Hal Leonard Celebrates ASCAP’s Centennial With Two Titles

a friend in the music business1111On February 13th, 1914, at a gathering in New York City, a small, but visionary group of the nation’s most distinguished and popular songwriters founded The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). A few years later, the United States Supreme Court upheld ASCAP’s right to collect royalties for the public performance of its members’ copyrighted music.

The organization has seen its ranks grow to 480,000 current members – many of whom have joined in the last few years. ASCAP processes 250 billion performances annually, resulting in $4.2 billion in distribution to members in the last five years.

In A Friend in the Music Business: The ASCAP Story (Hal Leonard Books; Feb. 4, 2014; $29.99), music writer Bruce Pollock looks back at ASCAP’s influence on the music industry over the last 100 years and its continued relevance and importance today. The book features a foreword by Quincy Jones and a preface by Lyle Lovett.

Pollock looks at the influences of radio, one of ASCAP’s prime sources of income since its inception in the 1920s and, in time, one of its prime sources of conflict. The book covers television, where Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood songs found a whole new audience through adult-oriented hosts like Ed Sullivan and Arthur Godfrey. Also included is the emergence of rock ‘n’ roll in the late 1950s; of Bob Dylan and an influx of new folk, pop and rock writers soon after; and Berry Gordy’s decision to move much of his massive catalog to ASCAP in 1971.

The ASCAP Centennial Songbook (Hal Leonard; March 1, 2014; $19.99) recalls 55 song highlights spanning the history of ASCAP and celebrating its representation of some of the greatest songwriters of all time. Among the songs and sheet lyrics included are “Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Over The Rainbow,” “At Last,” “Moon River,” “The Way We Were,” “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).”

centennial songbook11The book features a foreword by ASCAP President Paul Williams, notes about the songs by decade, and photographs of the composers and lyricists.

“For one hundred years, ASCAP and its music creator members have been at the very heart of American music business with great songs and compositions and with a common sense way for songwriters and composers to earn a living,” said Williams. “ASCAP’s challenges, innovations and tireless efforts to protect its members’ rights over the past century is a story well worth telling and it all can be found in the newly published A Friend in the Music Business: The ASCAP Story. We are so grateful to author Bruce Pollock and the good people at Hal Leonard Books for putting together this deeply informative, entertaining and readable account. Bruce covers all the bases – the music business, the cultural impact, the personalities, and what lies ahead.”

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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