Music Publisher Spirit Moves Into Nashville’s Music Row

Acquisition of indie music publisher Cal IV Entertainment adds country to mini-major's pop and jazz portfolio

Fortifying its mini-major status in the music publishing world, Spirit Music Group acquired Cal IV Entertainment, the Nashville-based independent music publisher, production and artist management company.

The move marks Spirit’s expansion into Music Row, the heart of Nashville’s entertainment industry, where Spirit will take up residence in the Cal IV Nashville offices, some of whose existing tenants will serve key positions in the new Spirit hierarchy: Cal IV head Daniel Hill will become president of Spirit Music Nashville, while Billy Lynn has been named VP creative. Hill will report to Spirit chairman David Renzer.

Spirit — which owns and/or manages a catalog of some 75,000 songs spanning from the works of Charles Mingus and Alan and Marilyn Bergman to T. Rex and Pete Townshend — can now tout a significant country base to its pop and jazz canon.

Through the deal, Spirit becomes the publisher of an active roster that includes songwriter-artist Eric Paslay, pictured above, who has written for the likes of Jake Owen, Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum, as well as the publishing rights to a catalog of 25 No. 1 copyrights and numerous Top 10 singles, including Faith Hill’s “Breathe,” Keith Urban’s “Stupid Boy” and Tim McGraw’s “Watch the Wind Blow By.”

An extensive catalog of songs by former Cal IV writers such as Dave Berg (Billboard’s 2007 Country Songwriter of the Year, ASCAP’s 2008 Country Songwriter of the Year) also comes with the deal.

“We look forward to helping the new Nashville team expand the reach of their songs and writers across genres, territories and traditional and new media,” said Spirit president/CEO Mark Fried in a statement.

Added Hill in the announcement: “Spirit and Cal IV are kindred companies and the fit between the two could not be better.”

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