Peermusic acquires catalogue of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs

Peermusic acquires catalogue of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs

Peermusic has acquired the entire music publishing catalogue of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs, and the majority of the song catalogue of Gary Scruggs.

During his lifetime, Earl Scruggs was a collaborator with and friend to many at Peermusic, including founder Ralph S Peer. They served as the publishers of the Earl Scruggs song catalogue from the time the songs were written. 

Through this deal, Peermusic has also acquired the US rights it was previously administering for Earl Scruggs, as well as some of the songs that were previously controlled by the Scruggs estate. The deal also includes the acquisition of the majority of the song catalogue of the late Gary Scruggs, the Grammy-winning songwriter, musician and eldest son of Earl and Louise Scruggs.

“It’s a rare opportunity to acquire these incredible catalogues of songs in this competitive music rights landscape, but what makes this most meaningful to us is the decades-long relationship that peermusic has enjoyed with Earl Scruggs and Gary Scruggs,” said Kathy Spanberger, president & chief operating officer – Peermusic Anglo American Region. “This deal really exemplifies everything a relationship between a songwriter and a publisher should be. Earl and Peermusic worked together successfully for decades to share his music with the world, and peermusic continues that tradition with the songs of Gary Scruggs. 

“We thank Jesse, Jaime, and the Scruggs family for this opportunity – the entire team at Peermusic is honoured to continue championing and protecting Earl and Gary’s incredible legacy of music so that these songs can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

“The Scruggs are multi-generational music royalty who have worked with the Peers, a multi-generational family of music publishers since day one,” said Michael Knox, president, Peermusic Nashville. “The history here is incredible. There are few artists that have defined an entire genre the way that Earl Scruggs and Gary Scruggs have with bluegrass or that so popularised a single instrument across genres as Earl did with the banjo – we’re delighted to continue our work with the Scruggs family and to represent their interest in some of country music’s most beloved songs.” 

“We are now the third generation of the Scruggs family to be working alongside the team at Peermusic,” said Jesse and Jaime Scruggs, the grandsons of Earl Scruggs and the sons of Gary Scruggs, in a joint statement. “Our grandfather trusted Peermusic as his music publisher from the beginning of his career and the team at Peermusic has been like a family to us throughout these many years. 

“Keeping these song catalogues with Peermusic is an easy decision for us because we know how much they have done to support the Scruggs family – and they know these song catalogues inside and out. We’re thrilled to have these songs looked after by Kathy, Knox and the peermusic team.”

Earl Scruggs was recognised with numerous accolades for his contributions to bluegrass and country music throughout his lifetime. Scruggs is inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame, as well as being a recipient of four Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a National Medal of Arts.

Gary Scruggs was the eldest son of Earl Scruggs, and played alongside his father as well as in a duo with his brother, Randy Scruggs. 

Over the course of his career, Gary Scruggs would go on to serve as a backing musician and producer for Waylon Jennings, and also earned a Best Country Instrumental Performance Grammy award. 

Gary Scruggs retired from touring in the mid-'80s, but continued his work as a songwriter. He worked with a wide range of musicians, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Doc Watson, The Byrds, Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash, Charlie Daniels, Steve Martin, Patty Loveless, and many others.

PHOTO: (L-R) Kara Blankinship, Director, Clearance & Catalogue Management, Peermusic; Patrick Smith, Manager, Legal and Business Affairs; Jesse Scruggs; Jaime Scruggs (Earl’s grandsons), Kathy Spanberger, President & Chief Operating Officer, Peermusic; and Michael Knox, President, Peermusic Nashville. 


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