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Eugene Raskin or Gene Raskin (Bronx, New York, September 5, 1909 – Manhattan, New York, June 7, 2004),was an American musician and playwright, author of the lyrics of the English version of the Russian song "Those Were the Days" and also of three books on architecture and adjunct professor at Columbia University (1936–1976).
Raskin was born in the Bronx in 1909. He studied at Columbia University and eventually became adjunct professor of architecture at his alma mater between 1936 and 1976.
He wrote two plays: in 1949 One's a Crowd, a comedy about an atomic scientist who develops four personalities after his experiments go horribly wrong; in 1951 a romantic play entitled Amata; and later, The Old Friend.
In 1954, Raskin published Architecturally Speaking; Sequel to Cities came in 1971 and Architecture and People in 1974. He also wrote a novel, Stranger in my Arms. In the early 1960s, Raskin and his wife Francesca played folk music around Greenwich Village in New York. They released an album that included "Those Were The Days", which was initially taken up by the Limeliters.
For "Those Were the Days", Gene Raskin had found a Russian tune of composer Boris Fomin, which he had grown up hearing and for which he wrote lyrics in English, then illegally put a copyright on both tune and lyrics.[ citation needed ]
He and his wife Francesca were international balladeers for years and recorded several albums for Elektra Records. They played London's Blue Angel every year and always closed their show with "Those Were the Days". Paul McCartney frequented the club when they were performing and, when the Beatles formed the Apple label, they recorded Mary Hopkin singing "Those Were the Days", the right to which had been purchased by Paul McCartney through his agent and the Raskin agent. The song subsequently was released in many versions by various artists. It was recorded in over twenty languages.
At the peak of the song's success, a New York company made a commercial using the melody to Raskin's version but used its own lyrics: "Rokeach Ga-filte-fish, Rokeach Ga-filte-fish," saying that the tune was an old Russian folk tune and was in public domain. Raskin sued and won his case and a settlement, since he had altered the tune a bit to fit his lyrics and had taken out the valid new copyright.
At one time, Raskin opened mail containing a check for $26,000, which were the royalties just for the US mechanicals for that month. Raskin bought a home in Pollença, Mallorca; a Porsche "Spider" and a sailboat; and lived very well off his royalties for the rest of his life.
He also got royalties from his novel Stranger in my Arms, his play The Old Friend, and his several books on architecture, which are still used in various universities around the world.
"Happy Birthday to You", also known as "Happy Birthday", is a song traditionally sung to celebrate a person's birthday. According to the 1998 Guinness World Records, it is the most recognized song in the English language, followed by "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow". The song's base lyrics have been translated into at least 18 languages. The melody of "Happy Birthday to You" comes from the song "Good Morning to All", which has traditionally been attributed to American sisters Patty and Mildred J. Hill in 1893, although the claim that the sisters composed the tune is disputed.
Jef Raskin was an American human–computer interface expert best known for conceiving and starting the Macintosh project at Apple in the late 1970s.
"Yesterday" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was first released on the album Help! in August 1965, except in the United States, where it was issued as a single in September. The song reached number one on the US charts. It subsequently appeared on the UK EP Yesterday in March 1966 and made its US album debut on Yesterday and Today, in June 1966.
Apple Records is a record label founded by the Beatles in 1968 as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. It was initially intended as a creative outlet for the Beatles, both as a group and individually, plus a selection of other artists including Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, and Billy Preston. In practice, the roster had become dominated by the mid-1970s with releases of the former Beatles as solo artists. Allen Klein managed the label from 1969 to 1973, then it was managed by Neil Aspinall on behalf of the Beatles and their heirs. Aspinall retired in 2007 and was replaced by Jeff Jones.
Mary Hopkin, credited on some recordings as Mary Visconti, is a Welsh folk singer, best known for her 1968 UK number one single "Those Were the Days". She was one of the earliest signings to the Beatles' Apple label.
A lyricist or lyrist is a songwriter who writes lyrics—words for songs—as opposed to a composer, who writes the song's music which may include but not limited to the melody, harmony, arrangement and accompaniment.
Apple Corps Limited is a multi-armed multimedia corporation founded in London in January 1968 by the members of the Beatles to replace their earlier company and to form a conglomerate. Its name is a pun. Its chief division is Apple Records, which was launched in the same year. Other divisions included Apple Electronics, Apple Films, Apple Publishing and Apple Retail, whose most notable venture was the short-lived Apple Boutique, on the corner of Baker Street and Paddington Street in central London. Apple's headquarters in the late 1960s was at the upper floors of 94 Baker Street, after that at 95 Wigmore Street, and subsequently at 3 Savile Row. The latter address was also known as the Apple Building, which was home to the Apple Studio.
"On, Wisconsin!" is the fight song of the Wisconsin Badgers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. With modified lyrics, it is the official state song of Wisconsin.
Lennon–McCartney was the songwriting partnership between English musicians John Lennon (1940–1980) and Paul McCartney of the Beatles. It is the best known and most successful musical collaboration ever by records sold, with the Beatles selling over 600 million records worldwide as of 2004. Between 5 October 1962 and 8 May 1970, the partnership published approximately 180 jointly credited songs, of which the vast majority were recorded by the Beatles, forming the bulk of their catalogue.
Allen Klein was an American businessman, music publisher, writers' representative and record label executive. He was known for his tough persona and aggressive negotiation tactics, many of which affected industry standards for compensating recording artists. He founded ABKCO Music & Records Incorporated. Klein increased profits for his musician clients, who previously had been receiving less lucrative record company contracts. He first scored monetary and contractual gains for Buddy Knox and Jimmy Bowen, one-hit rockabillies of the late 1950s, then parlayed his early successes into a position managing Sam Cooke, and eventually managed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones simultaneously, along with many other artists, becoming one of the most powerful individuals in the music industry during his era.
"Strangers in the Night" is a song composed by Bert Kaempfert with English lyrics by Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder. Kaempfert originally used it under the title "Beddy Bye" as part of the instrumental score for the movie A Man Could Get Killed. The song was made famous in 1966 by Frank Sinatra, although it was initially given to Melina Mercouri, who thought that a man's vocals would better suit the melody and therefore declined to sing it.
George David Weiss was an American songwriter and arranger, who had been a president of the Songwriters Guild of America.
"In My Life" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1965 album Rubber Soul. It was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who later disagreed over the extent of their respective contributions to the song. Lennon credited the harmony and bridge to McCartney, while McCartney claimed the entire musical structure. George Martin contributed the piano solo bridge, which was sped up to sound like a harpsichord.
"Those Were the Days" is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put a new English lyric to the Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu", composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevsky. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism.
"Bad to Me" is a song credited to Lennon–McCartney. In late interviews, John Lennon said that he wrote it for Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas while on holiday in Spain. However, in a 1964 interview he said that he and Paul McCartney wrote it in the back of a van, declaring McCartney a contributor. Bootlegs exist of Lennon's original demo of the song, which was recorded on 31 May 1963. An acoustic demo from the same era was released on iTunes in December 2013 on the album The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963. It became one of the first occasions a Lennon–McCartney composition made the US Top 40 recorded by an artist other than the Beatles.
Music publishing is the publishing of music. Music publishers originally published sheet music. When copyright became legally protected, music publishers started to play a role in the management of the intellectual property of composers.
"Le temps des fleurs" is a song recorded by French singer Dalida for her twenty-first studio album of the same name. While the French lyrics were written by Eddy Marnay, the melody was taken from Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu", composed by Boris Fomin in 1924. Dalida covered the song after Mary Hopkin popularised the original with her English version one month earlier.
"Goodbye" is a song written by Paul McCartney and performed by Mary Hopkin. It was released on 28 March 1969, and it reached No. 2 in the UK singles chart, prevented from reaching the top position by the Beatles' single "Get Back". In the US, released 7 April 1969, the song reached No. 13 on the singles chart. In the Netherlands and Ireland the single peaked at No. 1. McCartney's demo was officially released on the 2019 reissue of Abbey Road.
Postcard is the debut album by Mary Hopkin. It was produced by Paul McCartney and released by Apple Records in February 1969 in the UK and in March 1969 in the US. It reached number 3 in the UK and number 28 in the US. It also reached number 24 in Canada. The original US and Canadian versions differed from the UK version by including the hit single "Those Were the Days" instead of a cover of "Someone to Watch Over Me". The album included three songs written by the folk singer Donovan, one of which, "Lord of the Reedy River", was deemed to be one of the album highlights by AllMusic critic Richie Unterberger. Rolling Stone critic John Mendelsohn regarded Hopkin's voice as being well-suited to the Donovan songs, although he considered the songs themselves to be "ponderous and over-long". Unterberger felt that the only problem with the album was that it contained too many pre-rock standards, in accordance with McCartney's tastes, which were not as well suited to Hopkin as more simple folk songs. Mendelsohn praised McCartney’s production as much as Hopkin’s singing. The album was launched by Hopkin at the Post Office Tower, London, on 13 February 1969. McCartney attended.
"Hold Tight, Hold Tight ", commonly known as "Hold Tight", is a 1938 Sidney Bechet song, composed by Bechet's guitarist Leonard Ware and two session singers with claimed contributions from Bechet himself. The song became known for what at the time were considered suggestive lyrics, and then for a series of lawsuits over songwriter royalties.