Rodgers and Hammerstein mum on rumors
The Rodgers and Hammerstein Org is keeping mum on rumors and reports that its catalog of classic showtunes is up for grabs.Word in Gotham has R&H looking into the possibility of selling its library, which includes tuner hits by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II as well as material by other creatives including Irving Berlin and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Catalog is estimated to be worth $150 million-$200 million. The music publishing divisions of Sony, Vivendi and Warner are among those said to be kicking the tires. Potential revenue from the catalog would be generated not only from licensed legit productions but also from selling rights for the use of tunes in other media. A rep for R&H declined to comment. Known for its careful hold on the legit legacy of Rodgers and Hammerstein (“The Sound of Music,” “South Pacific”), the R&H Org is comprised mainly of three arms: R&H Theatricals (which licenses tuners and revues), the R&H Concert Library and music publishing company Williamson Music. The daughters of the two composers, Mary Rodgers Guettel and Alice Hammerstein Mathias, are the main trustees and beneficiaries of the trusts that control the R&H Org. Topped by Ted Chapin, the company has had a busy year, with Lincoln Center Theater’s hit staging of “South Pacific” up and running, plus two new Rialto tuners, Tony winner “In the Heights” and “[title of show],” joining Williamson. Upcoming Broadway productions of titles repped by R&H include a fall staging of the 1940 Rodgers and Hart tuner “Pal Joey” and the Gotham preem of “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.”
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