Royalties that are allegedly mismanaged are central to the dispute.
Legendary blues musician Muddy Waters and His heirs are locked in a tussle with Waters, the old management team, over their claims of up to two million dollars in royalty payments. Waters was born in McKinley Morganfield, is considered one of the most significant blues musicians, and is one of the pioneers of the blues-rock genre. Waters is believed to have greatly influenced British rock artists, including The Rolling Stones, whose name originates in one of Waters’s songs.
The legal battle between the management company created by Waters, his former manager and executor for his will, Scott Cameron, has endured for three years. Cameron and Waters began to meet in the latter part of the 1970s, and Cameron was the manager of Waters in the final years of his career. Waters had a will that authorized Cameron, through his management firm, to “handle all of the royalty, copyright and license work connected with [Waters’] songs for as long as there is this type of work to be done” and instructed him to pay the profits to Waters his heirs twice per year. But shortly before Cameron’s death, Waters’ heirs sought the court to reconsider opening Waters’ estate due to concerns about how Cameron handled the royalty payments.
In April of 2015 — 32 years to the day following Waters’ death, DuPage County Judge Paul Fullerton reopened Waters’ estate following Waters’s heirs claimed that the estate hadn’t been properly closed and that an administrator needed to be appointed to decide the status of the assets that had Cameron, namely, Waters’ royalties. The judge accepted the heirs’ petition regardless of the arguments made by the lawyer for the management company that is reopening an estate that was closed in 1987, set an unjust precedent, and violated lawful limitations.
A judge was appointed Waters daughter, Mercy Morganfield, administrator of Waters Estate.
Since Mercy’s appointment, Waters’s heirs attempted to find out where they had several hundred thousand dollars accumulated through Waters Estate, but which were not given to them. As per the Waters heirs, the answer lies in its financial records of Cameron. In January of 2018, they submitted a petition to retrieve funds from the management company claiming that between 2008 and the year 2014, Cameron utilized the firm to fraudulently transfer to his family and himself more than $2 million in royalty payments.
The widow of Cameron, who currently is the company’s manager, has disputed the assertion. In a statement earlier in the month, she claimed that under the conditions of his will, Waters’ heirs cannot manage his estate and that the court made a mistake in 2015 by allowing the estate to be opened. She also argued there were two of Waters’s famous guitars that she gave back to their family of his in 2017 and should be returned to her as the family failed to donate them to a museum in the manner required by Waters his will. The parties are scheduled to appear in court on May 9th, 2018
What is Muddy Waters most famous song?
# 1 – Hoochie Coochie Man
It was released by Muddy Waters as a Chess single in 1954. The song hit number three on the Billboard R&B charts in 1954 making it the most successful charting song of Muddy Water’s career.
How did Muddy Waters become famous?
The band’s recordings were increasingly popular in New Orleans, Chicago and the Delta region in the United States, but it wasn’t until 1958, when the group brought their electric blues sound to England, that Waters became an international star.