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Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Violinist persuades judge with tune
Bananarama
Bananarama released the original song in 1984
A musician who serenaded a High Court judge in his attempt to win a song copyright battle has won his case.

Violinist Bobby Valentino, 48, told the court he was entitled to copyright in the Bluebells' chart-topping 1993 hit, Young At Heart.

Mr Valentino was the session violinist on the track when it was first recorded by girl band Bananarama in 1984, and was paid 75.

But he successfully claimed he was joint author and copyright owner because he wrote the violin solo for the song.


The court was the oddest venue I've ever played in

Bobby Valentino
He is now seeking 100,000 in royalties.

Mr Valentino, once a member of The Fabulous Poodles and The Hank Wangford Band and who also acts and models as a Clark Gable look-alike, played Deputy Judge Christopher Floyd QC parts of the song on violin and acoustic guitar from the witness box.

"The court was the oddest venue I've ever played in but I thoroughly enjoyed it - the acoustics weren't bad," said Mr Valentino.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the outcome. It is probably fair to say this is my biggest ever payday," he added.

The Bananarama original reached number eight in the UK charts in 1984.

But the version released by Scottish band the Bluebells topped the charts nine years later after being used in a Volkswagen TV advertisement.

Clark Gable
Clark Gable: A Bobby Valentino sideline
Mr Valentino will now share the copyright with former Bluebells member Robert Hodgens and former Bananarama member Siobhan Fahey, now Siobhan Stewart, who co-wrote the song.

Mr Hodgens had opposed the claim, saying he had written the violin part and all Mr Valentino had done was to perform it in the studio.

Now Mr Valentino's lawyers will be seeking details from recording companies of the sales of the 1993 version, to draw up a royalties claim.

Mr Valentino did not claim royalties from the 1984 hit.

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