Songwriter and producer Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery has filed a civil lawsuit against George Jones' widow, Nancy Jones, Rounder Records and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, among others, claiming that Nancy took possession of and sold a master tape of an album he recorded in 1979 without his knowledge or permission.
Jones recorded 73 of Montgomery's songs, and in the late 1970's, asked Montgomery to produce an album on him and the Smokey Mountain Boys. The project was recorded in Hendersonville, Tennessee and was never released. The master tapes remained in the studio's vault. The Times Daily reports that Montgomery claims Nancy went to the studio and paid the late owner's son $1,000 for the master tapes.
According to the suit, after Jones' 2013 death, Nancy The suit claims after Jones' death in 2013, Nancy sold all of her late husband's assets, including his name and likeness, the George Jones Museum, intellectual property and the Smokey Mountain Boys masters for more than $30 million. Montgomery says that Rounder Records remixed the tracks and released them in an exclusive agreement with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
Montgomery is seeking punitive damages of no less than $4.5 million, and compensatory damages of no less than $500,000, in addition to profits from album sales.