Licenses and Permission to Use Songs

The songs of Michael Smith are published by Bird Avenue Publishing, now located in FLORIDA. (CD orders are shipped from Chicago, IL.)   We delight in the use of his material and welcome your inquiries at the Edress provided below.

If researching Smith’s work via ASCAP, BMI or the Harry Fox Agency, please use the official composer name of Michael Peter Smith, which should also be utilized for any written credits afforded to him, to differentiate from the several other registered authors with similar names.

While a license to cover a Smith composition that has already been recorded (a “published” work) may be obtained through the Harry Fox or other similar agencies, please note that a percentage is deducted by them before any royalties are remitted to us, making licensing directly with Bird Avenue more advantageous for Smith.

Royalty rates for using copyrighted songs are established by the government and reviewed every two years. The current statutory rate is 9.1 cents per unit pressed, distributed or sold. (Or, when longer than five minutes in duration, 1.75 cents per minute, or fraction thereof, whichever is greater.) Thus, if one wished to place a version of a Michael Smith song on a CD they were recording and intended to press a modest first quantity of up to 1000 units, the fee due to Bird Avenue would be less than $100.

If that is your intention, the following information will be needed to prepare and send you a license:

When the license is issued and sent to you, you will be asked to include certain credits on the liner notes of your recording, such as:

We would also like to receive a copy of your recording to hear your rendition.

Should you wish to use a song in the Smith catalog for purposes other than an audio recording, such as perhaps within a play or film, or to reprint lyrics within text, please contact us for authorization.

With respect to Michael Smith's musical score for the play THE GRAPES OF WRATH  by John Steinbeck, we have a complete package available that includes lead sheets and a recording of the Broadway cast performing it. You would, of course have to contact the Dramatists’ Play Service ( directly for permission to use the play itself. The musical aspects are essentially the same as depicted in the Steppenwolf version produced by (and which has appeared on) PBS, which featured Gary Sinise.

Please contact me at the Edress below for information on licensing fees. I will need to know your anticipated dates, as well as how many performances are being contemplated, and contact information that includes the proper mailing address that you would like the material sent to.

Thank you for your interest in Michael Smith’s work — we very much look forward to working with you.

Dolly Z

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