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Singer Michelle Shocked and pianist Chuck Leavell

  • Broadcast in Business
Be The Media

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This week's guests are singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked and keyboardist extraordinaire Chuck Leavell.

In a monumental mid-1990s case, Michelle sued her label, Mercury-Polygram, for $1 million, citing a violation of the 13th Amendment, the constitutional right that prohibits slavery.

In an out-of-court settlement, Shocked famously won the right to be released from her contract, and was given ownership of her songs. Michelle now owns her entire catalog of 100+ songs over her 23-year career.

Michelle is a pioneer of the burgeoning "artists' rights" model that we explore in depth in

Our second guest, Chuck Leavell, has played keyboard with everyone from the Allman Brothers Band, the Rolling Stones, Train, The Black Crowes, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, and George Harrison, among many others.

We’ll talk to Chuck about how he got started, his mentors, instructors, inspirations, equipment, and how he managed to accompany so many incredible musicians and bands over the last 40 years.

Leavell is also a dedicated environmentalist and tree farmer who has testified before congress on renewable energy. He is the author of two books (The Tree Farmer, Forever Green), and co-founder of The Mother Nature Network (, an environmental website, where he hosts two video series in which he discusses sustainability and conservation issues.