Gerry Goffin‘s estate has entered a partnership with Primary Wave which will see the company acquiring a portion of his songwriting income. Known for their extensive publishing catalog, which recently added Chris Isaak and the largest single interest in the Prince estate to its tally, Primary Wave will acquire stakes in many of the lyricist’s biggest hits.
Though he had a career spanning over four decades, Goffin is perhaps best known for his work with Carole King. First college friends, the two fledgling musicians began writing together around 1960, when they signed to Aldon Music. Soon after, the duo penned their first hit “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” by The Shirelles. From there, they wrote for Bobby Vee, The Drifters, and some of King’s biggest triumphs in her own artist career, like “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “The Loco-Motion.”
The writing duo’s partnership has since been immortalized in the Tony-winning musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Both were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1990.
Goffin wrote with other notable talents as well, including Russ Titelman, Barry Goldberg, and Michael Masser. Songs from these collaborations include Oscar-nominated “Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To,” and the Golden Globe-nominated “So Sad the Song.” Into the latter decades of the 20th century, he also penned songs that launched the careers of Pebo Bryson & Roberta Flake and Whitney Houston.
The Brooklyn native died in 2014 at the age of 75.
Though all of the songs listed above are noted as part of the new Primary Wave deal, the publisher declined to state whether this was the extent of the deal or if it encompassed more — or all — of Goffin’s songs. Financial details were not disclosed by the company either, however, a source close to the deal says Primary Wave paid about $20 million for the catalog.
Sony Music Publishing, Goffin’s longtime partner, retains its publisher’s share of the income, according to a source.
“The songs Gerry Goffin penned over the course of his incredible career are proven to be ageless and have stood the test of time,” said Larry Mestel, CEO and founder of Primary Wave Music, in a statement. “We are thrilled to have these iconic songs, some of which are among the greatest of all time, on our roster. We are honored to welcome him to the family of Primary Wave Music artists.”
Christine Russell, founding partner of Evolution Music Partners, which has managed Goffin’s catalog for the last 20 years, added, “It is my pleasure and honor to be working with the incredible team at Primary Wave to continue to represent this iconic songwriter and his legendary song catalog.”