New York (September 21, 2021) Mojo Music & Media, the global independent music publishing and legacy marketing company, is thrilled to announce on this 21st day of September that we’ve signed a global publishing and marketing agreement with Al McKay, the original guitarist for the legendary Earth Wind & Fire.
The deal, which totals more than 100 songs spanning 5 decades, features 20 Billboard chart hits including McKay’s interests in such pop and soul standards as Earth Wind & Fire’s “September” and The Emotions “Best Of My Love”.
McKay got his start in the late 60’s as a member of the vaunted Ike & Tina Turner Revue and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. He joined a fledgling Earth Wind & Fire in the early 70’s, where he helped develop the band’s signature sound and began a prolific songwriting collaboration with Maurice White. The two penned such Earth Wind & Fire classics as “September”, “Sing A Song”, “Saturday Nite” and “Back On The Road” as well as multiple singles and cuts for The Emotions and A Taste Of Honey. Following his departure from Earth Wind & Fire in the 80’s, McKay contributed songs to and often produced the records of a variety of soul, jazz and gospel artists, ranging from Flora Purim, Gene Harris and Ramsey Lewis to The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Spinners, The Temptations and Finis Henderson. In 1990, he formed the Al McKay Allstars with original Earth Wind & Fire trumpeter Phenix Horn and a collective of top LA studio musicians and road warriors. Al and a rotating lineup of Allstars continue to tour the US, Europe and Asia, performing a mix of original funk and R&B songs and reimagined versions of Earth Wind & Fire favorites.
As Earth Wind & Fire’s primary guitarist, Al collaborated with founding members Maurice and Verdeen White, Ralph Johnson and Philip Bailey to create the band’s unique fusion of jazz, soul, gospel and pop. By the mid-70’s, the group had become one of the most innovative and commercially successful of all time, selling 90 million albums and breaking records on the road with their dynamic stage shows. Earth Wind & Fire has won 6 Grammy Awards, 4 American Music Awards, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2000 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2019.
According to Mojo Co-Founder and CEO, Mark Fried, “Al McKay has been a musical force of nature since the day he strapped on a guitar. It takes about 5 seconds to hear his signature rhythms and melodies propelling some of the most beloved pop songs of all time. We Mojo’s are amped to be working with Al and his team to drive new activity
for his songs and find creative ways to tell his unique story.”