Scott Cameron, 76, president and CEO of Route 66 Sodas in Lebanon, Missouri, who is best-known as a longtime manager of blues legend Muddy Waters and executor of his estate, died Thursday, according to a couple of roadies who knew him.
Cameron also was a partner with Mr. C’s Routepost in Lebanon, a large souvenir shop right on Route 66.
In addition to the father of modern Chicago blues, Cameron also managed the careers of Willie Dixon, Stan Kenton, Ted Hawkins and Buddy Guy, to name a few.
Most importantly, Cameron ran The Cameron Organisation Inc., which was dedicated to recovering music royalties to musicians and their heirs.
Cameron explained on its website how his organization came to be:
“We became aware of the rights of the artist when we discovered that Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon were not receiving royalties anywhere near the amounts they should have been due to the hundreds of songs they had written and recordings they had made. Our research at the Library of Congress Copyright Offices discovered both been induced to sign agreements that divested them of their rights and the rights of their families for the life of their copyrights and any renewals.
“In 1976, on behalf of Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon we engaged attorneys, provided them with information and assistance in bringing legal actions against a certain music publisher. While the cases eventually settled, the rights to their individual songwriting catalogs were returned to them in full. The catalogs are now benefitting their families for many years to come. A few years later we guided attorneys successfully through similar legal actions on behalf of the family of Jimmy Reed.” […]
“We are constantly researching ‘lost’ royalties and the family members who may be due these funds as heirs to the writer or artist. Many potential heirs may be distantly related, however, that does not diminish their right to claim royalties and rights that would be due the writer or artist if he or she were still alive today. […] While every recovery may not be a major one, our philosophy is that if there is one dollar due to our clients, they should have it and not the music publisher or recording company.”
I’ve read plenty of books about the lives of the early blues musicians that influenced modern rock ‘n’ rollers, and a great many of those black men scraped by financially because of bad record deals they’d signed years before. So a dedicated advocate such as Cameron had to be a godsend to them and their children.
Route 66 Sodas was based in Wilmington, Illinois, when Cameron bought the company in 2007. He proved to be an enthusiastic hawker of those beverages, as he traveled up and down Route 66 delivering it to prospective sellers. He was named the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year in 2008.
He moved Route 66 Sodas to central Missouri about five years ago. He also converted the sodas’ formulas from using fructose corn syrup to pure cane sugar.
I’ll have more on Cameron’s funeral services as soon as I can get it.
UPDATE: Vintage Vinyl News has more details about Cameron’s work with blues artists.
UPDATE 2/26/2015: Cameron’s services will be Friday afternoon at Klinger-Cope Family Funeral Home in Springfield, Missouri. More here.
(Hat tip to Kip Welborn)