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George Jones Nancy Getty Images/Rick Diamond

George Jones’ widow, Nancy Jones, is one of the defendants in a new $5 million lawsuit over the recent release of a previously shelved George Jones album. Cracker Barrel and Concord Music Group are also named in the lawsuit brought by Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery, who wrote and produced many songs for Jones. He was also a member of the late country legend’s band.

According to “The Tennessean,” Montgomery produced an album in the late 1970s featuring George performing with Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys. He claims Jones gave him the rights to that album as a retirement package for his years of work and friendship with the country star.

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The suit goes on to say that the album was shelved as Jones went on to sign other recording contracts in the ’80s and ’90s. After Jones passed away in 2013, Nancy sold his intellectual property and other musical assets to Concord Music Group for a reported $30 million.

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In 2017, Concord agreed to sell those recordings of George with the Smoky Mountain Boys via Cracker Barrel. Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery is not listed as a producer on the CD, nor is he listed in the liner notes, according to “The Tennessean” story. He was also not paid for his production work, and he claims he is the true owner of these recordings.

The lawsuit states, “The release further misrepresents the album as lost recordings which were discovered when, in fact, recordings were converted by defendant Nancy Jones and ultimately the Concord defendants with full knowledge of [Montgomery’s] ownership.”

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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