Mail from Niela (Halleck) Miller, ex-girlfriend of Billy Roberts

I would like to set the record straight about Hey Joe…the Untold Story.
In the late fifties, Billy Roberts was my boyfriend for awhile. I was a songwriter and had written a song called
“Baby Please Don’t Go To Town”. It is copyrighted. He stole it from me, kept the melody and put different words to it. thereby turning it into Hey Joe. My music publisher at the time advised me against suing Billy because Dino Valente’s name appeared on the recording and it would have been a long and expensive process.
Please let Billy know that whenever he wants to make amends, I would welcome it.

On January 4, 2004 Niela Miller wrote Jan Marius:

Thought the site readers would be interested in the original words before Billy Roberts changed them. The famous chord progression was mine ie F C G D A. The original song had a bridge: A C D G. A C D G. then back to the original chord progression. Even the question answer format was mine.

Baby, please don’t go to town

Baby, what you gonna do in town?
I said, Baby, what you gonna do in town?
I’m gonna sit at the bar with my feet tucked in
Drinkin’ all the beer and whiskey and gin
And lookin’ at the young men always hangin’ round.
Lookin’ at the young men always hangin’ round.

Baby, what you gonna do in town?
I said, Baby, what you gonna do in town?
I’m gonna talk to those young men very soon
All tonight till tomorrow noon
And tell ’em how my man he really puts me down.
Tell ’em how my man he really puts me down.

Baby, please don’t go to town
I said, Baby please don’t go to town
Cause when you’re flirtin’and full of gin
One of those boys is gonna do you in
And your man, he won’t be around.
Your own man, he won’t be around.

Copyright 1964 by Niela Halleck (now Miller)
WPVC Music Co.
190 Waverly Place
NYC

Niela Miller states:

Billy was my boyfriend in 1956 which is when he learned the song, so your instinct about it sounding like an older type of song was correct, except that that progression hadn’t been used in pop music. The song (Baby, Please Don’t Go to Town) was written circa 54-55 but I didn’t copyright it(along with a bunch of others) till the sixties under the name Niela Miller Horn (with WPVC Music Co.) ie Miller is my maiden name and the name I have now. Halleck was my name at the time I wrote the song. Horn was my second husband and my name at the time I copyrighted the song in 64.

E-mail to Jan Marius
(January 5, 2004)

About Niela Miller

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One Response to Mail from Niela (Halleck) Miller, ex-girlfriend of Billy Roberts

  1. Pingback: November Competition - "Permission Granted" - Page 5 - MP3Unsigned Forum

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