When he delivers a song that later becomes popular, the singer-songwriter is just its creator and first performer. He has no control over how others will fix it and the song's later life is quite another story. The secondary fates experienced by the 10 songs below are instructive in this regard.
∙ 1960 ∙ Where have all the flowers gone (Pete Seeger) ∙ 1961 ∙ She moved through the fair (Irish trad.) ∙ The lion sleeps tonight (the Tokens) ∙ 1964 ∙ House of the rising sun (USA 1933) ∙ 1965 ∙ Subterranean homesick blues (Bob Dylan) ∙ 1966 ∙ HEY JOE (Bill Roberts1962) ∙ 1967 ∙ Without her (Harry Nilsson) ∙ Suzanne (Leonard Cohen) ∙ 1968 ∙ Those were the days (USSR 1925) ∙ 1969 ∙ Streets of London (Ralph McTell) ∙
HEY JOE - A controversial folk song made famous by Jimi Hendrix
The song ‘Hey Joe’ was recorded and copyrighted in 1962 by Billy Roberts and became a favourite among West Coast musicians by 1965-66.
It was recorded and released by Jimi Hendrix as his first single in December 1966 and quickly became a world hit. It was then covered by numerous bands and singers, some of whom claimed that the song was a traditional folk theme, as credited on the records of Tim Rose and Jimi Hendrix. In 2009, Niela Miller released her unpublished 1962 own recordings and asserted that Billy Roberts was indeed the original composer of the song ‘Hey Joe’, which had drawn inspiration from her own song ‘Baby please don’t go to town’.
1961 ∙ Billy Roberts ∙ 1962 ∙ Billy Roberts ∙ Nov. 1965 ∙ The Leaves ∙ Apr. 1966 ∙ Love ∙ May 1966 ∙ Tim Rose ∙ The Standells ∙ Jun. 1966 ∙ The Surfaris ∙ Jul. 1966 ∙ The Byrds ∙ Dec. 1966 ∙ The Jimi Hendrix Experience ∙ The Roks ∙ The Music Machine ∙ 1967 ∙ Cher ∙ Johnny Halliday (French ver.) ∙ 1968 ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1969 ∙ Wilson Pickett ∙ 1974 ∙ Patti Smith ∙ 1983 ∙ Soft Cell ∙ 2011 ∙ Popa Chubby ∙
Hey Joe, I said, where you goin' with that gun in your hand?
You know, I've caught her messin' around with another man (yeah)
And that ain't too cool
Hey Joe, I heard you shot your old lady down
You shot her down to the ground (yeah). Yes I did, I shot her
You know, I caught my old lady messin' around town. And I gave her the gun. I shot her!
Well, dig it. I'm goin' way down south. Way down to Mexico way. Alright
I'm goin' way down south. Way down where I can be free. Ain't no one gonna find me.