Loretta Lynn Goes to Court Over Song Copyrights

Loretta Lynn has filed suit in Nashville in an effort to regain the copyrights to “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough” and 112 other songs she wrote or co-wrote. In the lawsuit, Lynn seeks to void a 1966 contract with Sure-Fire Music Company that provided the publishing company the copyrights to her songs. Sure-Fire was owned by the Wilburn Brothers — Teddy and Doyle — who provided Lynn with early national exposure on their syndicated television show. Lynn became involved in several of the Wilburns’ business enterprises, including their talent booking agency, beginning in 1961. In her suit, she claims she had no independent legal representation before signing the contracts. With both brothers deceased, family members are now contesting Teddy Wilburn’s will. Prior to his death in 2003, he stipulated that the bulk of his estate, including his Sure-Fire stock, be used for college scholarships.