Girl Group Lawsuit Against Broadway Show!

Categories: Theater

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Baby It's You! tells the story of the '60s group the Shirelles and the woman who managed them.

But, baby, it's them who are getting sued.

I've just been told that lawyers have lodged a suit on behalf of Beverly Lee of the Shirelles, Dionne Warwick, Chuck Jackson, and others "for unauthorized use of names, images and biographical information."

Says the report:

"The complaint alleges that the play, opening at the Broadhurst Theater in Manhattan on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, makes use of the details within the individual history and styling of these nationally treasured, lifetime artists.

"We believe that the producers of 'Baby, It's You,' the Defendants, should not receive financial gain or other benefits from the use of these great artists' lives and success without having consent to do so," said [the lawyer] Mr. Warshavsky.

"It is disappointing that the producers of the play would simply piggy-back on the careers of these original artists without asking permission at all, let alone without sufficiently compensating the people without whom there would be no Broadway story, original music or iconic styling," Mr. Warshavsky said.

Ouch. Will you still love this show tomorrow?



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13 comments
Movielover
Movielover

Wow! That's some pointy wig on the left!

JensenLee
JensenLee

It’s unfortunate that “Baby It’s You” fails on a dramatic level. The original songs are wonderful, and the intrigues and ripoffs of the record business of the 1950s and 60s are fertile ground for examination; sad that the tradition continues today as the show is enmeshed in lawsuits by the artists. It was a time of songwriters producing marvelous work for singers to deliver. Many great groups were forgotten because their versions were too gritty for the pop charts.

One of their biggest hits of the Shirelles, “Dedicated to the One I Love,” originated with the great 50s R&B group, the “5” Royales and its guitarist Lowman Pauling. The music of the “5” Royales was covered Ray Charles, Mick Jagger and James Brown. On my Rockaeology blog at http://bit.ly/fxSYOl is the story of how Pauling’s pioneering use of intentional feedback and echo influenced guitarists like Eric Clapton.

Plucken
Plucken

It appears that a decision was made that it is easier to settle with an artist than to compensate them for their art. After all the artist might not notice or might just go away. Buy them a shiny car like the record companies used to do when they ripped off their money. Warner Bros is a corporation out to make a profit at anyone's expense - they just don't care who they steal from.

Rabbit
Rabbit

"Nationally treasured, lifetime artists"..."great artists"..."original artists"...

I have a feeling the plaintiffs were asked to describe themselves and submit to the lawyer.

Musto
Musto

I just got an email from the publicist for the show, whom I contacted for a response. She passed me on to someone at Warner Brother's.

So I forwarded him the request and here's what he said:

"Warner Bros. is not in receipt of such a lawsuit and has no additional comment at this time.

Paul McGuireSpokesman, WB"

Guest
Guest

Dionne must be represented in the show, along with the Shirelles and others.

Jonster
Jonster

What does the bitter Dionne Warwick have to do with The Shirelles? Anyway, it doesn't sound like they have much of a case.

Countesskat
Countesskat

Personally, Michael, I am sick to death of has-been performers who scream for money any time they are even inferenced. Yeah, they could probably use the money. But they make themselves look ridiculous by making it clear that, no matter what their "stature" in show business history, they want the cash. They should be glad anyone still remembers them!

Melinda9
Melinda9

But in this case they aren't just being 'inferenced' - the show is supposedly about the story of their lives.

Plucken
Plucken

The Shirelles is a legally trademarked name and Warner Bros should have taken the time to do the right thing for the artists who made this music and this story. It is a classic case of corporate greed in action - you do the work and we make the money. it is a horrible thing to do to these real life American Idols. That is why we have laws in this country.

Ginger
Ginger

I'm sure Dionne can put whatever money she makes toward her AIDS charity, lol.

Trophyguy
Trophyguy

Good for them. They were screwed enough back in the old days.

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