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BMG Goes ‘Boom Boom,’ Acquires John Lee Hooker Music Assets

The Berlin-based company adds to a library that includes other blues greats including Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Son House.

BMG and its partner FujiPacific Music have acquired the music publishing catalog of John Lee Hooker, the companies announced on Wednesday. In addition, BMG alone has purchased his recorded masters royalties and some of the late blues master’s recorded masters spanning from 1980’s Alone Vol. 1 through 2020’s Black Night Is Falling.

Terms of the deals with Hooker’s estate remain undisclosed, but the publishing catalog includes such classic tunes as “Boom Boom,” “One Scotch, One Beer” and “Boogie Chillen’.”

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BMG says that while some of the Hooker rights will still remain with third parties, the German company will now take the lead role in promoting the artist’s catalog.

“As the longtime managers of the John Lee Hooker Estate, JAM, Inc. was happy to help the Estate and BMG conclude this transaction,”: JAM CEO Jeff Jampol said in a statement on the deal. “We are very pleased that an artist-first company like BMG will be the stewards of this great legacy moving forward, and we are grateful to remain in a consulting and management role of the John Lee Hooker legacy, in partnership with BMG, moving forward. This is a rare triple-win for everyone: the Hooker family, BMG, and for the millions of John Lee Hooker fans all across the world. We can’t wait to see – and be a part of – what’s coming next!”

Hooker died in 2001 of natural causes at his home in California. He was believed to be between 83 and 88 at the time of his death.

BMG has been active in acquiring music assets since its revival in 2009 and its latest deals include acquiring the rights from Mick Fleetwood, Tina Turner, Mötley Crüe, and ZZ Top. BMG notes that Hooker is known to his fans as the “King of the Boogie” and besides being one of the “true superstars of the blues genre [is] the ultimate beholder of cool.” Hooker joins a BMG catalog that includes rights of other blues greats including Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Son House.

“BMG is proud to be the definitive home of John Lee Hooker’s music, one of the key inspirations and foundation stones of popular music,” BMG president of repertoire and marketing Thomas Scherer said in a statement. “BMG will ensure John Lee Hooker’s legacy is honored and respected wherever and whenever John Lee Hooker’s music is used, performed, recorded or sold.”