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Kegsy

Royalties on legal 2nd presses for UK market

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Posted (edited)

Say for example the small 45 Okeh singles.

Would any of the proceeds of their (bulk) sales to the UK, ever get back to the original artists/writers/producers etc.

Edited by Kegsy

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Depends on the original deal WRT the artists themselves. A singer/musician is very low in the food chain unless a big name, a bottom feeder in fact, all the money is in the publishing/writing royalty. The artist themselves will make their money in ticket sales, should they become successful. With that success also comes the ability to negotiate in a percentage cut of further sales, in the initial stages of a developing career it is/was easy for an artist to end up owing money...Minefield.

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1 hour ago, BabyBoyAndMyLass said:

Depends on the original deal WRT the artists themselves. A singer/musician is very low in the food chain unless a big name, a bottom feeder in fact, all the money is in the publishing/writing royalty. The artist themselves will make their money in ticket sales, should they become successful. With that success also comes the ability to negotiate in a percentage cut of further sales, in the initial stages of a developing career it is/was easy for an artist to end up owing money...Minefield.

But wouldn't  artists like Larry Williams and Little Richard not have known better when signing for Okeh.  My point isn't the amount of money the people, not just artists, involved got but whether they GOT ANYTHING at all from said reissues. 

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21 minutes ago, Kegsy said:

But wouldn't  artists like Larry Williams and Little Richard not have known better when signing for Okeh.  My point isn't the amount of money the people, not just artists, involved got but whether they GOT ANYTHING at all from said reissues. 

Both had been big names during the RnR era so probably had a good management team and knew a good bit about the industry.

I can't really answer the question Kegsy mate, not being privy to the small print on any deals done. But yes certainly the writers and publishers would have got some money from any legitimate releases.

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Good question Kegsy but I don't think the artists got anything. In John Broven's book Record Makers and Breakers he quotes from an internal document for Modern Records field reps from one of the Bihari brothers. Basically it tells them to stress that an artist signed to their (or any other) label will not make much money from record sales. A hit record will let them do more and better paying live appearances . A royalty statement is also listed from the early 60s for an artist who didn't have a hit. It shows that the artist got an advance but all the recording , promotion and other expenses would be charged against record sales. I think the statement showed sales of 300 and there was still quite a lot "owed" by the artist. From the figures quoted it would take sales of nearly 5000 before any money was due. So if the record had a special pressing of 2000 10 years later the artist still wouldn't be owed anything. This is always used as evidence of the evil record labels exploiting artists but the record label put the money up and probably lost it on most releases. Meanwhile the artist got their fees from live appearances, minus the agents fee. Don Varner is quoted as saying that the money most artists earned was from live gigs.

The agreement I did for the Cream issue of Seven Day Lover was with William Bell as owner of the recording. Depending on the contract he had with James Fountain any money due was a matter between Bell and James Fountain. I think James was aware that the record was issued by Cream and I'm sure he would have got any money due as William Bell is known as a trustworthy guy, unlike a lot of other record label owners. The publisher got a cut from every record sold so monies should be due no matter what the artist got.

As for the Okeh, Columbia SP and RCA northern issues some artists may have been owed royalties if the record had covered the recording costs. Whether they got them or not I don't think will ever know. Some artists like Little Richard, Watson and Williams, Paul Anka etc should have got something as they were well known and probably had good management. Maybe Lorraine Chandler might know more but I should think it is a subject that is not talked about in public. Ady would probably know more but it's something that may be confidential. Didn't Dave Godin insist on the artists on his Deep Soul CDs getting paid no matter what the original contract said.

Rick

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Posted (edited)

As I understand it, any monies (radio & club play PPL fees, artist & writers royalties) earned by a record released here by a US artist would just have gone into a big pot used by the UK music authorities UNLESS a specific artist / group had individual UK representation .... so about 80 to 90% of US soul acts would have got nothing at all from UK sales / plays. I could be wrong but think that's how it went back in the 60's ....

Of course, if you had a UK pop chart hit, you'd most likely be one of the few lucky ones .... but how many of the acts we love got a UK chart hit, very few indeed. The likes of EMI would hold the rights to all the releases on many US labels (as would Pye, Phillips, etc) but lots of US / UK licensing deals were reciprocal agreements (you get to release our stuff there, if we can release your stuff here), many US acts wouldn't even realise their stuff was being put out in foreign countries. 

Edited by Roburt

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I saw a documentary where Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley were discussing the fact that they got half a cent per record sale and they had to sell two records to make one cent!

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In my post above it wasn't one of the Bihari brothers (Modern Records)  but Art Rupe of Specialty who had written instructions for his field reps when signing new acts. The actual quote is

"Impress upon the artists that if they succeed, the publicity of having their records played constantly all over the U.S.A. will make them in demand for personal appearances . Impress on them not to look in the records for income, but to the profitable personal appearances."

The royalty statement I mentioned was from Modern Records for Lee Denson ( no , me neither) from June 1958. This is -

300 records @85 cents                    255.00  

90% of $255 *                                    229.50

Artists Royalty 3% of 229.50                6.89 

Artist Draw and Expenses

Session  musicians (6 @ 41.25)        247.50

21% to Union**                                    51.98

Vocal Group                                        75.00

Artist Advance                                     50.00

Total                                                  424.48

Overdrawn Balance                          $ 417.59

* I think it was standard practice to pay royalties on 90% of sales to cover promo, lost or damaged records (and probably a few boxes to DJs and radio bosses)

** Musicians Union, paid when session musicians belonged to the Union.

So the record company spent $424 , the musicians , musicians union , vocal group and artist all got paid but the record company lost money so far. Maybe the record sold some more after June. If my maths is right the artist got 2.3 cents per record , so the record would have to sell 18439 copies (18439 x 2.3c = $424)  before his account would be in credit and he would get another cheque. This seems a lot so perhaps I've not worked it out correctly. Using this as an example a later 5000 custom press of the record would still not clear the overdrawn balance.

Rick

 

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12 hours ago, LiamGP said:

I saw a documentary where Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley were discussing the fact that they got half a cent per record sale and they had to sell two records to make one cent!

Another fact from Art Rupe's instructions to his reps is the royalty rate for new signings . This is stated as half a cent for the first year raising the rate until the artist is receiving 2 cents.  So yes, half a cent was the starting rate at Specialty for Little Richard but I should think they all got more when the hits started. 

Did they also discuss how much they got for top billing at the Apollo or appearing on American Bandstand?

 

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I can tell you that first of all Robert Bateman (RIP) & now his son have had very nice advances and royalties from out release of 

Exus Trek - Luther Ingram Orchestra

If It’s All The Same To You Babe - Luther Ingram Orchestra 

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46 minutes ago, Neil Rushton said:

I can tell you that first of all Robert Bateman (RIP) & now his son have had very nice advances and royalties from out release of 

Exus Trek - Luther Ingram Orchestra

If It’s All The Same To You Babe - Luther Ingram Orchestra 

Great stuff!

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i doesn't answer your question Kegsy...but

With the signing of the Music Modernization Act, some royalty disputes might be a thing of the past? 

Michael Huppe, SoundExchange's president and CEO. "For creators, it means getting paid more fairly. For those who recorded music before 1972, it means assurance you'll get paid for your work. For songwriters, publishers and producers it means making the digital economy work for you”.

https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8479476/president-trump-signs-music-modernization-act-law-bill-signing

P.S. Mary Wilson and others we know and love campaigned hard for this act/bill.

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rod shard used to have a few contracts from motown and basically all the performers and writers and production staff got a fee. i presume the company made the bulk of the money until they got famous like the tops, supremes, temptations. suppose they then got better management and agents and sorted better contracts

 

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