Composer: US band “ripped off” Prisoner theme

Last night Today Tonight featured a story on composer Alan Caswell who wrote the memorable Prisoner theme song “On the Inside.”

But Caswell says his song has been ripped off by US country band, Alabama with their song “Christmas in Dixie.” Their version went to #35 on music charts and is still a festive favourite in the US.

Caswell has a damn tight case, based on the chord progression and time-signature of the song. It’s like a hokey country version of the Wentworth Prison theme tune.

But according to Caswell he is trapped by the fact both artists are signed to the same record company: Sony.

Unlike the Down Under / Kookaburra sits in the Old Gum Tree case, Caswell has been unable to have his record company mount a legal case. He has been pursuing the issue since 2003.

He is believed to be seeking an independent legal case.

Sounds like a job for The Freak….

The original is still the better performance with its melody and vulnerability.

You can watch Lynne Hamilton performing on Top of the Pops here and on the set of Prisoner here.

9 Comments:

  1. Youtube Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman – Play these 3 themes at the same time and listen to the smooth melodies ooze together like mum’s anzac biscuit mix.

  2. what a blatant rip off the only difference it is a different song

    i must start another complete series run of prisoner i am so glad to have them all on dvd

  3. Just a piece of quirky trivia that also links Alan Caswell with Men At Work. Men At Work’s ‘Down Under’ enjoyed a resurgence on the Oz charts late in ’83 (#9) through its association with the America’s Cup win. Alan Caswell recorded a single called ‘The Australia’s Cup’ at the same time in celebration of the win (#17).

  4. Yeah this has to be the strongest case I’ve ever heard of, it’s the whole damn song, just changed the words and maybe threw in a few more instruments but otherwise a carbon copy.

  5. It wouldn’t be the record company that would mount the case, though – it would be the publishers of the song. If it’s Sony, then there’s a problem, but if Caswell is signed to another publishing company, then he should be able to launch a claim through them.

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