Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dear Abbé

Professional musicologists offer answers and advice. Free.


The photograph is of Patty Smith Hill (1868–1946), principal of the Louisville Experimental Kindergarten School and lyricist of “Happy Birthday To You.” Here, too, are her older sister Mildred J. Hill (1859–1916), who wrote the music, and one of the critical bits of evidence in the “Happy Birthday To You” saga: “Good Morning and Birthday Song” as published with only melody and text, by “special permission through courtesy of The Clayton F. Summy Co.” (now subsumed by Warner / Chappell).

Patty Smith Hill
in 1905

Mildred J. Hill

  • Read the court opinion (good stuff, surprisingly) issued 22 September 2015 by Chief United States District Judge George H. King HERE.
  • The Guardian coverage, 28 July 2015 HERE.
  • Time Magazine coverage, 29 July 2015 HERE.
  • Los Angeles Times coverage, 22 September 2015 HERE.
And, remember:


  1. Michael Beckerman will talk about Mildred J. Hill and her work in Louisville at the upcoming Louisville AMS meeting: Friday noontime, 13 Nov.!

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