Truth in music

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The last time Scene checked in with Larry Marshak, he was busy exploiting the legacy of old soul musicians by touring fake versions of The Drifters, The Coasters, and The Platters ["Great Pretenders," November 1]. But that may all come to an end. Today, The real Drifters' attorney, Cindy Salvo, filed a motion in a New Jersey court against Marshak claming claiming he is in violation of a 1999 court order that specifically barred him from using the name "The Drifters." Since that court order was issued, Marshak has been touring at least five different versions of "The Elsbeary Hobbs' Drifters," named after a member who passed away in 1996. None of his groups retain an original member. "Incredibly, Marshak doesn't even try to hide what he is doing," Salvo says. She's seeking all profits Marshak has earned off the name. On December 7, New Jersey's General Assembly will also hold a hearing on the Truth In Music bill — consumer rights legislation that would target people like Marshak, fining them upwards of $5,000 for their phony acts. "All of this activity is trending towards finally putting a stop to impostor groups which deceive the public and steal remuneration and glory from the authentic artists," says John Bauman, chairman of the Truth In Music Board. The real question is: will Ohio follow New Jersey's lead? -- Denise Grollmus

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