Billboard Bits: Shedaisy, Marc Almond, Louis Armstrong

News on Shedaisy, Marc Almond, Louis Armstrong

ShedaisyIn a move that could have ramifications for songwriters and publishers in all genres of music, singer/songwriter Kristyn Osborn, a member of Lyric Street Records act Shedaisy, has filed a complaint against karaoke manufacturer MMO Music Group, Billboard Bulletin reports.

The suit -- filed yesterday (June 28) in U.S. District Court for the middle district of Tennessee, Nashville division -- alleges that MMO, which does business as Pocket Songs, infringed on Osborn's copyright for the Shedaisy song "I Will ... But" by making the music and lyrics available on its products without a license. The suit seeks an injunction against MMO plus damages.

Says Osborn, "I don't wish to stop the legitimate users and sellers of these products, I just want to help educate the public. If we handle this properly, it will benefit everyone." Bart Herbison, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, is planning a town meeting to educate songwriters and publishers on copyright infringement from the karaoke industry.

-- Phyllis Stark, Nashville

Soft Cell's Marc Almond is making more than music. July sees the release of "The End of New York," a small, illustrated book of his own poetry about the Big Apple, accompanied by a spoken-word CD of Almond reading his texts. The limited-edition U.K. printing of 3,000 copies will be published by Ellipsis, which released his larger book of poetry and lyrics, 1999's "Beautiful Twisted Night." The seedy side of New York has long been an inspiration to Almond. "The End of New York" includes two poems that became Soft Cell songs in the '80s, for instance: "Baby Doll," an ode to a stripper, and "L'Esqualita," about a Latino drag bar. But, Almond says, New York's sleaze has been "cleaned up" in recent years, which leaves him feeling a loss. "It's interesting to watch a city like New York, [and observe] how it's changed. The nightlife has changed -- the clubs, the burlesque, the porno places have closed down. I feel sad about it. The New York I love is something of a dangerous place, a little on the edge. Now it's become a little homogenized." Almond's latest album, "Stranger Things," was released June 18 internationally on Blue Star/XIII Bis Records but has no U.S. distributor as yet. Soft Cell is a part of this summer's Wotapalava tour, kicking off July 13 in Miami.

Louis Armstrong duets with 10-year-old New Yorker Nathalie Carril-King (aka Nathalie C.K.) on the legendary singer/musician's classic "What a Wonderful World," a la the same style as the "Unforgettable" 1991 pairing of Natalie Cole and her late father, Nat "King" Cole. The "World" effort is being mounted in conjunction with the American Lung Association of New York for a public service announcement about asthma. The young singer/actress/dancer suffers from the chronic lung disease. Proceeds raised by the single will benefit the association's Open Airways for Schools and other educational programs.