Composer Collecting When Stadiums Scream 'Charge'

Originally published on April 23, 2011 9:58 am
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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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There's a musical sting you can hear at most major sporting events that's almost as familiar as, Beer here. Hey, beer here.

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Charge. Bobby Kent of Pompano Beach, Florida, says he wrote those six notes and the call to action. But he says the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has never charged anybody for using it or collected his royalties.

Mr. Kent's asking every major league football, basketball, baseball, and hockey team, NASCAR and the NCAA to pay him $3,000 each. So far, only the Los Angeles Lakers have complied. Their players can afford to use hundred-dollar bills for shoelaces.

Bobby Kent copyrighted the song in 1980, but there are rival claims. The University of Southern California marching band insists that their drum major, Tommy Walker, created the tune for the USC Trojans in the 1950s. Others say the notes were borrowed from a military bugle call.

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But don't say charge. Could cost you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.