Black Award-Successful Vocal Arranger’s Lawsuit Seeks to Win Credit score and Compensation For His Work On ‘Smokey Joe’s Café’ Musical

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Black Award-Successful Vocal Arranger’s Lawsuit Seeks to Win Credit score and Compensation For His Work On ‘Smokey Joe’s Café’ Musical



Near 30 years after creating widely-acclaimed vocal preparations of music for the 1995 multi-Tony Award-nominated, Grammy Award-winning Broadway musical revue “Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller,” theater veteran, Chapman Roberts, is the plaintiff in a David-and-Goliath lawsuit.

Roberts is charging that he has not been credited or compensated for subsequent stagings of the musical, which continues to wow audiences with the vocal preparations he skillfully crafted for the 1995 present.

The Broadway present options Roberts’ vocal preparations of Leiber and Stoller’s rock and roll and rhythm and blues hits — corresponding to “Jailhouse Rock,” and the Elvis Presley model of “Hound Canine;” the favored, bluesy model of “On Broadway;” the catchy novelty tunes “Love Potion #9,” “Poison Ivy,” “Yakety Yak” and “Charlie Brown;” and the 1961 soul traditional “Stand by Me,” that the songwriting duo crafted with singer, Ben E. King.

The Goliath defendants within the lawsuit are theater and leisure trade behemoths — together with the Rodgers and Hammerstein Group, Broadway HD, Amazon Digital Providers LLC, and SONY/ATV Music Publishing, in keeping with  press launch.

Within the New York State Supreme Courtroom, the lawsuit is Case # 2021-03250. And in United States District Courtroom-Southern District of New York, the case is underneath Index No.: 1:19-cv-09200-KPF-RWL.

Roberts, 80, is claiming copyright infringement, and in search of credit score and compensation for subsequent productions of Smokey Joe’s Café utilizing his well-liked, authentic 1995 Broadway vocal preparations of the Jerome Leiber and Michael Stoller classics.

Based on Roberts, the musical — utilizing his vocal preparations — has been replicated, restaged, and even stay streamed over 20 years, with out crediting or compensating him.

“I develop into extra conscious about the scope of the saga and its historic ramifications. This can be a precedent- setting case seeped within the reparations furor that has been brewing on this nation and globally for many years,” mentioned Roberts, referring to the various situations of Black artists and performers not getting credit score or compensation for his or her creations.





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