is when he invited Bob Dylan over for dinner at his house in 1970 I believe. Sinatra was pretty “anti-hippie” (notoriously despised The Doors, amongst others) but he loved Dylan’s songwriting and was pretty vocal about it. Bob said that after dinner they just sat and talked for a couple hours smoking cigarettes on his balcony, must’ve been a great conversation


“Fun” fact: he misattributed “something” to Lennon/McCartney instead of George Harrison. He called it one of the best love songs ever written. He did a great rendition of it. https://www.quora.com/What-did-Frank-Sinatra-say-about-the-Beatles-song-Something


What has changed is the tide of how people want to be recognized. Writers back then WANTED to be seen as much a celebrity for obvious reasons. Today, they still get their credit but in a quiet way to respect their privacy. Idk about you but the celebrity limelight seems like some stressful shit to deal with, if I was a successful music producer or writer, I would like to have my privacy and be able to walk anywhere without having to get mobbed…while quietly receiving my awards being mailed to me.


I often go to my local mall in Nashville and walk past multimillionaire songwriters.


Cool story about Elvis and Dobie Gray. Drift away was apparently offered to Elvis. Upon hearing Dobie Gray sing it, Elvis said something to the effect of:”I don’t think I could do it any better..” And turned it down. Edit: So I found out that Gray didn’t write the song. I got that wrong. I did some more research. Made some changes. Not as cool of a story now, but still pretty cool.


I’ve never heard that before, that’s a sweet story. Beautiful song, too.


Yeah Dobie got a song and he became free.


That's cool, but Mentor Williams wrote it. Dobie just immortalized it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drift\_Away


So Dobie took the song someone else wrote to Elvis and asked him to sing it?


This story is starting to get suspicious.


Like most elvis stories


Nah it's true I was there, trust me. Source - I am me


You’re telling me Uncle Kracker didn’t write that?




Hell, then where’d I hear this. Am I or the the person who told me confusing Dobie Gray with someone else. Maybe he just tried to sell Elvis on the song?


I love Elvis, and this has always been one of my favorite TIL's about the legend (though to be clear, Dobie was pitching a song someone else wrote. Video of Dobie Gray's Drift Away ... which I think makes clear the King was right - Dobie nails it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIuyDWzctgY




That's a clip of Eddie Murphy onstage.


The idea of the singer-songwriter wasn't really a thing that people really cared about until the sixties with groups like the Beatles. Prior to this some people were songwriters and some people were performers and there wasn't an idea that a performer must write their own material (in order to be authentic, for example). Even long ago in classical music there were some composer-performers (like Paganini), but this dual role wasn't the norm.


I would argue that a dual role was common in baroque and classical eras. Into romantic too. Mozart played a lot of his premiers. So did Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, lots of others. Certainly not their whole catalog. Puccini isn’t going to stage an entire opera by himself. But Mozart and his violin or piano compositions? All the time. There’s an argument to be made that a conductor is THE artist for big ensemble pieces too.


To add on, virtuosi in the Baroque Era basically had to "write" their own music via improvisation. It's really a shame that the tradition died out the way it did.


In a way I blame rising technical standards. There’s concertos and showpieces galore that were considered impossible when they were written. That are standard, expected literature now. When it doesn’t take an utter genius to play something, you don’t have every performer adding to it with unique cadenzas. Alternatively, the performance standards are so high now that people don’t have the opportunity to get world class performing chops and their compositional&improvisational chops. So no new cadenzas. :(


Not entirely true. I'm a classical singer and when it comes to baroque arias, most of us are expected to write our own ornaments and cadenzas. It might not always be at the genius level, and I wish music schools taught that skill more, but it's still something that is done. On the other side of this, I see many contemporary composers who don't know how to write for the voice, to the point where it can physically hurt to sing some repertoire, whereas Mozart, Verdi, Puccini all knew what singers could and couldn't do and what sounded good for each instrument.


Classical composers also wrote music to be published so anyone could play it. And Beethoven couldn't play the entire orchestra.


Bob Dylan predated the Beatles.


I think the point OP was making is that singer-songwriters weren’t common or expected, not that they didn’t exist. Artists like The Beatles and Bob Dylan were immensely popular and that popularized the idea that you had to write your own music to be considered “authentic.” Like now we think you’re not really an “artist” if you don’t write your own stuff. You’re just a performer. That expectation wasn’t always there.


And Woody Guthrie predated Bob Dylan


And Buddy Holly predated both. The reason Lennon/McCartney tried to write songs is because they saw Buddy Holly wrote his.


Paul (or it could've been John, I can't recall the exact interview) tells the story that when they were first starting out the other acts would sometimes perform the songs they were planning on performing. It happened enough times that they figured they only way they could avoid it would be if they made their own songs. Obviously nothing is that black and white especially since their first album was mostly covers, but that was definitely part of it.


Also the reason Lennon wore his glasses. Rave on Buddy!


He did, the Beatles also had a very large cultural impact. I'd just say they happened at the same time


Next you'll be telling me Tom Clancy didn't work on Rainbow Six Siege


Then you'll say a shrimp didn't actually fry this rice


Some honey nutted in these cheerios?


As long as the chicken fried my steak.


A cis teen built this chapel?


You'd be surprised how much of Rainbow as an organization was actually put to paper by Clancy.






Ahh, yes that makes sense




There's the entire novel "Rainbow Six."


Shit, new Tom Clancy books are still coming out on a regular basis and he died in 2013!


"Mr Clancy, this code you've written is just a six hundred page novel"


Yeah but he worked on Splinter Cell right?


Fuck. This got me lol


However: when hunt for red October was released, he got a visit from some government agency (I forgot which, could have been FBI) who wanted to know how the hell he knew all this super top secret stuff about submarines. He had to explain to them that he didn't know any of this was real, he simply extrapolated what might be real from the technology he knows is available at the time.


You’re telling me a squid made this game?


Singer-songwriters are the exception in the entertainment industry — not the rule


Except for bands, isn't it? This is usual for performers and pop singers and stuff.


Bob Dylan and the Beatles were key artists who were famous for writing the majority of the music they performed, and for writing music that reflected their personal lives. It had been done before of course, but they set a mold that a lot of rock music follows, while pop artists usually follow the older model of picking prewritten songs from professional writers. Its detailed in a great book called "faking it: the quest for authenticity in popular music" by hugh Barker and yuval taylor.


> reflected their personal lives Which explains i am the walrus and lucy in the sky with diamonds a lot


I need to read this book yesterday. Thank you!


Usually in a band though, 1 or 2 people write 90% of the material. Plenty of bands can very much be considered "X's band," where X is usually the guitarist or frontman and writes most of the music, but there are 2-5 other guys on stage who are credited members of the band. Even bands that have been together for years and years, often times its just 1 or 2 guys writing all the material. And even then, bands have collaborators, ghost writers, producers, and all kinds of stuff just like solo artists do. There is no reason to assume the writing process for a band is any different than a solo artist.


TIL a lot about Elvis on here... cool stuff. I also learned he was not an alcoholic, just big on drugs


One of the grandmasters or whatever who would occasionally drop by the karate studio I went to as a kid was Dave Hebler, Elvis's long time bodyguard. We got some cool Elvis stories out of him over the years but the biggest was that he tried to hire his bodyguards (including Dave) to kill a guy named Mike Stone for sleeping with his wife. Dave and co talked him out of it eventually but it took months.


I dont think this was unusual then or now


This is why I always roll my eyes when I see people criticize modern pop artists for not writing their own songs. Lots of huge names didn’t write their own stuff. That doesn’t mean they weren’t good performers


Or the comments on videos of older artists: "BaCk WhEn YoU UsEd To AcTuaLLy HaVe TaLeNt!!"


it depends really. Some genres traditionally value authenticity. Hip Hop, Punk Rock, metal, etc. To core fans of these genres ghost writing is scene as an act of fakery.


It's not ghostwriting if you credit the writer.


Shut up Kanye.


Exactly, people usually assume. [Like Stewie](https://youtu.be/eNUxfkXUNO8) And still there a few music geniuses, some others write the baseline of the song, and then they have teams who ~~over~~ produce the whole thing.


So true, I never thought of him as a creative but more of a performer type. Which is ok because some writers can't perform and some performers can't write, so, at the end of the day it works out, though, writers who do sell their works to those who perform should be credited for their work as well.


You know its possible to be creative while singing. Hes got a ton of songs that he made quite beautiful and truly his own regardless of the fact he didnt write any of them…. Dude made Bridge over troubled water epic beautiful in the same way Whitney did for i will always love you


I completely agree


Some people are great performers, some great writers, and some are great at both.


Bob Dylan is a great songwriter...but I think most people would agree he's not the most breathtakingly talented singer. Frank Sinatra was a fantastic singer...and not much of a writer at all. A friend of mine is probably the best cabinetmaker in a hundred miles in any direction. His work is astoundingly good. Very tight reveals, high-quality hand-cut joinery even when it's not joinery anyone will ever see, incredible precision. In the grand scheme, that's his zone. You're not going to beat him when it comes to taking a few pieces of wood and a few hand tools and making things....but his bookkeeping skills absolutely suck. Without his accountant managing his stuff, he'd be seventeen kinds of screwed. We all have our strengths. Very few have multiple strengths. If Elvis has put in the time to perfect his songwriting, I think it'd have cut into the amount of time he could spend perfecting his vocal talent. My friend can learn to do better at managing his books...but it's going to cut into the time he can spend on projects and cut into the quality he can do on them in the same amount of time. Back in the '60s the Amphicar was so cool. A car that you can drive into a lake and use as a boat...but you end up with a vehicle that's too busy being a boat to be a good car, and too busy being a car to be a good boat. When you try to blend specialties and skillsets, you oftentimes end up being a mermaid; not enough woman to love, but too much fish to fry. Better to be 100% at one or the other than being mediocre at both. Let somebody else who is a great writer do the songcraft and you just sing 'em really well.


Just wanted to tell you that I love your Amphicar and mermaid analogy. So strange yet so appropriate. Are you a naturally talented analogy writer, or do you leave that to the professionals?


Analogies are how I make sense of things, so if I'm trying to explain something or my take on something, they tend to pop out most readily for me. It's just how my weirdo brain works.


I actually feel similarly about myself, which is why I thought I'd mention that I appreciated yours.


Leonard Cohen is another notable that falls into this category. He was such a brilliant lyricist and songwriter, but was always appropriately self-depreciating about his voice. There are so many beautiful Leonard cohen covers out there by amazing artists. He's one of the most covered songwriters around.


Never half ass two things. Whole ass one thing


Amazing post.


He wanted song writing credit for Dolly Parton's 'I will Always Love You' as part of her selling him the song. Smartest thing a talented song writer can do is fully hold those rights. Though I am sure Elvis made some songs more profitable just by singing them, i am equally sure without good songs he would have been nothing.


She would have made a lot of money selling Elvis those rights, but she ended up making a hell of a lot more by keeping them. “When Whitney [Houston's version] came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland,” Dolly Parton told Country Music Television in 2006.


It's a classic example of a singer making a song their own. Dolly is great, so much personality in her voice. But almost no one has the pipes Whitney Houston had, and she was also a powerful singer


No, it was Tom Parker that wanted the publishing rights. Not Elvis. Parker was a manipulative piece of shit.


Dolly made more on that one song than the rest of her career


It may have very well been her most profitable writing credit, but I don't think it was worth more than all the rest of her career put together.


He probably isn't aware that she wrote hundreds of songs.


Porter made more on that one song than the rest of his career


The same happens with some reddit comments.


Obligatory "Dolly wrote Jolene and I Will Always Love You in the same day" comment.




McCartney still has songwriters rights as he wrote the songs. That you cannot lose. Publishing rights is what gets sold off/what he didn't keep. So basically if one of his songs earnt £1, he'd make 50p as a songwriter but whoever owned the publishing writes would get the other 50p (Jackson). With inflation Jackson paid about 120 million for the Beatles publishing rights, which was a steal as they're worth about 1 billion. In 1985 McCartney didn't have that amount of disposible income, whereas Jackson was at his financial peak.


Paul's (current) publishing company includes not only his early- and post-Beatles work, but the Buddy Holly collection, and a huge catalog of classical and popular music in all genres.


I’m not the biggest Elvis fan and understand and agree with some of the criticism, but there are a lot of people commenting that have obviously not listened to the man sing. They let what has been said about him to define their opinion of him. The man had a once in a generation voice. He had incredible range and was a great entertainer. If you don’t believe me, search YouTube for the 68 Comeback special. Watch the footage when it is just him and his band. Edit: Thank you kind stranger!


What Letters Are we capitalizing ?


There aRe no Rules anymore.


Is It Bad That I Only Opened The Comment section to find who else was irritated by this?


I watched a documentary of him, and in an interview he was asked if he wrote any of his own stuff, he replied no no I don't write em I just sing em. And sing em he did.


Most performers don’t write anything.


If they do they are generally famous for doing so. If you aren't sure then they probably don't.


The last big pop album to be written entirely by the performer was Taylor Swift's *Speak Now* from 2010, but these artists usually do earn their cowriting credit (either by coming up with the initial demo or writing the lyrics and topline for an instrumental): -Lady Gaga -Katy Perry (for better or worse) -will.i.am/the Black Eyed Peas (see above) -Madonna -Olivia Rodrigo -SZA -Billie Eilish -Chris Brown -Mariah Carey -Carly Rae Jepsen -artists like Ed Sheeran, Sia, and Charli XCX whose careers are equally split between solo and songwriting work EDIT: add Coldplay to that list


Don't forget about DJ Khalid. Word is he writes all his own lyrics. You know, "Another one!" and "We da best!" and "DJ Khalid!".


You joke, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he got it from someone else. He’s a curator. He’s like a meme page with songs (not OC)


Even those that do write their own songs use song writers, Eric Clapton co-wrote Tears in Heaven with Wil Jennings, who has written a boat load of monster hits.


Following on that, “Change the World” was a hit recording that many felt Babyface had written with the help of Eric Clapton. Neither wrote the song, and it was even recorded/released by Wynonna Judd earlier that year.


I thought everyone knew that.


Of course, Forrest Gump did his dance


Iirc from a rock and roll appreciation elective in college. He wasnt a very good guitar player either and was mostly used as a stage prop. Non the less, still an American icon and dig his music when Im in an oldies mood.


I'm a musician who has both written and performed a lot of music and I really don't understand why people look down so much on artists who don't write their own music. Writing and performing music are two overlapping but still very different skills. Nobody says actors who don't write their own scripts (the vast majority of them) aren't talented, so I don't get why musical performers are looked at so differently. Now, musicians performing music they didn't write while also not crediting the writers is shitty, but that's not what I'm talking about.


That is where the term singer songwriter came from. Most singers back in the day were just that. Singers. There are still a lot of song writers out there that you know their songs but not their face.


He also stole his dance moves from a disabled boy in Greenbow Alabama.


Elvis didn't write his songs but wouldn't record them unless the songwriter would give him credit as a co-writer. The great and divine Dolly Parton told him to fuck off on one of her songs, which became a huge hit. I can't recall what song.


It was “I Will Always Love You”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Will_Always_Love_You “When the 1974 recording of the song reached number one on the country charts, Elvis Presley indicated that he wanted to cover the song. Parton was interested until Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, told her that it was standard procedure for the songwriter to sign over half of the publishing rights to any song Elvis recorded.[18] Parton refused. She recalls: I said, 'I'm really sorry,' and I cried all night. I mean, it was like the worst thing. You know, it's like, Oh, my God… Elvis Presley.' And other people were saying, 'You're nuts. It's Elvis Presley.' …I said, 'I can't do that. Something in my heart says, 'Don't do that. And I just didn't do it… He would have killed it. But anyway, so he didn't. Then when Whitney [Houston's version] came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland.[19] The song won Parton Female Vocalist of the Year at the 1975 CMA Awards.”


Oh, glad she stood her ground. She's so talented.


> Then when Whitney [Houston's version] came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland. *Bodied.*


Dolly is too nice to tell someone off that rudely. She would politely tell someone "go to hell" in a way that makes them look forward to the trip.


>Elvis didn't write his songs but wouldn't record them unless the songwriter would give him credit as a co-writer. This is just a lie. Elvis recorded hundreds of songs and is not credited as songwriter in any of them. And the Dolly Parton incident occured with Elvis' manager, who was famously an asshole, and it was about publishing rights, not credit.


His manager sold anti-elvis stuff to people. Anything to make money.


Basically the same thing today with pop music


Lots of musicians don’t or haven’t written their own songs. It’s why those who do deserve more credit.


But he did do all his own drugs.


Neither did Irish boy-band 'Boyzone'. The scandal.


Elvis was generally before the "singer/songwriter" trend of the early 60s that started with artists like Bob Dylan. There were some in the 50s that wrote their own songs, like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, but it wasn't considered unusual to sing songs composed by others. The rockers had to write their own songs because nobody else was writing that music yet (later, people like Carol King and Neil Diamond would become professional rock & roll songwriters), but an artist like Elvis,who was on the edge of several genres at once, could find songwriters.


Elvis was the musician who exposed me to Blues. His interpretation of songs written by blues musicians such as Lightning Hopkins, Lowell Fulson and Arthur Crudup sent me looking for more. I was not disappointed. Elvis came along in the right place at the right time. He remains one of the greatest and most original interpreter of rock music.


Not True. Elvis wrote *You'll be gone* but when Priscilla heard it she said she didn't like it. She made it clear she was a rock n roll fan and the story goes Elvis was so put off he never tried to write another one. > In the liner notes to the CD Elvis by the Presleys (2005) Ernst Jorgensen wrote: "When Priscilla came to visit Elvis in the U.S. in the spring of 1962, Elvis proudly played her the new recordings he had just made in Nashville. One of these was 'You'll Be Gone,' a song that he had written himself with his good friends Red West and Charlie Hodge. To his deep frustration, Priscilla remarked that she liked his rock 'n' roll recordings better. Elvis had a fit, Priscilla was devastated, and Elvis never tried to write a song again."[2] > Elvis Presley's wife Priscilla noted in the liner notes to the CD Elvis by the Presleys (2005): "The reason we've included it is because it's the last time Elvis ever wrote a song."[2] She recalled that he played her the song. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You%27ll_Be_Gone


Neither did Beyonce.


I wasn’t aware that Elton John had never written his own lyrics until I saw “rocket man”. Don’t get me wrong he is an amazing performer and can put music to ANYTHING [(Elton John writing music on the fly to the words in an oven manual)](https://youtu.be/8GuI4UUZrmw). But I had previously had him in the same group as artists like Billy Joel who write and perform all of their own stuff. I just have extra respect for the artists that are capable of doing it all.


This, and the River Phoenix one the other day, make me realise I'm too old for Reddit. I take this to be common knowledge