Dualtone to Handle Chuck Berry U.S. Publishing Rights: Exclusive

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Chuck Berry does the splits as he plays his Gibson hollowbody electric guitar in circa 1968. 

Plus Downtown links up with Natalie Merchant, peermusic scores a Big Deal and more publishing news.

Dualtone Music Group, which recently issued Chuck Berry's posthumous CHUCK album, has also signed a deal to serve as U.S. publishing administrator for the songwriter's own Isalee Music Publishing. That deal includes administering the U.S. rights for such songs as "Maybellene," Johnny B. Goode," "Let It Rock," "Memphis, Tennessee," "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," "Rock and Roll Music," "Back in the U.S.A.," "School Days," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Reelin' and Rockin'," "Carol," "Thirty Days (To Come Back Home)," and "Almost Grown." 

"It's a real honor to be working with the Berry family, representing Chuck's songs to the world," Dualtone CEO and co-founder Scott Robinson said in a statement. "These songs are truly an amazing body of work!"

In addition, Dualtone, which was acquired by Entertainment One (eOne) in February 2016, also serves as worldwide publishing administrator for eight of the 10 new recordings on the CHUCK album, the first new Berry studio effort since 1979.

"This agreement makes it easier than ever to license iconic Chuck Berry songs all over the world," Gary Pierson, who represents the Berry Estate and Isalee Music Publishing, added in a statement. "Dualtone did a great job helping to bring Chuck's last record to the world, and now we are excited to partner with them on his catalog as well." 

In other eOne news, the company signed music producer Rui Wen Pan, also known as Vinny X, to a global publishing administration deal, which includes such songs as Kodak Black's "No Flockin.'"  

"We are excited to kick our publishing division into gear with Vinny X," global president, music of eOne Chris Taylor said in a statement. "We want to make a statement to the music community that eOne Music Publishing is open for business. We have so many ways we can propel his career to the next level. The first step is making sure he can fully own his success!"

In other publishing news...

-- Downtown Music has signed a global publishing administration deal with Natalie Merchant to handle over 100 of her compositions, including her entire solo work as well as selected songs recorded with 10,000 Maniacs. The deal includes her singles "Carnival," "Jealosy," and "Wonder."

"Over the course of her career [Merchant] has touched millions of fans and continues to inspire countless artists with her unique brand of songwriting and unmistakable voice,"Downtown CEO Justin Kalifowitz said in a statement. "As a New Yorker, she has also long been a role model in using her artistry and gift for storytelling to advocate on behalf of issues important to our state and the world at-large. We're looking forward to working closely with Natalie and her team in creating new opportunities for her extraordinary body of work."

In another deal, Downtown Music Benelux has signed a deal to represent Sub-Pop Publishing internationally. "In searching for a new international partner we decided we'd only settle for a digitally minded but creatively focussed company that would also treat us like part of the family," Sub Pop Publishing vp Gareth Smith said in a statement.. "That is exactly what we found with…the awesome teams at Downtown and Songtrust!"

As part of that deal, Sub Pop Publishing's roster of writers and recording artists will be able to benefit from SongTrust, Downtown's technology platform, which powers royalty collection from 130 countries. "I am sure we can add great value to his growing roster at Sub Pop by helping them on creative opportunities," Downtown Music Benelux managing director Lucas van Slegtenhorst said in a statement.

-- peermusic has completed a long-term sub-publishing agreement to represent the music copyrights controlled by Big Deal Music Group, which includes its Nashville operation, Words & Music to represent its catalog for the globe, excluding the United States, France, Australia, and Africa. The Big Deal/Words & Music catalog includes 10,000 Maniacs; Afghan Whigs; Dan Wilson; Dave Sardy; Ethan Johns; Kamasi Washington; Local Natives; My Morning Jacket; Nick Lowe; Pavement; Preservation Hall Jazz Band; Ray LaMontagne; Sharon Van Etten; Sleater-Kinney; St. Vincent; and Teddy Geiger among others.

"It takes great people to build great companies and we're thrilled to call [peer]  partners." Big Deal Music Group founder Kenny MacPherson said in a statement. "This partnership has nothing to do with the fact that Ralph [Peer] maintains a world class wine cellar!"

In addition to administration, as their sub-publisher, peermusic will work to maximize all creative opportunities for Big Deal's clients in all local markets. 

"This deal allows us to help maximize opportunities for an incredible roster of songwriters with business partners that we deeply respect," peermusic president Kathy Spanberger said in a statement.

-- The NMPA announced its gold and platinum songwriter awards for July, naming Tyler Joseph from Twenty One Pilots as the top songwriter with eight certificates for such songs as "Heathens," " Ride," and "Stressed Out." For full details, go here.