PRIMARY WAVE MUSIC ANNOUNCES AN AGREEMENT TO PURCHASE LEGENDARY LYNYRD SKYNYRD BAND MEMBER BOB BURNS’ SHARE OF ARTIST ROYALTIES
THE DEAL INCLUDES ALL RECORDINGS FROM THE ICONIC BAND’S GROUNDBREAKING DEBUT AND SOPHOMORE ALBUMS
MASTERS INCLUDE “SWEET HOME ALABAMA,” “FREE BIRD,” “SIMPLE MAN,” “GIMME THREE STEPS” AND MORE
NEW YORK, NY (March 28, 2023) – Primary Wave Music, the world’s leading independent publisher of iconic and legendary music, announced today they have acquired the artist royalties of Bob Burns, drummer and founding member of the iconic southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. The multi-million-dollar deal encompasses all recordings from the band’s debut album, Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd, as well as their sophomore effort, Second Helping.
Released in 1973, Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd, would go on to sell over 2 million copies in the U.S. alone. The album was critically acclaimed and launched the band into stardom. Ultimate Classic Rock declared the debut “laid the foundation for Skynyrd’s entire career.” Their sophomore album, the aptly titled Second Helping, was released just a year later, and debuted in the top 20 on the Billboard album chart. The Houston Press said the album had “some of the best country-blues of the 70s”, while All Music declared, “They were a great band, but they were indelible because that was married to great writing. And nowhere was that more evident than on Second Helping.”
Both albums featured some of the band’s biggest hits which are included such as “Free Bird,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “Simple Man,” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” which is arguably one of the band’s most well-known tracks. Released in 1974, the track soared to the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has gone on to be certified multi-platinum. “Free Bird” is considered another signature Lynyrd Skynyrd song and appeared on the band’s debut album. The song, which The Guardian called an “epic anthem”, is the band’s second Top 40 hit and has since been included on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Times and is featured in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
To date, Lynyrd Skynyrd has sold over 28 million albums in the U.S. alone. The band has been ranked on several best of lists including Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.” In 2006, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first two albums are timeless and are celebrated to this day,” said Samantha Rhulen, SVP, Business & Legal Affairs at Primary Wave Music. She goes on, “To have Bob Burns’ contribution to this iconic music as part of our catalog is an incredible honor and the team at Primary Wave will ensure that his legacy is recognized by generations to come.”
Bob Burns is best known as the original drummer for the Southern rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd (1964-1974), and playing drums on such hits “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Free Bird”, “Simple Man”, and “Gimme Three Steps”. Burns helped form Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964 along with Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, and Larry Junstrom. He remained with the band until 1974. Originally called The Noble Five and The One Percent, Burns suggested the band change their name to Lynyrd Skynyrd as a nod to their high school P.E. teacher Leonard Skinner. Skinner was known for strictly enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair. Bob Burns played on all of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s early demos, recorded in 1970, as well as songs recorded in 1972 on the album Skynyrd’s First and… Last. In the early 1970s, Rickey Medlocke occasionally played drums alongside Burns for a number of live shows; a two-drummer line-up similar to The Allman Brothers Band. Burns played drums on Skynyrd’s first two official albums: (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin- ‘nérd) and Second Helping. He left in 1974 due to being overwhelmed by life on the road. In 1996, Burns participated in a performance to promote Freebird: The Movie. On March 13, 2006, he rejoined Lynyrd Skynyrd for one performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction as he played alongside Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Ed King, Artimus Pyle, and the Honkettes.
Bob Burns was born on November 24, 1950 in Gainesville, Florida and died on April 3, 2015 in a single car crash in Cartersville, Georgia. He was 64 years old.
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Primary Wave Music is the leading independent publisher of iconic and legendary music in the world. The company is home to some of the most iconic songwriters, artists, and record labels across the history of recorded music including Sun Records, Bob Marley, Prince, Stevie Nicks, James Brown, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek (The Doors), Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, Burt Bacharach, Bing Crosby, Luther Vandross, Olivia Newton-John, Ray Charles, Steven Van Zandt, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, America, War, Gerry Goffin, Traveling Wilburys (Bob Dylan), Joey Ramone, Robbie Robertson, Teddy Pendergrass, Count Basie, Sly & The Family Stone, Boston, Alice Cooper, Paul Anka, Boy George and Culture Club, Allee Willis, Leon Russell, Paul Rodgers, Free, Toots & The Maytals, Steve Cropper, Martina McBride, Glenn Gould, Air Supply, Huey Lewis and the News, Jeff Porcaro (TOTO), Holly Knight, Jim Peterik, Alice In Chains, Godsmack, Disturbed, Devo, Donny Hathaway, George Merrill & Shannon Rubicam, Nicky Chinn, David Malloy, Even Stevens, Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), Noel Hogan (Cranberries), Dan Wilson, Mike Scott (Waterboys), Chris Isaak, KT Tunstall, Patrick Leonard, Sturken & Rogers, Gin Blossoms, Tom Whitlock, Steve Kipner, Matt Redman, and many more. The songs represented by Primary Wave include over 800 Top 10 singles, and over 400 #1 hits. Throughout the company’s 16-year existence, Primary Wave Music has embraced an entrepreneurial spirit, offering, and executing proactive one-of-a-kind ideas, unique services, and marketing campaigns for our artists. Primary Wave has earned a stellar reputation for being forward thinking and re-introducing classic artists and their music into the modern marketplace as well as nurturing young talent to become legends themselves. This success is based upon our team of seasoned and creative executives collaboratively working together closely with our artists as partners. As a company, we strive for excellence in the pursuit of iconic artists and catalogs that not only reflect great artistry, but impact and influence culture.
Read more on Billboard.