Photo: Paul Hamaker

Huey Lewis And The News Sell Catalogue For $20M

Adding to an ever-expanding list of musicians selling their repertoire, Huey Lewis and the News have sold the lion’s share of their catalog to Primary Wave Music for approximately $20,000,000.00, Variety reports.

Includes all of their major hits, “The Power of Love,” “Hip To Be Square,” “If This Is It,” and “I Want a New Drug.,” the all encompassing deal runs from their 1980 debut LP Huey Lewis and the News through to their 1994 release Four Chords & Several Years Ago.

In a statement to Variety, Primary Wave Music’s David Weitzman said “In the 1980’s, everyone heard Huey Lewis and the News’s many smashes on radio and saw their iconic & fun videos which appeared on MTV in endless rotation.” “Their incredibly crafted songs still made me smile, remind me of that seemingly more innocent era, and make me want to sing along at the top of your lungs. Primary Wave look forward to working with Huey to create new opportunities for his storied song catalog into the future.”

“We’re honored to welcome the music of Huey Lewis and the News to Primary Wave,” said Primary Wave Music Senior Counsel John Luneau. “Our entire team is looking forward to working with them to generate new and exciting opportunities for their iconic catalog.”

Huey Lewis and the News have only released three albums since 1994 as much of their attention over the last 25+ years has been on touring until the band was forced off the road in 2018 when lead singer-Lewis lost much of his hearing. The tragedy happened suddenly during a corporate gig in Dallas as he was preparing to walk onstage as he told Rolling Stone in 2020:

“I heard this huge noise.” “It sounded like warfare was going on in the other room. I yelled, ‘What is that?’ They said, ‘It’s just Pat [Green], the opening act.’ I put in my in-ear [monitors] in and couldn’t hear anything.”

Huey hoped things would improve once he hit the onstage, but issues only grew worse. “I thought the bass amp had blown a speaker,” he said. “I just heard this horrible noise, and I couldn’t find pitch or even hear myself. It was an absolute nightmare. The worst thing. Just horrible.”

An extremely difficult period, the lead singer visited expert after expert, ultimately learning he had Ménière’s disease for which there are no viable treatment options. “I was suicidal,” he said about the days following the diagnosis. “There was literally a roaring tinnitus in my head. I just laid in bed. There was nothing I could do. I’d just lay in bed and contemplate my demise.”

Lewis eventually accepted his fate and even managed to spontaneously sing “Hip to be Square” at a golf tournament in Scotland since some days he hears far better than others. But scheduling any tour would be impossible. “I’d need to book the show a month in advance,” he said, “and I never know what I’ll be like in a couple days since it fluctuates so much.”

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: PaulHamaker