Primary Wave has purchased a stake in the publishing catalog of Kool & The Gang founding band member and drummer George Brown, the company announced Wednesday (June 28). The sale also includes a stake in the Grammy winner’s writer’s share of his music publishing and the writer’s share of his public performance income.
The deal — which includes classics like “Ladies Night,” “Celebration,” “Get Down on It,” “Cherish,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Summer Madness” and more — is in the multi-million dollar range, according to Primary Wave.
In addition to Brown, Kool & The Gang is comprised of Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Charles Smith, Woodrow “Woody” Sparrow and Ricky West. The Jersey City troupe first got its start on indie label De-Lite Records, which released the band’s debut album, Kool and the Gang, in 1969. The group broke through in 1973 with its fourth album, Wild and Peaceful, which contained hits like “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging.” Pulling from funk, soul, R&B, disco and jazz influences, Kool & The Gang’s work also played a defining role in the soundtracks for Rocky (1976) and Saturday Night Fever (1977).
For its impressive body of work, Kool & the Gang has received two Grammy awards, seven American Music Awards and was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. The group also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, while Brown — along with bandmates Taylor and Robert and Ronald Bell — was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.
“I am very pleased to call Primary Wave my music partner and to join with dozens of other iconic artists and creatives in an incredible business family,” said Brown of the deal. “I look forward to collaborating with Larry Mestel and the entire Primary Wave team to further enhance my catalog and the Kool & The Gang brand.”
Kendall A. Minter, Brown’s legal counsel, added, “As counsel to George Brown and Astana Music, it was my pleasure to initiate, negotiate and close this deal with Primary Wave. The alignment of a globally iconic artist and creative talent with an iconic, global independent music publisher and brand enhancer is a win-win for the entire music community and fans.”
“Kool and the Gang’s influence on generations of musicians and fans around the globe cannot be denied,” said Primary Wave senior vp of business and legal affairs Samantha Rhulen. “A few of us from Primary Wave were excited to have been in the audience when they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018, and we are so thrilled to now be partnering with George Brown in 2023.”