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Kenny Rogers Gambles On Suing Record Label

Scroll down to the bottom of this column to read a special comment by Marty Martel: Singer Kenny Rogers filed a federal lawsuit against Capitol Records on Monday in Nashville, claiming the label deliberately misled Rogers and other artists about payments owed to them for online music sales. The singer, known for hit songs such as “The Gambler” and “Lady,” is alleging breach of contract for underpayments on digital song royalties stretching back more than 30 years.

Rogers’ suit is the latest in a growing number of lawsuits brought by artists against their record labels over how they have shared royalties in sales of music online. Rapper Eminem and his producers, F.B.T. Productions, prevailed in a similar suit in California last year. Rocker Peter Frampton and an heir to the drummer for The Knack, the rock band behind the 1979 hit “My Sharona,” filed nearly identical suits in December. Richard Busch, the Nashville-based attorney who has brought each of the lawsuits, said that more cases could be forthcoming. “We are being regularly contacted by artists who are raising this issue with us, and we are evaluating their contracts on a case-by-case basis,” said Busch, a partner with downtown law firm King & Ballow. A Capitol Records spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Each of the lawsuits claims that record labels have deliberately underpaid artists royalties for music sold online by defining the transaction as a “sale” of music rather than a “license.” The distinction is important because music licensed for distribution typically includes a 50/50 split with the artist. Music “sold” typically earns the artist a much smaller percentage. In the Eminem case, courts in California determined that sales of music online constituted “licenses” rather than sales. That case returns to a Los Angeles courtroom in April to determine the total amount that Universal Music Group owes the rap artist and his producers.In Rogers’ case, the suit does not specify a dollar amount in unpaid digital royalties to be sought. In addition to those unspecified royalties, Rogers’ suit also alleges he was underpaid in excess of $400,000 by Capitol Records due to a variety of accounting errors.That accounting dispute has been ongoing since 2007, according to the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. The case is scheduled in court on May 21.

Reach Anita Wadhwani at awadhwani@tennessean.com or 615-259-8092.

Read the Special Comment below by Marty Martel on the above article

Record labels have been ripping off artists for years. When Johnny Paycheck passed away, he was in the process of getting an audit from several record companies he had signed with, but he never completed the project because of his health. There are other older artists who are either afraid to confront major labels, or they just don’t care because they think that there is no way they can win. This has been going on for years and years, so I say to Kenny Rogers, get all that is owed to you, and the only way to find out how the record labels get away with this, is to get a great entertainment attorney, who knows the music industry, and call for an audit of the labels records. I wonder if Haggard, Jones, Price, Loretta, and others realize that there may be money that is owed to them. Several years ago before we lost the great talent agent, Billy Deaton, Billy had found a way to get money owed to artists from record labels. I am not sure of how he done this, but he was getting checks to several artists for money due to these artists.

  Article sent in for publication by Marty Martel to Wildhorse Entertainment

IDSS Artist Chari Miles Sees An Eagle Fly

Michigan’s ‘Country Sweetheart’ is one of our regulars at the National Old Time Classic and Traditional Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa. IDSS artist “Chari Miles” has been scooping up fan after fan on her country music road. She’s an American, and she’s proud of that. She’s not afraid to put her music where her heart is. She’s very strong in her stand on America, and she knows that something is wrong in America today, and she is going to make some statements about how she feels. The first song on this really nice traditional country music CD  “I Saw An Eagle Fly Today” is exactly what Chari is thinking. She was thinking it when she wrote it. She was thinking of it when she learned it for performances. She was thinking of it when she recorded it, and she thinks it still. This CD is just packed with some really great originals, all done in a super nice country-style. You know, that traditional style that is so meaningful as a music genre in America, and around the world. She also recorded some terrific originals by songwriting friend Bob Delleposta. All in all, that’s what this whole CD is all about. Making statements. Original statements. Statements about America, patriotism, love, nature, dreams, hurts, smiles, family, and overall totally….’love.’ See what I mean, it’s ‘real American’ country. Chari doesn’t tell us who the musicians are, but they are all super great, and play her music just as it should be played. Chari is also not afraid to espouse her Christianity. She even quotes Isaiah 43:1 “Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” And guess what, this same lovely Michigan country singer is donating $5 for every one of her CDs sold to the benefit of the rehabilitation of our veterans at the VA facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Yep, this is definitely “Michigan’s Country Sweetheart.” Do you suppose she goes down to the Vet’s hospital and sings for our guys there? I’ll bet she does. This overall CD is a super easy one to listen to, and I’m going to follow what her songwriting friend says in “Dream Big,” which is a really neat song, and certainly well-played by the musicians. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Chari even has a pilot’s license. Watch for a neat plane on the cover of this great CD. She did this one for with Keith Bradford of KMA Records Nashville, so we shall certainly be looking forward to a great follow-up to this one at KMA Records. We’ll be looking to see Chari in person at the 37th National Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa, Aug. 27-Sept. 2. More information about the festival and Chari at www.ntcma.net
 
Charie Miles, 5770 Maple Hill Road, Howard City, MI 49329
 
THIS RECORD REVIEW WAS DONE  BY BOB EVERHART
 
Chari Miles songs available for free download on Wildhorse Entertainment courtesy of KMA Records and Chari Miles

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