Sam Cooke Song & Obama Ad

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Apparently the folks over at ABKCO Music Inc.-proprietors of the 1960 Sam Cooke smash “Wonderful World” have seen the new Barack Obama ad criticizing John McCain to the catchy tune of the song made famous by National Lampoon’s Animal House–and they say they’re none too happy about it! …or maybe they just don’t want to incur the wrath of Limbaugh’s Legions.

Apparently the folks over at ABKCO Music Inc.-proprietors of the 1960 Sam Cooke smash “Wonderful World” have seen the new Barack Obama ad criticizing John McCain to the catchy tune of the song made famous by National Lampoon’s Animal House–and they say they’re none too happy about it! …or maybe they just don’t want to incur the wrath of Limbaugh’s Legions.

The Obama campaign released the ad, titled “Don’t Know Much,” this weekend as part of the run-up to this week’s Democratic National Convention in Denver. Evolving straight out of the hallowed tradition of American folk heroes like Weird Al Yankovich, the spot oh-so-cleverly replaces the original Cooke lyrics with political smack-downs like “I’m not up on the economy/don’t know much about industry” and “I can’t explain the price of gas/or what’s happened to the middle class.” Zing! The owners of the original ad, as one would guess, had a few things to say about the ad.

ABKCO Senior Vice President Iris W. Keite responded via press release that the ad “conveys a partisan political message that does not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or ABKCO management and its employees.” And you can bet that Keite intends to take action at such a cunning use of his company’s own material, concluding that “ABKCO does recognize that this application reflects a fair use parody and will offer no further comment on the matter.” Right back at ya, Obama!

American Songwriter will be keeping close tabs on this brewing political maelstrom as it develops and all of the other copyright issues that are popping up during this campaign (Jackson Browne, etc.).

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