WHOSE SONG IS IT ANYWAY?Songwriter Lou Gomez’s BIM SALA BIM surfaces in new Robert DeNiro Flick

   Film a Big Surprise; Rights & Royalties a Bigger Mystery

Songwriter  Lou Gomez
LOU GOMEZ

  

 

 

 

 By Sally Deering  

Photo fo Lou Gomez in Hudson County
HUDSON COUNTY The Band

The story starts with two brothers and a couple of friends from Bayonne who wrote and recorded a song called Bim Sala Bim back in the 1970s. They took the title from “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” when Carson played fortune teller Carnac the Magnificent. He and Ed McMahon would say “Bim Sala Bim” as a greeting to each other.

Lou Gomez wrote the lyrics and his brother Richie Gomez wrote the melody and Ralph Cohen wrote the arrangements to Bim Sala Bim when they were in the 70s band “Hudson County”. The band eventually broke up, but the song lives on. Fast forward to 2016, Gomez finds out from a friend that Bim Sala Bim is on the soundtrack to the new Robert DeNiro movie, HANDS OF STONE.

Disco-Funk “The group became known for its funk sound,” Gomez says, from his home in Sayreville.  “We were signed to RCA records by Warren Schatz and asked to produce some material for a compilation album and a single release. Our single was “Heaven’s Here on Earth” and we were told it would be released at the same time Vickie Sue Robinson was to release Turn the Beat Around. At that time we also recorded Bim Sala Bim. Forty years later I get a call from a friend that Bim Sala Bim is a big underground hit in Europe especially Greece and Italy. It was later found out that the song was bootlegged by some unknown group called Fantastic Soul Inventions who just slapped their name on our recording.”

The song was featured on You Tube, the TV show “Soul Train” and recently was heard in the new Robert DeNiro movie.

F“The irony is that we never made a dime from the song,” Gomez says. “The amazing thing is that after all this time the song lives on in discos around the world and now on the big screen.”

Gomez sings these days for the band Sounds of the Street 5 that tours all over South Jersey. He says he found out the other day that the Master which is owned by their former “Hudson County” piano player John Mulrennan was sold to Warren Schatz of RCA. But there’s still a little mystery as to who owns the rights to the song, not just the Master.

“What I learned now is if you own the Master, you have the rights to distribute it,” Gomez says. “Someone in Europe heard Bim Sala Bim and John gave them permission to use the song or sold them the rights. That’s how it got in the movie. Some producer from the movie called him and said, we heard this song, we want to use a clip for the movie.”

.When asked how the rights to the song got tangled up in red tape, Gomez says,

“It was the 70s, we were glad to be working.”

Ironically, the success of Bim Sala Bim broke up the band for good.

“It started to get a lot of air play across the country,” Gomez says. “Then we all started getting carried away about the money.”

Lou Gomez
Sounds of the Streets 5

For more info on Lou Gomez’s band, Sounds of the Street 5, go to:

www.soundsofthestreet5.com

 

 

 

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