I made an interesting discovery today. One of my compositions was used as background music in an episode of the Jerry Seinfeld series, “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee”. Specifically, it is the episode featuring Don Rickles, titled “You’ll Never Play The Copa”.
Around 10 years ago I collaborated with a friend of mine, Erich Gruber, on making what is called “production music”, essentially music to be used in television and film. Over the course of a year, we cooked up about a dozen pieces and sent them to a publisher who Erich had gotten to know. Eventually a few of our songs made it to various television shows over the years.
One of my pieces, originally titled “Easin’”, a song with an easy-going big band swing feel, got picked up by a few music catalog publishers. It eventually made its way to a large catalog publisher called Jingle Punks. As is the case with these music catalogs, when a song gets picked up, it is renamed to something unique so that the correct publisher is identified when it comes time to pay and collect royalties. So “Easin’” became known as “Steady As She Goes”, which is not to be confused with the song by the Raconteurs.
Anything I write that gets published is registered with a performing rights organization (PRO), in my case ASCAP, which is responsible for collecting performance royalties on my behalf. It is the responsibility of a record label or television or film production company to report to the PRO the fact that they used a composition. Eventually the royalties trickle their way to the publisher and the composer in a 50/50 split.
I just got a notice today for my quarterly ASCAP royalty payout. Normally, I don’t really pay attention to what I’m earning money for, but I was curious today–probably because I am retired now and I have time to be curious! So I poked around on the website to take a look at the “Works” that I have collected royalties for, and there it was, a song credited to me and Erich that got placed on Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.
Now I have no idea how much I have actually earned from this; there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to find out. About 99% of the money I earn from ASCAP is attributed to one song I wrote, “Draw Me Close”. So for “Steady As She Goes” maybe I’ve earned a few bucks. Who knows?
So, here is the original recording of “Easin’”. Enjoy!