Songwriter Sues George Jones’ Widow, Concord Music Group

Nancy Jones, the widow of George Jones, is being sued for $5 million over the 2017 posthumous release of George Jones & The Smoky Mountain Boys as a longtime collaborator is claiming he produced and is the rightful owner of the album.
George Jones
AP Photo, file
– George Jones
“Possum” in an undated photo.
Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery played and wrote with George Jones during the singer’s life, and counts himself a friend, confidante and “running buddy” in the suit. Montgomery claims he produced the George Jones & The Smoky Mountain Boys album and the original agreement with Jones was that Montgomery was meant to own it, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Pollstar.
The suit claims the album was recorded in the ’70s and was meant to be Montgomery’s “retirement package,” but was locked away in a vault and never released because of Jones’ ensuing record company obligations. It also claims Nancy Jones maneuvered against him in matters related to the album while George was alive. 
After George Jones’ 2013 death, the suit claims his widow illegally gained control of the master tapes for George Jones & The Smoky Mountain Boys and “sold all assets relating to George Jones, including his name and likeness, the George Jones Museum, intellectual property, and the master recordings of George Jones and The Smoky Mountain Boys (which she did not own) to Defendant Concord Bicycle Assets, LLC for a sum reported to be in excess of $30 million.” 
The suit then claims Concord released the album without paying Montgomery for his work or giving him proper credit. It names Concord Music Group; Concord Bicycle Assets, LLC Rounder Records, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., and Nancy Jones as defendants, seeking a determination that Montgomery is the true owner of the album, $500,000 for damage to the value of the recordings, all profits derived from the album, legal fees and punitive damages of at least $4.5 million.
Pollstar reached out Concord Music Group for this story.