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Songwriter Sues George Jones’ Widow, Concord Records Over Posthumous Album

NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) — Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery, a longtime songwriting collaborator of the late country music legend George Jones, has sued Jones’ widow, Concord Music Group and Cracker Barrel over an album they released without Montgomery’s permission.

According to the Nashville Tennessean, Montgomery claims in his lawsuit filed in Nashville that the album, which featured Roy Acuff’s Smokey Mountain Boys, was originally recorded in the late 1970s but shelved by the label.

According to the lawsuit, Jones wanted Montgomery to “to produce and own (the album) as his retirement package for all his years of service and friendship to Mr. Jones,” the Tennessean reported.

Montgomery, a longtime collaborator of Jones, co-wrote 72 of his songs, including hits such as “Loving You Could Never Be Better” and “Where Grass Won’t Grow”, and recorded and performed live with him as well.

However, after Jones death in 2013, his widow Nancy Jones struck an agreement to sell Jone’s sell his intellectual property and other assets to Concord, for a reported $30 million. In 2017, Concord struck a deal to release “George Jones & the Smoky Mountain Boys” through restaurant chain Cracker Barrel and via streaming services, including Spotify.

Montgomery alleges that although he produced the original recording, he was not paid for his work, or given appropriate credit for his contribution in the album’s liner notes.

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.