[Dixielandjazz] Burning CDs - Sending Lead Sheets

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 2 21:05:02 PDT 2005

Interesting question/situation this recording of bands, burning of CDs
and/or sending copies of lead sheets. Especially since I am in possession of
about 200 cassette tapes of Stanley's Washboard Kings, recorded over the
years by a fan with their permission, for personal use. With musicians like
Kellso, Exklund, Polcer, Muranyi et al, the top guys in NYC. The fan died
and left the tapes to a jazz club. There could have been commercial interest
but the club declined and gave them to me for safe keeping.  None of the
musicians I spoke with who are on them wish to see them sold for commercial
gain. Mostly, they feel they should be destroyed. (Stanley has copies)

Like Bill Gunter, I do not object if people ASK first when they want to
record the band for their own use. When they do not ask, however, I chastise
them for having a lot of gall in presuming to record our music without the
simple courtesy of asking, and tell them to shut the machine off.

Same thing with lead sheets. If you want a lead sheet, buy the sheet music
from a music store. If we continually trade music, sooner or later, the
originals will dry up. Then incorrect lead sheets will be passed around and
the degradation of the music will continue. Just like all those fake books
out there with the wrong changes, measures left out, etc.

Recording w/o permission, or passing around lead sheets is, IMO, a pure and
simple act of theft. Yet we all, including me, have done it. (As we speak,
I'm trying to quit)

There is no "ethical" substitute for buying a CD from the band, and/or
buying the sheet music from a music store. For goodness sake, what does it
cost for the few time a year you do it?

The gal could have bought the sheet music to "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and
presented it to her husband signed by herself and a bunch of pretty
neighbors, etc. (or whatever) It would have made a neat gift. Cost? $5 bucks
or so? Unless framed, then a bit more, but still a very neat gift.

Steve Barbone

PS. I suspect that those performers who give their music away, are also most
often the ones who also see nothing wrong with copping a free lead sheet
instead of buying the sheet music. Or recording bands without asking.

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