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Rod Stewart Sued, Bo Carter Heirs Say 'Corrina, Corrina' Too Similar

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Jul 07, 2015 10:46 AM EDT
Rod Stewart Sued, Bo Carter Heirs Say 'Corrina, Corrina' Too Similar Rod Stewart arrives for the British Consul General hosts Theirworld Collaboration with Astley Clarke summer reception at The British Residence on June 2, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo : Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

It seems like Rod Stewart can't catch a break lately--unless, that is, if you're talking about a fan's nose. This time, the musician is being sued over his use of the famous blues song, "Corrina, Corrina."

The song, written by Armenter "Bo Carter" Chatmon around 1928, is not in the public domain as his heirs still hold copyright. A 12-bar composition, the song has become a standard, having been covered by the likes of Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson and more.

However, the heirs of Chatmon's estate are suing Stewart over the use of his song also entitled "Corrina, Corrina," as a bonus track on the album Time. The suit claims the two songs are identical and are too similar to be considered separate productions.

Stewart's album found major success, reaching seventh on the Billboard charts and taking the top seat in the UK. However, popularity does not overwrite copyright and the lawsuit stands.

As The Hollywood Reporter suggests, the song is a musical appropriation of Chatmon's, who was the son of an ex-slave and claims the song stands protected by copyright registrations in 1929 and 1932 on two different versions of the tune.

The complaint reads:

"Defendants had access to the Carter Songs at the time they recorded and produced the Infringing Song due to the Carter Songs' popularity and fame as well as its prominent publication since at least 1929."

Although not much information is currently available, the lawsuit, apparently lays no claim to other variations of the song performed by other musicians over the years. The history of the standard in regards to Stewart's version will be have to be decided by the courts the case continues.

Judge it for yourself and take a listen below.

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TagsRod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Armenter Chatmon, Bo Carter, Corrina Corrina

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