LOS ANGELES (CN) – UMG Recordings claims HLC Properties, “a partnership controlled by Crosby’s second wife, Kathryn Crosby,” violated a 1943 agreement giving Decca/UMG exclusive rights to Crosby’s Christmas songs, including “White Christmas.”
UMG claims that HLC has “clear knowledge of the re-recording restrictions in the 1943 agreement,” but released its Christmas album anyway, containing some of Crosby’s most popular songs, including “Adeste Fidelis,” “The Christmas Song,” “Silent Night,” and other chestnuts.
Crosby’s version of the Irving Berlin tune “White Christmas” has been called the top-selling single of all time, with more than 50 million discs sold, and the top-selling song of all time, with more than 100 million sold, as singles and albums.
UMG says HLC breached contract and breached faith and fair dealing by releasing its own, competing version of the Christmas tunes. It wants distribution of HLC’s “The Crosby Christmas Sessions” enjoined, and damages. It is represented in Superior Court by Steven Marenberg with Irell & Manella.
Kathryn Crosby is not named as a party.