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Composers

Someone on the mc forum who bought the soundtrack to Elmo's Green Thumb (which someone should put on the SSL discographies btw) said that the cd credits abby's I Love Words was by Chris Cerf. I looked on BMI and ASCAP, and sure enough, there appear to be two songs called "I Love Words," one by Geiss and one by Cerf, Boylan, and Renzi. Is there a better way to find composer/lyricist credits than through the web searches of BMI and ASCAP, because the web databases don't seem to provide sufficient information to identify some of these songs (see for example my comments Talk:Zunzun) - Kate 18:11, March 21, 2010 (UTC)

Like I said on the forum, one of them could very well be the song in episode 2951. - Oscarfan 18:12, March 21, 2010 (UTC)
how long has mike renzi been composing for sesame street? was he there in '92? maybe that could help confirm which one. i still think we should be more careful with sources for composer credits than just guessing a match to a title from one of the licensing websites. - Kate 18:24, March 21, 2010 (UTC)
As early as 92, since he's credited for "Banana Samba", which has aired as early as episode 3006. - Oscarfan 18:27, March 21, 2010 (UTC)

The legal registration websites are indeed the best sources, so it's not "guessing a match," but in cases where there are multiple titles for Sesame folks (which are rare) or other issues, then definitely that's different and they should be discussed, as we're doing now. There are several problems presented in this instance.

1) Is this song the same as the one in episode 2951? Both are sung by fairy characters, so it's possible. We'd need to ask Guillermo, who uploaded that episode, to check. They could also be different songs... or the Cerf one might not even be for Sesame Street. It happened before that a case of dual titles actually referred to a tune for Between the Lions (but in that case, the Lions website had select song pages with credits, so that resolved the issue handily).

2) Who composed it/them? We know Tony Geiss is essentially the creator of Abby, so it was more than a guess. But for Season 38, when it was composed, everyone in question (Geiss, Cerf, Renzi, and Boylan) was credited (which doesn't mean new material necessarily, but that their songs were used within that season).

3) Is that CD credit accurate? We're relying on the word of someone else on a forum. They're probably right, but sometimes folks do misread. Other times the CD liner notes are themselves rife with errors (there was one recently which misspelled half the cast names, etc.) and in a case like this, rushed out as a sort of bonus, it may have been in a hurry. Does it credit Cerf only? We don't know right now, what we need is for someone who actually *has* the CD to check what it says precisely.

So with all of that said, Geiss is the most *likely* candidate, but there are enough contradictions to keep it from being definitive. So I'll take out the composer box for now. Additional evidence (from the CD, if an opportunity ever arises to actually question Cerf or Geiss etc., asking a Sesame Workshop contact) can be parked here when/if it's found. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:16, March 21, 2010 (UTC)

i know Giess writes for Abby, but so does Renzi, and Geiss also wrote the Word Fairy Theme, so he's associated with that character as well. I know the licensing sites are correct, I just wish they'd give more info, like the year a song was copyrighted. The more I look, though, the more I find ambiguous titles for Sesame composers (b/c there are so many songs on overlapping topics). i am totally in agreement that credits on hard copy music releases can be wrong and are often woefully incomplete (to say nothing of legally purchased downloaded music...). The problem is with the industry standards, not with us, it just means we need to be extra careful about citation, when the system is so inadequate. - Kate 19:26, March 21, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, definitely keep pointing out any duplicate title questions as you find them, Kate. I just wanted to clarify, so as not to scare off other editors from adding composer boxes when there's no way the title can be confused (which is how it is in most cases). It's just issues like this one, when the title is either identical or a vague single word or concept which could apply to multiple skits, or reworked from a public domain folk song or whatever. So I'm not disagreeing with you by any means, and as with other things on the Wiki, if we have contradictory sources of more or less equal weight and can't be sure, better not to make a claim at all. Keep up the good work, Kate! -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:46, March 21, 2010 (UTC)
Solved! This one is by Cerf, Geiss wrote the word fairy one. Search the online listings of the U.S. Copyright Office http://www.copyright.gov/records/ and they list years with the songs. It doesn't appear complete or perfect either, but it's better than ASCAP and BMI. Geiss's "I Love Words" was copyrighted in 1992, and Cerf's was copyrighted in 1997. --Kate 13:08, April 12, 2010 (UTC)
i just added cerf & splotched animal music to the page. the copyright database doesn't list anyone else as lyricist, while the cd apparently lists boylan and bmi lists both boylan and renzi. so i just left it off for now, i'll see if i can look into what info gets to each of these databases and how. --Kate 13:24, April 12, 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean 2007? 'Cause otherwise the song would pre-date the character by almost 10 years. - Oscarfan 13:48, April 12, 2010 (UTC)
yes, i mean 2007. here's the link: http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?v1=1&ti=1,1&Search_Arg=I%20love%20words&Search_Code=TALL&CNT=25&PID=9V8gx2dIg1xsdoZjDHblO6rD9&SEQ=20100412095805&SID=1
and here it is in the list of cerf compositions: http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?ti=51,0&SC=Author&SA=Splotched%20Animal%20Music&PID=sINuyVI5fka12R5ERgBaGUJwD&SEQ=20100412095917&SID=2
and here's geiss's "I Love Words": http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?v1=2&ti=1,2&Search_Arg=i%20love%20words&Search_Code=TALL&CNT=25&PID=KrgQWFCWa5RE50H9c-mU6KYWt&SEQ=20100412100027&SID=3
--Kate 13:58, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

ok, so those links don't work, but you can do the search yourself http://www.copyright.gov/records/ and it's not a bad idea to to a bunch more searches for songs we don't know the years on. the other nice thing about this database is that you can see a list of songs by publisher. --Kate 14:34, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

The info there looks exactly like the info from FAQS.org. - Oscarfan 14:40, April 12, 2010 (UTC)
well, then they probably get some info from the copyright office--better to go to the source than someone who reposts it. and seriously, are you going to trust a website that also includes fly fishing and dutch oven cooking, and whose authors are unknown? much better to use the database of the actual government office where the composers registered their copyrights. --Kate 14:49, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

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