SBD/April 13, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Composer Sues For Royalties From "Charge" Cheer He Claims To Have Created

Composer BOBBY KENT claims that he wrote the "well-known 'da da da DUM da da ---- Charge!' theme" for the Chargers when he worked for the NFL team more than 30 years ago, and now is "suing to be paid royalties by everyone else who has used it," according to Teri Figueroa of the NORTH COUNTY TIMES. Kent, who said that he worked as a music director for the Chargers "for seven years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, filed suit in federal court last week against the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers," or ASCAP. In the suit, Kent alleges that he "created the song for the Chargers, called it 'Stadium Doo Dads' and secured the copyrights to it" in January '81. He contends that "for a few years" the Chargers paid him $10,000-20,000 a year to use it. The suit states that ASCAP "paid him royalties from what the Chargers paid for the music -- but says ASCAP did not pay him royalties from the occasions when other national sporting teams, from baseball to car racing, used the tune." Kent's attorney, RICHARD WOLFE, said that the ASCAP suit is "focused on past performances of the song." Wolfe noted that there "may be future suits ... targeting teams for playing the song since last summer," which is when he "sent a letter to ASCAP terminating the organization from the ability to license the song." Wolfe claims that last June, he "sent a letter to more than 100 sports teams in the country to inform them that ASCAP was no longer allowed to sell the licensing for the song." If they "wanted to use the song, Wolfe told them, they would have to contract with Kent directly." Wolfe said that "of the 122 teams from the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL," the Lakers were the only team that "signed on to the use agreement" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 4/13).
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