Legal Department


The purpose of the “Legal Department” is to provide easy access to documents needed to justify sending due compensation to Teagarden Online, Inc. and to help develop agreement and alliance regarding the same.


So many people have asked me, “What do you want?” that I would like to answer the question here.

What I, Joseph Clois Teagarden want as the sole heir of the Estate of Jack Teagarden.

A full disclosure from any person or firm planning to, or currently publishing some form of the work(s) of the late, Jack Teagarden. Including, but not limited to:

1) A chronological report of sales and uses of the works of Jack Teagarden in the past and their corresponding Royalty Statements going as far back as may be available or the law requires.

2) A report providing the contact information for any and all associated persons estates, authors, artists, producers, publishers, proprietors, companies and other firms that currently receive compensation in association of the sales and use of publications using work of Jack Teagarden.

3) Copies of any agreements, contracts, licenses, or other authorizations that may have been provided by any person(s) or firm(s) associated with any use of the works of the late, Jack Teagarden.

4) Due compensation as directed by Jack and Addie Teagarden in accordance with domestic and international law.


by Brenda Teagarden

It has been a few years since Joe Teagarden's mom, Addie Teagarden passed on leaving him the Jack Teagarden Estate. Addie was the manager of Jack's band for many years. She provided the business sense to contribute to Jack's a great success in his later years. Unfortunately, Addie was unable to realize and receive many of the royalties due her from the publishing of his music and recordings he made over a 5 decades. More recently, the rights of celebrities, performers and writers have became more defined and legislation has contributed to copyright law. Jack Teagarden died in January 1964 in New Orleans. In spite of a proliferation of bootlegged music Jack Teagarden's music has continued to be popular and many reputable firms have been able to preserve and restore rights to the benefit of the Estate.

Mrs. Addie Teagarden died broke, while many record producers and publishers continued to profit from Jack Teagarden's music. For years Addie was able to archive and to keep much of the memorabilia, songs, sheet music, newspaper articles, and photos of Jack's career. As her health began to fail, some of this was loaned out to alleged friends and collectors of Jack Teagarden's music. She never wrote any contracts or agreements with anyone giving them the right to republish or produce any of his music. Yet, many have done this very thing. Anyone who knew Addie Teagarden was aware that she was adamant about this, particularly knowing that Joseph Teagarden, the son of Jack and Addie was the only other remaining heir to his father's music and related rights.

Since Addie died in February 1997, Joe Teagarden the only remaining son and sole heir AT LAW has been tracking all of his songs and recordings since Jack's humble beginnings as a trombone player and composer who performed during the "Big Band" and the "Dixieland Jazz" era's. This has been a major undertaking, requiring numerous hours and funds to accomplish. Attorney's fees are exorbitant and many of Jack's old friends and fellow musicians have gone on to a more etheric bandstand, making the research even more difficult. The law clearly states that Joe Teagarden has the right to any royalties realized as a result of publishing and recording his father's music.

Joe was quite surprised to find between 30-40 CD's in different record stores and up to ninety different titles on music sites on the web. Yet, Joe Teagarden has not received one red cent from any of these. This doesn't even include the tapes or vinyl records that are still available for sale. In a taped interview in the late 1940's, Jack in his own words said that he was featured in over 5000 albums at that point in time. Jack Teagarden was also in eighteen movies which Joe and several of his friends has seen featured on T.V. He also has not received any royalties for these.

This website is part of the due diligence required to ascertain and to claim his royalties. He has written and sent certified letters of notification with the attached court order stating that Joe Teagarden is the son and sole heir AT LAW to the music and related rights of the late, Jack Teagarden, to over one hundred firms currently using the works of Jack Teagarden for profit. Many have not responded at all and in some cases, others have redirected him elsewhere, stating that someone else is responsible for paying the royalties. Distributors redirect him to record labels, record labels redirect him to publishers and publishers redirect him back to other record labels. Are we just "tilting at windmills" like Don Quixote?

The Teagarden family is actively seeking anyone who would like to assist in this quest. Joe is also attempting to create a scholarship fund for musicians to further their music education. Joe would like to contribute to the development of an online museum and library and hopefully ease the pain of cataloging so much of the artistic wealth currently being left to the Universities as each generation passes on. Many of our universities and museums are backlogged with the work of cataloging and incorporating newly donated material and perhaps grant money should be offered to help them out.

If anyone who reads this and is in appreciation of what Joe Teagarden is trying to accomplish, please email or write him through the "Contact Us" section of this website.

My name is Brenda Teagarden, former wife and dear friend of Joe Teagarden. I have been providing volunteer assistance to Joe for several months and will continue to assist as much as I am able. Anyone else want to get on the "Bandwagon", so to speak?


Teagarden Online, the website, (and now has been up and running since the forth of June and we have already had hundreds of visitors. Several people have responded to our "general call for assistance" and are sending in data, stories, donations, leads, suggestions, and good will.

My call for help is somewhat explained in the "Legal Dept." section of the site but the bottom line is an inquiry. What happened? How is it, that a musician such as my father, Jack Teagarden, who gave is heart and soul to the development of a better world, who was before his time in contributing to equal rights, whose work has and continues to contribute to the GNP of many nations, whom has been acknowledged as a major contributor by the State of California as a pioneer in the development of the entertainment industry, and whose music is still enjoyed throughout the world today,,, how is it, that in this day and age,,, that his survivors receive little or no benefit? How is it happening, or, how does it happen that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent every year, in the name of "Jack Teagarden", and the few cents on the dollar that are customarily provided to the "Estate" have never reached us? How is this happening and can anything be done about it? If you have an answer to this question I would love to hear from you.

As per Jack Teagarden's Last Will, my father gave me hundred's of records and tapes containing thousands of recordings, all of the written music, four trombones, and a few other instruments. Most of these things were placed in museums, lent to people for their personal enjoyment, or given to others for "safe keeping" over the years. To the best of my knowledge, no authorization has ever been provided to use any of these recordings for commercial gain. In some cases, these recordings have been found to be the "source material" used to publish some of the unauthorized Records, CD's and Tapes that are being sold here in the US and abroad.

For years, I played, maintained, shined, and slept with those horns and packed the manuscripts hundreds of times getting ready for the next gig. Just for the fun of it, I would like to know where these things are now where they have traveled over the last few decades and perhaps tell their story.

Another major "bottom line" is that we just wanted to say, "Thank you Dad", and, we love you too....

There have been numerous responses to Vernajean's, Miami Herald article by Sue Reisinger. Her article can be viewed through the link under "News from Vernajean" found below in this web page. We, the family of Jack Teagarden, thank all of you who have responded and offered to assist in the book Vernajean mentioned in the article. As a clarification, the book Vernajean intends to publish is not a true historical biography of the life of the late Jack Teagarden, but a collection of heart-felt and often humorous short stories of the life and times of Jack Teagarden as Vernajean's Dad. In this context, Vernajean is seeking assistance in the recording of the interviews and putting them to paper. Due to the nature of this "labor of love", someone who is in the vicinity of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, would be the most appropriate. You can contact Vernajean by clicking here.

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