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Annie-Xmas
09-06-2008, 09:02 AM
In this (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?p=10158011#post10158011) thread, a post mentions Washn't That a Party by the Irish Rovers. I pointed out that they covered it (and a marvelous cover it was), but it was written by folk singer Tom Paxton, who also wrote Whose Garden Was This?, always assumed to be written by John Denver.

Tom Paxton gets this unrecognition a lot, to the point of many many people thinking Rambling Boy is a "Traditional Folk Song." He is philosophical about it, and thinks that having people think a song of yours is a traditional song is the highest compliment a folk song writer can be paid.

What other song writers rarely get credit where credit is due?

Jragon
09-06-2008, 09:08 AM
I'm A Believer is widely thought to be a Smash Mouth song, probably due to the popularity it got and the presence of that version in Shrek. However it is indeed a song by The Monkees.

I'm certain many people realize this, but there are still a very large pool who think Smash Mouth was the first while in truth you could probably throw a dart at a board filled with random artists and find a cover of it.

Edit: Oops, misread the question. But there are a lot of '60s boy bands/rock groups that get miscredited as the Beatles all the time, for example a lot of songs by The Turtles (what's with all the freakin' animal names anyway?) such as Happy Together are credited as The Beatles on occasion. Even when they never performed the song in question.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
09-06-2008, 09:20 AM
I'm A Believer is widely thought to be a Smash Mouth song, probably due to the popularity it got and the presence of that version in Shrek. However it is indeed a song by The Monkees.

I'm sure a lot of fans don't know that it was written by Neil Diamond.

Hodge
09-06-2008, 09:25 AM
I'm A Believer is widely thought to be a Smash Mouth song, probably due to the popularity it got and the presence of that version in Shrek. However it is indeed a song by The Monkees.

I'm certain many people realize this, but there are still a very large pool who think Smash Mouth was the first while in truth you could probably throw a dart at a board filled with random artists and find a cover of it.Man, I must be getting old. I thought it was common knowledge that the Monkees performed "I'm a Believer" and that Smashmouth's version was just a lame cover. What's obviously less well-known is that it was written by Neil Diamond.

ETA: Man, I'm getting old and sloooow.

Jragon
09-06-2008, 09:44 AM
I'm sure a lot of fans don't know that it was written by Neil Diamond.

But regardless, the Monkees performed it first didn't they? Bah, I didn't know we were counting who was WRITING the things now! In that case Britney Spears/Avril Lavigne/Whoever didn't actually do <random song A> as is commonly believed, all credit goes to <pop industry slave #2784>. Or are we changing the rules just 'cause it's Neil?

Edit: That sounded snarky, I apologize, I mean that with utmost um... unsnark.

Annie-Xmas
09-06-2008, 09:59 AM
To clarify my post: Yes, I am talking about who writes the songs, not who sings the songs. Like "I Write the Songs That Make The Whole World Sing" is not a Manilow composition, and "Jersey Girl" is not Springsteen's. Often the person who gets best known for singing the song is assumed to have written it.

My Boss once asked me to get the lyrics for Whitney's Houston "And I Will Always Love You." She got snarky when I gave her "Dolly Parton's version."

Beware of Doug
09-06-2008, 10:00 AM
Dream a Little Dream of Me wasn't written by any of the Mamas & the Papas. It was by Wilbur Schwandt, a piano player from Milwaukee, and was actually a sizable hit when it came out in - wait for it - 1930.

don't ask
09-06-2008, 11:04 AM
Cyndi Lauper's first hit Girls Just Want to Have Fun was written and recorded years before by Robert Hazard. The lyric originally made sense from a male point of view but Lauper made minor changes with Hazard's permission.

Exapno Mapcase
09-06-2008, 11:20 AM
Laura Nyro was a great singer/songwriter whose albums were plundered for hits by everyone who was working at the time.

From wiki:
the Fifth Dimension with "Blowing Away", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Sweet Blindness", "Save The Country" and "Black Patch"; Blood, Sweat & Tears and Peter Paul & Mary with "And When I Die"; Three Dog Night with "Eli's Coming"; and Barbra Streisand with "Stoney End". "Time and Love", and "Hands off the Man (Flim Flam Man)". Ironically, Nyro's best-selling single was her recording of Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "Up on the Roof."
And that's a good point in that the 1950s "Brill Building" songwriters like Goffin/King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, probably wrote a thousand hits among them, lots of which are still being covered today. A few of us old-timers know to look for their names but not too many others do unless they are really into music history.

TNWPsycho
09-06-2008, 11:49 AM
Mark Cohn's 'Walking in Memphis"

I have seen people give credit to Bruce Springsteen, Lonestar, Dave Matthews Band, and Cher for this song.

MadTheSwine
09-06-2008, 11:56 AM
Kris Kristofferson wrote Me and Bobby McGee(Janis Joplin)

John Denver wrote Leavin' on a Jet Plane(Peter,Paul & Mary,been in arguments over this one)

I see Dolly Parton already mentioned for I Will Always Love You(Whitney Houston)

Not sure if he rarely gets credit but freddie Mercury Wrote Crazy Little Thing Called Love which many people I've met thought was an Elvis song who never wrote many(if any) songs anyhow.

June Carter wrote Ring of Fire (Johhny Cash)

Otis Redding-Respect(Aretha Franklin)

Randy Newman wrote Mama Told Me(Not to Come)(Three Dog Night)

Rod Stewart wrote That's What Friends Are For(Dionne Warwick & Friends)

Ferd Burfel
09-06-2008, 12:14 PM
Mac Davis wrote "In The Ghetto" and "Don't Cry Daddy"(Elvis Presley) and "Watching Scotty Grow" (Bobby Goldsboro)

Chuck Barris wrote "Palisades Park" (Freddy 'Boom Boom' Cannon)

Paul Simon co-wrote "Red Rubber Ball" (The Cyrkle)

Lennon/McCartney wrote "World Without Love" (Peter & Gordon)

gaffa
09-06-2008, 12:22 PM
Paul Pena's song "Jet Airliner" was a hit for Steve Miller, even though Pena's 1973 version wasn't released until 2000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_Airliner_(song)).

Sometimes an artist does such a definitive cover song that everyone just assumes they wrote it. I was once "corrected" on the attribution of "With A Little Help From My Friends" (http://youtube.com/watch?v=HMEJB54il6w) by someone who though Joe Cocker wrote it.

RealityChuck
09-06-2008, 12:26 PM
Harry Warren. (http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j122/poosyann/20.jpg)

One of the greatest songwriters of the 30s, with his songs still being recorded, and many of his song titles entering the vernacular (though he didn't write lyrics). But no one knows his name. When they did a Broadway musical of his music, his name was practically left off the credits (just in fine print). And, despite the dates of the songs, you know some of his titles:

Shuffle Off to Buffalo
Lullabye of Broadway
That's Amore
Chattanooga Choo Choo
On the Atcheson, Topeka, and Santa Fe
Forty-Second Street
I Only Have Eyes for You
Jeepers Creepers
We're in the Money
You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby

You're also probably quite familar with his music -- Warren was a staff songwriter at Warner Brothers, so WB cartoons often used his music for background.

Bumbershoot
09-06-2008, 01:54 PM
Harry Nilsson wrote a lot of songs that were recorded by other artists like The Yardbirds, Glen Campbell, and The Shangri-Las. Best known were probably "One", a big hit for Three Dog Night, and "Cuddly Toy", a minor hit for The Monkees. He also wrote and recorded "Best Friend", the theme song from The Courtship Of Eddie's Father.

Ironically, his biggest hits as a vocalist were "Everybody's Talkin'" from Midnight Cowboy and "Without You", neither of which he wrote.

mobo85
09-06-2008, 02:18 PM
In that case Britney Spears/Avril Lavigne/Whoever didn't actually do <random song A> as is commonly believed, all credit goes to <pop industry slave #2784>.

And in a strange coindence, Lavigne co-wrote Kelly Clarkson's single Breakaway.


As he often boasts (in song, no less), Barry Manilow writes the songs the whole world sings- which includes the theme to American Bandstand and the Dr Pepper "Be A Pepper" jingle.

bienville
09-06-2008, 02:19 PM
And that's a good point in that the 1950s "Brill Building" songwriters like Goffin/King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, probably wrote a thousand hits among them, lots of which are still being covered today. A few of us old-timers know to look for their names but not too many others do unless they are really into music history.

We could easily fill a "Name Your Favorite Brill Building Song" Thread- that is, if there are enough Dopers who know that so many of their favorite early pop songs were written between clocking in at 9 and clocking out at 5 Monday through Friday at the Brill Building in New York.

I'm surprised you forgot to mention the team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil:
"We Gotta Get Out of this Place" by the Animals
"On Broadway" by the Drifters
"You've lost that Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers
"Don't Know Much" most popularly by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville



Taking a similar career path as the Brill Building writers, but doing it in a different city, I'll mention the team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant:
"Bye Bye Love", and many other songs, for The Everly Brothers
"Love Hurts", recorded by scores of artists from Country Gram Parsons to early Glam Rockers Nazareth

bienville
09-06-2008, 02:34 PM
Bah, I didn't know we were counting who was WRITING the things now!
I can see how the use of the word "Songwriter" in the Thread title must have been confusing. ;) (meant with the utmost "unsnark")

In that case Britney Spears/Avril Lavigne/Whoever didn't actually do <random song A> as is commonly believed, all credit goes to <pop industry slave #2784>.
Actually, churning out hits for pop stars these days is very much a producer's medium. Yes, there are songwriters contributing to these artists, but the labels aren't mining great songwriters for hit songs, as was the case at the aforementioned Brill Building, the labels are mining great producers for hit songs.

In fact, you'll notice the producers often having co-writing credits. They even coax the young pop stars to make some contribution on as many songs as possible so that the star can be promoted as more "legit". Remember, co-writing credits tell you nothing about the significance of the contribution made- only way to know that is to be in the room when the song is being written.

So, you're right, there are nameless faceless songwriters making contributions to todays teen pop stars but the current formula behind pop hits is founded more on the producer and the writers are almost incidental.


Now, Country Music on the other hand is a little different. Nashville is a town where songwriters go into work every morning at 9, clock in, write some songs, then clock out at 5- very much the way things worked at the Brill Building in the 50s and 60s.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
09-06-2008, 02:54 PM
As he often boasts (in song, no less), Barry Manilow writes the songs the whole world sings-

Though, ironically, he didn't write "I Write the Songs"--Beach Boy Bruce Johnston did.

cochrane
09-06-2008, 03:14 PM
Neil Sedaka was mentioned earlier upthread. He and Howard Greenfield co-wrote "Love Will Keep Us Together" which became a smash hit for the Captain and Tennille. Toni Tennile even gave him acknowledgement in the song by ad-libbing "Sedaka is back" in the fade-out, as Sedaka himself was making a musical comeback with the U.S. released "Sedaka's Back."

Sedaka also wrote the song "Solitaire" with Phil Cody, which became a hit for the Carpenters and for Andy Williams.

The Scrivener
09-06-2008, 03:39 PM
As indicated by a couple of posts upthread, you could get a decent thread on this topic even if you limited it to songs popularized or covered by Three Dog Night.

Here's the song listing on their 20th-C. Masters compilation:

1) Joy to the World [Hoyt Axton]
2) Shambala [Daniel Moore]
3) One [Harry Nilsson]
4) Black & White [David Arkin - Earl Robinson]
5) Mama Told Me Not To Come [Randy Newman]
6) An Old Fashioned Love Song [Paul Williams]
7) Never Been to Spain [Hoyt Axton]
8) Liar [Russ Ballard]
9) Eli's Coming [Laura Nyro]
10) Easy to be Hard [Galt MacDermot - James Rado -Gerome Ragni]
11) Celebrate [Gary Bonner - Alan Gordon]
12) The Show Must Go On [Leo Sayer - Dave Courtney]


A few others:

"Strawberry Letter 23" [popularized by The Brothers Johnson; wr. & perf. by Shuggie Otis]

"One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer" [pop. by George Thorogood; wr. by Amos Milburn and Rudy Toombs & perf. by Milburn]

"Take Me To the River" [revived by Talking Heads; wr. & perf. by Al Green] -- dunno if most people don't really know who wrote that one, though

"Alone Again Or" [revived in the 80's by The Damned; wr. & perf. by Love in the '60's]

"Come And Get It" [given to Badfinger by Paul McCartney]


I wonder how many teens and 20-somethings think that "Shadowplay" is by The Killers (instead of Joy Division)?

bienville
09-06-2008, 04:19 PM
"Alone Again Or" [revived in the 80's by The Damned; wr. & perf. by Love in the '60's]

Wow, I've actually never been aware of The Damned version- off to Youtube right now.

P.S. Matthew Sweet and Susannah Hoffs put out a great album of 60's covers a few years ago. They also covered this one.

MisterThyristor
09-06-2008, 05:11 PM
In this (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?p=10158011#post10158011) thread, a post mentions Washn't That a Party by the Irish Rovers. I pointed out that they covered it (and a marvelous cover it was), but it was written by folk singer Tom Paxton, who also wrote Whose Garden Was This?, always assumed to be written by John Denver.

Tom Paxton gets this unrecognition a lot, to the point of many many people thinking Rambling Boy is a "Traditional Folk Song." He is philosophical about it, and thinks that having people think a song of yours is a traditional song is the highest compliment a folk song writer can be paid.

What other song writers rarely get credit where credit is due?

Some others by Tom Paxton that you could have mentioned:

Bottle of Wine (fuit of the vine, when ya gonna let me get sober) (perrformed by many artists)
The Marvelous Toy (perfomed by the Irish Rovers and others)
Forest Lawn (performed by John Denver)
Daddy's Taking Us to the Zoo Tommorrow
The Last Thing on My Mind (I've heard a couple of covers, but can't remember who)

Shel Silverstein is mostly known as a children's author, but wrote the following:

Boy Named Sue (Johhny Cash)
Cover of the Rolling Stone (Dr. Hook)
Sylvia's Mother (Dr. Hook)
The Unicorn (Irish Rovers)
The Mermaid (Bobby Bare, Great Big Sea)
Queen of the Silver Dollar (Emmylou Harris)

and literally hundreds more.

Laughing Lagomorph
09-06-2008, 07:12 PM
To clarify my post: Yes, I am talking about who writes the songs, not who sings the songs. Like "I Write the Songs That Make The Whole World Sing" is not a Manilow composition, and "Jersey Girl" is not Springsteen's. Often the person who gets best known for singing the song is assumed to have written it.

...

Especially when the person best known for singing the song is known to be a prolific songwriter themself.

Invisible Chimp
09-06-2008, 07:51 PM
Without Jim Steinman, there would be no Meatloaf.

Cerowyn
09-06-2008, 07:59 PM
In that case Britney Spears/Avril Lavigne/Whoever didn't actually do <random song A> as is commonly believedThe thread title has already been mentioned, but I'll point out that you're doing Avril Lavigne a disservice. Unlike Ms. Spears, Lavigne has the lone writer or a co-writer credit on virtually every song she's recorded.

Jragon
09-06-2008, 08:18 PM
The thread title has already been mentioned, but I'll point out that you're doing Avril Lavigne a disservice. Unlike Ms. Spears, Lavigne has the lone writer or a co-writer credit on virtually every song she's recorded.

Ah, okay, I was reading a lot of slam blogs on various topics lately and a few pointed out a lot of songs she didn't.

I stand corrected, sorry.

Green Bean
09-06-2008, 09:20 PM
But regardless, the Monkees performed it first didn't they? Actually, they didn't perform/record it first. Neil Diamond did. But that's a really obscure (and irrelevant) little factoid.

Neil Diamond wrote it and recorded it. I was in the can and ready to be released. IOW, it wasn't a demo. It was done. The TBTB at the Monkees wanted the song, however, and offered Diamond lots of money for it. So he said "okey dokey" and didn't release the song himself.

So the Monkees did release it first, but they didn't record it first.

Not that this proves anything. The Monkees' version is "the original." But I just thought I'd share as long as we were on the subject.

blondebear
09-06-2008, 09:39 PM
Joy to the World [Hoyt Axton]

"Alone Again Or" [revived in the 80's by The Damned; wr. & perf. by Love in the '60's]Axton wrote "The Pusher", known by many as a Steppenwolf Song.

UFO did a nice version of "Alone Again Or" on their 1977 album Lights Out.

bienville
09-06-2008, 09:43 PM
The thread title has already been mentioned, but I'll point out that you're doing Avril Lavigne a disservice. Unlike Ms. Spears, Lavigne has the lone writer or a co-writer credit on virtually every song she's recorded.

I really can't claim to know much about Lavigne as a songwriter, but when she responded to the allegation that the chorus for her song "Girlfriend" was lifted from The Rubinoos' "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend", I was thinking that I really believed that she had never heard the Rubinoos song but at the same time I believed the two songs were way too similar.

This led me to the suspicion that she had someone ghostwriting for her: her ghostwriter lifted the chorus from the other song (possibly subconsciously), but since Lavigne took the writing credit she was placed in the position of having to defend it.

Again, the above is only my suspicion- no proof. But I definitely believe her chorus had more than a coincidental resemblance to the older song, so if she wrote it I believe she lifted it BUT if she never heard the other song (not unlikely) I believe she had someone ghostwriting for her.

Exapno Mapcase
09-06-2008, 09:44 PM
We could easily fill a "Name Your Favorite Brill Building Song" Thread- that is, if there are enough Dopers who know that so many of their favorite early pop songs were written between clocking in at 9 and clocking out at 5 Monday through Friday at the Brill Building in New York.

I'm surprised you forgot to mention the team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil:
Totally inadvertent, since they were another set of greats. I certainly meant to.

RealityChuck
09-06-2008, 10:02 PM
Many people don't realize that Linda Ronstat's first his single (with the Stone Ponies), "Different Drum," was written by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees.

People also assume that any Beatles song was written by the Beatles. While that was true later on, in the beginning, they recorded songs by Goffin/King, Burt Bacharach, Smokey Robinson, Leiber/Stoller, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, and (perhaps most incongrously) Meredith Willson (from The Music Man).

There are many classic blues numbers that are more associated with people who covered them than the original artist. People like Willie Dixon and Louis Jordan have written many well-known songs but don't get the same recognition (though it is much more traditional for blues musicians to mention who wrote the song they are covering).

don't ask
09-06-2008, 10:11 PM
Then there's the guy who wrote:

"Over the Rainbow" - lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
"Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" - lyrics by Johnny Mercer
"A Sleepin' Bee" - lyrics by Harold Arlen and Truman Capote
"Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive" - lyrics by Johnny Mercer
"Come Rain or Come Shine" - lyrics by Johnny Mercer
"Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead" - lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
"Get Happy" - lyrics by Ted Koehler
"I Could Go On Singing" - lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
"If I Only Had a Brain" - lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
"If I Only Had a Heart" - lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
"I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues" - lyrics by Ted Koehler
"I've Got the World on a String" - lyrics by Ted Koehler
"It's Only a Paper Moon" - lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, Billy Rose
"Let's Fall in Love" - lyrics by Ted Koehler
"One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" - lyrics by Johnny Mercer
"Stormy Weather" - lyrics by Ted Koehler
"That Old Black Magic" - lyrics by Johnny Mercer
"The Man That Got Away"

Harold_Arlen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Arlen)

gonzomax
09-06-2008, 10:16 PM
http://members.tripod.com/~CCarpentier/otherartists.htm
This is a page of Paul Williams songs including We've only Just begun
Rainy Days and Mondays
Etcetera

Frostillicus
09-06-2008, 11:03 PM
Hallelujah was written by Leonard Cohen, not Jeff Buckley.

Invisible Chimp
09-06-2008, 11:08 PM
I love Elvis Costello as a songwriter, but I like him even more as an interpreter, as my favorite two Costello songs are "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" and "She". "WSFBPLAU" introduced me to the wonderful world of Nick Lowe, who wrote it. "She" introduced me to Charles Azvanour, who wrote that.

Man With a Cat
09-06-2008, 11:12 PM
Although it's a stretch to say "rarely" in his case because he was such a prolific and well known songwriter, if you went through a list you might be surprised at all the songs that have Willie Nelson as the writer.

List (http://home.mindspring.com/~cowpattiespub/williesongs.htm)

well he's back
09-06-2008, 11:16 PM
I've heard people attribute "City of New Orleans" to Arlo Guthrie. He did record the most famous version, but it was the late great Steve Goodman who wrote the song.

WarmNPrickly
09-06-2008, 11:21 PM
Turn, Turn, Turn is often credited to The Byrds. It was written (the music any way) by Pete Seeger.

Ichbin Dubist
09-06-2008, 11:56 PM
Many people don't realize that Linda Ronstat's first his single (with the Stone Ponies), "Different Drum," was written by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees.

Nesmith also wrote "Papa Gene's Blues," "Sunny Girlfriend," "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," "Mary, Mary," "Listen to the Band," "You Just May Be The One," "Can You Dig It," "Circle Sky," "Carlisle Wheeling," and "Tapioca Tundra" and a few other Monkees tunes. I think most people assume they wrote nothing.

I came in here to hype Harold Arlen. Great list, don't ask.

Lamia
09-07-2008, 12:14 AM
Hallelujah was written by Leonard Cohen, not Jeff Buckley.I came in here to post about Leonard Cohen. When I mention his name to other people they often say they've never heard of him, to which my usual response is "Maybe not, but I can practically guarantee you've heard one of his songs."

"Hallelujah" has been so widely covered that people probably attribute it to any number of other artists. "Suzanne" has also been covered a LOT, but I think it's best known as a Judy Collins song. "Bird On a Wire" also has a lot of covers out there. The Concrete Blonde and Don Henley versions of "Everybody Knows" get a fair amount of radio airplay and also pop up on soundtracks. I'm blanking on the artist, but I know I've often heard a cover of "So Long, Marianne" on the radio too.

There must be lots of people who have no idea all the above songs were written by the same man.

crowmanyclouds
09-07-2008, 12:21 AM
Too many songs, with too many covers to type out, so I'll just link to the Wiki page, Holland–Dozier–Holland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland%E2%80%93Dozier%E2%80%93Holland).

CMC +fnord!

Lamia
09-07-2008, 12:21 AM
Two more:

Joe Cocker didn't write "Up Where We Belong". The music was by Jack Nitzsche and Buffy Sainte-Marie, lyrics by Will Jennings. (Buffy Sainte-Marie is sometimes incorrectly given full credit for the song.)

Most people probably don't have any idea who wrote disco hit "It's Raining Men", and if asked to guess would probably never hit the right answer: Paul Shaffer (of The Late Show with David Letterman fame) and Paul Jabara.

bienville
09-07-2008, 12:28 AM
Nesmith also wrote "Papa Gene's Blues," "Sunny Girlfriend," "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," "Mary, Mary," "Listen to the Band," "You Just May Be The One," "Can You Dig It," "Circle Sky," "Carlisle Wheeling," and "Tapioca Tundra" and a few other Monkees tunes. I think most people assume they wrote nothing.

With the Monkees songs, you can almost assume that if Nesmith sang it, he wrote it. This was almost always the case, so it's fitting for this Thread to note songs like "The Door Into Summer" and "What Am I Doing Hanging 'Round?" which Nesmith sang but didn't write.

Also there were some songs performed by the Monkees, written by Nesmith, but not sung by Nesmith: your list already includes "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" and "Mary, Mary", both sung by Micky Dolenz ("Mary Mary" had previously been recorded by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band), I'll add "Daily/Nightly" also sung by Micky Dolenz.

Peter Tork also wrote a handful of Monkees tunes, notably "For Pete's Sake"- the season two closing credits song, sung by Micky Dolenz, as well as "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again", which he sang himself, and "Can You Dig It?", sung by Micky Dolenz- both prominently featured in the movie Head.

Davy Jones had a co-write or two, one half-way decent (but far from great) song, "You and I" features Neil Young on lead guitar- admittedly Young's contribution is about the only thing that makes the song half-way decent.

Micky Dolenz didn't write much (though more than Jones) but the songs he did write were quite good: the bizarre and subversive "Mommy and Daddy" as well as, easily one of the best songs from the Monkees catalog, "Randy Scouse Git".

bienville
09-07-2008, 12:35 AM
Too many songs, with too many covers to type out, so I'll just link to the Wiki page, Holland–Dozier–Holland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland%E2%80%93Dozier%E2%80%93Holland).

CMC +fnord!

I'd bet more people can name Holland–Dozier–Holland than can name most of the Brill Building folks- except maybe Goffin/King. Seems to me folks with a passing knowledge of pop history connect Motown to HDH, especially since the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown, which was about the Motown session guys. Anyway, I know I've heard Oldies Radio DJs mention HDH before/after playing their songs.

But yeah, most people wouldn't know them- but I think people with a passing knowledge of pop history would.

Diogenes the Cynic
09-07-2008, 01:50 AM
Paul Shaffer wrote "It's raining Men."

Hometownboy
09-07-2008, 04:06 AM
Axton wrote "The Pusher", known by many as a Steppenwolf Song.

Particularly since their 1969 album "Early Steppenwolf," which covered some stuff done as The Sparrows, carries this quote prominently on the cover right under the big type that says it was recorded live at The Matrix in San Francisco on May 14, 1967:

"...improvising, jamming, squeezing and shaping a musical thing which lasted for 20 minutes and broke finally into 'The Pusher.'"

For years, I thought that meant they'd jammed their way into a song that became The Pusher, and were just lucky enough that it had been taped.

I'm so naive sometimes...

Moirai
09-07-2008, 11:37 AM
Although it seems like a bazillion people* have recorded Wind Beneath My Wings, the guy who wrote is practically unknown- Jeff Silbar. I remember the first time I heard it- his little brother sang it at the 1984 NHHS graduation ceremony. I thought it had a shot at radio... :)

*Well, at least a few (from Wiki)-

... the song was first offered to Kenny Rogers who turned it down (but later recorded a version on his "Love Songs" album in 1997). Incidentally, it was Rogers who presented Midler's Grammy for the song.

The song has also been recorded by Lou Rawls, Sheena Easton, B.J. Thomas, Perry Como, Gary Morris, Lee Greenwood, Willie Nelson, Kiki Carter, Nana Mouskouri, Sonata Arctica, Judy Collins, Colleen Hewett, Kris Shay and many others. It was performed by Peggy Lee in Atlantic City as early as 1984. It was performed on season three of the Fox television show American Idol by semi-finalist Marque Lynche, and again on season five by finalist Paris Bennett, who was criticized for the choice by judge Simon Cowell as "sounding too old for [her] age". It was also performed by Nicola Roberts during Popstars: The Rivals, and sung by actor Will Ferrell to actress and long-time Midler fan Megan Mullally.

Although the song has become primarily associated with Bette Midler, other versions of the song were released to the public years before Midler's. Sheena Easton (on her album Madness, Money and Music) and Roger Whittaker both released versions of the song in 1982,[2] though neither had a hit with it. The song entered various U.S. charts the following year in versions by Gary Morris, Gladys Knight & the Pips (their version was released under the title "Hero"), and Lou Rawls (whose version was a top ten Adult Contemporary hit).

Chez Guevara
09-07-2008, 12:44 PM
Often the person who gets best known for singing the song is assumed to have written it.There's a strong case for Robbie Krieger having written Light My Fire in its entirety rather than just the first verse as stated by Wikipedia.

My source, alongside information from several websites and half-remembered other books, is Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend by Stephen Davis. If a student of The Doors can confirm this I'd be happy (I am merely a fanatic).

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
09-07-2008, 01:02 PM
There's a strong case for Robbie Krieger having written Light My Fire in its entirety rather than just the first verse as stated by Wikipedia.

My source, alongside information from several websites and half-remembered other books, is Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend by Stephen Davis. If a student of The Doors can confirm this I'd be happy (I am merely a fanatic).

I've never heard that version of events; I always thought the song was entirely Krieger's (except for Manzarek's contribution of the intro lick). Judging by the songs he wrote on The Soft Parade (one of the two albums where Morrison and Krieger took individual songwriting credits rather than crediting everything collectively to "The Doors"), Krieger was perfectly adept at coming up with Doors-type song lyrics. Ironically, the one song on that album where he collaborated with Morrison, "Do It," barely has any lyrics at all.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
09-07-2008, 01:09 PM
Dammit, I missed the edit window. I take it all back. Manzarek himself says in his book that Morrison wrote the second verse lyrics to "Light My Fire."

longhair75
09-07-2008, 03:33 PM
I really liked Karen Carpenter's haunting rendition of Superstar (http://youtube.com/watch?v=SWkOryYF6CI)

The tune was written by Leon Russell

Sigmagirl
09-07-2008, 10:17 PM
I actually called a radio station once to correct a DJ who announced that Ringo Starr had written "Act Naturally." When I told him that it was Johnny Russell, he pretty much said "yeah, whatever" and hung up on me. I listened for a while to see if he followed up with the right information, but he never did. Yeah, whatever.

Annie-Xmas
09-08-2008, 08:22 AM
Neil Sedaka was mentioned earlier upthread. He and Howard Greenfield co-wrote "Love Will Keep Us Together" which became a smash hit for the Captain and Tennille. Toni Tennile even gave him acknowledgement in the song by ad-libbing "Sedaka is back" in the fade-out, as Sedaka himself was making a musical comeback with the U.S. released "Sedaka's Back."

Sedaka also wrote the song "Solitaire" with Phil Cody, which became a hit for the Carpenters and for Andy Williams.

Sedaka & Cody also wrote the English lyrics to "Ring Ring"--one of only two songs ABBA recorded that wasn't written by members Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus and (sometimes) their manager Stig Anderson. The other was a folk song medley.

I once had a talk with Rudolph Isley about touring with the Beatles back in the early 1960's. He was amazed that I actually knew that the Isley Brothers wrote "Twist & Shout."

astorian
09-08-2008, 08:33 AM
I'll give a plug to a guy many Americans have never heard of (I imagine he's much better known in England): Graham Gouldman, one of the best songwriters of the British Invasion era.

Among his songs:

"Heart Full of Soul" and "For Your Love," the only top ten hits the Yardbirds ever had in the U.S.

"Bus Stop" and "Look Through any Window" by the Hollies

He was later a co-founder of the band 10cc, and wrote or co-wrote many of their hits.

Annie-Xmas
09-08-2008, 08:39 AM
Without Jim Steinman, there would be no Meatloaf.

I think everybody knows that Steinman writes the songs that Meatloaf sings. He also wrote "Total Eclipse of the Heart," made famous by Bonnie Tyler. And he wrote the lyrics for "Whistle Down The Wind," with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which didn't go very far, and "Tanz der Vampyr," which was a megahit in Germany, and brought it to Broadway as "Dance of the Vampire," starring Michael Crawford as Count Von Krolock, which bombed!

When Crawford later played Count Fusco in ALW's "The Woman in White," a person I know who hates him wrote "Why does Crawford always play c*unts (Oh. Did my finger slip?)"

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
09-08-2008, 08:44 AM
I once had a talk with Rudolph Isley about touring with the Beatles back in the early 1960's. He was amazed that I actually knew that the Isley Brothers wrote "Twist & Shout."

Contrary to popular belief, the Isley Brothers' version was not the original. The first recording of "Twist and Shout" was by the Top Notes, produced by Phil Spector. The songwriters were Phil Medley and Bert Russell.

astorian
09-08-2008, 08:55 AM
Jake Hooker wrote Joan Jett's signature song, "I Love Rock and Roll," while he was with a band called the Arrows

Lisa-go-Blind
09-11-2008, 02:22 AM
"Reason to Believe" and "If I Were a Carpenter" have more or less become pop-rock standards, but not many people have heard the original versions by their writer, Tim Hardin.

Likewise, I doubt too many people know that Jackie DeShannon (of "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" and "What the World Needs Now" fame) wrote and performed the original version of "Bette Davis Eyes."

DooWahDiddy
09-11-2008, 02:36 AM
I think everybody knows that Steinman writes the songs that Meatloaf sings. He also wrote "Total Eclipse of the Heart," made famous by Bonnie Tyler. And he wrote the lyrics for "Whistle Down The Wind," with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which didn't go very far, and "Tanz der Vampyr," which was a megahit in Germany, and brought it to Broadway as "Dance of the Vampire," starring Michael Crawford as Count Von Krolock, which bombed!

When Crawford later played Count Fusco in ALW's "The Woman in White," a person I know who hates him wrote "Why does Crawford always play c*unts (Oh. Did my finger slip?)"

Ah, but you neglected to mention that "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is from "Tanz der Vampyr", so the original version of the song was in German.

bienville
09-11-2008, 02:43 AM
Ah, but you neglected to mention that "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is from "Tanz der Vampyr", so the original version of the song was in German.

Wow! I never knew about any of this, but I can already tell you there is some FUN YouTubing to be done for "Dance of the Vampire"!

bienville
09-11-2008, 02:57 AM
Ah, but you neglected to mention that "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is from "Tanz der Vampyr", so the original version of the song was in German.

Oops! According to Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanz_Der_Vampire) "70% of the musical score written by Steinman was recycled from his earlier projects".

First ever performance of Tanz der Vampyr was in 1997- postdating Bonnie Tyler's performance of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by 14 years.

Hippy Hollow
09-11-2008, 03:14 AM
I'll give a plug to a guy many Americans have never heard of (I imagine he's much better known in England): Graham Gouldman, one of the best songwriters of the British Invasion era.

Among his songs:

"Heart Full of Soul" and "For Your Love," the only top ten hits the Yardbirds ever had in the U.S.

"Bus Stop" and "Look Through any Window" by the Hollies

He was later a co-founder of the band 10cc, and wrote or co-wrote many of their hits.

Oh good call. I'm a 10cc fan and learned this recently.

He's already been mentioned, but I think of Neil Diamond - his songs for the Monkees in particular.

I always thought Dave Edmunds was the genius behind "Queen of Hearts," which Juice Newton recorded and had great success with... turns out some guy named Hank DeVito wrote it. His signature song, "I Hear You Knocking," is a cover of a Smiley Lewis song.

Also, how about Bernie Edwards and Nile Rodgers?

"We Are Family" - Sister Sledge
"I'm Coming Out," "Upside Down" - Diana Ross

Or Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis:

"I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" - Robert Palmer
"Can You Stand The Rain" - New Edition
"Control" - Janet Jackson (Janet is a co-writer)
"Human" - Human League

Hippy Hollow
09-11-2008, 03:20 AM
Oh, and even though I hate these guys, Stock Aiken Waterman ruled the UK pop scene in the 80s:

"Never Gonna Give You Up," "Whenever You Need Somebody," Rick Astley
"I Should Be So Lucky," Kylie Minogue
"Respectable," Mel and Kim

Those are the famous ones. They did about a million songs, and they have that same sound...

DooWahDiddy
09-11-2008, 12:44 PM
Oops! According to Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanz_Der_Vampire) "70% of the musical score written by Steinman was recycled from his earlier projects".

First ever performance of Tanz der Vampyr was in 1997- postdating Bonnie Tyler's performance of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by 14 years.

Okay, I didn't realize that! That's kind of disappointing he recycled so much. It's still a treat to hear the song sung in German, though. You should check it out!

Antinor01
09-11-2008, 12:57 PM
Carole King wrote (or co-wrote) a ton of songs.

One Fine Day. (The Chiffons 1963)
Up On The Roof (The Drifters 1962)
Will You Love Me Tomorrow? (The Shirelles 1960)
Some Kind Of Wonderful (The Drifters 1962)
The Loco-Motion (Several)
You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman (Aretha Franklin 1967)

as well as others. It's kind of a shame that she's only really well known for Tapestry.

Mosier
09-11-2008, 01:03 PM
Patsy Cline's best known song "crazy" was written by Willie Nelson. I have an album where he sings the song himself, and it's just as good (maybe better) than the Patsy Cline version.

bienville
09-11-2008, 02:22 PM
Patsy Cline's best known song "crazy" was written by Willie Nelson. I have an album where he sings the song himself, and it's just as good (maybe better) than the Patsy Cline version.

He gave a great performance of it when he and Johnny Cash did their VH1 Storytellers special.

Quercus
09-11-2008, 02:40 PM
People also assume that any Beatles song was written by the Beatles. While that was true later on, in the beginning, they recorded songs by Goffin/King, Burt Bacharach, Smokey Robinson, Leiber/Stoller, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, and (perhaps most incongrously) Meredith Willson (from The Music Man).Also Chuck Berry (who usually gets credit for his songs, but "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" is sometimes misattributed to Buddy Holly or someone).

Anyway, just echoing Willie Dixon. If it's a blues song that you've heard more than once, just assume he wrote it: "Spoonful", "Little Red Rooster", "Hoochie Coochie Man", "You Need Love" (turned into "Whole Lotta Love" by Zep), "Wang Dang Doodle", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and way too many more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Dixon#Songs

Acsenray
09-11-2008, 02:50 PM
He's already been mentioned, but I think of Neil Diamond - his songs for the Monkees in particular.

I read a quote from Diamind in which he said that he describes a certain area of his house as teh "Monkees wing."

Don Draper
09-11-2008, 03:48 PM
Two songs written by Joni Mitchell are commonly attributed to other folks:

Both Sides Now - originally made a hit by Judy Collins.

Woodstock - the CSN version is more famous.

The latter case is apparently a sore subject with Mitchell. In several interviews I've read, she seems to think that David Crosby takes too much credit for getting her career off the ground. She stated once (no cite) that Crosby often seemed to imply that she only wrote the song because of his direct inspiration, when in fact she had written the song before she ever had a chance to talk to him about the festival.

BubbaDog
09-11-2008, 08:57 PM
Patsy Cline's best known song "crazy" was written by Willie Nelson. I have an album where he sings the song himself, and it's just as good (maybe better) than the Patsy Cline version.

Amazingly he does that song as a duet with Susan Tedeschi which I think is a fantastic complement to a young blues singer.

But I'm just a big fan of ST. My favorite video of her here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=dBo_dZAnjoc) singing a Clapton tune while her husband makes it look easy to play slide guitar.

kunilou
09-11-2008, 09:25 PM
Otis Redding wrote Respect and his version even made it into the Top 40. Aretha's version blew it away.

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