Lawsuit Filed Over “On the Good Ship Lollypop” in Nashville

Earlier this week, Deborah Bush Gervash, individually and on behalf of the Estate of Richard A. Whiting, sued Warner/Chappell Inc., a division of Warner Music Group, in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee. Her complaint alleges that the label breached a royalty agreement entered into back in 1936, when Shirley Temple was the Miley Cyrus of her day. That agreement was between Whiting and Music Holders Publishing Corp., a predecessor to Warner Music, and was signed only two years before Whiting died in 1938. Whiting, who also wrote “Hooray for Hollywood,” was posthumously inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1970. It would be interesting to know how much in royalties these two songs are currently earning. Whatever the amount, Ms. Gervash says it isn’t enough and wants Warner Music to pony up some more. Warner hasn’t answered yet so we don’t know its side of the story. At any rate, its clear that–for the time being, at least–“The Good Ship Lollipop,” is no longer headed to the” sunny beach of Peppermint Bay.”

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