NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — Downtown Music Publishing announced it has signed a publishing administration and catalog marketing agreement for the catalog of the late legendary composer and pianist George Gershwin.
“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,” said Justin Kalifowitz, our founder and CEO. “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.”
The deal, signed with the Godowsky family and Heyward Memorial Fund, includes 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Among the previously unpublished songs included in the agreement are unused works from classic films like Shall We Dance and A Damsel in Distress, as well as songs that were posthumously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.
The deal appears to be a timely one for Downtown, as Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess is set for a major revival at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, opening in September, 2019.
“Summertime” the opera’s most recognized song, has been covered thousands of times, by artists ranging from Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday to Sam Cooke, and Willie Nelson.
“In thinking about the next home for these celebrated works, we wanted a focused, creative and energetic music publisher,” said Jonathan Keidan, great-nephew of George Gershwin and trustee for the Gershwin/Godowsky trust. “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.”