Bob Frank Entertainment has acquired a stake in the music catalog of the late Charlie Daniels, including such tracks as a live version of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “The South’s Gonna Do It (Again)” with Keith Urban on guitar, “Long Haired Country Boy” with Brooks & Dunn, and “Southern Boy” with Travis Tritt.
While terms of the deal were not disclosed, BFE, a 10-year-old entertainment company helmed by veteran music industry executive Bob Frank, will now be equal partners with Blue Hat Records and the Daniels estate, with each owning one-third of the music assets. Blue Hat Records is a label launched by Daniels and his manager David Corlew, while the estate is overseen by Daniels’ wife, Hazel, and his son, Charlie Jr.
“This transaction will be the first of many for BFE’s new privately funded investment arm, Red Shark Ventures, which is focused on catalog masters,” said BFE CEO Bob Frank, whose résumé includes stints at PolyGram, VelVel, Koch Entertainment, eOne and Merlin, where he was chairman. “What better way to launch this effort then with our long-time partner Blue Hat Records who we have been in business with for over 20 years. With such a deep and historic archive, we already have a strong release schedule through 2023.”
Besides the newly formed Red Shark Ventures, which will focus on catalog master recording acquisitions, BFE consists of the labels Red River Entertainment and BFR, distribution operation BFD, music publishing units Admiral Lane Songs and Corlew Frank Music, and film and TV unit Damson Lane Productions.
Noting their 20-year business relationship, Corlew said in a statement, “This purchase allows us to work even closer with Bob and his team to continue Charlie’s musical legacy in a much larger way. Bob has many years of experience with major labels and distribution, which will allow us to reach into a global market that we haven’t really touched, as well as provide a new domestic awareness to one of the oldest independent artist-owned labels. Hazel, Charlie Jr., and I are very excited about this new venture.”
Upcoming projects will include an album recorded from the very first Volunteer Jam concert, held in 1974 at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, which will contain previously unreleased live tracks of some of Daniels’ biggest hits.
“Charlie Jr., David and I are thrilled to welcome Bob into our family,” Hazel Daniels said in a statement. “Charlie loved working with him so we feel this partnership is a perfect fit.”
Between his Dove Award-winning gospel albums and his southern rock albums, Daniels and the Charlie Daniels Band combined have scanned more than 11 million album consumption units since the advent of MRC Data’s predecessor company SoundScan in 1991. Daniels, who died in 2020 at the age of 83, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame, and was active in supporting charitable organizations including The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project, which he founded with Corlew to help U.S. Armed Forces veterans.