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"American Idol" Threatens Legal Action Against Josiah Leming

October 30, 2008 3:51 PM ET

Just two days after he released his album-teasing EP, Josiah Leming is already facing record company drama as the entertainment company behind American Idol threatened to pursue legal action if he releases his debut album through Reprise Records. Even though Leming was booted from the show before the show narrowed its cast to 24 contestants, AI's 19 Entertainment claims that each singer signed into a contract that gave 19 exclusive rights of refusal for management, merchandising and recording, with Sony/BMG the preferred label of choice. "Josiah was the only Idol contestant ever to get a record deal who didn't make the top 24, and one of only four contestants to get a deal this year," a Leming representative said. "He has personal reasons for getting his music out, threat or not." The personal reasons include wanting to rush-release his debut album so he can share the achievement with his mother, who is dying of cancer. But American Idol is seeking to prevent that from happening, sending a letter to the Leming camp that stated "threatening legal action if he puts out his record in January as planned." Leming inked a record deal with Warner Bros. and Reprise all the way back in May, which makes American Idol's timing a bit curious, but here's guessing the producers never really got over that "glorified karaoke" comment he made.

Related Stories:
Josiah Leming Calls Idol "Glorified Karaoke," Preps Debut Album
American Idol Cuts Top Fifty Down to Twenty-Four Semifinalists
Complete American Idol Coverage at Rock Daily

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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.”

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