Michael Martin Murphey's “Wildfire”

Collect royalties from the timeless 1975 hit “Wildfire” performed by Michael Martin Murphey, as well as music used in Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 and more.


closing price

Auction Closed

Top Bid: Harold T

Historic royalty income is no indication of future royalty income. Future royalty income is dependent upon future sales and licensing revenue generated by the sound recordings or compositions associated with this listing.

Starting Price: $13,000
Bidding Increment: $500
Closing Price: $68,000
End Date: Aug 15, 2017, 4:15 PM MDT
Investment Term:

At Least 53 Years

Last 12 Months' Royalties: $3,906 (ASCAP & BMI combined)
Royalty Type: Public Performance
First Payment: ASCAP: August 2017 and BMI: September 2017
Buyer's Fees: $75 ASCAP Assignment Fee* and $500 BMI Payee Account Fee**

*A one-time ASCAP reassignment fee of $75 will be added to the final sale price on the invoice.

**BMI charges a one-time fee of $500 to open a new payee account, which will be debited from the payee's first royalty distribution. Once opened, multiple royalty streams can be routed to the buyer's payee account. If you already have a BMI payee account, there is no fee.


This is an exciting and unique asset. It includes one of the biggest songs from the legendary, Grammy-nominated Western singer/songwriter Michael Martin Murphey. Over the last four quarters, this collection of music earned $3,906.

The crown jewel of this catalog is Murphey's 1975 single “Wildfire.” Accounting for 81% of the catalog's historic earnings, “Wildfire” is seeing a 38% growth rate over the last 12 months. Considering the song was released 37 years ago, that's rather notable! The growth is attributable to streaming sources, specifically Sirius XM and Pandora. Between the two platforms, earnings for “Wildfire” grew 41% and 118%, respectively, from 2015 to 2016.

The song is from Murphey's fourth album, Blue Sky – Night Thunder, considered one of the seminal albums of his career. As the lead single, “Wildfire” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, displacing Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together." The track also reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is certified-Platinum. Today, “Wildfire” is still Murphey's most commercially successful and well-known work.

Finally, the collection also features songs from the production side of the industry. The most recognizable placements are in the 1983 feature film Smokey and the Bandit Part 3, 1984's Songwriter (featuring Willie Nelson), and The Gambler, a series of American western television films starring Kenny Rogers.

Key Drivers

The fact that “Wildfire” was released 37 years ago and not only continues to earn, but is growing as well, is rather remarkable. The growing earnings are attributable to streaming platforms, in this case, Sirius XM and Pandora. This growth as a result of streaming is in line with industry trends.

The song continues to resonate with listeners, as Murphey is currently touring through Summer 2017. His fan base not only remains engaged, but “Wildfire” continues to stay relevant. For example, in 2007, The Late Show host David Letterman developed a sudden captivation with "Wildfire” over the course of a few weeks. Interestingly, this culminated in Murphey performing the song on the show. It's even appeared in the long-running comedy The Simpsons' third season. “Wildfire” appears in the episode called "Lisa's Pony,” where Lisa played the song for her pony with her saxophone.

What is being sold?

100% of the seller's songwriting public performance royalties attributable to the seller's catalog of songs administered by ASCAP and 100% of the seller's songwriting public performance royalties attributable to the seller's catalog of songs administered by BMI. See the “Financials” tab for a full track list. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Possession of the songwriter’s portion of this asset must be taken via a trust, which is required due to ASCAP’s assignment policy. Please see the Post-Auction Process tab for further information.

How does this asset make money?

Every time “Wildfire” or any song in this catalog, is played on the radio, TV, Sirius XM or any other type of public performance, you earn royalties. This music is in the seller's BMI catalog. BMI makes payments quarterly and the first distribution you will receive is September 2017.

Every time Smokey and the Bandit III airs on TV, you will earn money. This music is in the seller's ASCAP catalog. ASCAP makes payments quarterly and the first distribution you will receive is August 2017.

What rights are included?

  Musical Composition Sound Recording
Copyrights included? No
Public Performance
Sources: Internet Streaming, AM/FM & Satellite Radio, TV/Film/Commercial Performances, etc. Internet Streaming, Satellite Radio, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements & Performances, Samples, etc.
Distributors: ASCAP, BMI

About the Royalty Distributor

ASCAP is the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. It is a membership association of more than 575,000 composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP also represents music creators worldwide through agreements with affiliated international societies.

BMI represents more than 10.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 700,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. BMI supports businesses and organizations that play music publicly by offering blanket music licenses that permit them to play more than 10.5 million musical works.

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