Alabama Sues Drummer Mark Herndon


Alabama photo by Peter Nash, courtesy of RCA.

June 9, 2008 — This past weekend was a special one for the band Alabama as all four members — Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry and Mark Herndon — had bronze statues unveiled at City Park in the group’s home base, Fort Payne, Ala.

But the festivities were overshadowed by news that Mark has been sued by the other three members for more than $200,000 in a royalty dispute. Cousins Randy, Jeff and Teddy filed their claim May 9 in DeKalb County, Ala., claiming that Mark had been paid for merchandise sales from the band’s American Farewell Tour in 2003 before they’d completed the final accounting. According to the Associated Press, the suit maintains "there were no net merchandise revenues as defined by the contract."

The group calls for Mark to repay the merchandise check, which totalled $202,670. Meanwhile, Mark has asked for an additional $65,047 — his share of an advance for the album The Last Stand, a live Alabama project that’s being sold in Cracker Barrel stores. In the suit, the cousins say that check will continue to be withheld until Mark reimburses them for the merch royalties.

The band last played together in Bismarck, N.D., in October 2004. A year later, they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Jeff has gone on to form another act, the Allstar Goodtime Band. And Randy has performed a few solo shows and expects to release an album on his own in the fall.