The music of Levittown native Danny DeGennaro will live on for future generations to hear digitally through a new music publishing company and record label.
In addition to sharing the late singer/guitarist’s music with new audiences, DDF JAM Publishing LLC and Danny DeGennaro Foundation Record Label are recording, releasing, and promoting songs of Danny DeGennaro Foundation scholarship award winners, including 2020 recipient, Sarah Rue Laskey.
Ed Mero of the Danny DeGennaro Foundation said the record label and publishing company has been in the works for two years.
It took time to establish and research distribution channels for the music, Ed said, adding that the label is releasing its music – primarily digital songs – through CD Baby, with downloads and streaming available on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon Music.
Long-time Danny DeGennaro Foundation partner John Austin Mulhern is president of the newly formed publishing company.
Signing with a publishing company is necessary to have songs considered for film, Ed said.
“They don’t even want to talk to the artists,” Ed said. “You have to already be signed up or have a structure set up to be able to pitch your song.”
The label and publishing company provides artist development and ensures intellectual property rights are protected through Artist Rights Society; and royalties paid through BMI or ASCAP.
Career development is furthered through Mulhern’s songwriting workshops, as well as copyrighting songs, career guidance, booking/management, contract review and negotiations.
Music is being recorded at Sonlight Productions LLC, a Perkasie-based recording studio.
The Danny DeGennaro Foundation has recorded scholarship award winners’ music there for the last four years.
Three of DeGennaro’s albums have been recorded and released digitally.
The label is working with 15 to 20 Bucks County artists and anticipates collaborating with musicians in the tri-state area.
Bucks County professional musician John Chaykin, a long-time DeGennaro friend and music collaborator, will lead the record label’s talent search as A&R director.
A drummer since age 10, Chaykin met DeGennaro when he was 13 or 14 and DeGennaro was 17.
The first time DeGennaro’s drummer missed a show and Chaykin played with his “hero” was the “highlight of my life.”
From 2000 until his death in 2011, DeGennaro played on four of Chaykin’s five albums.
The record label recently released “Light Year,” one of their songs together.
“He’s got the type of music that has staying power,” Chaykin said, comparing DeGennaro to Stevie Ray Vaughan or Eric Clapton. “His music never dies. It’ll always be listenable and great.”
As A&R director, Chaykin is looking for similar qualities in today’s musicians.
“I try to see ‘would this sell?’ Would people be interested?” Chaykin said. “There’s also the look. That’s a big part of it. Do they have stage presence?”
The label is laying the groundwork for 1 million streams and beyond on Spotify.
Any money raised from DDF JAM Publishing LLC will be donated to the Danny DeGennaro Foundation.
“The market’s changed,” Ed Mero said. “The reality of it is you have as much clout as a major label if you do it correctly.”
PHOTO CAP: John Chaykin