Primary Wave Music announced deals on Wednesday that see the company partner and acquire stakes in the catalogs of two artists whose music was all over American radio in the 1970s, Bad Company and Free singer-songwriter Paul Rodgers as well as the America group. These initiatives continue the campaign to acquire and popularize the catalogs of proven hitmakers such as Bob Marley, Prince, Stevie Nicks, James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles, Aerosmith and others.
As part of the partnership with Rodgers – long recognized as one of the greatest vocalists of the rock era – Primary Wave has acquired a stake in his music publishing catalog for Free and Bad Company, as well as revenue streams master record for both groups. The terms of the deal will also see Paul create an imprint to be distributed by Sun Records where he will not only co-sign new artists but also curate compilations for the legendary label. The additional terms of the deal give Rodgers access to the entire marketing team, digital team, brand team and publishing infrastructure of Primary Wave, which includes opportunities license and synchronization.
Although best known as the lead singer of arena rockers Bad Company, who had a string of his songs like “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and “Shooting Star”, Rodgers’ work with his previous band, Free, was arguably more influential, with songs like “Wishing Well”, “Fire and Water”, “Mr. Big” and especially “All Right Now”, one of the classic rock songs of the 1970s, which dominated the charts in several countries and was written by Rodgers and the late bassist Andy Fraser when they were teenagers. After Bad Company’s initial split, Rodgers formed the company with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and later worked with Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen.
Commenting on the partnership, Paul Rodgers says: “Innovative, hardworking, forward-thinking and courageous are just some of the adjectives that define Primary Wave. Given their in-depth knowledge of my catalog, partnering with them seems a natural progression, to ensure the messages and music endure for the fans. Lisa Alter of Alter, Kendrick & Baron, LLP negotiated the agreement on Rodgers’ behalf.
The company also acquired the rights of songwriters Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell to the band America’s music publishing catalogs. The multi-million dollar deal also includes several re-recordings that encompass some of the critically acclaimed group’s greatest hits, as well as certain name and likeness rights. Songs included are a number of the group’s US hits, written by Beckley and Bunnell, such as ‘Sister Golden Hair’, ‘Ventura Highway’ and ‘Tin Man’, as well as the No. 1 hit ‘A Horse With No’ . Name.” The band won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1972.
“We’re thrilled that our catalog is now in the hands of the good people at Primary Wave, where the music we’ve created over the past 50 years will get new attention and exposure,” says Bunnell. “We are proud of the music we have produced over these decades and look forward to seeing the catalog continue to improve the lives of listeners for generations to come through the vision and actions of Primary Wave. Meanwhile, we actively continue to pursue our careers as songwriters and performers in the 21st century.
America was represented by Jim Morey of Morey Management Group, Howard Grossman of WG&S, a division of Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman LLC, and Michael O. Crain of Crain Law Group.