NEW YORK — It looks like Bing Crosby’s family members will have a green Christmas this year.
Primary Wave announced a new partnership Monday with the estate of the late singer and actor, known for bellowing the definitive version of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”
In the deal, which is reportedly worth $50 million, the powerful music firm acquired a stake in assets including the Bing Crosby Archives featuring thousands of recordings (many unreleased), artist royalties, writer royalties, rights to radio, television and film productions, most notably the 1954 classic “White Christmas.”
The New York City-based company has also acquired a stake in Crosby’s name, likeness and rights of publicity. His estate will now have access to Primary Wave’s entire marketing team, digital team, publicity department, branding team, and publishing infrastructure which includes licensing and synch opportunities.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership with Primary Wave,” the family of Bing Crosby in a joint statement. “Going into our first meeting, our goal was to find a partner who believed in the vast life that he led, and we know Primary Wave will continue to sustain the legacy of dad.”
Crosby’s family includes his widow and his three children.
Primary Wave, founded 15 years ago by former top music executive Lawrence Mestel, is known for owning Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana catalog. This year, the company acquired half of Prince’s estate.
Among its many divisions, the privately-held company spearheaded by entertainment industry veteran Steve Greener also manages the careers of music acts such as Melissa Etheridge, The Isley Brothers, Yolanda Adams and Jefferson Starship.
“Bing Crosby was one of the most influential stars of the 20th century and few could match his success over four decades beginning in the 1930s,” Mestel said with the announcement. “Our team can’t wait to dive into our partnership with Harry Crosby, Robert Bader and the Crosby family to help reintroduce Bing’s music and legacy to the world.”
Crosby won an Academy Award for best actor for 1945′s film “Going My Way” and is considered to be an architect of 20th century entertainment with over 70 feature films on his resume and over 1,600 songs recorded. Some of his the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient’s songs include “Pennies From Heaven,” “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” “Don’t Fence Me In” and “Accentuate the Positive.”
According to Primary Wave, he has sold close to 1 billion records worldwide – a feat only rivaled by The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.
The Tacoma, Washington, native, who died in 1977 during a golfing trip, remains one of only 33 people to have three stars on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame.