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SongLink NewsLink | Music Industry News for November/December 2004


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Ellis Rich, CEO of the Independent Music Group, is the first-ever independent pop publisher to be elected Chairman of the PRS from January 1st 2005, taking over from current PRS Chairman David Bedford who will have completed a three year term. Meanwhile MCPS-PRS Alliance chief executive John Hutchinson has announced that he will retire next year.

Korda Marshall has been appointed MD of Warner Bros. Records, moving from Atlantic where his former A&R director Max Lousada is now MD. The pair report to chairman Nick Phillips, while Neil Ridley also joins Warners as A&R manager from BMG, with The Subways becoming his first signing. Marshall also hopes to find a new Kensington HQ for the company by the beginning of January.

Sony BMG chairman Rob Stringer has announced senior management appointments. Ged Doherty becomes President, Music Division; Annette Donnelly becomes MD, Sony BMG Ireland; Alasdair George becoems Senior VP, Legal & Business Affairs; David Pearce becomes SVP, Finance, IT & Operations; Clive Rich Senior VP, Futures Division; Richard Story SVP, Commercial; and Nicola Tuer, SVP Sales.

At a meeting of the Music Business Forum at the MPA's offices in October, groups including the BPI, MMF, AIM and the MU agreed to draft up a united music business statement calling for the EU's 50-year copyright rule on sound recordings to be reviewed. The EU had set a October 31 deadline for comments on its consultation on the term of protection directive. U2 have also added their name to the growing list of artists, including Sir Cliff Richard and Polly Harvey, to add their weight to the growing clamour for a review of recorded copyright law.

The first five inductees voted by the public into the inaugural UK Music Hall of Fame event on November 14th were Cliff Richard (1950s), the Rolling Stones (60s), Queen (70s), Michael Jackson (80s) and Robbie Williams (90s). They joined the already-announced founding members The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, U2 and Madonna. The event was attended by Priscilla Presley, Bono, Madonna, Sir George Martin, Rita Marley and others, although industry inductee Chris Blackwell could not make it due to the death of his wife Mary from cancer earlier that week.

John Peel's musical spirit will still be present at Radio One until the end of the year, through a series of sessions for the station. The veteran broadcaster, who died in Peru on October 25th aged 65, had already put together a number of artist sessions for his weekly programmes to run through to 2005. Peel had been with Radio One since September 1967.

Gordon Charlton has left indie publisher Reverb Music to join Polydor Records' A&R department... David Field has left BMG Records, Phil Howels has left Mercury while Elias Christidis joins the label.

Howard Lucas has left Stop Drop & Roll Music to join Mark Hill Productions in Southampton, also the base for The stiX and Centric Records. New e-mail:

Entertainment law firm Harbottle & Lewis has released a Christmas charity album, with all profits going to the Kids Company. The CD, Harmony & Light, features 14 vocal and instrumental tracks, with pressings of the first 500 albums donated for free by Deluxe Media Services.

Brazilian composer, singer/guitarist Gil Gilberto and German classical singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau have been awarded this year's Polar Music Prize, held at the Royal Academy Of Music in Stockholm.

Former Edel Sweden head Michel PetrČ has launched a new company, Foundation of Music, encompassing a record company, a production company, management, consulting and publishing. First release on its Catchy Tunes label is Call On Me by Eric Prydz.

David Massey has been promoted to Executive VP A&R for the Sony Music label group in the US. He will work out of New York reporting to group president and CEO, Don Ienner. He will also continue as president of Daylight Records, the label which handles such acts as Good Charlotte, Anastacia and Delta Goodrem. The UK-born executive has worked for Sony since 1991, having joined Epic as VP.

R&B producer/writer/artist Kanye West has inked a joint-venture deal with Sony Music's US label group, a division of SonyBMG.

Veteran A&R/producer Arif Mardin exits Manhattan/EMI Records as he is retiring... Teresa La Barbera Whites moves from Columbia Records to join Jive/Sony-BMG in Dallas... Andy Goldmark exits Jive in LA.

Universal and Warner Music groups are forming a joint-venture company, Royalty Services, that will take over key royalty accounting functions for both major labels within two years. The venture is backed by the Exigen Group, a San Francisco-based business software specialist.

The four major record companies have been served with subpoenas from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office, related to a two-month-old investigation of record-label ties to independent promoters.

NY-based venture capital firm Dimensional Associates has signed a deal to acquire DreamWorks Music Publishing for roughly $50 million. Dreamworks is selling all its music assets to focus entirely on film.

Sir Paul McCartney is to perform in front of a US TV audience of around 100m people at next year's Super Bowl final on February 6.

Warner Bros Nashville executive and producer Paul Worley has formed Skyline Music Publishing, with Texas-based attorney Glen Morgan and producer/songwriter veterans Wally Wilson and Chip Voorhis.

RIP: DJ and broadcaster John Peel (65), of a heart attack in Peru... Producer and songwriter Terry Melcher (62), from cancer. He was the son of Doris Day, formed the Rip Chords with Bruce Johnston, wrote songs with Bobby Darin and Randy Newman, produced the Byrds'groundbreaking hits, and co-wrote the No. 1 hit Kokomo for the Beach Boys.... Broadway composer and jazz pianist Cy Coleman (75,) best known for his scores for such shows as Sweet Charity, On The Twentieth Century, Barnum and the hit songs Hey Look Me Over, Witchcraft and The Best Is Yet to Come.

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