Primary Wave Music has officially announced an agreement to acquire the artist royalties of Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer and founding member Bob Burns.
New York City-headquartered Primary Wave, which added Robin Godfrey-Cass to its executive roster last month, unveiled the “multi-million-dollar deal” with the estate of Bob Burns today. Born in 1950, Burns co-founded Lynyrd Skynyrd and appeared on the Jacksonville, Florida-based group’s 1973 debut album, (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd). The latter features hits including “Simple Man,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “Tuesday’s Gone,” and “Free Bird,” among others.
Burns, who passed away in 2015, was also the main drummer (performing on each song except “I Need You”) on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted act’s Second Helping (1974), which encompasses commercially prominent efforts such as “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Don’t Ask Me No Questions.”
Though the purchasing company hasn’t publicly disclosed the precise financials of its pact with Burns’ estate – said estate didn’t provide comments for the formal release – it did make clear that the agreement extends to “all recordings” on the above-mentioned albums. And in a statement, Primary Wave SVP of business and legal affairs Samantha Rhulen touched upon the projects’ continued relevance and popularity.
“Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first two albums are timeless and are celebrated to this day,” said the former Atlantic Records legal exec Rhulen. “To have Bob Burns’ contribution to this iconic music as part of our catalog is an incredible honor and the team at Primary Wave will ensure that his legacy is recognized by generations to come.”
Since 2023’s beginning, Primary Wave – which scored a $2 billion Brookfield investment and sold a minority stake to CAA in October – has also announced a tie-up with Little Steven and closed song-rights deals with The Doors’ Robby Krieger as well as the estate of Ray Manzarek.
Meanwhile, music-IP investments are continuing to pour in throughout the wider catalog sphere notwithstanding the turbulence (and numerous layoffs) impacting the broader economy. During the past four or so weeks, for instance, Mojo Music & Media, Larrosa Music Group, Reservoir Media, Shamrock Capital, Cutting Edge Media Music, and Amplified Music Rights (AMR Songs) alike have revealed purchases of their own.
A relatively new arrival in the space, AMR Songs inked a seemingly far-reaching union with The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian last week and is reportedly equipped with a cool $100 million in investor capital. Additionally, players including Nettwerk Music Group, Lyric Capital, and MusicBird are preparing to deploy substantial sums into the catalog arena, according to higher-ups.