Raleigh Music Publishing announced today (Oct. 12) that it has acquired the catalog of American songwriter Lee Morris.
Morris’s Billboard No. 1 hit, “Blue Velvet,” which is included in the sale to RMP, is a testament to how valuable ownership of a culturally relevant composition can be for rights holders. The song was first recorded as a hit for Tony Bennett in 1951, but it reached its zenith in 1963 when it was re-recorded by crooner Bobby Vinton. While it might have seemed by the mid-sixties the song had had its run, interest in “Blue Velvet” was revived yet again in 1986 when filmmaker David Lynch constructed a successful mystery thriller under the same title. Blue Velvet also featured the Morris-penned track as a motif, with song placements multiple times throughout the film, and the film earned Lynch an Academy Award nomination.
Again, in 2012, “Blue Velvet” was reborn, this time by then-newcomer Lana Del Rey. Included on her second album Born to Die — Paradise Edition subsequent EP Paradise. The song also received a buzzworthy sync placement in H&M’s video advertising campaign that year, featuring a throwback to Lynch’s film by the same title.
Also included in the deal are Bobby Vinton-recorded songs like “Satin,” “Someone I Used To Know,” and “Tina”; Elvis Presley cuts like “Big Love, Big Heartache,” “Barefoot Ballad” and “You Can’t Say No In Acapulco”; Frank Sinatra’s “If I Only Had a Match” (with Al Jolson) and “You Forgot All the Words”; and Nat King Cole’s “I Don’t Want to See Tomorrow.”
Morris’s classic songs join catalogs of other talents like Elvis Presley, George Gershwin, Muhammad Ali, Bo Diddley, and more on Raleigh Music Group’s roster.
“Lee Morris was a member of that select fraternity of mid-20th century songwriters who found inspiration and nourishment in the American popular song idiom,” says co-founder Peter Raleigh.
“We are thrilled to own this iconic catalog and look forward to reintroducing and promoting these important songs to generations to come,” adds co-founder Steven Storch.