Sony/ATV Signs New Deal with Mark James, Acquires Rights to Top Songs


Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed a new deal with renowned, multi-platinum, award-winning songwriter Mark James, renewing his long-standing alliance with Screen Gems/EMI spanning roughly 50 years.

The company has also secured extended rights for three of his top songs – “Suspicious Minds,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” and Grammy-award winning “Always on my Mind.”

Hall of Fame songwriter Mark James is known for writing beloved, timeless hit songs across countless genres, including Elvis Presley’s major hits “Suspicious Minds” and “Moody Blue,” “Always on my Mind” by Willie Nelson, “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede, “Sunday Sunrise” by Brenda Lee, “One Hell of a Woman” by Mac Davis, and “Everybody Loves a Rain Song” by B.J. Thomas. 

His music has also been recorded by top artists including Bill Withers, Lou Rawls, Johnny Winter, Michael Bublé, Jay-Z, Nancy Wilson, Sonny & Cher, Waylon Jennings, The Partridge Family, The Pet Shop Boys, Martina McBride, Petula Clark, The Fine Young Cannibals, Bush, and Dwight Yoakam, among many others.

Mark’s songs have been featured in several major motion pictures, including Guardians of the GalaxyReservoir DogsHoneymoon in VegasPractical MagicKramer vs. KramerIntolerable Cruelty, Frequency, and Blackhawk Down. His songwriting legacy has earned him honors in the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, New York Songwriters Hall of Fame, Nashville Country Hall of Fame, and will soon find induction into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

Sony/ATV Senior Vice President, Business Affairs Jonas Kant said, “Mark’s songwriting is a testament to the enduring power of music in our lives. Throughout the years, we have all heard Mark’s iconic songs in the theater, on the radio and TV, and of course at the Karaoke bar – and his music will continue inspiring fans in the future. We couldn’t be happier to extend our creative partnership with Mark.”

Mark James said, “I’ve always stayed with something that works. My relationship with Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc. goes back to 1971 and I’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship working with Sony/ATV marketing and promoting my catalogue. I’m thankful that in 2021, my songs are still being embraced by new generations of listeners around the world.”

Mark’s big break occurred in 1968 when B.J. Thomas recorded “The Eyes of a New York Woman,” which became the songwriter’s first major hit. A year later, Thomas cut two more of his songs, “Hooked on a Feeling” and “It’s Only Love,” which earned widespread chart success.

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In the same year, Mark recorded “Suspicious Minds,” which was later recorded by Elvis Presley and became the star’s all-time biggest single, selling 40 million records worldwide. Elvis subsequently recorded four other singles written by Mark, and two of Elvis’ albums, Raised on Rock and Moody Blue were named after Mark’s songs.


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