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"Hell Naw To The Naw Naw"
February 28, 2018:
Daddy B. Nice Announces THE WINNERS of the 2017 (11th Annual) SOUTHERN SOUL MUSIC AWARDS.
Best Mid-Tempo SongTop Contenders:
“I’m Stepping Out” ---- Mr. Campbell
"Kiss It Good-Bye" ---- Lomax
“I Can’t Be Faithful”----Big Pokey Bear & Bishop Bullwinkle
"Textual Harassment" ---- Nellie "Tiger" Travis
“You’re My Gold” ---- Joe “Blues” Butler
“My Country Girl” ---- Jeter Jones
"Shake Something (Remix)" ---- J. Red, Columbus Toy, Ms. Lady Blues
“Don’t Blame It On Jody” ---- Adrian Bagher
“Caller I.D.” ----- El’ Willie
“It’s The Weekend” ----- Magic One
“Stilettos & Jeans” ----- Sharnette Hyter & J.J. Callier
“Bedroom Rodeo (Remix)” ----- Big Yayo, Gentry Jones, Omar Cunningham
“Call Me” ----- Nelson Curry
“Preacher Car In My Yard” ---- Luther Lackey
“All I Need Is You” ----- Pokey Bear & Crystal Thomas
"I Had To Lie" ----- Ms. Jody
"Call My Name" ----- J. Red & Sharnette Hyter
“Neighbor” ----- Solomon Thompson
"Pretty Girl" ----- J-Wonn & Tucka
"I Left My Woman" ----- Stan Butler
"'Til The Sun Comes Up" ---- Tucka
Best Mid-Tempo Song: "I Can't Be Faithful" by Pokey Bear & Bishop Bullwinkle Listen to Pokey Bear & Bishop Bullwinkle singing "I Can't Be Faithful" on YouTube.
January 16, 2018: Originally posted in Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag
Bishop Bullwinkle on Spotify!
I just went on your website and saw that Denise LaSalle passed away. I am so sorry to read the news. She was a very talented lady and I enjoyed listening to her songs in the few years since I've discovered Southern Soul Blues. I am sorry for the loss for her friends and family and for the fans.
I wanted to let you know that Bishop Bullwinkle has 3 songs on Spotify that I was alerted to via my "Release Radar" feature. These new releases post every Friday. The song that posted to my radar was "Hell to da Naw". The version is the one that is on You Tube with the bike. The song has already has 12,065 plays since being released yesterday. That won't get it viral, but that is pretty good. I also checked Google Play (available for 99 cents but if you have a subscription with them you can stream for free) and on Amazon (also for 99 cents but can stream for free with Amazon Prime).
Even though I can stream for free on Spotify and Amazon Prime I am going to show some love by buying the mp3.
Please spread the word since I know you love the song and so do I and a lot of others.
Daddy B. Nice replies:
Thanks so much, Christina. That is great news for Bishop Bullwinkle fans who have repeatedly requested where to buy his music over the last couple of years. The "bicycle" version of "Hell Naw" isn't quite as good as the original "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" with Bigg Robb's instrumental track, but I'm not going to quibble or even go there, given the copyright implications.
December 2, 2017:
CHART-CLIMBER!: Bishop Bullwinkle And "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" Debut At #51 On Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 Southern Soul!
The chart ranks the top one hundred contemporary southern soul singles over the last eighteen years--ultimately a twenty-year period (from 2000-2020).
See Bishop Bullwinkle's new position on the Chart.
Bishop Bullwinkle also becomes the #51-ranked artist on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 21st Century Southern Soul Artists Chart.
See the chart.
Daddy B. Nice notes:
More than two years have passed since Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" exploded on the southern soul scene, and Bishop Bullwinkle still has not recorded the song for purchase. It remains a YouTube phenomenon, and what a phenomenon. The various YouTube versions of the song have been viewed by millions of fans, and the seventy-something Bishop Bullwinkle has parlayed the success of the song into a lucrative touring career. Along with only Big Pokey Bear and Tucka, the Bishop (Bernard Thomas in real life) has hurdled scores of traditional and not-so-traditional southern soul recording artists to headline concerts throughout the South and even play the vaunted national Blues Is Alright Tour. The singer/comedian may be viewed as a "novelty" act, but so have countless other R&B performers who went on to fame on the national stage. While the lack of a recording resume has kept him off Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 Southern Soul Chart up until now, Bishop Bullwinkle can no longer be denied. He has vaulted over past chitlin' circuit comedians like Poonanny, Willie P. Richardson, Unckle Eddie and Marcel to become the greatest novelty act in contemporary southern soul music.
Scroll down this page to "Tidbits" for the latest updates on Bishop Bullwinkle. To automatically link to Bishop Bullwinkle's charted radio singles, awards and other citations on the Southern Soul website, go to "Bishop Bullwinkle" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
May 2, 2017: Originally posted on Daddy B. Nice's Corner
41,000 Views In 1st Week! Watch the official new video of Pokey Bear and Bishop Bullwinkle singing "I Can't Be Faithful" on YouTube.
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .
1. “I Can’t Be Faithful”----Big Pokey Bear featuring Bishop Bullwinkle
The two biggest new stars in southern soul music team up for the first time on a Beat Flippa-produced track that continues Pokey’s theme of being “addicted to the women.” Hewing to his theme of preaching about worldly evils, in this case Pokey’s, Bishop Bullwinkle stuns with his crystal-clear clarity and tone, proving he’s not just a novelty act but a unique vocalist. DBN
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on YouTube while you read.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Bishop Bullwinkle
November 26, 2015: Story & Interview
Daddy B. Nice's Profile of Bishop Bullwinkle Bishop Bullwinkle is a YouTube phenomenon. He has never released a single, much less an album. His fame/notoriety as an X-rated preacher/performer was ignited by an open-air appearance singing “Hell Naw To The Naw Naw” on the Tom Joyner morning show on WDLT, Mobile, Alabama a couple of years ago. The performance was posted on YouTube, gradually gaining millions of views.
You’ll have to content yourself with listening to the many YouTube versions of the song currently online, because Bishop Bullwinkle has shown no eagerness to release a record or even an online mp3. Be aware that many YouTube versions continue to be deleted by southern soul artist Bigg Robb for copyright infringement even as new versions proliferate. Regardless of the controversy, "Hell Naw" burst on the southern soul scene like no other tune in years.
See Daddy B. Nice’s #1 Southern Soul Single of 2015: “Hell Naw To The Naw Naw” by Bishop Bullwinkle.
Daddy B. Nice's TOP 25 SOUTHERN SOUL SONGS OF 2015
1. "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" ------Bishop Bullwinkle
Once in awhile, a song comes along that makes everyone feel like they've been creating inside a "box". "Hell To The Naw Naw" was such a record.
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on YouTube.
Bigg Robb removed the official Bishop Bullwinkle video for "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" from YouTube for copyright infringement, citing Bullwinkle's unauthorized use of the instrumental track from Robb's "Looking For A Country Girl."
Juke Joint Music, the Bigg Robb album from which "Looking For A Country Girl" was taken, was first published and copyrighted by Robert Smith (Robb's given name) at CD Baby upon its initial issue in 2012.
In a related matter, Bishop Bullwinkle's "Some Preachers" has been reported to steal the instrumental track from Sheba Potts-Wright's "The Real Deal". "The Real Deal" was first published and copyrighted by Ecko Records and Sheba Potts-Wright on her LET YOUR MIND GO BACK album in 2011. At the time of this news story, the YouTube video for Bullwinkle's "Some Preachers" had not yet been taken down by the victims.
Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw 2 To Da Naw Naw"--an unheard-of and explicit preaching sermon set to R&B--caused a sensation throughout the chitlin' circuit over the course of the last year, dwarfing the usual numbers for southern soul video (the genre's main exposure for singles) and giving the idiosyncratic singer/preacher instant notoriety and "headliner" status in chitlin' circuit venues. And yet, the song was never made into a record, never offered for sale.
"Hell Naw 2 To Da Naw Naw's" first chart appearance was on....
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .
1. "Hell 2 Da Naw Naw"---------Bishop Bullwinkle
A one-in-a-thousand, hybrid gospel/southern soul song arising from a preacher's (or would-be preacher's) frustrations with the hypocrisy of his fellow churchgoers, "Hell To The Naw Naw's" six-plus blissful minutes go by way too quickly. Already a hit in Florida (Tampa, Orlando), the song has amassed 150,000 plays on YouTube and an astounding number of enthusiastic comments. And who wouldn't love someone named Bishop Bullwinkle?
Listen to Bishop Bull Winka singing "Hell To The Naw Naw" on YouTube.
One of the only two available YouTube versions of the song at the time was a video of a local shopping-mall appearance with Bishop Bullwinkle singing in front of a boombox for a few by turns enthusiastic and bemused onlookers and passersby. The video included J. Anthony Brown from former Dallas talk-show host Tom Joyner's morning show snatching the microphone from Bullwinkle and singing a verse of his own inspiration. (That video has also been removed by Bigg Robb.)
However, the initial online recognition for the song (your Daddy B. Nice later discovered) came in December of 2014, when the blog Southern Soul Paradise made "Hell To The Naw Naw" its "song of the day" and reported:
"This is one of those songs that is in so much demand in the south --- turn on any radio station in south central Alabama and you will hear it."
At the time, the song still hadn't made it to radio stations in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Bishop Bullwinkle made an appearance the following month as Daddy B. Nice's #3 Single for July:
3. "Some Preachers"-----Bishop Bullwinkle
I don't think you'll be hearing this follow-up to "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on the radio. It's true underground African-American "folk" culture, undiluted and outrageously raw, and it's the reason your Daddy B. Nice got into southern soul in the first place. If you think Bishop Bullwinkle "crosses the line" with lyrics like:
"Some preachers ain't shit.
Some preachers, they need to quit...."
....There's much worse. Listen to "retired preacher" Bullwinkle's full story in the song. You'll understand his anger and passion, and you'll realize he's following in the huge footprints of Clarence Carter, Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush.
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Some Preachers" on YouTube.
Meanwhile, the letters kept pouring in--"More Clamor For Bishop Bullwinkle"--seeking to buy the (non-existent) two singles or CD.
By August the Bishop was a full-fledged phenomenon:
From Daddy B. Nice's Corner
August 22, 2015:
BISHOP BULLWINKLE BREAKS OUT! THE OFFICIAL VIDEO OF "HELL NAW 2 DA NAW NAW" DRAWS A MILLION-PLUS VIEWS IN LESS THAN A MONTH!
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell 2 Da Naw Naw" (The Official Video) on YouTube.
Read more about Bishop Bullwinkle in Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag.
And here's a glimpse of the pre-"Hell To The Naw Naw" Bishop Bullwinkle, as an X-rated preacher-slash-stand-up comedian. Videos of his pre-singing appearances are proliferating on YouTube. There is a long tradition of story-tellers in the chitlin' circuit, Willie P. Richardson, Poonanny, and Marcel among them. Bishop Bullwinkle appears to come out of that lineage--with a dose of Richard Pryor.
--Daddy B. Nice
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle story-telling "County Jail" on YouTube.
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle preaching "The Great Titanic" on YouTube.
Gradually, biographical details of the mesmerizing, grey-whiskered, preacher-rapper emerged. Bishop Bullwinkle is the performing name of Bernard Thomas, 68-69 years old, of either-or-both Plant City, Alabama and Tampa, Florida.
Bigg Robb, when asked by your Daddy B. Nice about Bishop Bullwinkle... ....was surprisingly sanguine and complimentary of Bishop Bullwinkle "the person".
Asked about the upcoming concert (See Daddy B. Nice's Concert Calendar) on Black Friday in Vicksburg when he and Bishop Bullwinkle would share the same venue for the first time, Robb said:
"Personally, I love Bernard Thomas aka Bishop Bullwinkle as a person. He is very witty and creative. The man is 68 years young and living his dream. That's a blessing from God."
But!... (Robb continued)
"As far as his infringement of my copyright, infringement of my master recording, infringement of my trademark, and exploitation of these things without compensating the songwriters, publisher and the record company which owns "Looking For A Country Girl," I think it's ridiculous and wrong.
"Those familiar with my catalog of music know that I have replayed and remade many songs from various songwriters. Put my own twist on them. And I've been blessed to have hits including these guys' music with my ideas, but I have always contacted the publishers and paid the royalties. As well as I normally shout out the originator of the music on the record. It's called "respect" and "following the rules".
"Please understand I am happy for the success of 'Hell 2 The Naw Naw" and look forward to performing on the same bill with Bullwinkle. I'm not mad at him for using my music. It's the biggest song in Southern Soul this year and I co-wrote it." And when Bigg Robb says he "co-wrote" "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw," you can be sure of this. He means his name will be on the copyright if and when the song is published.
RE: BIGG ROBB TAKES DOWN BISHOP BULLWINKLE'S "HELL NAW T0 THE NAW NAW" FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
BISHOP BULLWINKLE RESPONDS WITH ANGER AND DEFIANCE
Daddy B. Nice notes: In a requested telephone interview with Daddy B. Nice that took place Saturday, December 12, 2015, Bishop Bullwinkle responded with anger and defiance to Bigg Robb's allegations of copyright infringement. The bulk of the interview was profanity-laced, and it was difficult to confirm details because of the one-sided, tirade-like nature of the exchange. Bullwinkle was sympathetic at times, but more often stressed, passionate, words tumbling out faster than he could think 'em or I could write 'em.
"Bigg Robb is a god-damned liar!" "Bigg Robb is a mother-f--g liar! Print it just like that on your website!"
This was Bullwinkle's pre-eminent theme, repeated a dozen times.
"John Ward ain't called me back. I'm waiting. He ain't done nothing. Bigg Robb told a big lie. I couldn't get a sample (from Robb). He didn't want to do it. Bigg Robb want to own the fucking song. We were going to partner. Then Robb want 70%. 'You take 30%.'
"Bigg Robb is a fucking liar. He been sampling records the whole time. Then he take "Naw Naw" off a YouTube. NBC contacted me. They wanna do a TV show on 'Naw Naw.' Bigg Robb contacted them and NBC dropped the show. NBC said it was because it sampled Marvin Gaye! And Bigg Robb was a friend of mine.
"They can all go to hell. I got a new track coming. I ain't taking that shit. Bigg Robb sent me some papers. I gave 'em to my lawyers. Let's go to court. What time we going? What's the fucking wait on? If I did something wrong, why ain't I in copyright court?
That's the real truth. If I disrespect you, take me to court. Bigg Robb needs to get his lawyer and his thick pieces of paper and talk to my lawyer. That's the truth."
--Daddy B. Nice
Letters from Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag, Summer of 2015:
More Clamor For Bishop Bullwinkle:
MORE CLAMOR FOR BISHOP BULLWINKLE
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw 2 Da Naw Naw (The Official Video)" on YouTube.
Daddy B Nice--
Can you tell me where I can buy Bishop Bullwinkle’s CD featuring Hell to the Naw?
Daddy B. Nice replies:
Hi, Lugenia. No CD. That's the bad news. Here's the good news. Bishop Bullwinkle just posted the "official video" on YouTube and it contains instructions for an mp3 download!
One good sign of future product: Bishop Bullwinkle is touring. For example, he'll be performing in Jackson, Alabama (not Jackson, Ms.) next weekend.(See Daddy B. Nice's Concert Calendar.)
Another side note: T.K. Soul protege Tha Don is coming out with a single called "Hell Naw." There is no connection with the Bishop Bullwinkle song. Tha Don's song is not a cover and is in fact a take-off on Pokey's "My Sidepiece," But it definitely traffics in Bishop Bullwinkle's territory by inviting confusion with Bishop Bullwinkle's title.
Daddy B. Nice
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw 2 Da Naw Naw (The Official Video)" and DOWNLOAD, if desired," on YouTube.
RE: BISHOP BULLWINKLE'S HELL 2 DA NAW NAW!
What's the word on this guy? Does he has a CD or just 2 singles out? I can't find anything online.....
Daddy B. Nice replies:
Yeah. Just the two singles. Not so long ago, just the one single. Bishop Bullwinkle is what I call "insider" music, meaning it's only for the fanatical few (like you and your DBN) who have a need for new music bordering on hunger. You might say southern soul as a genre is "insider" music. In this day and age of media and money everywhere, it's hard to visualize a portion of the population too poor to make the jump from recording a song with "Pro Tools" to distributing an actual record to the fans, but that's the facts of life in the poor South. Count your blessings, though. By putting those songs on YouTube, Bishop Bullwinkle has done what southern soul does best: given the fans an unfiltered taste of the real thing, the spiritual source of popular music. And he may get it together with a CD yet.
Daddy B. Nice
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw 2 Da Naw Naw" on YouTube.
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Some Preachers" on YouTube.
See Daddy B. Nice's Top Ten "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles ("Hell 2 Da Naw Naw" #1 June 15 and "Some Preachers" #3 July 15).
Thanks...... We don't get to hear a lot of soul music in the Washington DC area, on the radio... Just on line..... Thanks
May 13, 2016: News & Notes
The Latest On Bishop Bullwinkle Really funny. The comments are pouring in about what people would say "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" to. Here's a sampling:
When you lose everything in Minecraft and can't find it when u die?
when you're not a little kid so you can't relate...?
Do you want Donald Trump for president??
When you find out zombies are at your door?
When you walk in to your room mate jerking and he asks for a hand?
When you see a spider on the ceiling.?
wen u see someone take out a Ouija board?
When they wish you a Marvelous Monday on the intercom?
When you in the hood and six people with guns point out you saying empty them pockets and you realize they are fake ass rpg players?
When you finally see your kids disrespecting you?
When Your Teacher Gives You Bunch Of Homework ?
When your mom asks if she can see your history on YouTube.?
When the Everyday ass eater ask for a hit of the Joint?
Despite all the memes and funny jokes, can we just take a moment to appreciate how good this song is?
God damn, i really dig this song. Hell 2 Da Naw!?
And so on and so forth....the jokes roll on and on, down the page.
Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on YouTube. Press "Show More" and scroll down the left sidebar column for comments.
Also, regarding ongoing copyright issues on "Hell Naw To The Naw" (see Bishop Bullwinkle artist guide), the Bishop now has a new version of "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on YouTube, featuring a different instrumental arrangement, not quite as good--in your Daddy B. Nice's opinion--but still interesting.
Listen to "Bishop Bullwinkle Hell To Da Naw,Naw,Naw With Da Bicycle" on YouTube. (It's already got 160,000 visits.)
Lastly, your Daddy B. Nice recently closed out a column on "3 Red Herrings Southern Soul Artists Should Ignore" (scroll all the way down this page) with this paragraph:
I suspect that when big urban-radio chains tell southern soul artists to "tone it down," what they really mean is "to gentrify"--adopt the urban r&b signatures--and that's just not going to happen. Because that wouldn't be southern soul, would it?
I want to modify that to read:
I suspect that when big urban-radio chains tell southern soul artists to "tone it down," what they really mean is "to gentrify"--adopt the urban r&b signatures--and that's just not going to happen. Because that wouldn't be southern soul, would it? Not as long as Bishop Bullwinkle is in the house.
--Daddy B. Nice
Daddy B. Nice on Plagiarism, Copyright Law, Copyright Infringement, Bigg Robb & Bishop Bullwinkle
December 1, 2015: RE-POSTED FROM DADDY B. NICE'S CALENDAR/MAILBAG
BIGG ROBB TAKES DOWN BISHOP BULLWINKLE'S "HELL NAW TO THE NAW NAW" FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
Daddy B. Nice notes: An individual in the southern soul community, who chooses to remain anonymous (a request I'll honor because he's paid his dues a dozen times over), has asked me to comment on the issue of copyright infringement prompted by the news that Bishop Bullwinkle used an unauthorized instrumental track to record "Hell Naw 2 Da Naw Naw" and others. The individual even notes your Daddy B. Nice's own travails over the years with websites stealing his copyrighted "Concert Calendar."
Bishop Bullwinkle: See story on Daddy B. Nice's Corner.
Daddy B. Nice replies:
First of all, I was as surprised as just about everybody else that the Bullwinkle instrumental tracks were stolen. Since the Bigg Robb and Sheba Potts-Wright singles weren't favorites (often-played tracks) of mine, I had to go back and listen to the originals to even believe it. The evidence is conclusive. Bullwinkle lifted the instrumental tracks on both--lock, stock, and smoking barrel.
Secondly, I want the artists to know I'm in solidarity with them on this issue. When Daddy B. Nice's "Concert Calendar" (right-hand column of this page) gets ripped off by competing websites, it puts your Daddy B. Nice into a "slow burn" very like what a recording artist feels upon hearing his instrumental track in someone else's song.
A little personal background. About fifteen years ago, I found myself travelling in the Deep South, following my daughter, a Marine pilot, to her various military bases, and in the course of these trips I discovered a form of contemporary rhythm & blues that was no longer played nationwide yet held passion, musical integrity, and a devotion to musicality that hiphop had largely left behind.
For the first time in my life, I knew I was the right guy (everything in my life had prepared me for this) in the right place (the Dirty South being the last place in the world I would ever have imagined myself) at the right time. I truly felt there was something important going on here (southern soul music) and--if not me--who was going to memorialize it? I couldn't bear the thought of this music appearing briefly in this tiny bosom of the country and disappearing forever.
So I started the website. I took out a second mortgage on my house (leading to my second divorce), sunk 35K into SouthernSoulRnB and my own computer literacy, and put in 25-30 unpaid hours per week over the last ten years into this gigantic, ever-growing anthill of information and opinion.
So when I see a competing website who has stolen my hard-researched data from my "Concert Calendar" above me on a search engine page for Ms. Jody's upcoming concerts, I want to "kill."
This, readers, is what a recording artist feels like when he hears his song ripped off, inserted into a competitor's song, playing on the radio or on YouTube. It's the ultimate, stinging slap in the face--a statement that all the work and years of preparation the original artist did was for naught... ....Someone else is taking the credit and reaping the rewards that were rightfully yours. This is especially galling in the southern soul "industry," where the financial rewards are so modest, or even non-existent, and where the accolades of peers and fans are often the only recompense.
In the world of journalism from which I came, it's called plagiarism and, traditionally (I won't speak for the wild-and-woolly digital age) being accused of plagiarism was a stigma strong enough to destroy a writer's career. And yet, there are only so many words and phrases to be used.
What if I asked you, as a person with at least a passing acquaintance with movies, where the expression, "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse," came from. Most everyone would say, "Why, that's the Godfather (Marlon Brando) in the movie "The Godfather," from the book by Mario Puzo.
In fact, that expression is a cliche and has been used again and again. The other day, I heard the villain in a black-and-white John Wayne western from 1933 ("Riders Of Destiny," long before "The Godfather") say the very same words--"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse"--not once but twice.
So there are two issues here. In the entertainment business, nothing is new. There are only so many words and phrases to be used. It's the same with music, only most people don't "get it" the way they do with words. They don't understand that musical phrases are as specific and oft-used as are words.
Maybe, because I'm a onetime bassist (12 years acoustic bass, classically-trained), I believe the bass line is usually the key part (or phrase) of any instrumental track. (Drums, of course, too.) One of the slinkiest bass lines ever recorded motored Carl Sims "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues" (also a great YouTube video), but it wasn't the first time the bass line was used. Johnnie Taylor put down the same instrumental track a decade earlier in his "(Somebody's Been Sleeping In My Bed) You Know It Ain't Right." And it's anyone's guess how many iterations of the phrase preceded Taylor's.
Or, if you're really intent on a copyright puzzle and the frequency with which musical phrases are reinvented, compare the instrumental tracks of two of the most widely-known classics in popular music: Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean" and B.B. King's "Big Boss Man."
Southern soul music is rife with such examples. Lebrado's "Coffee" is playing in my ear just now; the bass line is from Marvin Sease's "Do You Qualify?" I seldom listen to a song that doesn't remind me of another song or reference another. It's a sign of the genre's vitality and communal power.
The problem with Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" isn't in the quality of the work. On the contrary, once in awhile something comes along that's totally fresh and different, something that makes everyone feel like they've been creating inside a "box". "Hell To The Naw Naw" is such a record. ....Bishop Bullwinkle's song is more memorable than Bigg Robb's "Looking For A Country Girl," just as Bigg Robb's cover of "Good Loving Will Make You Cry"--properly licensed by Bigg Robb, by the way--was more memorable than Carl Marshall's original. You could say Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw 2 Da Naw Naw" and Bigg Robb's "Good Lovin' (Remix)" were the highest artistic fruition of their respective musical phrases.
But listen carefully. Click the two links in the previous paragraph and compare them (they're identical), because it's important to understand the power and allure of SHEER ENTERTAINMENT, a temptation like gold fever of satisfying hordes of fans, that makes supposedly upstanding folks--people like Bishop Bullwinkle--abruptly lose their moral compass.
"Hell Naw 2 Da Naw Naw" lifts the entire instrumental track, intact, from Bigg Robb's "Looking For A Country Girl," and only two years after the former was released and copyrighted.
What makes people think they can steal creative property? Is it because they're cynical, used to taking short cuts, and think they can get away with it? Is it because they're entitled, and used to getting everything they want--instant gratification? Is it because they're so marginalized, so impoverished, so beaten-down that they no longer believe their actions have real-life consequences?
There are two ways performers, writers and producers can protect themselves from being intellectually mugged, and both are called "copyrighting". Compositions (the underlying structure of the song, including melodies, lyrics, chords, etc.) and Sound Recordings (the fixed master recording and/or audio file) are two separate copyrights.
Compositions are called “publishing rights,” while recordings are called “master rights.” Music publishers and songwriters control the publishing rights. Record labels and recording artists (if they own the label) own and control the master rights.
Under the present copyright law, a work is automatically protected by copyright when it is created. A work is created when it is “fixed” or embodied in a copy or record for the first time. Neither registration in the Copyright Office nor publication is required for copyright protection under the law. There are, however, certain advantages to registration, including the establishment of a public record of the copyright claim. This is obviously helpful if you do have to resort to litigation.
Composers and recording artists are compensated with royalties via "cue sheets" used by music organizations like BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), which track requests for use of the artists' material.
If you're an artist like Bishop Bullwinkle desiring to dip into another artist's work, you’ll first need to ask the question, "What am I looking to use? Am I creating a cover song? Am I sampling an existing recording?" Knowing the difference between compositions (the publishing rights) and sound recordings (the masters rights) is key to determining the necessary license. Doing things The RIGHT WAY (i.e. being a professional) is simple. It only takes courage. Communication. At its most basic level, searching for a phone number, calling the artist, producer or composer and negotiating permission. People always ask me, "How do I get a hold of such-and-such artist?" And I always say, "Buy their CD and read the liner notes." Is ten bucks so much to get to where you're going?
No man is an island, standing in front of a deejay board under a tent in a shopping mall. Even that man--Bishop Bullwinkle--may find his short-cutted, stolen-slash-sampled creation an unexpected southern-soul hit single, along with all the scrutiny and notoriety that comes with fame.
--Daddy B. Nice
P.S. Here are some helpful links for artists seeking more information on copyrights and song registration.
U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE
February 1, 2016: 2015 Southern Soul Music Award Winner
Best Mid-Tempo Song: "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" by Bishop Bullwinkle Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on YouTube.
Best Debut: "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" by Bishop Bullwinkle Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on YouTube.
Best Songwriter: Bigg Robb & Bishop Bullwinkle: "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on YouTube.
See Daddy B. Nice’s Best of 2015.
Honorary "B" Side
"Some Preachers Ain't Shit"
Some Preachers Ain't Shit