Members of Kingsmen sue for masters, rights

Members of the ’60s rock band the Kingsmen have sued for return of their master recordings and termination of Highland Music Inc.’s contractual right to them.

Original members Mike Mitchell, Lynn Easton and three others claim in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court that they haven’t been paid royalties on approximately 75 master recordings since about 1965.

The suit says the group, which recorded “Louie, Louie,” first granted rights to the masters in 1963 to Jerden Records Inc. The rights were transferred several times over the years before Highland got them, the suit claims.

“Louie,” their biggest hit, reached No. 2 on the charts in 1963. Jack Ely is not among the complainants.

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