Bert Weedon, whose guitar teaching has influenced generations of rock stars, has won "substantial" damages from the BBC after a radio station wrongly claimed he learned to play while in jail.
Weedon: His Play in a Day books have sold two million
A judge in London's High Court awarded the sum - the amount of which is confidential - because the statement implied that Weedon had been convicted of a serious crime.
Apart from being false, the claim - made by BBC Radio 2 - was deeply hurtful and acutely embarrassing, Weedon's solicitor Simon Smith said.
Rock legends including Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Eric Clapton have all cited Weedon's guitar tips in helping them learn the to play.
The allegation was made in press preview information for a Radio 2 show called Jailhouse Rock, but there was no evidence to support it, the court heard.
It may not always be fashionable in the rock music world, but my client is rightly proud of his unblemished past
The same information also appeared on the press section of the BBC's website.
"Not even the BBC are sure where the mistake originated," Mr Smith said.
"It may not always be fashionable in the rock music world, but my client is rightly proud of his unblemished past and does not want that legacy damaged at this late stage of his private life and professional career."
Many of his friends took the claim seriously enough to call Weedon to ask him whether it was true, Mr Smith said.
"This has saddened, and distressed Mr Weedon greatly."
Weedon (right) collected his OBE with Sir James Galway
The BBC had been conciliatory throughout and agreed to publish an apology with due prominence on the appropriate part of its website, Mr Smith added.
The BBC's solicitor, Philip Lawrence, said the corporation offered its sincere apologies and accepted that the allegation was without foundation and ought never have been made.
The court was told that Mr Weedon had performed with stars like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Judy Garland and Cliff Richard, during his career.
He is best-known for his Play in a Day guitar instruction book, which has sold more than two million copies around the world, and was made an OBE in 2001.