About Us

In his years as a staff director on Capitol Hill, Chris Manion had the opportunity to meet many business owners who came to visit their senators. He noticed that those in the hospitality industry seemed to have one complaint in common – it was almost unanimous: Music Licensing fees!

Well, their options were very limited. America’s copyright statutes are over 100 years old, and the U.S. government’s protection of copyright is one of the strongest in the world. Chris had worked his way through grad school playing music, so he knew one fundamental rule that he shared with business owners who complained about music royalties:

“You’ve gotta pay them. Like it or not. That’s the law.”

One day Chris ran into a friend, a former Senate staffer who had gone to work for the National Restaurant Association, in the cafeteria in the Senate Hart Building. Her NRA members were really upset about the licensing laws, and she recounted a few of their horror stories. By the time they had finished their coffee, Manion Music was taking shape – and the concept was simple: a company that owned its own music could license it any way it wanted to. And in hundreds of discussions with folks in the hospitality industry, we discovered that they didn’t want to pay lower monthly royalties – they didn’t want to pay any monthly royalties at all!

That’s how we decided to sell Manion Music with our exclusive Lifetime Performance License® – our customer would pay all at once, in one purchase price, for our music and the license to play it – forever!

Guided by music expert Ted Libbey, whose Time-Life collections went platinum, Manion Music worked with Grammy winners, Gold Medal winners, and platinum producers to put together the collections that we’ve been providing to happy customers for the past twenty years. We partnered with Naxos records, the largest classical music label in the world. We’ve worked with one of Washington’s most prestigious law firms to guarantee that our customers could rest assured that their Lifetime Performance License was rock-solid.

And in twenty years we have never had a legal challenge!

In fact, we have excellent professional relationships with the three U.S. “Licensing Agencies” – Ascap, Sesac, and BMI – because we send them a lot of customers. After all, if you need Elvis, Manion Music can’t help you – and we always urge business owners not to “fly under the radar.” If you can’t use our Lifetime Performance License, then get legal licenses that allow you to play the music you do play. And pay for them, and be sure to keep your payments current.

And by the way, Manion Music’s Lifetime Performance License® is valid worldwide! We offer collections that meet the legal requirements of virtually every country in the world! If you have subsidiaries in several countries, all you need is a license in your home office listing each location. Each country has its own collection agencies and its own fees, but you won’t need them anywhere if you’re playing Manion Music. If you’ve flown through the Hong Kong International Airport, you’ve probably heard our music! And they saved thousands of dollars a year!

We debuted our first collections to rave reviews at the 1997 NRA Show in Chicago. A year later, we were ready to launch our entire catalogue, and Edward Don – the NRA Show’s longest-standing exhibitor! – featured our music at the 1998 NRA Show at McCormack Place in Chicago. Since then, we’ve saved our happy customers millions of dollars!


Here’s some more information about the Manion Music team.

Christopher Manion played music in restaurants while he studied at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and Notre Dame University, where he earned a Ph.D. in government. Since then, he has taught at various universities, spent six years as a subcommittee staff director on the Senate side of Capitol Hill, and helped found the political satire group The Capitol Steps. He has been a contributing editor and music critic for Saturday Review and High Fidelity magazines, and his op-eds and book reviews have appeared in a variety of popular and academic journals. Today the entire Manion family works to make our music available to customers everywhere, and our offices are located on the Shenandoah River in Front Royal, Virginia.

Ted Libbey, Jr., graduated from Yale University and studied music at the Stanford University Graduate School. He has served as a music critic for The New York Times and as classical music editor for High Fidelity magazine before becoming the classical music critic for National Public Radio, where he served a commentator on the weekly show, “Performance Today.” His best-selling book, The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection, went through several printings. He has designed collections for Time-Life Music, two of which have sold over a million copies. He has served as a judge for the U.S. Information Agency’s Artistic Ambassador program, as well as for the International Record Critics Awards. Today Ted serves as Media Arts Director for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.