Subject: From the NY
Post - Blue Mitchell's Widow Receives Royalties
Here's some interesting news from the New York Post. It's just too
bad they consider Blue Mitchell to be "obscure".
BLUE NOTES TO C-NOTES: A JAZZ WIDOW'S WINDFALL
By TIM ARANGO
Nearly 24 years after dying of cancer, a talented but obscure jazz
musician named Richard "Blue" Mitchell has given his widow a gift.
Thelma Mitchell, who lives in a lower-middle-class neighborhood in the
Bronx and gives her age as "early 70s," now has a pleasant problem:
what to do with thousands of dollars in unexpected royalties from the
sudden popularity of a song her late husband wrote in the 1960s.
Last summer, when Marty Bandier, the head of EMI Music Publishing, was
flipping through royalty statements, one number had him scratching his
head: a check for $32,050.12 to a woman in the Bronx.
"I didn't recognize the song," Bandier said. "And I can usually hum
EMI had been doling out tiny checks to Mitchell over the years from
her husband's work, never more than a few hundred bucks a year. But
the song in question - "Fungii Mama," first released on Blue
Mitchell's 1964 album "The Thing To Do" - was sampled by the band
Basement Jaxx on their 2001 CD "Rooty."
Blue Mitchell was a trumpet player who recorded in the 1950s and '60s.
The publication All Music Guide writes that he "tends to be overlooked
today . . . despite his undeniable talent."
Bandier checked and found that the amount of the check was correct. He
called Thelma Mitchell in advance, so she wouldn't open her mail and
"have a heart attack."
But it didn't end there. Bandier's licensing department pitched the
Basement Jaxx song to an ad agency and it was picked up for the
current round of Intel ads.
So last week, Thelma Mitchell visited Bandier's offices and was
presented with another check, this time for $50,000. And, EMI people
say, she could get thousands more from Intel's usage of the song.
Mitchell had been living on Social Security checks and a small
savings. Mitchell, who recalled hanging out with Miles Davis and
Dizzy Gillespie when her husband was alive, said, "I plan to live just
like I always have - modestly."