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Dixie Chicks Named in Copyright Infringement Case

Sony sued over Dixie Chicks song

December 21, 2000 12:00 AM ET

Music Publisher Albert E. Brumley & Sons, Inc. has filed a suit against Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. regarding the Dixie Chicks' use of the song "I'll Fly Away" on their track "Sin Wagon," from their latest album Fly. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri at Joplin, claims that Sony had not received clearance to use the song and seeks damages of a minimum of $500,000.

Brumley & Sons publish the compositions of gospel music composer Albert E. Brumley, who is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The song "I'll Fly Away" was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in 1959 and was composed by Brumley in 1932. The company maintains that Brumley has owned the copyright to the song at all times.

Having been recorded over 500 times, "I'll Fly Away" is one of the most popular gospel songs in history. Among those who have released a version of it are Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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