2005-11-04 22:54:33 UTC
response to the email I sent him yesterday.
Roger, you will note that he refers specifically to "unreleased" songs,
which would be consistent with the earlier recording date of Mojo by
Thanks to Doug, I think we have a pretty definitive answer to this one.
I did extend an invitation to join the group.
Thanks for your interest.
These are the facts: I worked with the author of Got My Mo Jo Working
(Preston Foster) for approximately a year after he first came to see me
at my office, selling his songs. He came with a guitar and tape
recorder, and sang the songs himself. I realized he had a way with
lyrics, and felt that he might create something really worthwhile. One
day he walked in with Mo Jo. I was planning a second session with Ånn
Cole, and the song seemed perfect for her. She loved it and learned it
in an hour. We recorded the song a few days later, along with "In the
Chapel" and two others. I decided to release "In the Chapel" first,
feeling that both songs had a good chance for success. "In The Chapel"
did very well, reaching near the top of the R&B charts. By this time
Ann was touring with many important artists, having been voted "The
most promising Female Vocalist of the Year" by Cash Box magazine. She
was booked for a tour throughout the South as the opening act for Muddy
Waters. She performed with his band backing her up. I happened to see
the show at a club in Hollywood, Florida while on a vacation in Miami
Beach and heard her singing Mo Jo in the show. I had asked her not to
perform any unreleased songs on stage, to avoid just this problem. I
had had a similar incident with a group called the Rivileers who sang
the songs they had recorded at a house party before they were released,
and lo and behold, a version of one of their songs was released before
the Rivileers version, and became a hit.
Of course, Ann Cole ignored me and was singing Mo Jo all over the South
with Muddy's band. He went back to Chicago after the tour and told
Leonard Chess of Çhess Records he had written a new song that he
wanted to record. It was recorded and released the same week as the Ann
Cole version. My Baltimore distributor who was also Chess' distributor
called to tell me he had received samples of both recordings on the
same day. Fortunately, Ann Cole's record did better on the charts and
in sales than Muddy's record at that time. This information I received
directly from Leonard Chess when I called him to tell him he had
recorded a song published by my company and that he owed us royalties
for the sales of Muddy's recording. He signed a mechanical license
agreeing to pay us royalties and I thought the problem was solved. Over
the years we have had legal action concerning the song, but today, that
is over, and the song is now acknowledged to be Preston Foster's.