User talk:Pstoller

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Hello, Pstoller, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{helpme}} before the question. Again, welcome! Hyacinth (talk) 07:55, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Lieber/Leiber at PDQ Bach[edit]

You have now twice changed the spelling of "Lieber" to "Leiber" in the article for the album The Ill-Conceived P. D. Q. Bach Anthology. After your first change, I changed it back with the edit summary "restore PDQ's spelling for Leiber & Stoller: Lieber & Stoller", referring to this source. If you have a more authoritative source for your spelling of the the track on that album, please insert it into the article. If not, I suggest you revert your most recent edit. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 10:42, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Michael, I'm VP of Leiber/Stoller Productions and son of Jerry Leiber's partner, Mike Stoller. As such, I knew Jerry Leiber personally for 51 years, from my birth to his death. The misspelling of his name as "Lieber" is somewhat common on record labels, in sleeve notes, and so on, but I can assure you that "Leiber" is the correct spelling, a fact widely acknowledged. You can check the Wiki for Leiber & Stoller to confirm, just as you can check the official website at Both of these sources are more reliable than the good Professor Schickele's site. I don't see any reason that the correction of Jerry's name requires a citation. I have corrected it on every Wikipedia page on which he is mentioned, a practice I will continue. If absolutely necessary, I will contact the Professor and ask him to change it on his site. In the meantime, I suggest you let my edit stand citation-free. Pstoller (talk) 11:03, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I – and I strongly suspect Peter Schickele, too – know how Jerry Leiber's name is properly spelled. However, Schickele – or rather PDQ Bach – is given to naming his works in a comedic sightly-off fashion which, I had hoped, you might have noticed when looking at some of the other titles of that album and their Wikipedia links. Schickele was quite familiar with German, so I suspect that might have been the inspiration for using "Lieber" instead of the proper spelling. Note that the underlying Wikipedia link always linked to the properly spelled article. Until we have other evidence, I can't accept that the spelling used on the website is a mistake anymore than the 1712 Overture or similar titles are. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:12, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I am very familiar with Shickele's work, of which I am a fan. Misspelling the names of songwriters and composers is not part of his "schtickele." Unless you have a citation proving that Schickele's misspelling was deliberate—as opposed to the mere personal suspicion you have offered—the correct spelling stands. Pstoller (talk) 18:45, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
So you don't consider the titles 1712 Overture, Oedipus Tex, The Musical Sacrifice, Fuga Meshuga, The Short-Tempered Clavier, Minuet Militaire, The Seasonings, "By the leeks of Babylon", the "Unbegun" Symphony, Schleptet in E-flat major, Eine kleine Nichtmusik, "O Little Town of Hackensack", Royal Firewater Musick, The Preachers of Crimetheus, … to be humourous misspellings? — Be that as it may, we have the author's web site as a source for the "Lieber" spelling as used on this album and no source that it ought to be spelled "Leiber" on this album. Asking for a source which proves that Schickele's misspelling was deliberate is, given his tendency to do just that, is disingenious and wikilawyering. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:38, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
In a word, no. They are not "humorous misspellings," they are parody compositions written roughly (or not so roughly) in the style of the originals, with parodic (not "misspelled") titles to match. That's titles, not author's names: Schickele does not spell Mozart as "Muzzart," Schubert as "Shoebert," etc. Even when inventing his alter ego, he did not alter the spelling of "Bach" to create "P.D.Q. Bitch." In the case of '"Love Me," while the performance is arguably humorous, it is not parodic: the music and lyrics are performed as written by Leiber (not "Lieber") and Stoller. Had Schickele called it "Lieb Me," you might have something. But, he didn't, and you don't. What you have is nothing more than a common typographical error. It is asking for a source for the correct spelling in a misspelled songwriting credit that is disingenuous. Unless and until you have a definitive, direct, citable statement that this particular misspelling is intentional, any misspelling of Jerry Leiber's name will be immediately corrected. And that is all I have to say on this matter. Pstoller (talk) 19:07, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Postscript: I received a very nice email from the "webmeister" at that reads in part:

"I do apologize for the error on the website, for indeed an error it was, not some joke that's too subtle for me to fathom. … My guess (just a guess) is that it was spelled incorrectly on the original cheap Karaoke recording they used as the background accompaniment and Telarc copied it from there. I'll make the correction as soon as possible (most likely by the end of the week) and I thank you for pointing it out to me."

I hope this puts to rest any notion of comedic intent on Professor Schickele's part in the misspelling of Jerry Leiber's name; of the "authoritative" value of spelling errors in citation sources in general; and of wisdom in implementing editorial policy on the basis of what you "suspect." Pstoller (talk) 04:50, 28 February 2013 (UTC)


Sorry, if you look at the history of the article you'll see that I restored my text in a hurry, not realising that you had already added references. I've undone it again. Unfortunately the notifications facility told me only that you had undone my edit, not that you had made other edits to the article (perhaps it would have been a good idea to do both at the same time). Incidentally, I assume you are familiar with wikipedia guidelines on conflict of interest.Deb (talk) 09:35, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

No problem about the edit history; you're right that I should have posted the quote/citation right away. As for the conflict guidelines, yes, I'm aware of them. My interest in the context of Wikipedia is in historical accuracy rather than editorial slant. Pstoller (talk) 21:05, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
I could tell that. I just don't want you to get into any unintentional scrapes :-) It was interesting to find out the facts behind the song anyway. It had just come up in a discussion and I came to the article expecting to find the answer and was surprised that there was no indication; but obviously my research on a topic like that is never going to come up with the in-depth sources that are probably familiar to you.Deb (talk) 17:50, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, it was discussed on the "Jackson" talk page back in 2008 with another user citing a similar Wheeler quote, and I added confirmation in 2011. I probably should have put it in the article at that time. My only excuses are 1) the other citation is on a page that generates a malware warning; 2) my citation hadn't been published at the time; and 3) my discussions with Billy Edd and Jerry constitute "original research" and thus don't belong in a Wikipedia article. But, I probably could have found another published source; I was just too lazy! So, thank you for prompting me to handle it properly, if belatedly. Pstoller (talk) 20:14, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Shucks, I should have noticed that discussion. And there was me looking everywhere else on the web but the Talk page! Deb (talk) 20:33, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

FAC comment[edit]

Hi. If it's no bother, would you like to vote or comment at my FAC for Confusion (album)? It's a relatively short article. Dan56 (talk) 22:25, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Disparaging comments[edit]

Thanks for your recent remarks at the Elvis talk page. To clarify, I think that you should be a little more careful about throwing around comments to the affect of: "he made an obvious mistake and is therefore completely unreliable in terms of all content regarding Elvis". For example, in the Beatles Anthology, both Paul and George state that they got the name "the Beatles" from the movie, The Wild One, which they could not have seen at that point, the film having been banned in the UK at the time. Also, Harrison claimed he didn't remember the second Shea Stadium performance, so even those who were there sometimes mix-up facts, right? FWIW, I'll be sure to double-check my sources should I decide to alter any content there, but please don't jump right to "complete disgrace alert" after an error or two. I'll bet there are at least 3-5 errors in Peter Guralnick's books on "the King"; I havn't found any Beatles sources that are completely free of error. Also, if I made any errors they were at the article's talk page and not in the article's main space, right? GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:50, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

I have already resolved to be more courteous. As for making an obvious mistake: well, you did—more than one. We've all made our share of mistakes, so this is hardly a sin. Does it make you completely unreliable on the subject? Of course not. However, it does cast your reliability in some doubt, particularly regarding the precise phase of Presley's career under discussion. More to the point, you used those errors as foundations for your arguments; you repeated the same arguments (and some of the underlying mistakes) even after those errors had been exposed; and your attitude about having made such errors has been more defensive than contrite. To wit, when I wrote:
FWIW, according to this very article and sourced from the very reliable Guralnick, it was "That's All Right," not "Blue Moon of Kentucky," that first caught Phillips' ear.
you responded:
I stand corrected. "BMOFK" was the b-side to "TAR", which was the first song that caught Phillips' ear. Nevertheless, I don't see the need to get personally insulting, User:Pstoller.
Surely you know that a correction is not a personal insult, nor is a criticism.
I'm not trying to get personal, nor to play "gotcha!" on facts for the sake of keeping score. We are both trying to do the same thing: protect the integrity of one Wikipedia article in particular, and so of Wikipedia in general. We simply have different ideas of how best to do that. And while I readily concede that I am not the world's greatest scholar of Elvis, rock & roll, or the 1950s, I nevertheless am a scholar of all those things. I have read a great deal of the work of other scholars on those subjects, I have directly interviewed some key eyewitnesses (who, I agree, are not always completely accurate in their recollections), and I am occasionally consulted by others for my limited expertise as part of my work. It doesn't mean I'm always right. It does, however, mean that when you and I have a difference of opinion in this area, you should at least consider whether my opinion might be better informed.
As for only making errors on the talk page, I submit that regarding a pointed reference to African-American sources as simple redundancy and bias, and deleting it based on that assumption without prior discussion, is an error on the main page. (Likewise, assuming that "the King of Rock & Roll" and "the King" are merely redundant honorifics and so deleting the latter.)
It is a laudable goal to protect Wikipedia pages from prejudice. However, there is a world of difference between biased reporting and the reporting of bias. I am intent upon doing the latter, because to do otherwise would be to commit the former. In that intent, I will not waver. Pstoller (talk) 00:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • FWIW, the only thing I was technically wrong about was that "TAM" was the a-side that caught Phillips' ear, not "BMOK", the b-side recorded the following session. Also, FTR Wikipedia isn't a reliable source, so your asking me to pre-read the article to fact-check is improper, but anyway; the other things are/were more misunderstandings between us, but I do think I've clearly proven that white writers were slightly more represented in Elvis' music during 1954-1956 than black ones and I still haven't seen any verifiable retort to that assertion: Don't bother; we both know it was about 50/50 with a slight edge to "white" songs. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:21, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm painfully aware that WP isn't a reliable source; something we all work to change. However, it was the source most immediately to hand, requiring virtually no effort to check. My point was that you didn't even do that to fact-check that statement; a statement you then used to underpin a "white-over-black" argument. You were also technically wrong that the Sun material wasn't issued until 1976; technically wrong to assess Presley's output by LPs while excluding his singles (Presley released 19 US singles in the '50s that were not issued on LP); and technically wrong to base any argument about the total ratio of white-to-black songwriters on those errors. None of the initial errors would matter much if not for the fact that you based—and continue to base—arguments about Presley's influences on proven bad data.
Those arguments are moot, anyway, since the point was never about the ratio of black-to-white writers, black-to-white first performers, or R&B-to-C&W songs. Rather, it was about the impact of a white artist incorporating black influences to a significant degree at a time when black and white children couldn't attend the same school, when musical events such as dances and concerts were segregated by race; and, of course, far, far worse. That Presley was a controversial figure in the midst of this was anything but coincidental—and it was not equally due to his European-American influences, however many of them there were. Pstoller (talk) 02:16, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

What's this?[edit]

I don't take your meaning for your edit summary ("Vandalism") for this edit. Calling the King Sisters a girl group ("A girl group is a popular music act featuring several young female singers who generally harmonise together") may or may not be correct, but it's not vandalism. We want to be conservative in using that term, please. Herostratus (talk) 05:02, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

This particular user (under several IP addresses) is going around categorizing every male vocal ensemble "American boy band" and every female vocal ensemble "American girl group", regardless of whether those groups fit within the accepted Wikipedia definitions of those categories. The user has been reversed on those edits, but continues the practice despite having his/her previous IP addresses banned. That—not simply calling the King Sisters a "girl group"—constitutes vandalism. Pstoller (talk) 05:09, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Oh, OK, that's different. Good work, and thank you. Was not aware of the pattern. Thanks for correcting that. Herostratus (talk) 03:46, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
No problem. As I didn't say anything about it in my edit summary, I don't see how you could have known. Should it happen again, I'll try to come up with a brief phrase that indicates the pattern. After all, you're right that you could consider the King Singers a "girl group" if you use the term more loosely than as a direct reference to the early '60s phenomenon typified by the Shirelles. So, you were right to question me! Pstoller (talk) 03:58, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

I (Who Have Nothing)[edit]

Hi. Thanks for your comments / question. When making my previous edit on the article, my first thought was that the editorializing about performances needed to be removed. Secondly, I also felt that the huge unsourced list of cover versions needed to be trimmed down. As it was largely unsourced, it was simply too big to justify.

The mistake I made in the earlier edit however, was not stating: "Other versions of "I (Who Have Nothing)" include recordings by......." I have rectified that now with a subsequent edit where I have said other versions "include recordings by......." to make clear that this is not an exhaustive list of every single recording and that the list only includes a selection of other versions.

The album track by Greek singer Marinella is not in my opinion particularly notable. However, because a citation had been given for it I did not remove it.

I removed versions by Hodges, James & Smith, Linda Jones, Little Milton, Midnight Blue, as none of these artists were linkified in the article.

The version by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is also not notable in my opinion. I accept that Gladys Knight is a well known famous artist, and I could have kept her version on the article. Perhaps, with hindsight I could have done. But ultimately, as I said, I felt that the list of unsourced versions needed to be significantly trimmed down. It was simply too large an unsourced list to justify.

By putting in the template "This section needs additional citations for verification" (December 2013) my intention was to look at the article again in about six months time, in the summer of 2014, to give a chance for citations to be provided. And if in five or six months time, no citations have been given, to remove further unsourced content from the article.

My own opinion is that the same proper standards of referencing on song articles should apply to all other articles, for example articles about countries, towns and cities. As far as possible, all content should be properly sourced so that everybody can have confidence in the Wikipedia project.

There are many different "fan site" internet pages where if people just want unsourced long random lists of different cover versions, they can go there. But ultimately this is an encyclopaedia, and the information has to be properly sourced so that people can have confidence that the information is correct, because they can check the source to verify it.

My intention in the earlier edit was not to suggest that Gladys Knight is not a notable artist, or that the information about her cover version is false. But I simply felt there was far too much unsourced content in the article which needed to be trimmed down.

I hope this explains some of my thinking on this. If I see further long unsourced lists of cover versions on different song articles, I may also put up a template requesting further citations and remove unsourced content after a further period of several months. Regards, Kind Tennis Fan (talk) 02:19, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

As you know, I agree about the editorializing. The fix for that is to remove the editorializing. I also agree that a huge, unsourced list of cover versions is unjustified. That is best addressed by flagging the content as needing citations, which you did. That said, 1) this list was by no means "huge," and 2) I've never seen a list of cover versions in any Wikipedia article in which the existence of all, or even most, versions was supported by citations. Rather, it's statements about the versions (such as accounts of how they were received) that demand citations—assuming that those accounts are relevant to a discussion of the song, rather than just the artists. Above all this, it makes no sense to me to add the template, "This section needs additional citations for verification," and then immediately remove the content that is (allegedly) in need of citations.
I am also at a loss as to the basis upon which you decree that an artist of Little Milton's stature is not "particularly notable." (A lack of linkification is not equivalent to a lack of notability.) Likewise, by implication, Dee Dee Warwick, Jordin Sparks, Mary Byrne, Kerry Ellis, Brian May, and Johnny Hallyday. And while Nikki Kerkhof, Haley Reinhart, and Candice Glover may not yet have risen to whatever standard of notability you or I might use, they represent (alongside Sparks and Byrne) a notable pattern of use for the song that is arguably relevant to the article.
Of course, the question of what constitutes a notable version is more important than that of who is a notable artist. For example, Wikipedia regards a single release as more notable than an album track, which is one reason why Gladys Knight's version might be more worthy of inclusion than Marinella's. That the Marinella version has a citation says nothing about either her notability or the notability of her recording, and to retain it on that basis alone over more notable alternatives is to have the wikitail wag the wikidog.
I am hardly opposed to improving the article in terms of both concision and citations. However, I do not believe that the mere excision of uncited passages necessarily qualifies as improvement. I realize that the Wikipedia mandate is to be bold, and on that count you have been successful. I may be similarly bold in restoring what I feel strongly is valid, relevant content; hence, this discussion. Pstoller (talk) 03:58, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

regarding royalties[edit]

I'm currently researching the popularity of various musics in 1954/1955, including Johnny Otis, and noted your deletion of materials in the Big Mama article. Here is something from Christian Science Monitor regarding "self identifying" that finally tipped me to discuss this with you. "It's like the cover phenomenon around the birth of rock 'n' roll — literally, a white artist could steal a song, cover it, and make money that the black artist who created the song or recorded the song initially did not get... because that's literal theft, that's literally taking money out of someone else's pocket.” This is, as you know, a widespread belief, which may in cases be true. I wonder if this couldn't be better addressed with accurate information about copyright law, who is entitled to royalties etc, rather than just deleting statements such as those made by Thornton. You may be aware of references that I would have to search for. And, you may not think this is a good idea. Any thoughts? Steve Pastor (talk) 22:58, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

Hey, Steve. In my opinion, this was absolutely a real phenomenon: White artists—who were generally on labels that were larger and/or had better distribution, and who had better access to mainstream media (network TV, powerful radio stations, etc)—would quickly cover popular R&B records and sell their versions to the predominantly White record-buying market, thereby usurping potential income and opportunities from the original Black artists. Now, the cover record was not exclusively a White-over-Black phenomenon, and in fact it was common in the pre-R&R era for multiple versions of the same song to appear on the market simultaneously and duke it out. However, the distinction between covers in a level playing field vs. White-over-Black covers in an anti-Black racist society is much like the distinction between mere prejudice and racism itself. For the same reasons that Black mistrust of and disaffection for White people is not "reverse racism," so Black covers of White records in mid-20th century America were not cultural appropriation or theft, whereas White covers of Black records were frequently both. Eventually, the practice stopped, not only for political reasons but also because the White marketplace developed a taste for the real thing, and so White covers stopped selling.
The reason I deleted the reference in the Thornton article is because Presley's record of "Hound Dog" was, for several reasons, not a "cover" of Thornton's record. Although "cover" is widely used to mean any new version of a previously recorded song, there's actually an important distinction between a "cover" and a "remake." A "cover" is simultaneous with the original, competing for market share; a "remake" is a later version, appearing after the original is no longer relevant to the charts. Thornton's "Hound Dog" was a hit in 1953; Presley's "Hound Dog" didn't appear until 1956. Thus, Presley could hardly be accused of cutting into Thornton's sales. Secondly, White-On-Black covers were generally conceived to be convincing, bait-and-switch substitutes for the real McCoy—at least, to a naïve audience. Classic examples were Pat Boone's covers of Fats Domino and Little Richard, and Georgia Gibbs' covers of LaVerne Baker and Etta James. But, Presley's "Hound Dog" was radically different from Thornton's: the tempo, arrangement, performance style, and even lyrics were completely different. In fact, as you probably know, Presley was not covering the Thornton record, but rather the version by Freddie Bell & The Bellboys. Nobody could ever have mistaken Presley's record for Thornton's, nor purchased the Presley version by mistake. So, as Thornton was not a writer or publisher of "Hound Dog," and Presley's record was not in direct competition with hers, she had no reasonable expectation to profit by Presley's record, nor cause to believe she had lost income because of it. (To clarify: royalties for a song are paid to the writer and publisher; royalties for a recording are paid to the record company and performer.)
I do think the cover record phenomenon is well worth discussing in terms of copyright, royalties, culture, and race. I'll have to dig into my library and/or the interwebs to find good references, which isn't something I have much time to do right now. But, the key point I'd make about my deletion is that I didn't do it because I disagreed with the basic point about White R&R cover records taking money from the pockets of Black artists; rather, I find the particular case of Thornton, Presley, and "Hound Dog" to be a poor example. It also muddies the more valid point that Thornton wasn't paid for Joplin's record of "Ball 'n' Chain," a song Thornton did write, and for which she should have received royalties. Pstoller (talk) 03:50, 15 December 2015 (UTC)