Who among us?

Ricky Stevens deltabluz@hotmail.com
Wed Mar 23 12:41:12 EST 2005


>Without heirs to receive RJ's royalties, LaVere would just be stealing
>music from the public domain.

And if pigs had wings they'd be pigeons.

Steve LaVere signed an agreement with a woman who he believed was Robert
Johnson's closest living relative. For many years there were no claimants to
the contrary.  As her (and RJ's) agent, he consistently made the best
possible deal he could.  LaVere has worked consistently to maintain a high
profile for Robert Johnson and he has succeeded beyond any reasonable
expectation.  Robert Johnson is recognized as the number one blues star of
all time.  He is one of the few blues artists whose share of record sales
has surpassed a million dollars. His records continues to sell at a steady
pace more than 60 years after his death.  Books about Robert Johnson are
consistent sellers.  Robert Johnson related sites draw international
pilgrims to Mississippi.  All this for a man who recorded less than 30 tunes
in his lifetime.

I'm glad he did the work to promote RJ's
>music but he's not the most deserving person - RJ's heirs, especially
>Claude who should have gotten support from his father, are.

Again, without the work of Steve LaVere the estate would be nowhere near as
financially solvent as it is.  Robert Johnson's music and image would likely
have passed into the public domain through non-enforcement of copyright.

Let's look at this objectively.  Robert Johnson was an itinerant musician,
arguably no better at his craft than many of his contemporaries, who
recorded barely a double album worth of material.  He has had the good
fortune after his death to become a symbol of all that the blues is.  Quite
a bit of this iconization of Robert Johnson is due to the diligent work of
Steve LaVere.

Slam him all you like, but Mr. LaVere has consistently represented the
interests of Robert Johnson's estate in a manner that has brought his
clients-RJ's relatives- a return far beyond any reasonable expectation they
or anyone else could have had.  It is also true that he has personally
profited in the process.  Good for him. His actions have maintained and
magnified the image of the greatest star of the blues.

Ricky Stevens
Arkabutla, Mississippi



>From: Doctor Oakroot <doctor@doctoroakroot.com>

>
>Without heirs to receive RJ's royalties, LaVere would just be stealing
>music from the public domain. I'm glad he did the work to promote RJ's
>music but he's not the most deserving person - RJ's heirs, especially
>Claude who should have gotten support from his father, are.
>

Blues-L web site: http://www.netspace.org/~blues-l/
Archives & web interface: http://lists.netspace.org/archives/blues-l.html
NetSpace LISTSERV(R) software donated by L-Soft, Inc.   http://www.lsoft.com
To unsubscribe from BLUES-L, send an email with the message UNSUBSCRIBE BLUES-L to: listserv@lists.netspace.org



More information about the Blues-l mailing list