The Song: Ray Parker, Jr. “Ghostbusters” (1984)
The Plaintiff: Huey Lewis and the News
The Case: Motown-reared guitarist Ray Parker, Jr. may not have been afraid on no ghosts but the short-deadline the producers of the hit movie Ghostbusters gave him to write the movie’s theme song may have scared him into stealing the melody from another one of the ‘80s biggest hits. Parker claims he had been inspired by a TV jingle he saw for a local business though the finished song bore a spooky resemblance to “I Want A New Drug,” a top 10 hit for Huey Lewis and The News earlier that year.
The Judgment: Huey Lewis and The News sued not only Parker but also Columbia Pictures who had released the movie. The matter was settled out of court however when Lewis opened up about the case on an episode of Behind The Music Ray Parker, Jr. sued Lewis for breach of confidentiality.