Reelin’ In The Years Productions, the world’s premier footage source for musical artists and entertainers, has entered into an exclusive, multi-year representation deal with WDR mediagroup GmbH, the group responsible for the commercial activities of WDR, one of Germany’s largest and most prestigious broadcasters, to license WDR’s vast archive of music-related footage. The deal, which was announced today, includes all of the music-related footage produced by WDR between 1960 and today, much of which has not been seen since the time of the original broadcast. Reelin’ In The Years Productions is honored to make this archive available for licensing to all forms of media.
“We look forward to working with the very experienced Reelin’ In The Years Productions,” says Michael Loeb, CEO of WDR mediagroup GmbH. “They know how to bring high-quality music footage forward to new audiences.”
WDR’s music footage archive spans six decades, and includes over 5,000 performances. Their most iconic music TV program, Rockpalast, first aired in 1974. To date, thousands of legendary artists have appeared on the show performing full length concerts, including such diverse artists as Bob Marley (1980), Metallica (1997), Lynryd Skynryd (1974), Beastie Boys (1998), Coldplay (2011), Rick James (1982), Tom Waits (1977), Stevie Ray Vaughan (1984), The Grateful Dead (1981), Peter Gabriel (1978), Foo Fighters (1997), The Smiths (1984), Radiohead (2001), Linda Ronstadt (1976) and The Police (1980).
During the 1960s, WDR produced some very unique moments in music history, including:
- A 50-minute intimate set in a TV studio by Aretha Franklin during her 1968 European tour.
- John Coltrane’s earliest known performance footage as a band leader in 1960.
- A blistering 40 minute set of BB King, filmed on his first ever European tour in 1968.
- Stunning footage shot of the 1967 & 1968 American Folk Blues Festival tours of Germany. In these two programs, WDR captured footage of iconic blues artists Little Walter, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Son House, Koko Taylor and the only known footage of Jimmy Reed to exist from the 1960s.
From 1968-1971 WDR’s news crews also captured unique and historic moments in rock history such as Bob Dylan at The Isle of Wight, The Who at The Royal Albert Hall when they debuted “Tommy” to a London audience, Jimi Hendrix signing autographs in a book store, Janis Joplin on her only European tour, Frank Zappa in his home studio, The Rolling Stones being interviewed about their new guitarist Mick Taylor, and interview and performance footage of James Brown filmed in America.
WDR also produced a number of variety shows in the 1980s & 1990s featuring artists such as
Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, Eurythmics, Sheryl Crow, The Kinks, Tina Turner, Elton John, Cyndi Lauper, Foreigner, Yes, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston & George Michael.
WDR filmed an array of Jazz festivals in the late 1960s and early 1970s featuring concerts by renowned artists such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny Rollins and Dave Brubeck.
“For the last 24 years Reelin’ In The Years Productions has been representing some of the world’s biggest archives such as ITV, INA, SVT, Australian Broadcasting Corporation & ZDF,” says RITY founder and president David Peck. “We are now honored to add the amazing WDR music archive to our catalogue of over 30,000 hours of music footage. We look forward to digging deeper into their vaults and finding more unseen music footage and making it available to producers and directors of music documentaries & full length music programming.”
To see a 12-minute demo showcasing some of the highlights in the WDR archive, please visit https://youtu.be/wfn_LTo2VjU
About WDR mediagroup GmbH:
The WDR mediagroup markets and distributes programmes of Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR).
It offers advertising time in the radio programmes with the widest reach and highest journalistic quality in North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as attractive sponsorship space on Das Erste, ARD’s national programme. At the same time, it makes WDR’s and ARD’s content and brands come alive for everyone – in retail, on platforms and at events, as well as on digital channels. In addition to programme licensing and distribution, the services of the commercial WDR subsidiary also include merchandising, barrier-free media services and extensive IT and broadcasting services.