Ronnie Milsap, Trace Adkins ‘Ride’ Encounters Legal Detour
'My First Ride,' a single by Ronnie Milsap featuring Trace Adkins, is having a bumpy ride these days, thanks to a cease and desist order from Capitol Records [Trace's label], claiming they had no knowledge of the song and further demanding the immediate halt of further promotion or sales of the tune.
Country Standard Time reports that BLEVE Records, the label releasing the song, is moving forward with the release in spite of legal action from Capitol Records. A statement from BLEVE Records reads: "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."
BLEVE was formed to benefit the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the International Association of Firefighters' (IAFF) disaster relief funds. The statmentProceeds from the sale of 'My First Ride' and an upcoming compilation CD were slated to help replenish these funds. BLEVE cites "calls and emails from angry firefighters, police officers and their families," as part of their decision to continue with the release and promotion of the single.
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." Capitol Nashville spokesperson had no comment earlier this week.
Mickey Milam, retired Metro Nashville police officer and BLEVE President and CEO, said the song was approved by Trace's management company, and adds that Capitol Records had full knowledge of the project. "There didn't seem to be a problem," Milam says, "until this single started climbing the charts and garnering radio attention."
'My First Ride' was originally planned as a solo song by Ronnie Milsap, but, says Milam, "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."
Threats of legal action aside, Ronnie Milsap is quoted as saying, "Make me a sign, I will lead the picket line."