RICKY NELSON LEGAL WAR

Published on: October 5, 2011
Photography by: Huoton Archive/Getty Images
RICKY NELSON LEGAL WAR

Rock legend “Traveling Man” RICKY NELSON’s estate is suing his record company.

Nelson who starred on TV’s “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” before topping the charts and costarring  with John Wayne in “Rio Bravo” died at age 45 in a plane crash in 1985 but now his estate wants royalties they charge in a new lawsuit is owed to them.

From 1957 to 1973 Nelson recorded 53 songs that made the Billboard top 100, including 20 songs on the Top 10, according to the complaint.

When Nelson attempted a comeback in 1969 he was vociferously attacked at an infamous concert in Madison Square Garden in New York when he tried to play new material instead of his classic hits.  That incident became the inspiration for his greatest hit “Garden Party”.

In the bombshell lawsuit The Nelson Estate charged "Capitol is in possession of $100 million - $250 million in so-called 'unmatched income' - large caches of income that Capitol claims it cannot link to any particular artist.

"On information and belief Capitol is perfectly capably of ascertaining the amounts due to Nelson LLC from the unmatched income cache, yet has refused to do so and doesn't want to do so.”

They also charged the failing record label with manipulating accounts in their favor.

 "In yesteryear, Capitol was one of the major records in America. Today, Capitol is crippled and operated by a skeleton crew as it prepares itself to be sold off," the filing says.

Nelson's estate seeks disgorgement, restitution, accounting, damages and punitive damages on 10 counts, including breach of contract, unjust enrichment, money due, conversion, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unfair business practices and breach of faith and fair dealing.

Bob Dylan once said that Ricky Nelson had the best singing voice – ever.

According to legend, Ricky made the immortal statement: "Anyone who knocks rock 'n' roll either doesn't understand it, or is prejudiced against it, is just plain square."