Finding a song's copyright holder to get permission

My friends and I have recorded a CD which includes three cover
songs. One of the songs was simply remembered from a record my friend had
as a child. It is called ‘Bucaroo Lullabye’ and it was recorded by
Champ Butler on a cowboy record for kids. We don’t know who wrote the
song. I have searched the web for Champ Butler and found other songs,which he recorded, but not that one. Where else can I look? I have looked at and HFA. (Harry Fox Agency). The duplicating companies want written permission from the copyright holders of the songs.
> Please advise. THanks much. Susan

Is this it?

It came from the Copyright Office database at

I was under the impression it was not necessary to get a copyright holder’s permission to do a cover song, provided one gave proper credit.

It’s usually nice to ask for permission, but not necessary. Am I wrong?

Your question is not very specific, but in this case you can not legally release a cover of someone’ else’s song without a license to do so.

You may be thinking of parody songs, for which it is not necessary to ask permission (nor, I beleive, to even credit).

You don’t need permission. However you must still pay a fee.

Unca Cec’s take on it…

Since you are relying on a recollection of the exact title and artist (even firm recollection can be misleading) and want contact and royalty information for current rights owners (not original copyright holder), I’d suggest checking the databases at ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.

Firstly, the Library of Congress (cited earlier) may record the original copyright in its database, but it doesn’t track ownership rights as they change hands. That would be a bit much to expect of the LoC when the organizations charged with collecting the royalties can’t always keep track! Secondly, the existence of a copyrighted song with the expected title (or with a listed variant that matches recollection] in no way assures that this is the actual song in question [e.g. you’ll find many copyrights for lyrics to songs called “America the Beautiful”, yet IIRC the most famous version won’t be listed, because it is public domain].

Finally, LoC entries are meant to attribute authorship, not current legal rights or assignees. There is more than one “Joe Henry” in the ASCAP and BMI databases, and several variants – LoC entries don’t require unique names [as e.g. SAG does or did], you can probably think of several book authors with the same listed name. The databases above are meant to assist in locating rightsholders: they cross reference individual works with performers, albums, authors, etc. to help you determine which is the correct work, along with the current rightholder or assignee for each work, and current contact information (though they disclaim all responsibility for accuracy).

I’m not saying that you need permission, but this seems to be the information that you originally asked for. I’ll leave the law to the lawyers.