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McCartney To Administer Perkins' music

  • Source: by W. Matt Meyer
Don't be surprised if you start hearing more Carl Perkins music in movies, on television or on the radio in the coming years.

And it will all be because of former Beatle Paul McCartney.

A new publishing deal for the Jackson native's early song catalog will put the administration rights in the hands of McCartney's MPL Communications, according to a deal announced Friday. The financial terms were not disclosed.

"It's a real good opportunity for them and for getting Dad's music kept alive," Perkins' daughter, Debbie Swift, said Monday.

The songs are still owned by Perkins' widow, Valda Perkins, Swift said. This deal creates a partnership between MPL and the Perkins catalog that can generate income for both parties, Swift said, with the larger percentage going to the Perkins family.

The previous administrator of Perkins' music didn't do much with it in terms of getting music placed, Swift said. When the time came for the family to renew its administration contract, it generated plenty of interest, she said. McCartney, a long-time Perkins fan, called Swift's brother Stan Perkins directly to initiate negotiations, she said.

Several companies offered to buy the rights, said Ralph Gordon, a Perkins family attorney.

"But the family wanted someone who would exploit the catalog in a positive manner," Gordon said. "Because Paul was such a fan, they went with his company even though others offered more money."

In the Beatles' early years, the band played Perkins' music in their live shows. The band also recorded several Perkins' classics on early albums - including "Honey Don't," "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" and "Matchbox." McCartney also included "Matchbox" on a recent live DVD release.

These songs, as well as Perkins' best-known "Blue Suede Shoes," are a part of the new deal.

"Carl Perkins was one of my earliest influences; I am quite simply a fan of his," McCartney said in a statement released last week. McCartney also owns the rights to the catalogs of Buddy Holly and Broadway songwriters Jerry Herman, Frank Loesser and Meredith Wilson.

Perkins, the rockabilly legend who died in 1998 at age 65, is considered one of the most influential singer-songwriters of his era, penning hits for such greats as Johnny Cash ("Daddy Sang Bass"), Patsy Cline ("I Was So Wrong"), the Judds ("Let Me Tell You About Love") and Elvis Presley. Presley's "Blue Suede Shoes" became a bigger hit than Perkins' own version.

Deals like this are usually cut when an artist's catalog may not be getting the income it could if it were in the hands of the right people, said Nashville entertainment attorney Duff Berschback.

"If you can put control of this catalog in the hands of those who are in the business, then just sit back and watch the money come in," said Berschback, who represents dozens of writers, artists and publishers.

Music can generate income three different ways - through record sales, performance license fees and being placed in movies or television shows, Berschback said. Just one proper placement of a song could increase royalties in all three revenue streams, he said.

The deal includes all of Perkins' Sun Records recordings that are under the control of the Carl Perkins Music Publishing Company. This is the music he fought for in the 1970s in a long legal battle with Sam Phillips. Perkins also started two other publishing companies - Godfather Music and Brick Hithouse - which represent different eras of his career, Swift said.

Swift wouldn't say what the deal for the early songs was worth, but she said it's nowhere near the $10-12 million figure being floated in rumors around town. She's heard most of the rumors at Suede's, the Perkins-themed restaurant she owns with her husband, Bart Swift.

"If that were true, I wouldn't be standing here slinging hash right now," she said.


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1 person has commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think below.
by hacen cheriti : algeria . jijel April 13, 2010 6:28 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
Well it s 1 for the money .......icarl perkins is the best of them all ..he played music ..wrote songs...the best songs with beautiful names ;; blue suede shoes ::boppin the blues ;; honey dont ;;; matchbox :: dixie fried ;etc ;He was a sincere man ;; he liked people ;;the way he used to dance on stage with his blue suede shoes remains one of the best rockabilly dance for me ;;god bless all his family and hid daughter DEBBIE
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