Dispatches From the Cloud

Futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests that someday, people will be able to upload their consciousness to the Internet and live forever in the cloud, free from the restrictions of a physical body. But some of us are spending so much time connected to the Internet already, for work and for diversion, that uploading our consciousness is almost a distinction without a difference. And when you’re out here a lot, stuff happens. You see things fascinating, enlightening, disturbing, mind-boggling—and you run into people who are the same.

Last week at WNEW.com, I wrote a post about “Ebony and Ivory,” the Paul McCartney/Stevie Wonder hit from 1982. It received the following comment, which I am reposting verbatim.

do you have the power to contact mr. sir paul mccartney for me.
message the us. copyright office told me over the phone that they have me in the copyright office computer as the song lyrics owner of the song lyrics of the ebony and ivory song i need to work out a deal with you paul buy my movie copyrights and pay me some of my royaltys from my song lyrics of the ebony and ivory song. i,m asking for $35.million dollars.i have the power to take away your pass port for good think about it.

Shorter message to Paul: Shit’s about to get real.

Here’s more Internet serendipity: One of the great names of Chicago soul is impresario Carl Davis, famed for discovering Gene Chandler, and producing the Chi-Lites, Tyrone Davis, and Jackie Wilson’s legendary single “Higher and Higher.” In 1980, he collected contemporary work by some of his artists on an album called Chi Sound: Soul From the Windy City, which features Chandler and the then-current editions of the Impressions and the Chi-Lites, among others. Many of us have been hosed over the years by purchasing an oldies compilation that turns out to be made up of “new stereo versions recorded by one or more of the original artists.” So I wouldn’t expect to like a new version of the Chi-Lites’ “Have You Seen Her,” particularly because the 1971 original is one of my all-time favorites. But the lead singer of the Chi-Lites during their glory days, Eugene Record, had rejoined the group by 1980, so the sound is right. And the decision that Carl Davis made to update the song for 1980 was a brilliant one.

(Tip of the baseball cap for the Chi-Lites update to my Internet pal bean, who is no weirder than he should be. Certainly no more or less than anybody else who reads this blog, which is maybe not such a compliment after all.)

2 responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I like it a lot, but it does remind me a lot of Ray, Goodman and Brown’s “Special Lady,” which I guess wouldn’t be a surprise for 1980.

  2. Wow, that Prince of Nigeria Jr. fellow sure is having a rough time of things. First his father dies and he elicits my help in getting his father’s money out of Nigeria by supplying my bank account to him and now it turns out he’s the guy who really wrote Ebony and Ivory and has been screwed out of the songwriting royalties by Paul McCartney?! Man that cat gets around!

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