Disco star Herb is suing Sony over royalties

May 02, 2000|By Gail Gibson | Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF

The disco revival that brought back bell-bottoms and 1970s dance tunes hasn't paid off for one-time singing star Herb Feemster the way he says it should.

Feemster -- who as part of the disco duo Peaches & Herb had a number of hits in the '70s, including "Shake Your Groove Thing" and "Reunited" -- has sued Sony Music Corp., claiming that the giant music company is making money off his hits but isn't sharing the wealth.

The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, charges that Sony has compiled three Peaches & Herb "best of" albums since 1996 but has not fully paid royalties on the sale of those records, violating the singer's 1967 contract. The lawsuit calls the recent collection albums a "testament to the enduring staying power of this group."

Feemster, also known as Herb Fame, charges there also were other problems with his contract and with royalty payments. In all, he is seeking more than $1 million.

Feemster, a janitor in Washington before his singing career took off, now lives in Prince George's County. He could not be reached yesterday for comment. His attorney, Obren V. Barnes of Laurel, and Sony representatives did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Neither of the two female singers who filled the role of Peaches during the duo's heyday are named as parties in the suit.

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