The Harry Nilsson Web Pages


Harry Nilsson News (2022-11-14)


BMG Acquires Harry Nilsson's Song Catalog

BMG Rights Management has acquired the song catalog of Harry Nilsson. On November 14, 2022, BMG released the following announcement:

 

BMG has announced the acquisition of the rights to the critically-acclaimed songbook of Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson.
The deal includes Nilsson’s publishing catalog, as well as artist and writer revenue streams of his hit songs including the chart-topping hits "Without You," "Everybody's Talkin'," "One,"‘ "Coconut," and classics "Jump Into The Fire,"‘ "Gotta Get Up," and "Me and My Arrow," among many others from his great American songbook. His song works also includes titles co-written with John Lennon, ‘Mucho Mungo/Mt. Elga’ and ‘Old Dirt Road’; Danny Kortchmar, ‘(Thursday) Here’s Why I Did Not Go To Work Today’, ‘Moonshine Bandit’; Dr. John, ‘Daylight Has Caught Me’; and Ringo Starr, ‘How Long Can Disco On’.
Featured among the 18 studio albums released over the course of his two-decade long recording career include his debut Spotlight on Nilsson, Harry, Nilsson Sings Newman, the critically acclaimed Nilsson Schmilsson, standards album A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, Pussy Cats (produced by John Lennon), Nilsson's personal favorite Knnillssonn, and his final studio album Flash Harry; as well as the original film soundtracks for Skidoo, The Point!, Son of Dracula, and Popeye; in addition to the collection of his final studio recordings titled Losst and Founnd released posthumously.
BMG will also begin collaborating with the Nilsson family in exploring global creative opportunities for their creative assets such as the The Point! story and Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) including film, television, theatrical stage productions, books, and further areas of business.  
The Nilsson family said, “We are delighted to have found a partner that shares our love and reverence for Harry’s legacy. We look forward to a long relationship with BMG, working together to celebrate this true genius of pop music.”
Thomas Scherer, BMG’s President, Repertoire & Marketing, Los Angeles and New York, said, “For generations, Harry Nilsson’s timeless music has captivated millions of people all around the world. A brilliant songwriter with an exceptionally beautiful and unique voice, we will ensure his spirit thrives for generations to come. We are honored the Nilsson family chose BMG to entrust as the custodians of his musical legacy and are proud to represent the cherished works of Harry Nilsson.” 
Harry Nilsson occupies a unique space in the story of 20th century American music. While he is best known for his chart-topping hits, his deep catalog continues to surprise and capture audiences. At turns irreverent and sincere, Rock & Roll and pure Pop, Nilsson defied easy categorization over his career. He eschewed touring and was happiest in the studio, where he worked with producers like Rick Jarrard, Richard Perry, and John Lennon to craft layered, inventive recordings. 
Nilsson’s career began in 1960s Los Angeles, where he penned hits for The Monkees and Three Dog Night. He explored Baroque Pop and recorded pristine vocals on albums like Pandemonium Shadow Show and Aerial Ballet. In 1971, he released the seminal Nilsson Schmilsson, which was nominated for four Grammys. His chart-topping cover of ‘Without You’ is one of the most vital moments in 1970s music. His 1971 album and film The Point is a triumph of imagination, an enduring fable of the nature of belonging. His timeless interpretations of the Great American Songbook on 1973’s A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night broke new ground for musicians of the era.
Nilsson's music continues to inspire other artists, who see him as a beacon of authenticity and artistry. John Lennon and Paul McCartney called him their "favorite American group," and artists from Carly Rae Jepsen to Harry Styles have cited him as an inspiration. His music is indelibly linked to movies and TV shows like Goodfellas ("Jump Into The Fire"), Reservoir Dogs "Coconut"), Russian Doll ("Gotta Get Up"), Forrest Gump ("Everybody's Talkin'"), You've Got Mail ("The Puppy Song") and many more. The breadth and depth of Harry Nilsson's catalog continues to charm new generations.
The Nilssons' team was led by John Rudolph of 1.618 Industries, Inc. (formerly Music Analytics, a leading music IP advisor) with counsel provided by Jason Karlov and Amanda Taber of Barnes & Thornburg.

 

Photo Credits:
Back row (L to R) – Thomas Scherer (BMG), Beau Nilsson, Kiefo Nilsson, Oscar Nilsson, Ben Nilsson, Jonathan Palmer (BMG)
Front row (L to R) – Celeigh Chapman and Bryan Chabrow (BMG), Olivia Nilsson, Una Nilsson, Annie Nilsson

 

When Sony merged with Bertelsmann in 2004, the rights management part of BMG was spun off into its own company, BMG Rights Management, representing about 200 artists at the time.

 

Harry Nilsson News (2022-08-20)


Brandon Cruz Turns to Fans to Honor Bill Bixby

For several years now, Brandon Cruz, who starred with Bill Bixby in the TV series "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," has been campaigning to have a star for Bixby added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 

While Bixby had some memorable roles in film, it was on television that he shined. For those of us who grew up watching Bill Bixby "My Favorite Martian," "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," "The Magician," and "The Incredible Hulk" it is surprising to learn that there isn't already a star honoring him in Hollywood. It even came as a surprise to Brandon Cruz.

 

I was with some friends, and they asked me, "Where’s Bill?” I said, "I don’t know." We went to one of those kooky stores on the Boulevard that gives you a map of where the stars were. He wasn’t on it. How did Bill not have a star?”

-- Brandon Cruz (2019) [1]

 

More time went on and about two and a half years ago, almost three, I realized that GoFundMe existed. And that people were getting a lot of money raised really quickly to do different things. I thought, "You know what? I’m going to do a memorial for Bill, and I want the fans to do it. I don’t want to involve Hollywood." I felt let down by Hollywood.

-- Brandon Cruz (2019) [2]

 

It's taken much longer than Cruz expected to raise the money - and the Hollywood Walk of Fame has actually raised the price of a star since the campaign started - but the goal posts are in sight. An anonymous donor has agreed to match all funds raised, dollar for dollar, until the end of the year or when the goal is reached.

 

You can contribute to the GoFundMe campaign at:

 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/bill-bixby-star-on-hollywood-blvd

 

"The Courtship of Eddie's Father"



Harry Nilsson News (2022-08-09)


The Nilsson Show - A Tribute to the Songs of Harry Nilsson at the Colony in Woodstock, NY (September 22, 2022)

On September 22, 2022, Eric Squindo Presents will present The Nilsson Show - A Tribute to the songs of Harry Nilsson at the Colony performing arts theater in Woodstock, New York.

 

Since 2019, Eric Squindo Presents has been producing a unique brand of tribute shows for the Colony stage. Paying homage to influential writers such as Tom Waits and Dolly Parton, to the songs of The Muppets and 'The Basement Tapes' (Bob Dylan & The Band), the events have brought together some of the Hudson Valley's finest musicians to deliver their own stylized interpretations. Collaboration between musicians, and an intimate 'at home' atmosphere offer a one-of-a-kind experience that these events have been celebrated for.[1]

 



Harry Nilsson News (2022-07-20)


Harry Nilsson's "Perfect Day" Opens Episode of "Better Call Saul"

Harry Nilsson's "Perfect Day" plays during the opening montage of season six, episode nine of the TV show "Better Call Saul." Rather than Nilsson's original version, the show uses a new recording of the song by Dresage and Slow Shiver. The episode originally aired on July 18, 2022. Supposedly, a new recording of the song was commissioned because the original version wasn't long enough for the scene.

 

"Perfect Day" by Dresage and Slow Shiver

 

 

Harry Nilsson News (2022-06-17)


Harry Nilsson Tribute Night, June 26, 2022, at Long Play Lounge - East (Austin, Texas)

On June 22, 2022, The Long Play Lounge - East in Austin, Texas, will host the "Harry Nilsson Tribute Night."

 

The evening features Juliet McConkey, Andy Bianculli (Star Parks), P. T. Banks, Stephanie Hunt (Buffalo Hunt), Matt Gilchrist, and Sam Rives performing Harry Nilsson'sThe Point!” The show starts at 9:00pm and costs $10.

 

For more information, visit https://www.thelongplaylounge.com/lpeast-event/harry-nilsson-tribute-night/.

 

 

 

More Harry Nilsson News ...


Featured Article of the Day


Derek Taylor

On September 8, 1997, Harry Nilsson's friend Derek Taylor died at his home in Suffolk, England, after a long illness. He was 65.

 

Derek Taylor was born in Liverpool, England on May 7, 1932. He was educated in the city and became a journalist for "The Hoylake and West Kirby Advertiser" before joining "The Liverpool Daily Post & Echo." In 1962, he became the show business correspondent for the northern edition of "The Daily Express," based in Manchester, England.

 

In 1958 he married Joan Doughty in Bebington, England.

 

On May 30th, 1963, Derek covered The Beatles's concert at The Manchester Odeon. In his review in "the Daily Express" the next day he wrote: "The Liverpool Sound came to Manchester last night, and I thought it was magnificent. . . The spectacle of these fresh, cheeky, sharp, young entertainers in apposition to the shiny-eyed teenage idolaters is as good as a rejuvenating drug for the jaded adult."

 

Following a number of subsequent exclusive interviews and reports on The Beatles, Derek developed a close relationship with the group, ghosting a weekly column by George Harrison for the "Express," and then ghosting Brian Epstein's biography, "A Cellarful Of Noise."

 

In April 1964, Derek became Brian Epstein's personal assistant and scriptwriter and The Beatles's Press Officer. He traveled with The Beatles on their world tour of 1964, and then resigned and moved to California, where - as a publicist - he represented The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart, Paul Revere and The Raiders and co-founded the Monterey International Pop Music Festival of 1967.

 

As publicist for A&M Records, one of Derek's brainstorms in October, 1967 was to send a copy of the just-released Phil Ochs album Pleasures of the Harbor to president Lyndon Johnson (one of Ochs' more frequent targets, and lampooned in the song "Miranda" which appears on that album). A few days later, Taylor received a note from LBJ's personal secretary thanking him for his "kindness" in sending the album. A&M used the note as a graphic for ads for the album in underground newspapers for the next month.

 

It was in California in 1967 that Derek Taylor first met Harry Nilsson. Taylor described the events leading up to the meeting:

Slanted-patterned parking lot and the children in the cars of many colors were whining 'Why' and 'When' and stout and bouncing bobbing frozen-food-faced ladies in wobble-pink capris were roller-curling their basket-way to the fat and hungry Riviera trunks and we, store-sullen men, waited in the scorching smog-stained sun on various vinyl-shining seats when I button-pushed into a 17-bar song-snatch and Timothy, eight and bright, said, 'Oh, you're smiling now, why? Oh why? Why ... the song had said: 'He met a girl the kind of girl he'd wanted all his life. She was soft and kind and good to him and he took her for his wife. They got a house not far from town and in a little while the girl had seen the doctor and she came home with a smile. And in 1961 the happy father had a son ...' Such a fragment of song it was and from whom? It was new and hardly anything is new! And how could something come so strong and sudden so swiftly to snap the sad and slumberous Safeway stupor? Hayes, who rides the discs like Joel McCrea, said, '"1941," folks.' Oh, yes, he said, '"1941," by Nilsson.' Nilsson. 'Nilsson' he said, again, and told us it was good, and that was why we smiled, Timothy, we smiled because it was good ...

Derek tracked Harry down and met him at the bar of the La Brea Inn in Los Angeles, California. He also bought a case of Harry's Pandemonium Shadow Show album and mailed the LPs to his friends ... including The Beatles.

 

Derek brought Harry to the attention of Nat Weiss at the Beatles' management company, NEMS. NEMS attempted to lure Nilsson from RCA, but during negotiations Brian Epstein died and the offer was apparently forgotten.

 

In 1968, with the institution of Apple Corps, Derek returned to England with his wife Joan and their children to become The Beatles' Press Officer, casually establishing his legendary press "salon" at the Apple building in Saville Row, from where he befriended all comers and addressed the world.

 

With the break-up of The Beatles in 1970 Derek joined Warner, Elektra and Atlantic Records (WEA), rising to vice-president at Warner Bros. in America by 1977. During this period, he produced albums by George Melly and John Le Mesurier as well as Harry Nilsson's A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night.

 

In 1978, he left Warner Bros. to become a writer. Derek wrote and consulted on numerous books, among them George Harrison's biography, I, Me, Mine and Michelle Phillips's California Dreamin', and his own works, including As Time Goes By and It Was Twenty Years Ago Today.

 

In the mid-80s, Derek returned to Apple Corps, from where he orchestrated and controlled the massively-successful launches of The Beatles Live at the BBC and, perhaps rock and roll's greatest multi-media success of all time, The Beatles Anthology.

Derek Taylor Interview

 

Sir Paul McCartney paid tribute to Derek. He said: "He was a beautiful man. It's a time for tears. Words may come later."

 

McCartney's publicist and Derek Taylor's "Anthology" press assistant Geoff Baker commented, "Derek leaves a thousand friends. Derek was not only the World's Greatest Press Officer, he was also one of the funniest, kindest and most decent men you could have met. All who did meet him, loved him. In 1969, The Beatles sang 'and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.' Derek Taylor was the proof of that equation."

 

Rupert Perry, Chairman of the EMI Records Group, UK & Ireland, said, "The untimely death of Derek Taylor is a sad loss for our industry and especially for those of us at EMI privileged to have known him. During his years holding the outside world together during the crazy days of Apple at 3 Saville Row, and more recently as the constant voice of sanity and reason amidst the furor of The Beatles' 'new' recordings and reunions, Derek's calmness and infinite charm and wisdom cooled many a hot head. Despite his illness, Derek continued to provide support to The Beatles, Apple and EMI, and we will remember him with great affection and gratitude."

 

Derek Taylor leaves a wife, Joan, and children Timothy, Dominic, Gerard, Abigail, Vanessa and Annabel - and thousands of friends.

 

Derek Taylor wrote more words ... and wrote more passionately ... about Harry Nilsson's music than anyone else. He had a wonderful way with words. Unfortunately, I am not as talented as Mr. Taylor, so I borrowed most of the above from Derek's official biography as released by Apple. -- Roger Smith

 

Derek's poetry was exceptional and I wish I could recall the jaggedy little poem he wrote about southern California shopping center parking lots that Harry Nilsson used to recite with such relish and exquisite attention to detail. Now there was a pair, Harry and Derek. They were dark-side-of-the-moon twins, those two. And what a delicious tiny little private victory of my own life to have been allowed to sit between those two men and watch the cosmic gears grind while the stars flashed overhead. They must be together, if there is any order in the Cosmos. They must have staked out a tidy little pub somewhere over on the east side of Paradise, and they must be sitting there now laughing, not in an unkind way, about my pathetic efforts to describe how dear this fellow was. How dry his wit, how deliciously deep his soul, and how impeccable and unswerving his honesty, his honor, his love for his family, his turn of phrase, his wry smile, his unexpected noble gesture. -- Jimmy Webb

 

Derek has been one of the great influences on my life. I've had others. Lenny Bruce - I used to memorize all his routines. Ray Charles, whose Newport 1958 is one of the classic recordings of all time. Also, the Everly Brothers, Little Richard, and, of course, Elvis. ... [Derek] is a brilliant man; the most brilliant man I've ever met. -- Harry Nilsson

Welcome to the Harry Nilsson Web Pages

This site is dedicated to the music and memory of Harry Nilsson. From the late 1960s through the early '90s, Nilsson produced music that both challenged norms and celebrated the past - often within the same song.
On first listen, his early Pandemonium Shadow Show is just an appealing collection of bouncy pop songs, a product of the time when it was released. But, on closer listen songs like "1941" and "Without Her" feature poignant and wistful lyrics on top of their upbeat, pop melodies. To the listener in the late 1960s, the melodies and songs, such as “Freckles” sometimes invoked what would have seemed a nostalgic air, but they still sound fresh more than fifty years later.
Nilsson remained unconventional throughout his career. He never toured to support an album and he made few TV appearances. He released an album of songs which were all written by another songwriter. He recorded an album of standards in front of an orchestra. He followed up his best selling album and song with an album featuring a song pretty much guaranteed to surprise, if not offend, his new fans.
Harry ventured into movies and TV, creating a classic animated story (“The Point!”) and writing the music and songs for the once-panned, but now cult favorite, film Popeye starring Robin Williams.
In the last years of his life, after his friend John Lennon was shot and killed, Harry stepped back from music and, ironically perhaps, more into the public eye as the spokesperson for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence advocating for sensible gun laws in America.
A heart attack took Harry’s life in early 1994. Yet, his memory lives on in the hearts and minds of his friends, family, and fans. And his music lives on with Sony releasing a comprehensive collection of his works on CD and his music being featured prominently in TV and movies.