Mechanical Licensing for Billy Joel Songs

I just experienced possibly the longest, hardest, drawn-out process in order to obtain my mechanical license for the use of the Billy Joel song I arranged for my upcoming lullaby album.  I thought it would be mega helpful to post the valuable information I finally obtained for anyone else who needs to find this information in the future (as I googled and googled and only came across one article with leading information and the author still didn’t provide details).

So with that said, here you are.  A gem of information that will save you hours, days, even weeks of time emailing back and forth with publishing companies, record labels and so forth.

To obtain such licensing, you do not in fact go through his publishing company (Hal Leonard), but through his accounting firm that handles royalties:

Gelfand Rennert & Feldman LLP
1880 Century Park East #1600
Los Angeles, CA  90067

I found this info only after hours (and days and weeks) going through Harry Fox, Hal Leonard, EMI, BMI and finally ASCAP. I even searched around for other artists who had done Billy Joel songs and emailed them asking where they obtained their licenses. No replies of course (assuming they did get licenses?).  I’m a member of ASCAP and you would think I would have been smart enough to just go there.  It was my last stop and even then the info they provided was tricky.  I ended up having to do more searching to find the actual website for Gelfand Rennert & Feldman.

Anywho, may this blog show up on many google searches to come and help anyone else trying to get licensing for this songwriter.  Oh, and by the way, the turn around time for the license (once I actually found the right place) was literally only 3 days.  SO FAST.

Oh, and one more thing, if you are printing sheet music you have to go through his publisher, Hal Leonard, for a completely seperate license.  Not to mention you also have to submit a request for “permission to arrange”, and another seperate license if you want to print the lyrics in the liner notes of the cd.  Holy cow.


2 responses to “Mechanical Licensing for Billy Joel Songs

  1. Hi Jennifer

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to write this article and being thoughtful enough to put it on your blog.

    I’m wanting to arrange a Billy Joel song for my community choir and also get permission to record rehearsal material and it’s been SO time consuming trying to track down the correct companies for various licences and permission.

    Your article has given me hope.


    PS I hope your lullaby album was a great success.

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