Today 01:39 AM

Atlantic Records success: Temptations vs. Spinners

I was just playing my Spinners Platinum Series 60 CD consisting of 20 songs by the Spinners. It was officially entitled Detroit Spinners issued in 2007.

The thought just entered my mind after listening to this collection that it is a shame that Thom Bell did not sign with Motown and connect with the Spinners. Who knows what other million sellers they could have had with Motown and Thom's involvement.

On the other hand, the Temptations left Motown and signed with Atlantic with barely any success. They had 5 singles and 2 albums in the period 1977 through 1979 but I doubt that the total sales of these 7 releases aggregated the sales of one Spinners record: Could It Be I'm Falling in Love.

A huge imbalance between the label's success with both groups.
Today 01:07 AM

If only the Tempts had worked with...

I really wish Shorty Long had gotten the chance to produce material on the Temptations. With his love of both 50s style ballads and hardcore funk arrangements, the combo would of been like milk and Oreos. I can hear Paul nailing Shorty’s version of “Memories are Made of This”. He could of done a mix of both original songs and doo-wop covers with the same psychedelic edge the guys were turning out at that time.
Yesterday 02:59 PM

Appeals Court Won't Rehear "Blurred Lines" Case

Pay up, Robin and Pharrell!

Appeals Court Won't Rehear "Blurred Lines" Case

Marvin Gaye's family prevails once again against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams.

In what very well could be the end of the line for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has voted to deny a rehearing of the controversial "Blurred Lines" case. As a result, a jury's 2015 verdict that found the popular song was an infringement of Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" stands.

Gaye's family prevailed at a jury trial in 2015, and the trial court's judgment was then largely affirmed by the 9th Circuit in March. Thicke and Williams must fork over millions in profits to Gaye's children, who will also be entitled to a 50 percent running royalty on future exploitation of "Blurred Lines." The appeals court did, however, reverse liability for rapper T.I (aka Clifford Harris Jr.).

The highlights of the appellate decision were the conclusion from Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. that Gaye's song was entitled to broad protection and that the trial judge didn't abuse discretion in allowing certain testimony from plaintiff's music experts, which allegedly incorporated opinions about non-copyrighted elements. There was also discussion about defendants' failure to make a motion for judgment as a matter of law at trial — a technical procedural point, but an important one that the 9th Circuit determined limited its ability to change an outcome that some critics, including Judge Jacqueline Nguyen in a dissent, argued would chill musical creativity.

In voting to deny rehearing en banc, the 9th Circuit issues an amended opinion (read here), but it's largely the same as the one put forward months ago. The big change — if any — is the intriguing deletion of language on how the 9th Circuit adheres to the "inverse ratio rule," which means that the greater the access, the lesser the showing of substantial similarity is required. As applied to this case, because Marvin Gaye's song was so popular that access by Thicke and Williams was undisputed, the burden of proving substantial similarity was lowered accordingly. A paragraph on this topic has been removed from the majority opinion by Smith.

Thicke and Williams can attempt to petition the Supreme Court for review, but the high court only takes a small fraction of cases and usually ones presenting an appellate circuit split on interpretation of law. The "Blurred Lines" appeal turned on an evidentiary challenge rather than a big constitutional issue. Thus, it appears to be a huge long shot for the Supreme Court to take up this case, although amicus briefs may at least gather some attention from the justices.

"To say that this is satisfying would be the biggest understatement of my life," says Richard Busch, the attorney who represented the Gaye family. " This has been a long and winding road for the Gaye family and our entire team, in which we had to fight every step of the way. But we were up to the challenge every time, and justice has prevailed. As I said after the trial victory in this case, what is great about this country is that the rule of law prevails no matter who you are or how many friends you have that will support you. Nobody is above it. And this case is the prime example of that fact. I am so happy for Jan, and Nona, and Frankie, and Marvin III who did this for Marvin, one of the greatest who ever lived."

Today 12:05 AM

My Review of Martha and the Spinners Show Forthcoming

Back home now...it was about a 120 mile trip to get to the show....and I have another family obligation today..........but before the day ends I will type my review of last night's show featuring Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and the Spinners in Charles Town, West Virginia.

I will at least take the time now to whet your appetite and tell you that I did get to meet and chat with Martha at some length and found her to be every bit the gracious lady I expected her to be. More details later........


Ralph Terrana

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