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Hendrix Estate Sued

Saxophonist claims he cowrote "Georgia Blues"

July 15, 2010 10:10 AM ET

Lonnie Youngblood — a saxophone player who recorded several songs with Jimi Hendrix in the late '60s — has filed suit against the Hendrix estate, MCA Records and director Martin Scorsese. Youngblood claims a song he cowrote with Hendrix, "Georgia Blues," was included on a 2003 compilation without his permission and did not credit him as co-author. Youngblood is seeking unspecified lost-income damages for the use of the song, which was featured in a compendium compilation to Scorsese's TV series Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues.

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In the lawsuit, Youngblood, who also toured with James Brown and Jackie Wilson in the '60s, claims to have released the song on the Internet and copyrighted it in 2002. He asserts that he refused a lawyer for Hendrix's estate's $3,000 offer to sell the track. "It's the principle," Youngblood, 68, told the AP. "I want my song back. They had no right to take my song."

Youngblood and Hendrix originally met in the mid-1960s and the two performed gigs on the New York City club circuit. When Hendrix' profile increased thanks to hits like "Hey Joe" and "Purple Haze," their paths diverged. But Youngblood says he ran into Hendrix in 1969 at a New York club and the guitarist asked Youngblood to go into the studio with him to help pay him back for performances before his success. "Jimi had moved on to another place by then, but it was his way of saying thank you," Youngblood told the AP. The two then cut "Georgia Blues," which Youngblood states makes clear reference to him. (One lyric, "I was born in Georgia 27 years ago" allegedly refers to Youngblood's birthplace and his age at the time.)

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In related news, the Jimi Hendrix estate has just released 11 bootleg concert recordings and studio instrumental compilations previously issued on Dagger Records — the first time these releases will be available as high-quality digital downloads. The releases include seven concerts, including Live at the Oakland Coliseum and Live at the Isle of Fehmarn, plus four albums worth of studio recordings, which include demos for songs on First Rays of the Rising Sun and Valleys of Neptune.

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