BMG buys Harry Nilsson’s song rights, including the publishing catalog, as well as the revenue streams of artists and writers

BMG has entered into an agreement to acquire the Grammy award rights of singer Harry Nilsson.

The deal includes Nilsson’s publishing catalog, as well as artist and writer income streams from his hits.

Some of these songs contain hits Without You, Everybody’s Talkin’, One and Coconut, as well as Jump Into The Fire, Gotta Get Up, and Me and My Arrow, among many others.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Nilsson’s compositions also include titles written with John Lennon, Mucho Mungo/Mt. Moose swear The old dirt road; Danny Kortchmar, (Thursday) Here’s why I didn’t go to work today, Moonshine Bandit; Dr. John, The daylight has caught me, and Ringo Starr, How long can a disco light.

Among the 18 studio albums released during his two-decade long recording career, including his debut Spotlight on Nilsson, Harry, Nilsson Sings Newman, Nilsson Schmilssonstandard album A little touch from Schmilsson last night, Pussy Cats – produced by John Lennon, what BMG says is Nilsson’s personal favourite Knillssonand his last studio album Flash Harry.

Also featured are the original film scores for Skidoo, The Point!, Son of Dracula and Popeye; as well as a collection of his final studio recordings titled Loss and found published posthumously.

BMG says it will also begin working with the Nilsson family “to explore global creative opportunities for its creative properties” such as The point! history, as well as name, image and likeness (NIL), including film, television, theater, books and other areas of business.

Nilsson’s career began in Los Angeles in the 1960s, where he wrote hits for The Monkees and Three Dog Night.

In 1971 he published a seminal Nilsson Schmilsson, which was nominated for four Grammy Awards. His stunning top hit on Without you is described by BMG as “one of the most important moments in the music of the seventies”.

His 1971 album and film The point is described more by BMG as a “triumph of the imagination”, than his 1973 interpretation of the Great American Songbook. A little touch from Schmilsson tonight “broke new ground for musicians of the time”, according to BMG.

BMG notes that John Lennon and Paul McCartney have called Nilsson “their favorite American group,” and artists from Carly Rae Jepsen to Harry Styles have cited him as an inspiration.

Nilsson’s team was led by John Rudolph of 1,618 Industries, Inc. (formerly Music Analytics, a leading music IP consultancy) with advice from Barnes & Thornburg’s Jason Karlov and Amanda Taber.

“We are delighted to have found a partner who shares our love and reverence for Harry’s legacy.”

The Nilsson family

“The Nilson family said: ‘We are delighted to have found a partner who shares our love and reverence for Harry’s legacy.

“We look forward to a long relationship with BMG and working together to celebrate this true genius of pop music.”

“We are honored that the Nilsson family chose BMG as the custodians of his musical legacy and are proud to represent Harry Nilsson’s treasured works.

Thomas Scherer, BMG

Thomas Scherer, President, Repertoire & Marketing, BMG, Los Angeles and New York, said: “For generations, the timeless music of Harry Nilsson has captivated millions of people around the world.

“A brilliant songwriter with a uniquely beautiful and unique voice, we will ensure his spirit thrives for generations to come.”

“We are honored that the Nilsson family chose BMG as the custodians of his musical legacy and are proud to represent Harry Nilsson’s treasured works.


Other deals secured by Bertelsmann-owned BMG in 2022 include the entire music catalog of French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, and “key musical interests” of legendary Scottish rock band Simple Minds.

BMG’s latest deals follow other acquisitions of rights in 2021 from artists including Mick Fleetwood, Tina Turner, ZZ Top and Mötley Crüe.Worldwide music business

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