The Gist: Virginia Hughes on mitochondrial DNA, and Chris Molanphy on songwriting credit.

How to Settle Disputes Over Sound-Alike Songs

How to Settle Disputes Over Sound-Alike Songs

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Feb. 4 2015 10:50 PM

If It Looks Like Sam Smith, but Sounds Like Tom Petty, It’s Probably Tom Petty 

In the investigation of similarities between songs like “Won’t Back Down” and “Stay With Me," melody is the smoking gun. 

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Tom & Sam.

Photo Illustration by Slate. Photos by Mike Coppola/Getty for iHeartMedia and Frederick M. Brown/Getty.

Listen to Episode 188 of Slate’s The Gist:


Are headlines about “three-parent babies” far-fetched, or spot-on? Today on The Gist, BuzzFeed News science editor Virginia Hughes reminds us what we wish we remembered about mitochondrial DNA from ninth-grade biology.* Plus, music writer Chris Molanphy explains why Tom Petty received credit for Sam Smith’s top-10 hit “Stay With Me.” For the Spiel, lower-upper middle-lower-upper class warfare.


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*Correction, Feb. 9, 2015, 6:16 p.m.: This post originally misidentified Virginia Hughes as a BuzzFeed science editor. She is a BuzzFeed News science editor.

Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.