Paul G. Marshall, RIP
Submitted By: Mr. Ed Rudy
Paul G. Marshall, an entertainment lawyer who engineered deals that changed pop-music history, including the Beatles’ initial U.S. recording contract and later sale of The Beatles Catalog to Michael Jackson, died at Aventura Hospital in the North Miami Beach area of Florida, May 10, 2012.
He became in-house counsel to Decca Records in London shortly after graduating from Fordham Law School in the 1950s, and “fell in love with music and copyright,’’ his wife Bette said. “He always wanted to be the brains behind the scene...He didn’t necessarily want to hand-hold artists.’’
Marshall went on to represent such diverse entertainers as KISS, Lawrence Welk, Whitney Houston, Ornette Coleman, Sister Sledge, ZZ Top, Mary J. Blige, Neil Diamond, Herman’s Hermits, MC Hammer, The Animals and LL Cool J. He represented the legendary songwriting duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (“Hound Dog,” “Is That All There Is?” “Spanish Harlem”), and major labels like EMI, PolyGram, United Artists and CBS Records (now Sony Music).
Beatle Brunch thinks he coined a popular phrase as he would tell some of his clients; ‘‘If I have to listen to your music, I have to charge you more.’’
Marshall served as counsel to Woodstock music festival organizer Artie Kornfeld in 1969, and chess grand master Bobby Fischer during his world championship match with Boris Spassky in 1972. He’s mentioned in Kornfeld’s book, The Pied Piper of Woodstock, and appears in the HBO documentary,Bobby Fischer Against the World.
In 1961, EMI put Marshall in charge of a subsidiary called Transglobal Music Co., a company that placed foreign records made by EMI artists with American companies when recordings were turned down by Capitol. Such was the case with The Beatles single “Please Please Me,” which Marshall then offered to another client, Chicago-based Vee-Jay Records, which signed a five-year licensing agreement to issue all Beatles records in the United States and released it in February 1963.