THE DEAL WILL SEE THE DYNAMIC PUBLISHER ACQUIRE A STAKE IN THE LEGENDARY BAND’S MUSIC CATALOG, AS WELL AS CERTAIN NAME AND LIKENESS RIGHTS
INCLUDED IN THE DEAL ARE SOME OF THEIR BIGGEST HITS SUCH AS
“A HORSE WITH NO NAME” AND “VENTURA HIGHWAY”
“A lot happened in 1970, and much of it wasn’t great. But some great things happened that year too. One of them was called America, an iconic band which was born that year by three guys who could write great songs and sing them in perfect harmony.” – American Songwriter
New York, NY (January 12, 2022) – The music publishing catalog of the legendary and award-winning rock band America is the latest acquisition for Primary Wave Music. The deal, which was announced today, will see Primary Wave acquire Gerry Beckley’s and Dewey Bunnell’s rights in the America music catalog. The multi-million-dollar deal also includes several re-records that encompass some of the critically acclaimed band’s biggest hits, as well as certain name and likeness rights.
Songs included in this exciting new partnership encompass a number of the band’s biggest hits written by Beckley and Bunnell such as “Sister Golden Hair,” “Ventura Highway,” and “Tin Man.” All three of these songs would spend weeks on the top 10 of the Billboard 100, “Sister Golden Hair” hitting the number one spot. Also included is the band’s iconic hit “A Horse With No Name.” Released in 1971, “A Horse With No Name” was the band’s first and most successful single. The song shot to number 1 on the Billboard 100, staying there for three weeks, and would go on to be certified platinum. In 1972 the single was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of “Best Pop Vocal Performance by A Duo, Group or Chorus” and helped them win for “Best New Artist.”
Additional deal terms will now see Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell gain access to Primary Wave’s entire marketing team, digital team, branding team and publishing infrastructure which includes licensing and synch opportunities.
“We are pleased that our catalogue is now in the able hands of the good folks at Primary Wave, where the music we have created over the last 50 years will be given new attention and exposure,” says Dewey Bunnell. He continues, “We are proud of the music we produced across these decades, and look forward to watching the catalogue continue to enhance listeners’ lives for generations to come through the vision and actions of Primary Wave. Meanwhile, we continue to actively pursue our careers as songwriters and performers into the 21st Century.”
“It is an honor and a thrill to add the greatness of America and the songs of Gerry and Dewey to the icons and legends of Primary Wave” said Adam Lowenberg, Chief Marketing Officer at Primary Wave Music.
“The songs of AMERICA were the cornerstone of my youth. You could not turn on the radio without hearing one of their classic rock hits,” says Barbara Rose, Partner in Primary Wave Music’s management division. She goes on, “Fifty years later, these songs still resonate with positive and uplifting memories of a time gone by. We are excited to work with Gerry and Dewey and their team on preserving these memories for future generations.”
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.
America, the perennial classic-rock favorite, is continuing to celebrate its 50th Anniversary with their powerful performances. Founding members, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell (along with former band mate, the late Dan Peek) met in high school in London in the late 1960s and quickly harmonized their way to the top of the charts on the strength of their signature song “A Horse With No Name.” America became a global household name and paved the way with an impressive string of hits following the success of their first #1 single. Forty plus years later, these friends are still making music together, touring the world and thrilling audiences with their timeless sound. America’s journey has found them exploring a wide variety of musical terrain. Their best-known tunes, which also include “I Need You,” “Ventura Highway,” “Don’t Cross The River,” “Tin Man,” “Lonely People,” and “Sister Golden Hair” were cornerstones of 1970’s Top 40 and FM rock radio. Yet beyond their impressive catalog of hits, listeners would discover there was always much more to America than surface perceptions. The combination of Gerry Beckley’s melodic pop rock and Dewey Bunnell’s use of folk-jazz elements, slinky Latin-leaning rhythms and impressionistic lyric imagery contrasted well with Dan Peek’s more traditional country-rock leanings and highly personal lyrics. America’s albums–six certified gold and/or platinum, with their first greatest hits collection, History, hitting four plus million in sales–displayed a fuller range of the trio’s talents than did their singles. Their material encompassed an ambitious artistic swath; from effects-laden rockers to oddball medleys to soul-bearing ballads, America displayed a flawless blend of disparate genres and styles as wide-open as the great American plains. Enjoying massive success early in their career, America earned their stripes as musical soldiers on the battlefield amidst the excess, craziness and chaos of the 70’s. The trio won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1972 and began working with George Martin and Geoff Emerick in 1974. This successful team went on to record seven albums and several Top Ten hits, including “Tin Man,” “Sister Golden Hair” and “Lonely People.” By the mid-70s, inter-band conflicts combined with an exhaustive touring and recording schedule exacted its toll on the group. With Peek’s departure from the fold in 1977, Gerry Beckley & Dewey Bunnell rose to the challenge and carried on as a duo. Shifts in sound and direction, changes in producers and managers, and a renewed dedication to the craft of songwriting helped rocket America to the upper reaches of the pop charts in 1982 with their smash single, “You Can Do Magic.” During this tumultuous time in their career, Beckley and Bunnell immersed themselves in their craft, infusing a newfound maturity into their rich body of work. Their growth as singers, songwriters and musicians has continued into the present day as illustrated by landmark releases such as 2000’s Highway 3-disc box set, 2002’s Holiday Harmony, an album comprised of seasonal classics and live showcases, 2007’s Here & Now, 2009’s Live In Concert: Wildwood Springs, 2011’s Back Pages, and 2015’s Lost And Found and America: Archives Vol. 1. In 2020, the band released their ultimate 8-disc anniversary box set, Half Century (America Records), and streamed their concert special America–Live at the London Palladium for the very first time (it is commercially available as a DVD and CD). From their formative years, America has been a band capable of transcending borders with its uplifting music and positive message. Embracing a rainbow of divergent cultures, America’s audiences continue to grow, comprising a loyal legion of first, second and third generation fans, all bearing testament to the group’s enduring appeal.