What is about the holidays that makes disgruntled musicians and their heirs so litigious? Only yesterday we reported that the children of S.F. jazzman Vince Guaraldi are suing Concord Music Group (which merged with Berkeley's Fantasy Records in 2004) for more than $2 million in unpaid royalty's from Guaraldi's work on the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas.
And now, the remaining members of R&B group the Dells -- whose biggest hit was 1965's "Oh What A Night" -- are suing their former label for more than $75,000. In a suit filed against Vee-Jay Partnership yesterday in San Francisco district court, the four members say the money should have ended up in state coffers, where they could claim it.
As Joe Eskenazi wrote on our news blog, the Snitch.
The Dells' complaint harks back to 1955, when they signed a written agreement with Vee-Jay Records, the precursor of Vee-Jay Limited Partnership. The group's suit claims Vee-Jay has, in the past four years, released Dells recordings without paying the performers their cut. The plaintiffs "are informed and believe that in excess of $75,000 in royalties accrued to their account and which despite the Unclaimed Property Law Vee-Jay has failed to pay to the State Controller..." reads the court document.