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Allman Brothers Sue Universal For $13 Million Over Royalties

August 12, 2008 9:20 AM ET

The Allman Brothers are suing Universal Music for over $10 million because of unpaid royalties. In the suit, the veteran band allege that UMG owes them royalties from both CD sales and digital downloads, as well as payments from when the band's songs were sold by Capricorn Records. The lawsuit says that when the Allmans entered into a contract with Polydor in 1985 (Polydor was later bought by Universal), the deal called for the band to get paid half the profits of the sale of records by third parties, which includes iTunes downloads and ringtone sales. The band also accuses UMG of refusing to renegotiate the royalties and having a "wanton disregard" of their original contract. The sum total of the lawsuit is roughly $13 million, which is about $1 for every second of "Mountain Jam."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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