Jukebox Jam! (JMANLP 045)

JamCLASS ACTION SUIT NETS BLACK R&B COMPOSERS SOLE CREDIT, UNPAID ROYALTIES                   Tunesmiths Now Face Massive Bills, Jail Time For Unpaid Taxes

(New York) — After over half a century of injustice, a group of African-American songwriters forced to share composing credits with unscrupulous white label executives, management and performers will finally see themselves given rightful sole credit and unpaid royalties for work they did in the 1950s and 60s. Simultaneously, the surviving musicians risk massive bills and/or imprisonment for unpaid taxes.

With little savings, most of the songwriters who brought the suit, now in their 70s and 80s, will likely face incarceration for historical tax evasion as a result of their windfall. Families of those composers who have passed away destitute and unrecognised in the intervening years, are set to have their houses repossessed and assets stripped in order to cover not just debt but punitive administration costs involved in its recovery.

One Internal Revenue Service source claimed that the interest on the avoided tax alone will “dwarf” the royalty payments. “This is a great day for the IRS,” he said.

According to DJ and music historian Liam Large, artists like Otis Blackwell were “the victim[s] of a system which more often than not undercut, undermined and plain shafted the creative minds which drove and innovated the music which was by [the 1950s] making serious dollars for the big companies.”

An elated Jann Wenner said the judgement “righted a decades-old wrong” and called it “a victory over the forces of cultural oppression which have dominated not only the music industry but all of American life”.

At the same time, the Rolling Stone editor/publisher blasted what he called “these shameless tax cheats and scofflaws who think there’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us.”

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Editor’s Note: From “The Hokey Cokey” to “The Hustle” everyone and his parents knows that dancing is a simulacrum of (and often proceeds on to) the sex act. My new favourite such single entendre song is “Get Your Enjoys” found on the just-got-by-me comp Jukebox Jam!, an anthology of blues and rhythm 45s released by Jazzman. Waiting now ever-hopeful for Jukebox Jam, Too! as well as, mayhap, a Fryers double Lp.

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Published in: on August 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. two words sum up the shark-infested waters of the music business: morris levy…


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