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I recently heard a friend say of someone who, like myself, is best known for interpreting material written by others, “Oh, she only does ‘covers.’” I had a sudden vision of a CD entitled Pavarotti Covers Puccini. Suffice it to say, Louis Armstrong did not do “covers” nor did Billy Holiday, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Edith Piaf or Aretha Franklin. While none of these people were primarily songwriters, their interpretations were a hell of a lot more original than a lot of the ‘original’ songs being written on the current scene. Any music worth its salt depends as much on great interpreters as on great composers. What is more, in the absence of interpreters, songs will never be sung by anyone other than their composers and I cannot imagine why anyone would wish that kind of planned obsolescence on their work.

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Dave Van Ronk
in his memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal StreetThe Mayor Of Macdougal Street: A Memoir

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