In 1983, Toy decided to leave the MTB for personal time. At this time, Toy wanted to retire the name and end on a high note. He was outvoted by the other shareholders, he did not have a choice. Doug and Jerry wanted to buy the rights to use the name MTB. Toy wished them well and we went on with our lives.
In the late 1980’s Toy received a letter from MTB’s lawyer, informing Toy that it had come to Doug and Jerry’s attention, promoters were using the MTB name to promote him. If this did not stop, they would have no option but to sue Toy. Toy who was still a shareholder in MTB, and who was represented by this same lawyer, did have a reaction, but it passed quickly. Toy told me, I’m not going to tell these promoters how to promote me, and besides I will always be associated with the MTB. This was a ripple in our lives, and it was nothing more than a threat. Actually I had forgotten about it until recently.
In 1996, with the exception of George McCorkle, they did sue me. A lawsuit they had no chance in winning, I inherited Toy’s 20% of MTB, the copyrights were not for sale and never would be. The only shareholders of MTB were original members or their widows. With total lack of regard for the emotional, financial stress they were adding to an almost unbearable situation, they forced me to hire attorneys to represent me, while they also took legal fees out of my share of Toy’s royalties to “Stop Abbie”. With no family support at all, I did have more than enough loving support from my friends in TN. They got me through the lowest point in my life, and I will be forever grateful. This ordeal ended in November 1998.
In this long expensive lawsuit, that snowballed, it was discovered after Tommy’s death, unknown to Toy, he had began supporting 5 families. He died never knowing this and only wishing them the best in life. On the advice of my lawyers, to save me some expense, it was suggested that I go to Atlanta, Ga., where the records for Capricorn Bankruptcy were kept. I spent a day going through boxes, and making copies of papers for my attorneys. These boxes of papers were mailed to me. It appears, this 5 way split started around October 1980. When I signed in, the attorney for MTB, who was supposedly representing me as well, since I was still a shareholder, had been there a couple of days earlier. Yes, Tommy watched the expenses, and Toy did not. Later, I went through all the boxes, and the cost MTB was charging me was shocking. This was taken out of royalties due me, obviously without my knowledge, as I was forced to hire my own attorneys to represent me.
I moved to Greenville, SC in 1996, after personal actions from family members became unbearable. I loved Spartanburg but had no control of negative actions of family members. It was attention for the sake of attention, whether it was negative did not matter. I ran away from nothing, I removed myself from a situation of drama that steadily escalated. Only to be sued by people I thought were friends, who Toy did in fact, wish them well, when he decided to leave the band. No big split up - although the story was spinned differently. George McCorkle was truly my friend and Toy’s and that friendship never wavered.