Court Says Tim McGraw Is Free to Record and Shop for Another Label

Curb Records Fails in Its Argument That Singer Violated His Contract

A Nashville court declared Wednesday (Nov. 30) that Tim McGraw has the right to record new music and seek out other record deals. The ruling in Chancery Court was a rebuff to Curb Records which had sought either a temporary or permanent injunction that would have held him to the recording contract he signed with Curb in 1997.

There is still a trial scheduled for July to determine if McGraw has breached his contract with Curb and if damages are due.

McGraw and his wife, recording artist Faith Hill, were both in court for the hearing. There were no witnessed called. Attorney Jay Bowen pleaded the case for Curb, while William T. Ramsey represented McGraw.

Hatless and dressed in a gray suit, vest and tie, McGraw looked very much like the lawyers who sat on either side of him listening intently to the arguments.

Hill was considerably less formal. She wore slacks, a salmon-colored cardigan sweater and a scarf and had her hair in a bun. The two chatted during the two brief breaks in the four-and-a half hour hearing.

Bowen argued that McGraw violated his contract by delivering his still-unreleased Emotional Traffic album too early. He further contended the label thought the album didn’t have enough potential singles on it to be released and that the label had the sole right to make that determination.

Ramsey responded that Curb was looking for “ploys” to keep McGraw on the label as long as possible and that he had not only fulfilled his contract but has presented Curb one of the finest albums of his career with Emotional Traffic.

Chancellor Russell T. Perkins said he would deliver a fuller written decision on the hearing within a week.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to