Thursday, 5 February 2009

Story Songs #7 - Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde... + plagiarism?

#7 in an occasional series - more story songs on How Marvellous...

A Story Song, a rare cover version (and one I just couldn't find, bah!), and possible plagiarism? - I've got all the boxes ticked today, in what began as a lazy post about The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde.

After the infamous movie 'Bonnie and Clyde' was released in 1967, it seems that Georgie Fame rather fancied doing a song about the story, and approached Mitch Murray & Peter Callander, two previously successful writers, hoping they'd come up with something suitable. A story-song, inspired by a movie, based on real-life events in the early '30s... and as you'll hear below, with a melody bearing a striking similarity to one by Chet Atkins, written some twenty years before.

Murray & Callander came up with the goods, helping Georgie Fame up to #1 in the UK charts, and #7 in the USA. The song's popularity also ended a somewhat lean period for Mitch Murray, who hadn't penned a big hit for several years. (i)

The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde - Georgie Fame
single release (1967)

The Old Buck Dance - Chet Atkins
composer: Chet Atkins - late '40s

The Beatles recorded a version of The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde - only ever released on bootlegs & 'The Get Back Journals' - an eight CD set. I've spent far too long attempting (unsuccessfully) to track it down, so here's a different, and slightly odd version; unless you understand Croatian...

Bonnie i Clyde - Stjepan Đimi Stanić
Bonnie i Clyde EP (1968)

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