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BMG Acquires Verse Music Catalog, Including Songs By Nina Simone & Duke Ellington

By , Publisher | The Jazz Line

BMG has acquired New York-based independent Verse Music Group, and will soon take ownership of its prized repertoire of songs and recordings.

Duke Ellington

Verse was formed in 2010 to consolidate the rights of a group of other labels, and in just five years of operation it has amassed the rights to almost 50,000 songs. This includes all the songs owned by the iconic Bethlehem Record label; which was once home to Mel Torme, Nina Simone, Billy Eckstine, Dexter Gordon, Roland Kirk, Charles Mingus, Art Blakey, Errol Garner, Zoot Sims, Duke Ellington, and many more.

> See Also: Courts Rule Against Duke Ellington Heirs In Royalty Dispute.

The terms of the deal were not made public; however, analysts believe the entire repertoire could bring in revenues of $1.5 million for its new owner over the next twelve months.

Classic songs like Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” as well as Duke Ellington’s take on “Summertime,” John Coltrane’s “Tippin,” and Charles Mingus’ “Stormy Weather” will now be administered by BMG.

Verse also owned Salsoul Records’ Catalog, which included works by Camilo Sesto, Machito, and the legendary Joe Bataan. Jennifer’s Lopez’s “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” and John Travolta’s performance of Sandy from Grease are also included in the works, showing just how diverse their catalog is.

“Verse has assembled an extremely varied and wide-ranging catalog which touches many of the most influential moments in popular music history,” President of Creative & Marketing at BMG Laurent Hubert said in a statement. “There are considerable synergies with existing BMG catalogs which make this acquisition particularly exciting.”

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