zondag 13 augustus 2017

Good Morning To All (1893) / Happy Birtday To You (1911)


"Happy Birthday to You" is one of the most sung songs in the world.
The melody comes from the song "Good Morning to All", which has traditionally been attributed to American sisters Patty and Mildred J. Hill in 1893, although the claim that the sisters composed the tune is disputed (SEE NOTES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE)

Mildred, who taught and played organ, wrote the music. Her sister Patty, who was head of the Louisville Experimental Kindergarten School in Kentucky, wrote the lyrics to this children's song to be sung in class, first thing in the morning.
In 1896 the song was published by Clayton F. Summy, Co in Chicago, on page 3 of the book "Song Stories For The Kindergarten".

It´s on page 19 of the next PDF-file


It is likely that teachers and students spontaneously adapted the published version of "Good Morning to All" to celebrate birthdays in the classroom, changing the lyrics to "Happy Birthday" in the process.
The complete text of "Happy Birthday to You" first appeared in print as the final four lines of Edith Goodyear Alger's poem "Roy's Birthday", published in her book "A Primer of Work and Play", copyrighted by D. C. Heath in 1901, with no reference to the words being sung.


From then on "Happy Birthday" with the "Good Morning Melody" became increasingly popular and was sung on almost everybody's birthday and was also used in cartoons, movies and musicals, without crediting the Hill sisters.

Jessica Hill (sister of Patty and Mildred) no longer endured the uncrediting use of the Hill-melody and sued all these Happy Birthday profits successfully, by demonstrating the undeniable similarities between "Good Morning to All" and "Happy Birthday to You" in court, Jessica was able to secure the copyright of "Happy Birthday to You" for her sisters in 1934. The Chicago-based music publisher Clayton F. Summy Company, working with Jessica Hill, published and copyrighted "Happy Birthday" in 1935.
A few years later, Summy’s company was bought out by a New York accountant, John Sengstack, who renamed it Birch Tree Ltd. They held on to the publishing for “Happy Birthday” until 1988, when Warner-Chappell, the largest music publisher in the world, purchased Birch Tree for $25 million. Today the song brings in about $2 million in royalties annually, with proceeds split between Warner-Chappell and the Hill Foundation.
(Both sisters died unmarried and childless, so the money has presumably been going to charity or to nephew Archibald Hill, ever since Patty Hill passed away in 1946.)

But American law professor Robert Brauneis, who extensively researched the song, concluded in 2010 that "It is almost certainly no longer under copyright".

"Copyright and the World’s Most Popular Song" by Robert Brauneis

In 2013, based in large part on Brauneis's research, Jennifer_Nelson's "Good Morning to You Productions", a company producing a documentary about "Good Morning to All", sued Warner/Chappell (who had boughts all the rights to the song in 1988) for falsely claiming copyright to the song.


On July 28, 2015, one day prior to a scheduled ruling, Nelson's attorneys Betsy Manifold and Mark Rifkin presented new evidence which they argued was conclusive proof that the song was in the public domain.
In 1927 a book "The Everyday Song Book" was published which contained both "Good Morning To All"  and Happy Birthday".
A line of text below the title said: "Special permission through courtesy of The Clayton F Summy Co".


As this was the 12th edition the lawyers tried to find earlier editions, and in the archives of The University of Pittsburgh, they came upon the fourth edition, published in 1922, which included the famous Happy Birthday song without any copyright notice. This book, plaintiffs believe, establishes that "Happy Birthday" lyrics were dedicated to the public years before the copyright registration that Warner/Chappell is relying upon was made.

In September 2015, a federal judge declared that the Warner/Chappell copyright claim was invalid, ruling that the copyright registration applied only to a specific piano arrangement of the song, and not to its lyrics and melody. So "Happy Birthday" is in the public domain.
Here's the original filing from RECAP:


The origin of the lyrics for “Happy Birthday” coupled with the tune goes back even further than 1922. The earliest publication of the words (coupled with the tune) were printed in a 1911 song book called "The Elementary Worker and His Work".
No author was credited, though the book mentioned that the song was to be sung to the tune of “Good Morning.”


Before "Happy Birthday" was copyrighted it was used freely, as in this 1931 Mickey Mouse cartoon

 "Happy Birthday To You" was also sung in Bosko's Party, a Warner Bros. cartoon of 1932, where a chorus of animals sings it twice through.

"Happy Birthday To You" was sung to Shirley Temple on her 6th Birthday on April 23, 1934.

And the same year it was sung to Shirley in the movie "Take A Bow"

And when the song was published the recordings came in a fast pace

(c) Ray Nichols and his Four Towers Orch (1935)
Recorded April 1, 1935, New York
Released on Bluebird B-5921



(c) Okeh Novelty (1938)


(c) Decca Band (1938)



(c) Lang Thompson & His Orch (1940)



(c) Raymond Scott and his New Orchestra (1940)


(c) Tommy Tucker 1946



(c) Bing Crosby (1947)
Recorded March 28, 1947 in Los Angeles
Released on Decca 24273


This was released in 1948 as part of a 4 shellacs album : Auld Lang Syne (Decca A-663)



On Februay 27, 1936 Bing had already sung the song on his Kraft Music Hall radio show (along with Lotte Lehmann and Ann Sothern)


(c) Johnny Long (1948)




(c) Dick "Two Ton" Baker And The Maple City Four (1950)


"Happy Birthday, Mr. President" as sung by actress and singer Marilyn Monroe on May 19, 1962, for President John F. Kennedy at a celebration of his 45th birthday, 10 days before the actual date (May 29)

On September 7, 1963 The Beatles recorded "Happy Birthday Dear Saturday Club" at London's Playhouse Theatre.
It was aired on October 5, 1963 to celebrate the 5th anniversary of BBC's "Saturday Club" programme.



In 1968 The Idle Race plays a portion of "Happy Birthday" on the "Birthday Party" album.


In 1969, the song had its longest-distance broadcast when the crew of the orbiting Apollo 9 sang Happy Birthday to NASA director Christopher Kraft.
The message and song starts at 17 min and 30 sec in the next MP3

Listen here: https://ia601409.us.archive.org/22/items/Apollo9Highlights/Apollo9Highlights.mp3

(c) Aaron Copland (1969)  (as "Happy Anniversary")

Based on the well-known "Happy Birthday" tune, this short piece was originally part of a group of variations by famous composers commissioned for the Philadelphia Orchestra's seventieth anniversary. The occasion included President Nixon's presentation of the Medal of Freedom to Eugene Ormandy. It has since been performed for other occasions, among them several Copland birthday celebrations.

On August 21, 1969 Elvis Presley sang "Happy Birtday To You" in concert in Las Vegas for James Burton.


In 1986 Ernie sang "Happy Birthday to U" in episode 2234 of Sesame Street.


NOTES: The lyrics of two songs are certainly similar to "Good Morning to All" / "Happy Birthday To You", in that they involve heavy repetition of a simple greeting.
The first song "Happy Greeting to All" was published in 1859 by Horace Waters in "The Sabbath School Bell"


The refrain is lyrically very similar:
"Happy Greeting to all! Happy Greeting to all! Happy Greeting, happy greeting, happy greeting to all!"
But the melody bears no resemblance at all. Listen for youself on the next link:


And the second song "A Happy New Year" was published in 1877 in the book "The story of the Jubilee Singers : with their songs" (Song # 92 on page 213)

The first lines of "A Happy New Year" are also very similar lyrically
"What a happy new year! What a happy new year! What a happy, what a happy, what a happy new year!"
But here also the melody is different.



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