For many of us guitarists, especially if you started in the 60s Hank Garland was a huge influence on me especially. I recently found an article that was written just prior to his death and the hazards of working in the music industry. If yall haven't already I would suggest a viewing of the movie Crazy about the life of Hank. From: Hank Garland To: AMY Garland ; Amy Garland ; Danny Wiggins Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2005 1:38 PM Subject: Emailing: Story/Hank's Jingle Bell Crock Category: Music: Profiles & Interviews Originally Published: 12/21/2004 in Folio Weekly 'Jingle Bell Rock' Creator Gets Scrooged by Nashville By Susan Cooper Eastman (Staff) Christmas is a season of potent signifiers, when a pine tree hung with colored baubles, or just the fragrance of pine, evokes a winter coziness. In that dreamy period between Thanksgiving and Christmas morning, the landscape grows ever more crammed with holiday iconography candy canes, nutcrackers, twinkling lights, Santa. In the background of this annual vista, a shared holiday soundtrack washes over us, piped into department stores and government buildings, broadcast continuously over AM radio. In the canon of Christmas songs, the beloved and familiar lineup includes evergreens like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Silent Night and White Christmas. Right up there with them is the swinging, soft-pedaling Jingle Bell Rock. Every holiday season since 1957 the year Decca Records released the hit with crooner Bobby Helms singing the bouncy lyrics and Hank Garland on the happy guitar Jingle Bell Rock has been a Christmas chestnut. Considering the songs success, one might assume its authors celebrate the holiday season with years of fat royalties. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, songwriter Hank Sugarfoot Garland, now an Orange Park, Fla., resident, claims that Decca Records stole Jingle Bell Rock and the profits it generated from him and Bobby Helms. To this day, Garland hasnt received a penny of ownership royalties. If Garland had received his due, his brother Billy claims hed have made millions. This belief prompted a 2003 lawsuit against the company that now owns the copyright for Jingle Bell Rock and is backed by some convincing evidence. The Garland family home is filled with decades worth of music industry paraphernalia, including an original copy of the sheet music for Jingle Bell Rock, pencilled in Garlands meticulous hand, and a sworn statement by one of the studio musicians on Jingle Bell Rock that Helms and Garland wrote the song. But such evidence hasnt swayed Nashvilles powerful record industry, which the Garland family says cheated Hank Garland and reduced him from a pop music success story to a shell of his former self. An automobile accident in 1961 left Garland in a coma, and subsequent shock treatments of dubious medical value significantly reduced his mental capacity. Billy Garland, who holds his brothers power of attorney and has cared for him since the 1960s, blames both pieces of misfortune on record industry thugs, whom he believes tried to kill Garland because he was a powerful creative force and demanded his fair share of artistic profits. Its a claim industry insiders dispute, but one that Billy Garland insists is true. They set him up on the road and tried to kill him, he says. And he didnt die, so they took him out and shocked his brains where he wouldnt remember nothing. *** On a nondescript suburban street lined with the kind of ranch homes that seem to come with lawn and shrubbery attached, the man that many musicians regard as one of the greatest guitarists to ever pick up the instrument lies in a hospital bed in a small bedroom. Hank Garland is friendly, his disposition charming, but his body is weak, and his speech somewhat garbled. A 74-year-old diabetic who was recently hospitalized with stomach problems, he is inexorably moving closer to death. Before Garlands musical career ended with the auto accident, he was at the top of his game. The consummate session musician, Garland played with Elvis on Little Sister, with Patsy Cline on I Fall to Pieces and with the Everly Brothers on Wake Up, Little Susie. His guitar hooks became legend (he wrote the seven notes that cut in right after Elvis opens with the call, Little Sister, which guitar expert Wolf Marshall called one of the greatest riffs in rock-and-roll). Garland was in demand. He played with Roy Orbison, Hank Williams and Jerry Lee Lewis, and he cut his own original instrumental recordings, effortlessly moving from country to rockabilly to jazz. Determined to squeeze everything possible from his considerable gifts, Garland even recorded Jazz Winds From a New Direction in 1960, an influential jazz album that George Benson calls the work of a guitar master. Memorabilia from Garlands too-short 15-year career fills the modest but comfortable home he shares with his brother Billy and Billys wife, Amy. Photographs line the walls: Hank playing with Elvis, backing up Patsy Cline, posing with Johnny Cash. Hanks presence in the musical pantheon was strong enough at the time of his accident that he still commands the respect and reverence of musicians. On a Thursday morning in early December, a string of local guitarists files into the house. Garlands home health aide motors his bed into an upright position and helps Garland dress before wheeling him into the living room to visit with his guests. The musicians veterans of the local country and bluegrass scene settle into easy chairs, among them bluegrass guitarist Jack Piccalo, western swing and jazz guitarist the Rev. Jerry Carris, and country and jazz guitarist Danny Taylor. At Billy Garlands request, the group lights into Low-Down Billy, a fast-paced bluegrass standard that Garland wrote in 1950 for his younger brother. Garland keeps time by tapping one finger on the arm of the wheelchair. His doughy face glows with pleasure. Although the gathering seems an extraordinary tribute, the sessions are actually quite common. Musicians stop by frequently to play for Garland. Its therapy, explains brother Billy. Today, though, a special guest drops by. Nashville fiddle-playing legend Vassar Clements and his brother Carroll, who lives in Jacksonville, stand toe-to-toe in the middle of the circle of guitarists. Carroll strums rhythm guitar while Vassar takes flight on the fiddle. Dubbed the Miles Davis of Bluegrass, Clements has performed with bluegrass greats Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs, as well as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Grateful Dead and Dickey Betts. In Garlands living room, his music sounds like water trickling over stones, like honey poured from a spoon, like a lover murmuring next to you in bed warm, close, real. Garland and Clements know each other from the early days in Nashville when, barely out of childhood, both wowed elder statesmen of the industry. Clements left his Kissimmee home at 16 and took a bus to Nashville in 1949 to play with Bill Monroe. Garland left South Carolina at 15 in 1946 to play with country-western bandleader Paul Howard. Child labor laws forced Garland back to South Carolina, but he returned to Nashville for good at 16. Taking a break from the music, Clements, a taut, rail-thin man wearing straight-leg Levis with a 32-inch waist, walks outside to a couple of white plastic lawn chairs set up in the Garlands driveway. He fills a pipe with tobacco and lights it. His hair is snow-white and falls over a face covered by a web of wrinkles. Clements recalls listening to Garlands guitar work in live radio broadcasts from the Grand Ole Opry shortly after Hank began playing professionally. Clements says he could feel Garlands desire to push his instrument. They would play these fast tunes, and Hank would jump right in, Clements says of the Opry shows. He would do like myself, hed go out on a limb. Clements says sometimes Garland would drop a note or trip up, but he predicted that wouldnt last. I said, you just wait, I know hes gonna get it, Clements says. And it wasnt long before he just didnt miss nothing, and he was right on the money. Clements is joined by Billy Garland, and the two commiserate about the corrupt music industry. They talk about how record companies and managers have historically sucked money out of talent, offering perks like touring vans and record deals while stealing them blind. The books are always locked away in the record companys office, Clements says, and in order to check them youd practically have to hire a lawyer. Clements, who hasnt seen Garland since his 1961 accident, is clearly shocked by his condition. Hank was top of his heap, he says. He was on top of it, yeah. Clements isnt the only musical luminary who admires Garland. In a telephone interview from his New York home, eight-time Grammy Award winner George Benson says there was no one like Hank Garland. Benson first heard Garlands guitar when he was 17 and learning to play in Pittsburgh. It affected him profoundly. Benson and a friend used to meet every week to listen to guitar albums, and one Saturday in 1960 they picked up Jazz Winds from a New Direction. The pair regarded the record suspiciously: The cover featured a picture of Garland in a Cadillac with four or five guitars beside him on the passenger seat. It looked too country, Benson says. But they gave it a try. We put that record on, and we could not take it off, says Benson. It captivated us from bar one. Benson wanted to break new ground, and Garland gave him inspiration. Even today, as an internationally recognized musician, Benson says he always credits Hank Garland as one of his influences. In 1992, when Benson was scheduled to perform in Jacksonville, he received a letter saying Garland liked his work and wanted to see his show. To me, that was like receiving a Grammy, Benson says. At the show, the Garlands say they received star treatment. Before he performed, Benson introduced Hank to the audience as one of the greatest guitarists ever. A spotlight shone on him, and the audience gave a standing ovation. It was just wonderful, says Amy. Garlands accomplishments have been recognized by the music industry, too. He was inducted into the North American Country Music Hall of Fame in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. in 1998. His name appears on the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame. But Billy Garland says the family wont give the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville any piece of the man they believe the town destroyed. A few weeks ago, Billy says, Hall officials telephoned and asked if the Garlands had memorabilia for an exhibit on Hank. The family has every guitar Garland ever played, log books from his music sessions, his original notations for Jingle Bell Rock as well as master recordings from studio sessions with Elvis Presley and other artists. Billy Garland says the Hall of Fame will get none of it. Yeah, Ill donate something, he says angrily. Ill give you his hospital bed and his potty chair. *** Hank Garlands wife, Evelyn, was a movie-star beautiful blonde with creamy skin and a shapely figure. She drove a green convertible Cadillac Coupe de Ville and favored fashionable clothes. Garland adored her. His brother says she was poison. She played around a lot, Billy claims, and the couple had terrible rows. Billy Garland knows how it went because he saw it up close. After finishing a stint with the U.S. Navy in 1957, Hank Garland urged his younger brother to come to Nashville. He wanted Billy to use his G.I. benefits to earn a law degree. Eventually, Hank hoped to start his own music publishing company and record studio, and he wanted Billy to help. You be the eyes, and Ill be the fingers, Billy says his brother told him. Garland wanted his own label because he wanted artistic control. As late guitarist Chet Atkins told Guitar Player magazine in 1981, Garland was frustrated with Nashville producers. Hank was very outspoken and he had a lot of ideas, Atkins said. If [producers] said something smart to him, his face would get real red and hed say something back. But he was such a good musician that everyone had a terrible amount of respect for him, so nobody stepped on his toes. Hank Garland also believed Nashvilles music publishing houses had ripped him off and he wasnt shy about saying so. When he was 19, he wrote and recorded the popular Sugarfoot Rag for Decca. Although he copyrighted the tune in his name, Billy says that two other names were later added to the copyright. And someone else absconded with two-thirds of the royalties that should have been Garlands. According to Harold B. Bradley, president of the Nashville Association of Musicians and brother of former Decca Record executive Owen Bradley, such disputes were legion at the time. In fact, he says, the flip side of Sugarfoot Rag prompted a similar ownership lawsuit. But Garland, who believed record company executives ripped him off, refused to sign long-term contracts with any of the Nashville labels. Instead, he decided to start his own record company and produce his own music. Just before the accident, Garland started a music publishing company with country crooner Eddy Arnold, founded Sigma Music publishing company with some other partners and located a spot for a music studio in Miami. Billy believes it was this drive that first put his brother in the crosshairs of the Nashville machine. He notes that musicians loved working with his brother and says record company executives feared Garlands company would lure away the best in the business. Certainly, Garlands track record pointed to success. He was a licensed pilot and a scrupulous recordkeeper. He even designed an instrument for the Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1955 with guitarist Billy Byrd. The hollow-body Byrdland guitar (named after both men), features a short neck and closer frets so it can be played quickly. The late 1950s was a heady time to be in Nashville. According to Billy, Hank Garland knew everyone. Everywhere they went, he was welcomed like a star. The clubs were rocking and the combination of so much money, music and talent concentrated in one place brought drugs and prostitution. John Rumble, senior historian at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, agrees. The music industry in Nashville after World War II boomed along with the rest of the country, and it fostered a wildcat mentality. You could arrive broke, have a hit record, buy a Cadillac, get cold, and wind up owing everyone in town, he said. Ultimately, Nashville spooked Billy. Paranoia permeated the place, he says, and unsavory characters were all around. Everyone carried a gun. Then Evelyn made a pass at Billy, and he told Hank. The brothers fought, and Billy took off, moving his family to Los Angeles. In a large bound book filled with tan ledger paper, Hank Garlands studio session logs from 1961 show a musician at the height of his powers. In meticulous script, Garland lists gigs with Mel Tillis, Elvis Presley, Hank Snow, Brenda Lee, Hank Williams and George Jones. He performed with Elvis in the Hawaii farewell concert, and he laid down the tracks for the Elvis movie Follow That Dream. But Garland was also increasingly concerned for his own safety. After Billy left, he asked his father to stay with him, saying he was afraid someone might try to kill him. He didnt offer specifics, but his dad didnt need any. He came to Nashville for a week. He returned to Spartanburg, S.C. feeling that his son was safe, but a week later, on Sept. 8, Garland nearly died. Earlier that day, Garland had words with a studio executive. He quarreled with record execs frequently, disagreeing about the way a song should be done or complaining about his royalties. That day, the exchange may have been complicated by a rumor that Evelyn had begun an affair with the executives son, and an earlier fight between Evelyn and Hank. Later, when Garland was at the studio, a telephone call interrupted his work. Evelyn had taken the children and left. When Garland heard the news, he jumped into his 1959 Chevy Nomad station wagon and headed north, hoping to catch up to her. Garland was speeding near Springfield, Tenn. when the front tire of the station wagon blew out. The car careened out of control, rolling end over end. The force of the crash threw Hank through the windshield. He suffered a dislocated shoulder, head injuries and lacerations on his face. An ambulance rushed an unconscious Garland to Vanderbilt University Hospital. He lay in a coma for three weeks. Doctors told the family he would probably die. *** Garland didnt die, but while he was in the coma, the family began to suspect foul play. According to Billy Garland, a truck driver who claimed to witness the accident showed up at the hospital. He said that hed seen a man carrying a rifle running along a ditch next to the highway after Garlands tire blew. The trucker suggested they check the car for bullet holes. Billy visited the yard where police towed the car, but he couldnt get a good look at the vehicle. When he tried to see it again later, he says, the car had been demolished. Garland emerged from the coma after three weeks, but he never completely recovered. When Vanderbilt Hospital released him on Nov. 18, his doctor noted he didnt have brain damage but seemed to suffer from organic post-traumatic psychosis. Although the condition sounded grim, the doctor predicted that Garlands mental state would gradually improve. Whether it eventually would have will never be known. Twelve days after his release, Evelyn dropped Garland off at Madison Sanitarium, a mental institution in Nashville, saying he was agitated, disoriented and hostile. The hospitals assessment of Garland upon admittance was less damning. Doctors merely noted, This 31-year-old, well-developed, well-nourished white male is a very successful world-known guitar player. Doctors also observed that Garland and his wife fought, that she had become infatuated with another man, and that Garland had been in a bad accident. Over the next six weeks, doctors administered 12 shock treatments and drugged the 31-year-old with Thorazine. On Jan. 14, 1962, a notation in his chart describes him as quite retarded. The next day, Garland was released. Doctors opined he had improved during his stay at the institution. The final diagnosis describes him as more manageable and sociable. On March 27, 1962, Evelyn again contacted the doctors at Madison Sanitarium. She complained that Garland acted on guard all the time, watching the stairs as if he were afraid someone was after him. She said he tried to hit her and burn her with a cigarette. He was taking two Thorazine tablets three times a day, but Evelyn said they seemed to make things worse. Billy believes Garland acted paranoid because he knew someone was after him. Doctors again admitted Garland to Madison. This time, he received 100 milligrams of Thorazine four times a day, and inexplicably chemotherapy. Billy now believes the car crash was attempted murder, and that the subsequent shock treatments were an effort to fry his brothers brain. He was getting well, and I think he would have remembered too much, Billy says, so they rushed him out to the sanitarium to give him shock treatments. Billy is vague when asked about who they might be, and he admittedly didnt do much to alert authorities. He never called police to report the truckers claim that his brothers car had been fired upon, and he told no one then about his brothers fear for his life. But he points out that the continued interference with his brothers mental state effectively ended his career. Hank Garlands doctor thought he would improve if left alone. But after the shock treatments, Billy says, Garland didnt have the dexterity to play the guitar and had the mental capacity of a 2-year-old. He has recovered somewhat, but he hasnt been able to work since. Although Garland was released back into his wifes care on April 11, 1962, he stayed with her for only two years before the couple split. After Evelyn returned to her hometown, she put her husband on an airplane back to Spartanburg. According to Billy, Garland was found on an airplane in New Orleans with a $20 bill in his pocket. At the time, Billy was a construction contractor at Cape Canaveral. In 1965, he moved his parents and Hank to Titusville. Hes been Garlands caregiver ever since. The same year she split with Garland, Evelyn met her own tragic end. On Christmas in 1964, she was driving her Cadillac convertible in Milwaukee when a stoplight fell and decapitated her. Billy believes Evelyn was in on the plot to destroy Hank, and that shed outlived her usefulness. Evelyn would have received a $2 million insurance settlement if Hank died, he says. She was in on it. I believe she was. *** For the past 10 years, Billy Garland has kept 10 copies of Psalm 91 tucked inside the right heel of his shoe, 10 copies in the left, and five more in his wallet. Psalm 91 talks about near misses how 1,000 may fall at your side and 10,000 at your right hand, but you will be spared. Billy interprets this to mean that God has designated 11,000 angels as protectors, but hes not sure 11,000 is enough. So he multiplied his chances. If somebody tries to get to me they are going to have to bust through 275,000 angels, he says. He admits the 25-Psalms-in-the-shoe thing may seem a bit nutty, but he believes it works. He also believes the menace out there is real. Over the years, Billy says hes received numerous telephone death threats. The first came in the late 1960s. Billy picked up the phone in Titusville and a man said, If you mess in Hanks business, youll never see your kids grow up. The calls continued in the 1980s, when Billy says he received a series of messages where the callers voice was altered by reverb, as though from a recording studio. The message was always the same: Back off Hank Garlands business. The callers didnt specifically mention Jingle Bell Rock. They just said things like, Lay off. At the time, Billy says hed begun asking questions about his brothers missing royalties. Hank Garland does receive occasional checks for his work as a studio musician on Jingle Bell Rock. He received around $250 when the song opened Lethal Weapon. He also received payment when the song was used in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film, Jingle All the Way. But ownership royalties are the big payout, and Billy Garland believes his brother is owed plenty. According to Bobby Helms biographer and Fort Myers author David Ward Davis, it was a common practice for studios to claim copyright for work created by artists under contract. Helms complained that he and Garland had been cheated out of royalties on Jingle Bell Rock, says Davis, but he just accepted that was the way of the industry. Garland, who wasnt under contract with Decca when the song was written, chafed at the studios usurpation. Before the accident, Garland met with an attorney to discuss recovering his due for the Decca hit song, Sugarfoot Rag. Billy says the lawyer dissuaded him from pursuing the claims. He said, Hank, you have a family. Youre working here. I would suggest you just be quiet about this. Billy, who attended the meeting, thought the comment odd at the time, but says it was not in his brothers nature to be quiet when he thought he had been wronged. He was very angry about the way the record companies were doing people, Billy says. He basically grew up in it and knew how crooked it was. After the 1961 accident, Billy says he became suspicious about the official version of events. He knew Hank had asked their father to be with him in Nashville because he feared for his life. He remembered the warning of the truck driver. And Billy grew even more certain that his brother had been targeted after Evelyns death. In a pile of Garlands things, Billy found a series of black-and-white 8-by-10 photographs of the Chevy Nomad. Taken at the junkyard, the pictures show tiny, jagged holes in Garlands car. Theres one in the front passenger window. Theres another in the roof of the car in the back. And there are some in the wheel well of the tire that blew. An investigator Billy hired in the late 1960s believed the photographs showed Garlands car had been fired upon. Asked the name of the investigator, Billy says he doesnt remember. He no longer has a copy of the investigators report. And he didnt take this information to the Nashville police. He says he didnt believe the police would investigate a crime that might involve music industry bigwigs. Bradley, brother of Decca Records exec Owen Bradley, vehemently disagrees. He notes that Hank Garland was well loved by everyone in Nashville, and says if his accident had smelled of foul play there would have been a tremendous investigation. Whether or not Billys version of events is cautious or unnecessarily paranoid, its widely known in Nashville circles. Its also echoed somewhat by Davis. In his biography of Helms, he describes a series of death threats to Helms and to him personally. While working on the book, Davis says he got voice-distorted calls warning him not to write it. We cant stop the movie or the book, one caller said, but if youre dead, what good will it do you? In the books epilogue, Davis writes, To the people who threatened our lives. Well, to them I say, READ this you bastards we got the story told WE WON!!! After reading Davis book and talking to the author, Billy was prompted to prepare a lawsuit against Warner/Chappell music, the company that now holds the copyright to Jingle Bell Rock. Though he has worked intermittently with attorneys, on Aug. 8, 2003, he filed suit himself in U.S. District Court in Floridas Middle District, accusing Warner/Chappell of fraud and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Several newspapers reported the suit against the Warner Music subsidiary; all conceded his claim to Jingle Bell Rock. The story was picked up by the Associated Press and CNN. Billy, worried the lawsuit would stir up trouble, contacted the FBI. Two months later, he says, trouble knocked on his door. *** One evening in October 2003, Billy opened the door to an attractive blonde in her 40s. The woman explained she was a lawyer, and said she thought it was horrible what the recording industry had done to Hank Garland. Over the course of several nights, Billy and his wife Amy say Jacksonville attorney Lisa Lovingood camped out in front of their house, delivering speeches in the driveway in a loud voice, reenacting previous cases and promising to successfully litigate Hanks claim. If Lovingoods actions amounted to soliciting business, it would have been a violation of Florida Bar Association codes, according to Kathy Bible, Bar ethics counsel. But as Lovingood talked, the family began to believe that she might be the savior they sought. Although a colleague now says shed mainly handled employment discrimination cases, not intellectual property suits, Lovingood convinced the family that she was the lawyer to battle Warner/Chappell. Lovingood did not return repeated calls for comment on this story. But the image that emerges from her e-mail correspondence in the Garland case and Billy Garlands formal complaint to both the FBI and the Justice Department is troubling. In November 2003, Lovingood created a company, HBA, LLC, for which she served as managing partner. (Billy says the letters HBA stand for Hank and Billys Angels.) On Dec. 4, Lovingood filed a notice with the court announcing that she was the attorney of record for Hank Garland. She also filed paperwork amending Billys original complaint to include issues of copyright infringement, unfair trade practices, unfair competition, fraud and unjust enrichment. To finance the case, Lovingood involved another attorney, Ricky Lamkin, who practices law in Murray, Ky. Lamkin served as the chief investor in the case, giving Lovingood $50,000 between November 2003 and March 2004, including nearly $5,000 a month for her work on the case, according to invoices provided by Lamkin. In return, Lovingood promised Lamkin a 10 percent slice of the settlement. This arrangement does not appear to be illegal, but it does raise questions, as does the fact that neither Lovingood nor Lamkin had a written agreement with the Garlands. Lamkin acknowledges financing the suit with hopes of getting a return on his investment. I was approached to aid in the prosecution of a case that, if successfully prosecuted, then I would share in the recovery, Lamkin says. He adds, I probably made a mistake [funding the litigation]. Lovingood also fired off a letter to Gibson Guitar Corporation regarding the guitar that Garland helped design but for which Billy says his brother was never paid. Lovingood demanded $8 million from Gibson to settle Garlands claim. To pursue the suit, Lovingood estimated shed need $100,000, and she again approached Lamkin via e-mail to put up the money in exchange for 10 percent of the settlement. I need to know if you can financially commit to the costs ... for a 10 percent fee in this case, she wrote in a Jan. 22 e-mail. The payout would have been big $800,000 on an $8 million claim but the Kentucky attorney balked. Responding to her e-mail, he challenged fees that Lovingood itemized on an invoice, including money for her swimming pool service, her housekeepers and for ice cream. Lovingood responded shed been unable to clean her pool or do housework since taking on the Garlands case, which she referred to in a March 25 e-mail as the biggest copyright infringement case in U.S. history. Before I took the case .... I had the time to clean, she explained. I no longer have the time. She also told Lamkin that she was on disability and had received permission from her insurance carrier to work on the case only if she was co-counsel. If the company requested her paperwork, she told Lamkin in a March 20 e-mail, I cant have it appear as if I am the only lawyer on the file. Lovingoods legal salvos didnt intimidate Warner/Chappell attorneys, who asked for the case to be dismissed on technical issues. On Sept. 15, 2004, U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan dismissed all of the counts except one. Even if that claim is successful, because of the way Lovingood restructured Billys claim, it now appears that Garland would be able to claim only three years worth of royalties rather than the 47 his family says hes due. By the time Lovingood withdrew as counsel on the case on Oct. 7, the Garlands had soured on her legal representation. Billy even asks if she was another manifestation of the Nashville machine, sent to mess up his brothers claim. Who sent this woman over to my house to put on this show? he wonders. Billy, whose allegations against Lovingood go well beyond legal malpractice, contacted the FBI and the Justice Department and reported the incident. Investigators from both agencies declined comment. Lamkin has since sent the Garlands a bill for $50,000. And last week, the family received a letter from Warner/Chappell saying the company intends to recoup its legal expenses. *** After his accident, Hank Garland struggled to relearn the guitar. He would never make the instrument sing the way he once had, but he was able to play several of his own songs. In 1975, he performed his Sugarfoot Rag at the Grand Ole Opry. For some folks in Nashville, Garlands story remains a tragedy. But by learning that song and others, he reclaimed a part of himself. He started playing guitar at 6, and people in Cowpen, S.C. would come from miles around to hear him play. He was just a natural-born talent, Billy says. In his heyday, Garland did finger exercises to improve his reach and his ability to fly over the frets. Now, musicians who drop by his Orange Park home give Garland a taste of that pleasure as they play for him for more than an hour. Between songs, Garland and Vassar Clements talk about mutual friends. Clements tells Garland how he ran into a drummer they both knew, but says the man isnt working anymore. He never did, Garland cuts in, showing a little of his old ego. Clements agrees. Yeah, he says, Hes the only drummer Ive ever seen read comic books while hes playing. Just a few miles away, the song that should have made Hank Garland rich plays in stores throughout the Orange Park Mall. For his family and friends, righting this seasonal wrong remains their annual Christmas wish. Six days after this story appeared, Hank Garland died at Orange Park Medical Center near Jacksonville, Fla. of a staph infection.