Ray Charles’ Copyrights A Lucrative Biz

Music legend Ray Charles capitalized on music publishing angle: he began recording a lot of public domain songs, like “America The Beautiful,” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” where he published the arrangement.

Reuters reports that today, the Ray Charles Marketing Group represents about 500 songs from those companies, including about a dozen Charles wrote and another 30 or 40 where he is credited as co-writer. It also represents 80 of his songs where it can license both the songs and the master, which it is making available to film producers, directors, and advertising agencies.

Since the release of the “Ray” biopic, Tony Gumina, president of the Ray Charles Marketing Group says that synchronization of Charles songs has proven lucrative. But he also says performance royalties are on the upswing too.

For example, when Charles first published “Hit The Road Jack,” who could imagine the uses that would come its way.

Nowadays, at any sporting event — whether it’s a player fouling out of a basketball game, a pitcher getting pulled from the mound, a hockey player getting sent to the penalty box — when a player is pulled from the game, “Hit The Road Jack” will resound over the PA system.

Photo by photobucket.

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