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Publishing Briefs: John Lee Hooker and Henry Mancini Estates Strike New Deals

Also: Endurance Music Group acquires Jimmie Allen, Ash Bowers and Trent Tomlinson's joint songwriting catalog and Avex USA strikes an admin deal with Sony Music Publishing.

BMG and its partner FujiPacific Music acquired the music publishing catalog of John Lee Hooker. On its own, BMG also purchased the singer-songwriter’s recorded masters royalties, as well as some of his recorded masters spanning from 1980’s Alone Vol. 1 through 2020’s Black Night Is Falling.

The royalty agreement, the terms of which were not disclosed, encompasses songs including “Boogie Chillen,” “Boom Boom” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.” According to an announcement from BMG, “some rights will still remain with third parties, but BMG will now take a lead role in promoting Hooker’s outstanding catalog.”

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This is the latest in BMG’s larger push into forging partnerships with the biggest names in American blues, including Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Howlin’ Wolf.


Primary Wave and the family of Henry Mancini have entered a marketing and publishing administration deal of selections from the late composer’s catalog, in addition to his name and likeness.

One of the most lauded composers in American history, some of Mancini’s greatest works will be repped by Primary Wave worldwide, including “Charade,” “Dear Heart” and a selection of songs from Peter Gunn. “The Pink Panther Theme” will be represented by Primary Wave in North America only.

“We’re honored to welcome the legacy and legendary music of Henry Mancini to Primary Wave,” said Marty Silverstone, partner and senior vp, creative/head of sync at Primary Wave Music. “There are very few composers or songwriters in all of modern music whose body of work and very name carries so much weight.”


Endurance Music Group has acquired the catalog of country songs written by the songwriting trio of Jimmie Allen, Ash Bowers and Trent Tomlinson during their deal term with the company Wide Open Music. WOM was purchased by EMG in 2020, and this purchase is considered by the company to be a “follow-on investment,” according to a press release.

“In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young, “Prayed for You”  by Matt Stell and “Best Shot” and “Freedom Was a Highway” by Allen are all included in the deal.


Avex USA has partnered with Sony Music Publishing to provide the company with worldwide administrative services. The deal excludes Japan, given that Avex USA’s parent company, Avex Group, is a Japanese-based leader in music and entertainment.

The Avex House, a West Hollywood studio and creative hub owned by the company has already hosted a number of successful writing sessions and camps with SMP songwriters. For Avex USA, the decision to administer through SMP will allow the company to offer its artists “an expansive network of support and opportunities for their songs worldwide, while maintaining Avex USA’s boutique, familial approach to working,” said Naoki Osada, president of Avex USA.


Jordan Reynolds, a songwriter behind Dan + Shay hits like “10,000 Hours,” “Tequila” and “Speechless,” has launched a boutique firm called Hit Ranch to help broker the sale of songwriters’ catalogs.

Co-founded with Nick Burnett, Hit Ranch used Reynold’s own catalog of songs as a test run, ultimately landing a deal with Warner Chappell Music.

“I was interested in possibly selling my catalog but realized I really didn’t know where to start. There’s still a lot of ambiguity around the process,” Reynolds said. “In talking to my songwriter friends, I realized many of them felt the same way. I wanted to figure out a way to change that and offer a simple solution to anyone considering selling their catalog.”


Downtown Music Services has signed a worldwide publishing administration deal with Alejandra Ghersi Rodriquez (best known as Arca). The Venezuelan-born non-binary artist is now based in Barcelona and has a prolific career as a songwriter and artist, with 12 official projects, along with a Grammy and a Latin Grammy nomination.

Arca, as a producer, has been credited on groundbreaking records including Ye‘s Yeezus, Bjork‘s Vulnicara and Utopia and FKA TwigsCaprisongs, as well as the remix of Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande‘s “Rain On Me.”

Arca said of the deal, “Downtown is as real as it gets. I’m talking NYC, I’m talking Arthur Russell, I’m talking hustlers and queers, I’m saying It Takes A Nation of 1000000s to hold us back, I’m telling you pre-LVMH SoHo, I’m talking Live From The Kitchen, te digo east coast exuberance, I’m saying Down, fucking, town, publishing. Bless my team. It’s Legacy, Laurie and Lou, post punk, I’m expressing it: freedom.”


Sony Music Publishing Scandanavia is now the administration partner for Vertical Rights (the publishing arm of Lateral Management). The deal will see SMP Scandinavia’s team working with Vertical Rights’ roster of songwriters in sync licensing, creative and more.

The independent publishing company, founded by the owners of Lateral Management (Christian Wåhlberg, Jamie Binns and Jan Carl Adelswärd), represents songwriters including Klas Åhlund (Robyn, Katy Perry, Usher), Jocke Åhlund (Robyn, Cee Lo Green, Iggy Pop) and dance music producers Michel Zitron and John Martin (Swedish House Mafia, Martin Garrix, David Guetta).

Wåhlberg, who serves as managing director at Vertical Rights and co-founder of Lateral, said, “Our passion has always been to make great music with good people. I am convinced that working together with Sony Music Publishing’s team under the leadership of Johnny Tennander will inject new energy into the vibrant network of artists, songwriters and producers that make up the Lateral and Vertical family.”


Ella Bric, the first woman to ever win the Latin Grammy Award for Producer of the Year (2018), has extended her deal with Universal Music Publishing Latin. The Venezuelan-born artist, who started her career in the jazz world as a trumpeter, is now focusing on her path as a singer-songwriter as well as her work producing for Latin artists in all different genres, including R&B and trap.

“I am very honored and proud to join the Universal Music Publishing family, not only because it’s the home of so many iconic artists, including Billie Eilish, Rosalia, and Elton John, but also because I was signed by a team that is primarily female-led, which is very important to me,” Bric said.


Bucks Music Group has inked a go-forward publishing deal with UK-born James Dring, the versatile Grammy-nominated producer/writer/mixing engineer behind songs from Gorillaz, Lana Del Rey and Jamie T, among others.

Bucks senior A&R Flash Taylor said of the deal, “James is extremely talented and highly sought after in everything that he does. He’s worked with some incredible artists on a range of amazing projects and there’s loads more to come from him. We’re super excited that he’s chosen Bucks as his publishing home.”

Dring added, “I’m really excited to join the Bucks family of artist and songwriters. I have huge admiration and respect for their integrity as an independent publisher. I can’t wait to start working with Flash and the rest of the team!”


Unknown Music Publishing has signed UK-born producer/songwriter Phil Simmonds to a global co-publishing agreement. The independent publisher, founded by famed songwriter Ross Golan, will be working with Simmonds’ entire previous catalog of work as well as future works.

Simmonds’ past works include Olivia O’Brien‘s “Josslyn” and JP Cooper‘s “Holy Water.” He has a slew of forthcoming credits on the way this year, including songs with Kenzie, Sam Tompkins and New Hope Club.

“Phil can produce any genre with his versatile skill set,” says Golan said. Unknown Music Publishing’s head of A&R Kelley Fox added, “His musicality, talent, and overall kindness as a person is truly unmatched. He will be a force to be reckoned with.”