Al Gallico, the 1995 winner of the coveted Abe Olman Publishers Award, one of the major personalities of the publishing world from the 1940s on, is regarded by his peers with great affection. He began his career in the music business as a gopher for G. Schirmer in 1938, and in the years since then, he has never ceased being an inventive and productive publisher of great American songs.
Trading his errand boy shoes for those of a songplugger, Gallico moved on to Leeds Music in 1939, the start of a 14-year association with the company. In 1953, his next move brought him the title, general professional manager, a job dedicated to obtaining recordings by name artists of the publisher’s songs. The firm was another of the leading names, Shapiro Bernstein & Company.
A decade later, Gallico opted for working for himself and founded Al Gallico Music Corporation. One of the Company’s first signed writers, Nashville’s Billy Sherrill, was a Gallico discovery who went on to great fame as a successful composer. One of Sherrill’s most renowned hits was the memorable “Almost Persuaded,” a smash for singer David Houston. Sherrill ultimately received 89
top song awards from Broadcast Music Inc., the performing rights organization.
The Gallico/Sherrill team was so productive that in 1973, a new company, Algee Music, was formed with Sherrill and Gallico becoming business partners. For the next dozen years, Al Gallico Music and Algee Music turned out scores of hit songs including “The Most Beautiful Girl,” “Stand By Your Man,” “The Name Game,” “The Clapping Song,” “The Nitty Gritty,” “The House of the Rising
Sun,” “Almost Persuaded” and the song that became Olivia Newton-John’s first significant hit, ?Let Me Be There.” Al Gallico was also the discoverer of Donna Fargo, a major country artist of the 1970s, whose best-remembered hit song, “The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA,” was also published by the Gallico interests.
The Gallico and Algee firms were sold in 1986 to Columbia Pictures Music. Later, in 1992, Gallico also sold a third firm, John Anderson Music, to Rondor Music International. However, he continues to control two other publishing companies, Mainstay and Mainspring Music, with his English partners, John Spalding and Carole Broughton. This catalog contains such hits for The Zombies as “Tell Her No (No No),” “Time of the Season,” “Hold Your Head Up,” “Liar,” “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” and Cat Slovens’ first major hit, “Here Comes