HE'S SO FINE

Latest update on 20/12/2016

Artist: Chiffons
Author: Ronnie Mack
Label: Laurie
Year: 1963

Produced by The Tokens.

Covers:

1963:

Angels

1969:

Edwin Hawkins Singers [as Oh Happy Day; see footnote]

1970:

Billy Preston [on his lp Encouraging Words as My Sweet Lord, featuring the Edwin Hawkins Singers; produced by author George Harrison; also on that record, Billy's version of Harrison's All Things Must Pass]

1970:

George Harrison [idem; world hit]

1971:

Johnny Mathis [as My Sweet Lord]

1971:

Andy Williams [idem]

1971:

Eddy Arnold

1971:

Edwin Starr

1971:

Jody Miller [imitating George Harrison's guitar]

1972:

Nina Simone

1972:

Richie Havens

1977:

Blowfish [parody]

1987:

Jonathan King [using the exact My Sweet Lord arrangement over He's So Fine, while submerging the subject in paedophily; "See you in court", the backing vocals sing]

2000:

David Young [all as My Sweet Lord]

George of course claimed to be unaware of the similarities between He's So Fine and My Sweet Lord when he got sued, but that's what they all say. Girl group material has always been a main influence on Beatles stuff in the first place. And what to think of He's So Fine producer Phil Spector? He should have known better, wouldn't he? George's manager Allen Klein, who's music publishing company administred the original, went to court with it. The judge wasn't at all distracted by any "doo lang doo lang doo lang" or "Hare Rama": Bright Tunes, the company handling He's So Fine's publication rights, grossed 40% of the My Sweet Lord revenues at the end of the trial. To celebrate it, The Chiffons were re-grouped and to smear some more salt in the wound, cut their version of My Sweet Lord!
It's a pity the heirs of Phillip Doddige weren't involved. He wrote gospel Oh Happy Day in 1755, covered successfully by the Edwin Hawkins Singers in '69, another possible source for our poor George Harrison.
Following this My Sweet Lord affaire, George lost another case, against Bill Martin & Phil Coulter, authors of Congratulations (Cliff Richard), for the proven similarity between their composition and George's It's Johnny's Birthday, another song from triple album All Things Must Pass.
George didn't lose his temper, nor his good humour, when in '72/'73 he (and Jesse Ed Davis) cut a Sue Me, Sue You Blues, and in '76 This Song, with central lyric line: "This song don't infringe anyone's copyright".

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