I was watching CNN’s American Morning yesterday, and hosts/reporters John Roberts, Alina Cho and Erica Hill were discussing the ridiculous claim by Ty toys that its Malia and Sasha dolls don’t have anything to do with the Obama children. It’s a coincidence, says the company and that the names for the dolls were chosen because they are “beautiful.” Right.
Anyway, the actual point of this post is about the subsequent exchange among the CNNers. Poor John Roberts, who is only seven years older than I am, made this pop culture reference brought to mind by the absurd claim by Ty Toys:
ROBERTS: You know, I think the jury is still out on whether George Harrison copied “He’s so Fine” when he wrote “My Sweet Lord” but this, I don’t think so.
CHO: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
ROBERTS: Alina, thanks so much.
HILL: Yes, you lost me with that one, too, John, but we’ll look it up in the break.
I was appalled, not because they didn’t have a clue, but that I was old enough to know exactly what he was talking about. Hill was born in 1976, and Cho may be in the same ballpark; both weren’t even born when the late George Harrison got into legal hot water over the hit single, which appeared on the album All Things Must Pass, with the question being whether Harrison plagiarized the Chiffon’s “He’s So Fine.”
In the U.S. federal court decision in the case, known as Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music, Harrison was found to have unintentionally copied the earlier song. He was ordered to surrender the majority of royalties from “My Sweet Lord” and partial royalties from All Things Must Pass. Former manager Allen Klein, who earlier had supported Harrison’s case, became the owner of Bright Tunes, after they parted ways. In the long run this worked against Klein, but it resulted in the case continuing for years in court.
The Chiffons would later record “My Sweet Lord” to capitalize on the publicity generated by the lawsuit.
Shortly thereafter, Harrison (who would eventually buy the rights to “He’s So Fine”) wrote and recorded a song about the court case named “This Song”, which includes “This song, there’s nothing ‘Bright’ about it.” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” and “Rescue Me” are also mentioned in the record.
Erica, Alina — there’s more history about the lawsuit here. Now John Roberts and I will go sit in our respective rocking chairs and talk about all those young whippersnappers.
Q of the day: How many of you out there have had a real “generation gap” experience that you’d like to share?
Video of Harrison performing My Sweet Lord is below the fold.