30 April, 2019Print
Downtown Inks Deal to Represent George Gershwin Catalog, Including Hundreds of Previously Unpublished Songs
New York, NY, April 30, 2019 – Downtown Music Publishing has signed a publishing administration and catalog marketing agreement for the George Gershwin catalog with the Godowsky family and Heyward Memorial Fund, respective successors to the historic American songwriter and Porgy and Bess authors DuBose and Dorothy Heyward. In addition to many of Gershwin’s preeminent works, the agreement includes management of more than 300 previously unpublished songs by Gershwin that have been largely unavailable since their discovery in the 1980s.
“The George Gershwin catalog, including his work on Porgy and Bess with DuBose and Dorthy Heyward, features not only some of the most iconic songs in the Great American Songbook, but represents the building blocks of popular music. To be entrusted with these legendary works -- which remain as culturally relevant today as ever -- is a true honor and a testament to our team,” said Justin Kalifowitz, CEO of Downtown Music Holdings, parent company of Downtown Music Publishing.
“In thinking about the next home for these celebrated works, we wanted a focused, creative and energetic music publisher. Downtown understands both the importance of nurturing these American classics - ensuring that they remain beloved and relevant today while also finding new ways to bring them to the next generation of Gershwin fans,” said Jonathan Keidan, great-nephew of George Gershwin and Trustee for the Gershwin/Godowsky Trust.
The agreement covers many of Gershwin’s most well-known compositions including songs such as: “They Can't Take That Away From Me,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Love Is Here to Stay,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” and the enduring “Summertime,” from Porgy and Bess. Among the more than 300 previously unpublished songs included in the agreement are unused works from classic films like Shall We Dance and A Damsel in Distress, as well as songs that were posthumously co-written with Brian Wilson.
Porgy and Bess is an award-winning opera written by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin. The opera is inspired from DuBose Heyward's novel Porgy, which was adapted into a play of the same title, co-authored by Dorothy Heyward. After its original run, Porgy and Bess gained new popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed shows in the history of musical theatre.
Porgy and Bess is set for a major revival at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, opening in September 2019. The show’s iconic “Summertime” continues to be recognized as one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music. It has inspired more than 25,000 renditions including those by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Janis Joplin, and Willie Nelson.
About Downtown Music Publishing
Established in 2007, Downtown Music Publishing is one of the world's leading music rights management firms offering bespoke creative publishing services to some of the world’s most beloved songwriters and storied music catalogs. The company's catalog spans over 100 years of popular music, including legends and iconic songwriters The Beatles, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Booker T. Jones, The Kinks, Mötley Crüe, Mos Def, Phish, Tori Amos, Hans Zimmer, and John Prine, as well as today’s hitmaker songwriters such as Ryan Tedder, Benny Blanco, One Direction, Santigold, and Jimmy Napes. With offices in major music markets around the globe, Downtown also represents critically-acclaimed emerging talent, including Phony Ppl, Theophilus London, Mae Muller, Cautious Clay, Stella Donnelly, among others. Downtown Music Publishing is owned and operated by Downtown Music Holdings. More information is available at dmpgroup.com.