Raleigh Music Publishing, the music rights and recording company founded by industry veterans Peter Raleigh and Steven Storch, is buying the US rights to the song catalog of lyricist Alan Jay Lerner.
Lerner, who died in 1986, is best known for penning the lyrics to a number of show tunes, in collaboration with composers Frederick Loewe, and later, Burton Lane.
Among the most recognized songs from their collaborations are I Could Have Danced All Night, I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face and On the Street Where You Live (all from My Fair Lady), as well as Thank Heaven For Little Girls (from Gigi), and If Ever I Would Leave You (from Camelot).
Lerner’s collaborations were performed by such well-known artists as Julie Andrews, Rex Harrison, Richard Burton, Robert Goulet and Barbara Streisand, who performed Lerner and Lane’s On A Clear Day You Can See Forever.
Through the deal, Raleigh Music will control the US rights to Lerner’s share of all songs – meaning the lyric rights – in the musicals My Fair Lady, Camelot, Gigi, Brigadoon, The Day Before Spring, Love Life, On a Clear Day, Paint Your Wagon and What’s Up.
The deal excludes writer performance and grand rights. Raleigh will handle administration.
Lerner’s work garnered numerous accolades in theater and film, including three Tony Awards and three Academy Awards. He also received the Johnny Mercer Award, the Songwriter Hall of Fame’s highest honor.
“We are truly privileged to welcome the Alan Jay Lerner catalog into the Raleigh Music Publishing family,” Raleigh Music Publishing Co-President Peter Raleigh said in a statement. “Alan Jay Lerner’s contributions to the American musical theatre and the Hollywood film musical are immeasurable, and his lyrics continue to resonate with audiences worldwide.”
Co-President Steven Storch added: “This signing aligns perfectly with our vision to nurture and safeguard exceptional musical theater legacies, ensuring that these masterpieces continue to inspire and delight future generations.”
“We couldn’t be happier to have found such a knowledgeable custodian for the Alan Jay Lerner catalog in Peter Raleigh and Raleigh Music Group,” Alan’s daughter, Liza Lerner, said in a statement on behalf of the family.
“Peter’s deep passion for our father’s songs, classic Broadway musicals, and the American songbook are unparalleled. I know that under Raleigh Music Group’s stewardship, these timeless classics will continue to enchant and inspire generations to come.”
Emily Altman, President of The Frederick Loewe Foundation, controls the interests of Frederick Loewe, said: “The Foundation looks forward to partnering with Raleigh in the United States to bring the glorious music of Frederick Loewe and the brilliant lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner to both existing and new generations of listeners.”
“Alan Jay Lerner’s contributions to the American musical theatre and the Hollywood film musical are immeasurable, and his lyrics continue to resonate with audiences worldwide.”
Pater Raleigh, Raleigh Music Publishing
The deal comes amid growing interest in theatrical and film music rights. The past several years have seen the arrival of deep-pocketed investment firms that have spent hundreds of millions – collectively billions – on these rights.
One such company is Multimedia Music, a London- and Los Angeles-based company that came on the scene in 2022 with a USD $100-million-plus funding round from Metropolitan Partners Group and Pinnacle Bank, to acquire catalogs of film and TV music rights from production companies, composers and other rights holders.
Led by industry veterans Phil Hope and James Gibb, Multimedia Music says it deployed more than $120 million on acquisitions in its first 14 months, including the catalog of film composer James Newton Howard (the Hunger Games trilogy, The Dark Knight, Maleficent, I Am Legend, Runaway Bride, Emily in Paris, Pretty Woman) and the master and publishing rights to a 48-title film score catalog from Atlantic Screen Music, a “mid-seven figure” transaction that included rights to the scores from Lone Survivor, The Host, Dredd, Escape Plan and Broken City, among others.
In February of this year, Multimedia closed an eight-figure deal to acquire the music publishing and music master rights from the entire film music library of STX Entertainment. The deal included rights to the works of composers such as Hans Zimmer, Cliff Martinez, Marcelo Zarvos, Chris Lennertz, Andrew Lockington, Clinton Shorter and Nicholas Britell.
“This signing aligns perfectly with our vision to nurture and safeguard exceptional musical theater legacies, ensuring that these masterpieces continue to inspire and delight future generations.”
Steven Storch, Raleigh Music Publishing
Earlier this year, the company struck a deal for a 50% stake in a catalog of music master and publishing rights from Amblin Partners, the company founded by Steven Spielberg.
The transaction, for an undisclosed sum, includes music rights from numerous movies, including 1917, The BFG, Bridge of Spies, Thank You For Your Service and The Girl on the Train, among others.
Another active player to have appeared on the scene in recent years is Cutting Edge Music Media, which went on a film music rights acquisition spree after partnering with affiliates of London-based investment firm Blantyre Capital in 2022. That partnership, which began with an initial $125 million commitment, was followed by another $100-million funding round earlier this year, from a group of banks led by Pinnacle Financial Partners.
Among Cutting Edge’s acquisitions have been the full master and publishing rights to more than 75 “premium” film scores from UK-headquartered First Score Music Ltd., in a deal believed to be worth in the high seven figures.
Cutting Edge also formed a strategic music venture with Village Roadshow Entertainment Group earlier this year, which covers all of Village Roadshow’s past and future music publishing assets, soundtrack album releases and music supervision services. The deal also spans Village Roadshow’s music assets for film, scripted and unscripted television.
Raleigh and Storch founded Raleigh Music Publishing in 2016, with one of its first successes being a deal to represent the Elvis Presley catalog worldwide on behalf of the family of the late publishing giant Jean Aberbach.
That catalog includes more than 1,000 songs that were recorded by Elvis himself, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, and others – including Can’t Help Falling In Love, All Shook Up, Love Me Tender, A Little Less Conversation, Jailhouse Rock and Return To Sender.
“We’re a contemporary music publisher with iconic tastes,” Raleigh said at the time.
Another major coup for the company came in 2021, when it acquired the catalog of songwriter Lee Morris, which includes Blue Velvet, a song that was a hit for Tony Bennett (1951), Bobby Vinton (1963) and Lana Del Rey (2012).
The company now represents the catalogs of George Gershwin, Anthony Newley, Bo Diddley, America, Lords of the Underground, Willy Deville, Lester Sill and Muhammad Ali, among others.
Raleigh Music recently opened a recording studio in the Miami area. Dubbed Raleigh Music Studios Miami and located in Wynwood, the 3,000 square-foot facility “features five recording rooms and a spacious writers lounge,” the company says.Music Business Worldwide