Music footage library and production outfit Reelin’ in the Years Prods. has signed to rep the Carson Entertainment Group in licensing perfs and interviews from the music guests who appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” from 1962-1992.
CEG, which controls rights to the Carson show library, touts more than 3,500 hours of footage culled from nearly 2,500 episodes of the latenight talker, including appearances by Paul McCartney, James Brown, Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Marvin Gaye, David Bowie, Diana Ross, among several other pop and country acts.
David Peck, who founded RITY in 1992, said he could not place a dollar amount on the deal, but told Variety that in addition to being able to license the footage, those entities planning on using the filmed music “would (also) have to clear all the rights with the artists” or their estates, since repurposed footage from a TV show appearance is used beyond its original intention.
“A lot of people don’t go out of their way to clear rights,” Peck added. “Sometime they get away with it, sometimes they get in hot water.”
San Diego-based RITY — which represents more than 35 television stations and independent archives in Europe, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand — houses a combined library of over 20,000 hours of music footage spanning seven decades that it places in movies, television, digital/online media, DVDs and CDs.
The company has also produced more than 70 DVDs including a series of “British Invasion” DVDs featuring such acts as Herman’s Hermits and Dusty Springfield, the Grammy-nominated “The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1969” series and its recent “Ray Charles: Live in France 1961.”
Its audio/video archives also includes the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix and more contemporary artists like U2 and Lady Gaga.
“David Peck and his staff have such a tremendous knowledge and respect for the music contained in the body of ‘The Carson Show’ library that we thought the fit would be a natural,” said CEG prexy Jeff Sotzing prexy in a statement. “We look forward to a long and successful relationship”
Added RITY’s Peck: “The holdings are truly incredible, featuring many unique and one-of-a-kind performances. Also, unlike many other programs from this time period where the bulk of the performances were lip-synched, all of the Carson performances are live.”