Downtown Music Publishing has signed a publishing administration and catalog marketing agreement for the George Gershwin catalog, the company announced today. The catalog is represented by the Godowsky family and Heyward Memorial Fund, respective successors to the historic American songwriter and “Porgy and Bess” authors DuBose and Dorothy Heyward. In addition to many of Gershwin’s preeminent works, the agreement includes management of more than 300 previously unpublished songs by Gershwin that have been largely unavailable since their discovery in the 1980s.
“The George Gershwin catalog, including his work on ‘Porgy and Bess’ with DuBose and Dorthy Heyward, features not only some of the most iconic songs in the Great American Songbook, but represents the building blocks of popular music,” said Downtown CEO Justin Kalifowitz. “To be entrusted with these legendary works — which remain as culturally relevant today as ever — is a true honor and a testament to our team.”
Jonathan Keidan, great-nephew of George Gershwin and Trustee for the Gershwin/Godowsky Trust, said, “In thinking about the next home for these celebrated works, we wanted a focused, creative and energetic music publisher. Downtown understands both the importance of nurturing these American classics, ensuring that they remain beloved and relevant today while also finding new ways to bring them to the next generation of Gershwin fans.”
The agreement covers many of Gershwin’s most well-known compositions, including, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Love Is Here to Stay,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” and the enduring “Summertime,” from “Porgy and Bess.” Among the more than 300 previously unpublished songs included in the agreement are unused works from classic films like “Shall We Dance” and “A Damsel in Distress,” as well as songs that were posthumously co-written with Brian Wilson.