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Primary Wave strikes $30m deal to buy catalog of TOTO drummer Jeff Porcaro – Music Business Worldwide

Primary Wave Music has struck a deal to acquire the music publishing catalog of Jeff Porcaro, drummer and one of the songwriters for American rock band TOTO.

The deal, which sources tell MBW is around $30 million, also encompasses the Grammy winner’s master royalties on all albums he performed on with the band.

The deal follows the recent news of Primary Wave buying stakes in the catalogs of Gerry Goffin for a reported $20 million, Bing Crosby in a reported $50 million+ deal, and Luther Vandross for $40 million.

Included in the acquisition are Porcaro’s share of master royalties for the band’s greatest hits such as their debut single Hold The Line, as well as I’ll Be Over You and the single Rosanna.

Released in 1982, Rosanna reached No.2 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying there for five weeks. In 1983, Rosanna won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

Born in 1954, Jeff Porcaro was an American drummer, songwriter, and record producer.

While he is best known for his work with the rock band TOTO, he is considered to be one of the most recorded session musicians of all time.

Over the course of his career, he played on thousands of songs for hundreds of artists, including Sonny & Cher, Miles Davis, Steely Dan, George Benson, Eric Clapton, Barbra Streisand, Joe Cocker, Bruce Springsteen, Frankie Valli, and Elton John. Jeff also toured with Steely Dan and Boz Scaggs before co-founding TOTO with his childhood friend, David Paich.

As a band, they released 14 studio albums and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide.


TOTO’s most well-known hit Africa is also included in this acquisition. Released in October 1982 and co-written by Jeff and David Paich, Africa was the third single off the band’s multi-platinum and Grammy winning album Toto IV.

The single shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it their only Billboard No.1. Africa also went to No.1 in Canada and reached the Top 10 in the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

In June of 2021, Africa was inducted into the Spotify Billionaire’s Club reflecting it has been streamed over a billion times on Spotify alone.

The song has been sampled a number of times over the years by the likes of Nas, Ja Rule and Wiz Khalifa. In 2017, a twitter campaign encouraged the rock band Weezer to cover Africa.

The band dropped their recording in early 2018 which became their biggest hit in years and has since been certified six times platinum.

“As the home of legends, we feel Primary Wave is the perfect partner to continue to protect Jeff’s musical legacy.”

Susan Porcaro

“As the home of legends, we feel Primary Wave is the perfect partner to continue to protect Jeff’s musical legacy,” said Susan Porcaro.

“Being one of the millions of fans to scream the chorus of ‘Africa’ at the top of my lungs on several occasions, this is certainly another thrilling moment in Primary Wave history.”

Adam Lowenberg, Primary Wave Music

Adam Lowenberg, Chief Marketing Officer at Primary Wave Music, said: “Being one of the millions of fans to scream the chorus of ‘Africa’ at the top of my lungs on several occasions, this is certainly another thrilling moment in Primary Wave history.

“Quite simply, Jeff Porcaro belongs on the Mount Rushmore of great American drummers. We are honored to work with Jeff’s wife, Susan, and their sons, to ensure that his legacy is recognized by generations to come.”Music Business Worldwide

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