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SongLink NewsLink | Music Industry News for November/December 2006


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Crosstown Songs has acquired Sweden's Murlyn Songs from co-founder and MD Christian Wahlberg in a multi-million dollar deal. Murlyn's writers include Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg (aka Bloodshy & Avant), Henrik Jonback, Peer Astrom, Jonas Jeberg (aka Jay Jay), Mathias Wollo and Korpi with hits provided for many A-list artists. "We're thrilled be working with these writers," says Crosstown founder and CEO, Robin Godfrey Cass. Wahlberg said. "Murlyn will continue to manage these writers and producers, and we're looking forward to a productive partnership with Crosstown."

The PRS board has appointed Andrew King of Mute Songs as deputy chairman publisher from January 1st, succeeding Nigel Elderton, who has completed the three years in the role. King has worked in the industry for 40 years, since managing Pink Floyd in 1966 with Peter Jenner.

EMI Music Publishing chairman and co-CEO Marty Bandier has announced his resignation in May 2007. Bandier has been part of EMI Music Publishing since 1989, joining as vice chairman when the publisher bought SBK Entertainment World, in which he was a founding partner. He was made CEO in 1991 and additionally chairman in 1992. In January 2005 EMI Group announced a succession plan with group chief financial officer Roger Faxon initially taking on the role of president and COO. Bandier has since been linked with a possible tie-up with Warner Music Group chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr.

Clive Banks and Johnny Barbis have joined Twenty-First Artists, with Banks handling creative management services for Elton John in the UK and the rest of the world, while Barbis will occupy the same role in the US. The company, which was launched in 2000 and owned by Elton John, Frank Presland and Keith Bradley, was acquired by Sanctuary in April 2005 in a 16m deal. Meanwhile former Sanctuary Group CEO Merck Mercuriadis will remain within the Sanctuary Group as manager of a number of artists, including Axl Rose and Morrissey.

The UK Music Hall Of Fame will have a permanent home in the O2 within two years, it was announced at the third Hall Of Fame induction ceremony at Alexandra Palace in North London. The exhibition will form part of the British Music Experience, due to open in 2008 at The O2, formerly the Dome, in Greenwich. The ceremony saw Brian Wilson, Dusty Springfield, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Prince, Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi and Sir George Martin all inducted into the Hall Of Fame.

Oasis will be recognized with the Outstanding Contribution to Music at the BRIT Awards with MasterCard on Valentine's Day, February 14th 2007. Oasis have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, with their best-of album Stop the Clocks just released through Big Brother. For the first time in its history the BRIT Awards feature a live vote in 2007 as viewers are invited to choose the winner of The British Single category during the live TV broadcast.

EMI Music has signed Take That members Howard Donald and Jason Orange to worldwide, long-term publishing deals, as the band returns with comeback single Patience. The deal was concluded on behalf of Howard and Jason by Take That manager Jonathan Wilde.

George Michael's retrospective Twenty Five album (Aegean/Sony BMG) has made No. 1 on the European Top 100 Albums, after securing initial pan-European shipments of close to 450,000, according to Sony BMG president, Continental Europe Maarten Steinkamp. The collection features Michael's current single This Is Not Real Love with former Sugababes member Mutya.

A new report is calling for copyright laws to be re-written for the digital age, including the provision for a 'private right to copy. The report, from the Institute for Public Policy Research, looks at how Digital Rights Management technology affects attempts to preserve electronic content. It argues that making copies of CDs and DVDs for personal use would have little impact on copyright owners and that argument over copyright has in the past been driven too much by the music industry.

Sanctuary Records has reactivated Sequel Records with its first signings being the Cooper Temple Clause and Idlewild, while the Slogan label's most recent signing is Bobby Cook. Head of A&R now at Sanctuary is Malcolm Dunbar, who reports to CEO Joe Cokell.

The Executive Board and Board of Supervisors of GEMA in Germany have appointed Maren Ruhfus as the head of GEMA's newly created political liaison office in Berlin and Brussels.

Mark Wright, currently Executive VP A&R at Sony/BMG Nashville, will will become President of Universal South Records from January. He succeeds label co-founders Tim Dubois, who is leaving the company to attend to family matters, and Tony Brown, who has decided to focus on production work and will continue his long relationship with Universal Music Group. Both Dubois and Brown will help Universal South during the transition period until early next year, while Wright will report to Doug Morris (Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group) and Zach Horowitz (President & COO, Universal Music Group).

Renee Bell has been promoted to Executive VP, A&R at Sony BMG Nashville by chairman Joe Galante. She was previously Sr. VP, A&R, and will continue to lead every aspect of the creative process for Sony BMG Nashville's RCA, BNA and Arista Nashville labels, while expanding her oversight to also include Columbia Nashville.

Sam & Annie Tate were named SESAC's Country Songwriters of the Year at its annual Nashville Music Awards on November 5th. Their smash, If You're Going Through Hell (Before The Devil Even Knows) was recorded by Rodney Atkins and also named Country Song Of The Year. The song's publisher Carnival Music was SESAC's Country Publisher Of The Year, accepted by owners Frank Liddell and Travis Hill.

Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) is launching a search for contestants for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest with qualifying rounds and finals to be held in Memphis during the 30th Anniversary Elvis Week from August 11-19th 2007. The week will also feature Elvis: The 30th Anniversary Concert at the FedExForum, expected to be the most elaborate production of the 'Elvis video-interactive' concept to date.

CBuJ recently signed distribution agreements with Mach One/Spinville Records artist DeLana Stevens, and Evergreen Records for the Pirates of the Mississippi album Heaven And A Dixie Night. Stevens debut CD, Welcome to My World will be released January 23rd and includes current single Say Hello to Heaven.

RIP: Gerald Levert (40), of trio LeVert and the son of The O'Jay's Eddie Levert, from a heart attack at his Cleveland, Ohio home. He also recorded as a solo artist and songwriter, working with artists such as Barry White, Anita Baker and Patti LaBelle; Buddy Killen (73), in Nashville. The music publishing magnate had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Throughout his more than 50 years in the music business, Killen worked as a musician, songplugger, songwriter, music publisher and record producer.

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