Remember When the Black Crowes Sued Gretchen Wilson?
Gretchen Wilson ended up running afoul of the Black Crowes when she released a song called "Work Hard, Play Harder" in 2007.
The lawsuit came after Wilson, best known for her 2004 hit "Redneck Woman," let TNT use her song "Work Hard, Play Harder" in an episode of the show Saving Grace, which ran from 2007-2010. Holly Hunter played Grace Hanadarko, a hard-drinking, promiscuous detective on the show, which used Wilson's song in an early episode.
The Black Crowes filed suit against Wilson on July 31, 2008, citing similarities between her song and their hit, "Jealous Again."
“We find the musical verses of Wilson’s song to be such an obvious example of copyright infringement that I expect all parties to reach a relatively quick resolution to avoid litigation,” Black Crowes manager Pete Angelus said (quote via Rolling Stone).
For Wilson, it was just the latest in a series of blows that threatened the security she had earned at her peak.
After Sony placed "Work Hard, Play Harder" in a promotional spot for Saving Grace, the Black Crowes sued, alleging she and co-writers, John Rich and Vicky McGehee, had stolen the verse melody from their "Jealous Again." At that same time, Wilson — who at that time had not had a hit record in a few years — was going through a shift to her own self-owned label, Redneck Records, and she ended up paying off the suit.
Wilson settled the lawsuit with the Black Crowes' Chris and Rich Robinson.
"I could have won and kept their names off this song," she tells the Nashville Scene. "but it would have been too late to include it on the album had I fought it."
Wilson chose instead to settle, and she went on to release "Work Hard, Play Harder" as a single from I Got Your Country Right Here, her debut record on her self-owned Redneck Records.
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