Monday, September 21, 2009
– Citing "calls and emails from angry firefighters, police officers and their families," BLEVE Records is moving forward with the release and promotion of My First Ride
in the face of legal action from Capitol Nashville. This song, by Ronnie Milsap, features Capitol Nashville artist Trace Adkins and is the lead single from a multi artist compilation CD due out Nov. 1.
BLVE, an indie label in Nashville, stopped promotion of the single after Capitol Records issued a cease and desist order claiming they had no knowledge of the song and ordering the immediate halt of further promotion or sales.
Capitol Nashville spokesperson had no comment Monday.
In a legal document sent to BLEVE via email on Sept. 15, Capitol charged BLEVE with the "unauthorized use and exploitation of Trace Adkins' performance and name and dilution of the value of Capitol's valuable property."
Mickey Milam, retired Metro Nashville police officer and BLEVE President and CEO, said the song was approved by Adkins' management company, and Capitol Records had full knowledge of the project. "There didn't seem to be a problem," states Milam, "until this single started climbing the charts and garnering radio attention."
Milam started BLVE to benefit the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the International Association of Firefighters' (IAFF) disaster relief funds. These funds, which aid firefighters and police officers and their families after a disaster or in times of need due to injury or death in the line of duty, were severely depleted by 9/11 and recent devastating hurricanes. The proceeds from the sale of My First Ride and the compilation CD were slated to help replenish these funds.
BLEVE has offered all along to pay standard royalty rate to Capitol Records for Adkins' performance. All artists/labels on the forthcoming compilation CD are being compensated for their performances.
My First Ride was originally planned as a solo song by Milsap. However, Milsap's long time friend Adkins volunteered to help out. "Trace was gracious enough to sing on this song, not only as a favor to his good friend Ronnie Milsap, but also because he believes in our cause," said Milam.
"This is an important project on many levels," Milam said. "This is the first major national fund raising effort that benefits firefighters and police officers. These two organizations are renowned for their ability to raise money for other causes, but now there is an immediate need to help their own."
Milam said he has received support from firefighters, police officers and their families as well as members of the music community and fans of Milsap and Adkins. "I think when the general public hears about this, the roar will be even louder. "
With Capitol's threats of legal action, Milsap said, "Make me a sign, I will lead the picket line."