I’m happy to report that there is good news on the fight between Bleve Records, Ronnie Milsap, and Capitol Records Nashville. Capitol has been filing legal briefs to keep Bleve Records from releasing a Milsap single that also features Capitol artist Trace Adkins. Bleve, a label that was set up by a retired police officer to help replenish disaster relief funds, initially complied with a “cease and desist” order (to read the whole story click here). But now they have decided to ignore the court ruling, and continue to sell the Milsap/Adkins single. From Bleve:
“Amid calls and emails from angry firefighters, police officers and their families, BLEVE Records has decided to go forward with the release and promotion of “My First Ride.” . . .Independent American owned BLEVE Records stopped promotion of the single after German/UK owned conglomerate Capitol Records issued a cease and desist order claiming they had no knowledge of the song and ordering the immediate halt of further promotion or sales.”
“Mickey Milam, BLEVE President and CEO, states that this song was green lighted through Trace’s management company and Capitol Records had full knowledge of the project. “There didn’t seem to be a problem,” states Milam, “until this single started climbing the charts and garnering radio attention.” BLEVE has offered all along to pay standard royalty rate to Capitol Records for Trace’s performance. All artists/labels on the forthcoming compilation CD are being compensated for their performances.”
Also on Thursday, Milsap led a group of firefighters and police officers in a protest in front of Capitol Records Nashville:
Milsap and the protesters were asked to leave by Capitol Records security and complied without incident.
Capitol Records Nashville has STILL yet to comment on the situation.
There are many problems right now with the current music climate in Nashville, and for all the ugliness about this story, one good thing about it is that it is exposing all of this ungliness for all the world to see. That is why it warmed my cockles so to see Belve Records and Milsap take a stand.
This fight is not just about disaster relief funds, though that is obviously a big part of it. It is about artists being able to have the freedom to do what they want with their music. This is about not having lawyers decide the fate and direction of songs, but the artists and their fans.
And this is also a fight about the city of Nashville. I think it is important to note this fight isn’t against Capitol Records, but against Capitol Records NASHVILLE, a subsidiary of the bigger company. No offense to the Germans and British that own the company, but this is an excellent example of why the influence from foreign-owned corporations is bad for Nashville. They are sucking the life and the sense of community out of Music City. If Capitol Records Nashville had any sense of community citizenship, this issue would have never come up.
So What Can You Do to Help?
The biggest thing you can do is go to blevemusic.com and buy the single at the very top of the site.
You can also email Bleve Records to voice your support at firstname.lastname@example.org .
And stay tuned. I hope to be in contact with Bleve to find out ways we can help Bleve to resolve this matter.