The Ohio Players (a band composed of Clarence Satchell, James Williams, Leroy Bonner, Marshall Jones, Marvin Pierce, and Ralph Middlebrook) filed a lawsuit in Chicago this week in May of 1974, alleging that their current recording contract violates antitrust rules.
The plaintiffs alleged that the document they were compelled to sign by Bridgeport Music (an affiliate of the
“Broadcast Music Incorporated” performing rights organization) was not reviewed or given an okay by the American Federation of Musicians – and, they claimed, the contents of that contract were abusive.
Specifically, BMI’s time holding exclusive rights to play the music of the Ohio Players was claimed to be far longer by contract than the AFM’s own rules said was allowable.
The musicians, represented by Richard Shelton (from the firm Wallace, Shelton, Kleinman and Kalcheim), wanted to dissolve the contract so they could record for Mercury Records.