Tuesday, February 01, 2011

My 1955 theme music

They were exciting months in 1955, after the decision that the family would be emigrating to the United States but while we were still in Edinburgh, wondering how different it would all be far across the Atlantic from Scotland.

The skiffle hit "Rock Island Line" featuring Lonnie Donegan was the sound track for my own musings about what life might be like in the New World. 

Now Wikipedia reminds...

Throughout his life, Donegan was fond of telling the story about how he only got a fixed fee from Decca Records for recording "Rock Island Line" (the stated sum varied between £3 and £10), despite it selling over one million copies world-wide, but he never told the story how he benefited greatly from music publishing. Over the years, indeed until his death, Donegan received considerable music publishing royalties from "Rock Island Line" simply by claiming the British copyright on an unregistered song which was considered to be in the Public Domain.

There is, somewhere in there, a lesson. Although it is one I could hardly have learned at the tender age of fifteen!


Anonymous said...

Some who watched as the car carrying your family wound its way through
the campus wondered what your thoughts might be on arriving in our little backwater.

Macthomson said...

Now I wonder... yes, I do... who might have contributed the above comment in discreet anonymity. And I have my suspicions... yes, I do!

Wonder not: My all-consuming impression was that some amazing force had beamed me into a Norman Rockwell painting, of the kind I had become so familiar with from reading Saturday Evening Post prior to leaving Scotland. The impression lingered for many a year. It took a long time before I fell out of love with America.