Tuesday, April 21, 2009
From the Venutra County Star
A note of discord has sounded over the estate of the founder of the ’60s rock band Delaney & Bonnie and Friends.
Michele Bramlett, daughter of Delaney Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, is suing for part of the estate that her late father left to her stepmother when he died last December from complications of gall bladder surgery.
Michele Bramlett believes her father was mentally unsound and unduly influenced by his wife, when he signed the 2007 trust. Lanier Bramlett maintains her late husband was of sound mind and writing songs up until his death, and charges that Michele Bramlett not around much and so had no knowledge about his state of mind. Lanier Bramlett says Michele lived in New York during the past several years and visited her father only a few times in a space of six years, so she had little opportunity to observe him.
The estate consists of Delaney’s Sunland ranch, the rights to his song catalog as well as his collection of guitars — some given to him by rock ‘n’ roll’s most famous artists. Michele Delaney and her siblings aren’t entitled to anything except what remains after Lanier Bramlett’s death according to the trust.
Michele Bramlett’s petition cites an episode in the early 1990s when Delaney signed away the rights to his songs. In 1996, he sued to regain those rights, and the case was settled in his favor after his attorney presented evidence Delaney suffered from alcoholic dementia and lacked the capacity to make such a decision, Michele Bramlett’s counsel.
The petition asks the court to determine if Bramlett’s trust, dated May 10, 2007, was “procured by means of fraud, duress, menace and undue influence, thereby rendering it invalid,” according to attorney Lang.
Bramlett was a singer-songwriter, with a some well known hits, like Superstar, Let it Rain, and Never Ending Song of Love, which has been recorded by over 100 artists. He produced and co-wrote songs for Eric Clapton’s debut artist and produced a number of notable artists like Etta James, Elvin Bishop, and others. In 2008 Bramlett released his first CD in six years, A New Kind of Blues on his own label, Magnolia Gold Records.