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Songwriters Guild of America

The Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) is an organization founded in 1931, to help "advance, promote, and benefit" the profession of songwriters. It was founded as the Songwriters Protective Association by Billy Rose, George W. Meyer and Edgar Leslie. SGA issued the first standard songwriters contract in 1932 and most writers consider it the 'standard' agreement in the industry. in 1982, SGA moved its executive office from New York City to Nashville. As of February 2012, the Songwriters Guild of America, Inc., has been operating as a Tennessee corporation. Since 1973, The Songwriters Guild Foundation has been organized as a New York corporation.

In 1976, the organization, along with the RIAA, was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Copyright Act of 1976. In July 1999, a similar but much smaller organization — National Academy of Songwriters based on Los Angeles — closed and recommended that its 3,000 members join the Songwriters Guild of America. NAS's impetus for closing was a concession of unnecessary redundancies of the two organizations striving for the same goal.[1][2]

Rick Carnes has been the president for the last seventeen years.

The Songwriters Guild features online and offline classes in songwriting and the music business. Other features include contract review for members, in-depth song evaluations, royalty collection services and music industry resources.


The Songwriters Protective Association was formed in 1931 partly as a counterweight to the Music Publishers Protective Association, which was founded in 1917. It gave creative talent some institutional heft in dealings with increasingly corportized publishers, producers, record companies, and studios.[3]

Name changesEdit

In May 1958, the organization changed its name from Songwriters Protective Association to the American Guild of Authors and Composers (AGAC).[4] In the 1980s, the organization changed its name to Songwriters Guild of America.

Presidents & executive directorsEdit


Executive directorsEdit

  • Miriam Rose Stern (1912–1990)
  • (19??–2005): Lewis Bachman (1934–2006)
  • (2005–2008): Rundi Ann Ream (born 1962)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Newsline — The National Academy of Songwriters, Billboard Magazine, July 24, 1999, pg. 83
  2. ^ The National Academy of Songwriters and the Songwriters Guild of America Join Forces!, archived article.
  3. ^ Gary A. Rosen, Unfair to Genius: The Strange and Litigious Career of Ira B. Arnstein, Oxford University Press, pg. 22 (2012) OCLC 754720516, 802617780
  4. ^ Songwriters Take New Title, New York Times, May 24, 1958

External linksEdit