- The Washington Times - Monday, March 24, 2008

Beatles sue

Lawyers for the Beatles sued Friday to prevent the distribution of unreleased recordings purportedly made during Ringo Starr’s first performance with the group in 1962, according to Associated Press.

The dispute between Apple Corps Ltd., the London company formed by the Beatles that helps guard their legacy, and Fuego Entertainment Inc. of Miami Lakes stems from recordings the Fab Four apparently made during a performance at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. Eight unreleased tracks are said to be among the recordings, including Paul McCartney singing Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” and Mr. McCartney and John Lennon singing “Ask Me Why.”

Apple Corps claims the songs were taped without the consent of the band and that Fuego and sister companies Echo-Fuego Music Group LLC and Echo-Vista Inc. have no right to distribute them.

However, Fuego Entertainment says the recordings were made legally. “Don’t claim that these were just bootlegged,” said Fuego president Hugo Cancio. “It’s not like today, that you just go in with a phone or a BlackBerry and you record.”

The $15 million lawsuit contends that the recordings are of poor quality and that circulating them “dilutes and tarnishes the extraordinarily valuable image associated with the Beatles.”

Big givers

Hollywood power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt donated more than $8 million to charity in 2006 according to tax records, it was reported on Friday.

Fox News reported on its Web site that the actors funneled more than $4 million each to the Jolie Pitt Foundation, which was set up two years ago to aid humanitarian causes around the world. According to federal tax records, the foundation handed out about $2.4 million in donations in 2006, including $1 million each to Doctors Without Borders and the Global AIDS Alliance.

Other cash gifts included $137,935 to the Namibia Red Cross Action Program, in the country where the couple’s biological daughter, Shiloh, was born. A donation of $100,000 was made to the Daniel Pearl Foundation, a trust set up to honor the former Wall Street Journal reporter murdered by Islamic extremists in Pakistan. Miss Jolie played Mr. Pearl’s widow, Marianne, in last year’s acclaimed film “A Mighty Heart.”

Thriller doctor

Quincy Jones will receive an honorary doctorate at the University of Washington commencement, where the musician-composer-producer-arranger will speak on June 14.

The university’s regents voted at their meeting Thursday to award the degree.

Mr. Jones, 75, moved to Bremerton, Wash., with his family at age 10 and began playing the trumpet in junior high school. He also sang in a gospel quartet before moving to Seattle. He has toured with Lionel Hampton’s band and has arranged for other musicians, including Duke Ellington, Ray Charles and Count Basie. He’s best known, though, as the producer of two of the biggest-selling records of all time: Michael Jackson’s 1982 album “Thriller” and the single “We Are the World.”

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from Web and wire reports.

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