Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” and The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” are universally recognised as two of the most seminal rock ‘n roll songs ever. They are now both proud possessions (in Canada at least) of CCS Rights Management, the Toronto-based company headed by Canadian music publishing veteran Jodie Ferneyhough.
CCS is a globally-minded music company based around music publishing and rights management. Last week it sent out a press release announcing the recent significant additions to its roster. They are veteran Juno-winning singer/songwriter Colin James; producer, songwriter and musician, Gavin Brown; Great Big Sea founding member, singer/songwriter and inspirational speaker, Séan McCann, and UK-based firm, Kassner Music Publishing, the source of the Bill Haley and Kinks songs. CCS also announced the hiring of Sync Manager, Sarah Keith.
The story behind landing the Kassner Music deal is a long one, Ferneyhough tells FYI. “It dates back six years. Just after founding CCS, I went to MIDEM for the first time. In setting up meetings, I checked Kassner and saw they had no sub-publisher in Canada. Seeing they had those two classic songs was the trigger for me. I thought ‘I’ve got to have this!'”
“When I met with them, they asked if I had any infrastructure in Canada. I said ‘no but I’m going to be your sub-pub anyway!’ I chased them, but they did a deal with someone else. Later on, we did a deal for them to handle my catalogue in the UK. I see them all the time, and eventually they approached me to see if I wanted to do their catalogue. That is now official and starts July 1.”
Colin James has signed an exclusive administration and neighbouring rights deal with CCS for his entire catalogue, as well as future songs. His career spans over three decades and includes 15 studio albums. In our recent interview, Ferneyhough credits FYIMusicNews with setting the James deal in motion.
“It came from the profile you wrote on me and CCS back in early 2016. A week after it was posted on FYI, Mary Levitan [Vice President Artist Management at Macklam Feldman Management] called me. I’ve known her about 20 years, though we’d lost touch a little. Mary called and said ‘I didn’t know you were doing this. Listen we are getting out of our Sony deal with Colin. Do you want him?’ I go ‘absolutely,’ and that is how that came about.”
Ferneyhough is pleased with inking an exclusive administration and neighbouring rights deal with Sean McCann for his entire catalogue, including songs from Great Big Sea. “He is out on the lecture circuit and is putting out new records. He is between a one-third or 50 per cent writer on most of those Great Big sea songs, so it is interesting to have him and Colin, two guys with deep catalogues and a deep part of Canadiana roots.”
An exclusive administration and neighbouring rights deal has also been signed by Gavin Brown and his publishing venture, Inside Pocket, which features, amongst others, writer Maia Davies. The Juno-winning, Grammy-nominated producer has credits including Three Days Grace, The Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies, Metric, Billy Talent, Monster Truck, and many more.
Ferneyhough terms this deal “exciting. Gavin is such a whirlwind. He has always got something on the go, and he is a professional, so it is a pleasure. We now administer both his songs in the catalogue and whatever becomes available. He had deals before, so anything that comes free from those catalogues and any futures will be ours. We also will get any artist he signs directly to his company, like Maia Davies, who is so prolific.” Davies’ credits include songs recorded by Serena Ryder, Jill Barber, One Bad Son, Chad Brownlee, and Mother Mother.
CCS’ current roster includes Chloe Charles, Terra Lightfoot, Two Hours Traffic, Steve Strongman, Sultans of String, Cairo, Murray Daigle, Poor Young Things, Tim Chaisson, and Poor Nameless Boy. Ferneyhough explains that “we do not have financial backing, so we get in early with artists and writers. It is nice to now have a balance of up and coming new artists with some of Canada’s most known and beloved songs, artists and writers.”