The Honey Dripper vs. The Honeydripper

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Fri Feb 11 05:28:18 UTC 2005

Don't believe everything that you read. Many sources agree that
Roosevelt Sykes was the original person to call himself the "Honey
Dripper" and that his song, "The Honeydripper," was a "cover" of the
slightly-older and similarly-named "The Honeydripper."

Apparently, the word "cover" in the relevant sense has changed its
meaning when I wasn't looking. "Cover" used to mean that the recording
A by B has been re-recorded by C. In the present case, there is no
connection between the tune "The Honeydripper" by Joe Liggins and the
tune "The Honeydripper" by Roosevelt Sykes except for their similar
titles. Sykes's song in no other way resembles that of Joe Liggins.

So, I conclude that "cover" now merely means that two pieces of music
have similar titles and not that one piece of music is basically only a
re-arrangement of another piece of music. "The Twist" as recorded by
Chubby Checker is *clearly* a rip-off of the original version by Hank
Ballard and The Midnighters. By the old meaning of "cover," there is no
doubt that the second version is a cover of the first,

-Wilson Gray

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