Blog | Public Domain 4U

THE 1ST MILLION-SELLING COUNTRY SINGLE BECOMES PUBLIC DOMAIN

This 1924 recording of this top-selling “Hillbilly-marketed” song became public domain in January. Recorded by Country Hall of Fame Honoree, Vernon Dahlhart, who was born Marion Try Slaughter, for Victor Records, this recording became one of the biggest selling singles of the 1920s. Written by Vernon but copyrighted in the name of his cousin, Guy Massey, it has been re-recorded by many famous artists such as Hank Snow and Bill Monroe. This single “The Prisoner’s Song” was #1 on the charts for over 12 weeks and sold over 9 million copies.

CAN YOU BELIEVE RHAPSODY IN BLUE IS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN?


 

I want to be first in 2020 to share some music that arrived in the public domain. Can you believe George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” is ours to use!?

The composition was commissioned by bandleader Paul Whiteman. It was orchestrated by Ferde Grofé. It was considered modern in 1924. I selected a performance done in 2011. It still sounds modern whenever it’s performed.

IMPEACHMENT IN SONG

Impeachment is on everyone’s mind as well it should be.
There are two important documents in the public domain.
Here are links to both:

https://intelligence.house.gov/report/

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/02/784183484/read-republican-report-on-the-impeachment-inquiry

In 1972 The Honeydrippers recorded “Impeach The President.” Seems Tyrone Brown brought this song to the present with some contemporary graphics. This song makes the past the present.

PUBLIC DOMAIN BECAME AN ISSUE THIS YEAR

 

So far this year there has been much written and published about the Public Domain. The concept of copyright expiration for the good of mankind has been around since the advent of copyright protection. This might be an old concept, but it has only come to being this year in the U.S. There have been many articlesThis is a good one, about why and what comes into public ownership this year, so the public can use or enjoy the content without copyright restrictions. I try to make some of this music known. I’ve become interested in the roots of rock and roll, the Delta Blues. Son House, born in 1902. He was in his 20s when his songs were recorded by Alan Lomax.

Son House was discovered and promoted as a young man by reigning Delta Blues king, Charley Patton. House’s style would greatly influence Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, and later Bonnie Raitt, John Hammond, Jr. and The White Stripes. Released in 1930, the 78 RPM vinyl of “Clarksdale Moan” was long considered a “Holy Grail” of lost blues recordings. Here’s an mp3 from an original copy found by an ecstatic collector in the 1990’s. An absolute treasure.

 

 

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE IS SO PUBLIC DOMAIN

Shakespeare’s contribution to the Public Domain that should be acknowledged. William Shakespeare is a great example of the value of public domain.

His works written in the English language in the16th and 17th centuries are considered some of the best dramas, comedies and tragedies ever written. These writings have been adapted and performed by many throughout the world, owing no copyright payments for the use. Eric M. Johnson did the world a service with his website. Open Source Shakespeare was a thesis for a masters program at George Mason University. It’s all Shakespeare all the time. I just love the great search capabilities, This is a Public Domain Treasure Trove!

Shakespeare’s contribution to the Public Domain should be acknowledged. William Shakespeare is a great example of the value of public domain.