Reach Music Publishing, Inc. has announced a joint venture partnership with The Boardwalk Publishing Group to sign new talent and to provide an infrastructure for heritage catalogs whose rights have reverted back to its original songwriters.
Under the joint venture, Victor Willis of the legendary group The Village People has assigned administration rights to the Reach Music and Boardwalk partnership for his share of Village People songs such as “YMCA”, “In the Navy” and “Go West”, pursuant to a much-publicized reversion of his rights in the United States following a lengthy copyright battle for his songs.
Reach and Boardwalk will specifically pursue synchronization licensing and creative opportunities in the US for “YMCA” and other Village People titles, in addition to monetizing and collecting royalties from YouTube and other digital services in the US.
The Boardwalk Publishing Group is helmed by Tim Bogart, son of legendary record executive and founder of Casablanca Records, the late Neil Bogart. Neil Bogart worked closely with The Village People as they were signed to his label in the 1970’s. Neil’s last music venture was named Boardwalk Records, and Tim is continuing the legacy of his father under the Boardwalk banner.
Tim states: “Reuniting with Victor Willis is quite literally bringing the family back together. As one of the signature artists of my father’s career, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be working together again. This partnership with Reach was born from our mutual celebration of the artists who have created, and continue to create, the music of our lives. We look forward to expanding this family with Michael, Scott and the entire team at Reach by bringing more heritage acts into this story that has only just begun to be written.”
Michael Closter, President of Reach Music, commented: “We are proud to be entrusted with the songs of Victor Willis and provide state-of-the-art synch and admin services to a catalog that defined an era of disco and will be celebrated for generations to come. Reach is pleased to be working with Tim Bogart and the team at Boardwalk to support the careers of legendary songwriters as well as up-and-coming talent.”
In addition to the Victor Willis signing, the Reach-Boardwalk venture has also signed contemporary songwriters such as Willie Brown, co-writer of “Prescription/Oxymoron” on the number one Billboard charting Schoolboy Q album; Tom Peyton, a member of the hip hop/pop project Wallpaper; and Mercury recording artist Nova Rockefeller. These are all worldwide co-publishing deals, with Reach Music providing the financing, infrastructure and global administration services.
The Reach-Boardwalk connection itself can be traced back to 2006, when Evan Bogart (brother of Tim Bogart) signed his first publishing deal with Reach for his share of “SOS” by Rihanna. Scott Rubin, Executive VP at Reach Music, was responsible for initiating the Evan Bogart signing, and subsequently initiated the joint venture discussions between Reach and Boardwalk.