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Author: Subject: Done Somebody Wrong

Peach Bud





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  posted on 3/20/2014 at 08:33 AM
Duane introduced "Done Somebody Wrong" on "Fillmore East" as "an old Elmore James song."

But as far as I can tell, the song was first recorded by Eddie Kirkland in 1959, a full year before Elmore James recorded it.

What I find interesting is that the last gig Jaimoe had before joining the ABB was playing in Eddie Kirkland's band (See references in both "Skydog" and "One Way Out"). Jaimoe later re-recorded "Done Somebody Wrong" with Eddie Kirkland in 1997.

So is "Done Somebody Wrong" an Eddie Kirkland song? Or an Elmore James song?

Here is the version that I think is the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWDD3iFAmOQ


 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 3/21/2014 at 06:09 PM
Duane probably knew it from the Elmore James single. There wasn't much information around in those days, especially not for blues fans. Sometimes all the info you had was whatever it said on the label and jacket of the record. Elmore's name is listed as one of three writers so hey, it's an Elmore James song

In the old days, the record labels played fast and loose with writing and publishing credits, and when Elmore did his arrangement that's probably when his name got added to the writing credits. Led Zeppelin gets singled out as ripping off bluesmen but the bluesmen were ripping each other off as far back as Charley Patton and beyond. They'd get paid per song so they'd make up a new arrangement and change a few words and boom boom boom new song. Half of Robert Johnson's songs can be traced backward to other songs.

 

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  posted on 3/21/2014 at 09:01 PM
No telling if Duane was referencing the songwriter or the fact that DSW was one of Elmore Jame's more popular tunes.

I've never seen it credited to anyone but James.


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  posted on 3/21/2014 at 09:42 PM
I agree with everything said above, so as far as 'song writing credit or re-arrangement credit" goes , can we give Bob Dylan a break please for his, oh - last 5 CD's ?

 

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Peach Bud



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  posted on 3/22/2014 at 04:50 PM
All of the above sounds right... I'm sure Duane knew it from Elmore James, but it's still amazing that even to this day just about every reference to DSW credits James... Even an Encyclopedia of the Blues refers to Eddie Kirkland's version as a cover of James!

I'm guessing that's part of the reason Jaimoe played with him when he re-recorded it in the '90s, to help Kirkland get some money for what was rightly his.

 

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  posted on 3/22/2014 at 07:05 PM
All we know is Kirkland apparently recorded it before James. That doesn't mean he wrote it. Just to keep assumptions straight.

The song credit I found was: Clarence L. Lewis, Morris Levy & Elmore James

If Kirkland knew any of them, he might've know the song that way. No telling how long it was played in clubs before being recorded. No telling if Levy, Lewis and James ripped off Kirkland either, be nice to know that.

 

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  posted on 3/22/2014 at 10:31 PM
I wasn't stating Elmore James stole the song. He may have, but I have found no definitive evidence. That's why I mentioned the record labels. The labels changing song titles, re-writing hits, re-recording hits (many blues artists recorded their hits for several labels - Elmore James included), changing arrangements, etc has all been well documented. Eddie Kirkland's song was "I Must Have Done Somebody Wrong" and was a B-side of the Fortune single #848 "I Need You Baby." Kirkland has claimed to have written "I Must Have Done Somebody Wrong" and who's to say otherwise. He did release it first.

Below is an example of Elmore James' name being attached to a song he didn't write, in fact Johnson's authorship is dubious at best also. It is curious that in both instances, the song title has been shortened.

The whole point is that there was a long standing culture in blues of "borrowing" work from other musicians. Duane Allman likely had no way of knowing who wrote or first recorded "Done Somebody Wrong" - he knew it as an Elmore James tune and introduced it as such.

Robert Johnson - I Believe I'll Dust My Broom



Elmore James - Dust My Broom

 

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  posted on 3/22/2014 at 10:53 PM
quote:

The whole point is that there was a long standing culture in blues of "borrowing" work from other musicians.


Yup, a lot of that went on in the 40's and 50's.

You probably have already done this but as a side note listen to Elmore's version and it leaps out at you why Duane plays it like he does, same with Jesse Ed Davis's slide playing on Statesboro Blues with Taj Mahal.

 

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  posted on 3/22/2014 at 11:35 PM
quote:
quote:

The whole point is that there was a long standing culture in blues of "borrowing" work from other musicians.


Yup, a lot of that went on in the 40's and 50's.

You probably have already done this but as a side note listen to Elmore's version and it leaps out at you why Duane plays it like he does, same with Jesse Ed Davis's slide playing on Statesboro Blues with Taj Mahal.


Exactly. Plus, Duane was still learning slide and he was copping licks from some of the best. He obviously learned really fast but kept some traits from his slide influences. What I find interesting about "Statesboro Blues" is that even though Duane plays a lot Davis' licks, the arrangement of the song is quite different. Taj makes it a rolling, snappy tune and the Brothers made it a swaggering hard rock shuffle. They seem so similar but are worlds apart. Transformation is a trait of the early ABB covers that I feel is lost on many of the new covers they do.

 

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  posted on 3/23/2014 at 07:29 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:

The whole point is that there was a long standing culture in blues of "borrowing" work from other musicians.


Yup, a lot of that went on in the 40's and 50's.

You probably have already done this but as a side note listen to Elmore's version and it leaps out at you why Duane plays it like he does, same with Jesse Ed Davis's slide playing on Statesboro Blues with Taj Mahal.


Exactly. Plus, Duane was still learning slide and he was copping licks from some of the best. He obviously learned really fast but kept some traits from his slide influences. What I find interesting about "Statesboro Blues" is that even though Duane plays a lot Davis' licks, the arrangement of the song is quite different. Taj makes it a rolling, snappy tune and the Brothers made it a swaggering hard rock shuffle. They seem so similar but are worlds apart. Transformation is a trait of the early ABB covers that I feel is lost on many of the new covers they do.


Agree with you 100%. The tempo and Duane's phrasing make Statesboro really swing. And his unique innovative playing that helped transform those old blues songs has been lost forever.

 

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  posted on 3/23/2014 at 10:13 AM
quote:
All we know is Kirkland apparently recorded it before James. That doesn't mean he wrote it. Just to keep assumptions straight.

The song credit I found was: Clarence L. Lewis, Morris Levy & Elmore James

If Kirkland knew any of them, he might've know the song that way. No telling how long it was played in clubs before being recorded. No telling if Levy, Lewis and James ripped off Kirkland either, be nice to know that.



The song credits are probably the producers who stole the song, by contract, and credited it to themselves. A common practice back then.

 

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  posted on 3/23/2014 at 08:01 PM
I found some other places it was credited to Eddie Kirkland.

All things considered, it sure looks like James got Eddie's song,

Lewis and Levy pop up on a lot of other song credits.

It sure as heck looks like Eddie got ripped off - he may never have had any publishing rights to begin with. The music business is a nasty one.

 

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  posted on 3/24/2014 at 11:48 AM
I laughed when I saw the name Morris Levy as getting credit -- he was head of Roulette Records in the 1950s and 1960s and was known as the Godfather of Rock and Roll because of his close ties with the mafia. I read about him in Tommy James' excellent auto-biography "Me, the Mob and the Music.'' Levy signed James after Hanky-Panky broke out, after Levy threatened the heads of other labels who were also interested in signing James. And Levy was notorious for not paying any of his artists or songwriters and for just being a thug in general. So, I guarantee that whatever credit he gets on Done Somebody Wrong he somehow ripped off.
 
 


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