Freddy Bienstock

Abe Olman Publisher Award

Freddy Bienstock was born in Austria and emigrated to the United States just before the onset of World War II. He began his career in the music business in the stock room of Chappell & Company, then and now a major music publisher. Within a few years at Chappell, after having risen to the post of song plugger, whose job it was to generate recording activity of the company’s songs, Bienstock joined Hill and Range Songs, a publishing firm established by his two
cousins, Julian and Jean Aberbach, which eventually published a number of songs recorded by Elvis Presley, among others.

In 1966, he acquired Belinda Music, the English affiliate of Hill and Range and renamed it Carlin Music Corporation. In 1969, Bienstock left Hill and Range and formed a United States joint venture with songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller called The Hudson Bay Music Company. Hudson Bay’s first acquisition also occurred in 1969: the purchase of the music publishing division of Commonwealth United (which included Bobby Darin’s TM Music and Koppelman and Rubin Music). In 1971, the joint venture bought Lin Broadcasting’s publishing
and record division. This acquisition included Starday Records, an extremely successful Nashville-based company; King records, which was a legendary blues entity established by the late Syd Nathan in Cincinnati, and a number of publishing companies that published, among other songs, the bulk of the material released by the Starday and King record companies.

At this same time, Bienstock was expanding Carlin Music’s business in England, making deals to acquire the publishing of such important artists as Cliff Richards and the Shadows, the Kinks and the Animals. In addition, in this period Carlin was the UK subpublisher of the Jobete Music catalog, which contained all the classic Motown hits.

Bienstock’s US acquisitions continued with the 1977 purchase by the joint venture of the music publishing wing of The New York Times. These companies, Herald Square Music and Times Square Music, published a number of important Broadway shows, including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cabaret,” “Company,” “Follies” and “Godspell,” as well as important works by such songwriters as
Peter Alien and Carol Bayer Sager.

In 1980, Bienstock’s joint venture with Leiber and Stoller terminated. In 1981, in association with the estate’of Oscar Hammerstein II, he took over another fabled company: E.B. Marks Music, publisher of a number of important songs, including “God Bless the Child,” “Malaguena” and many of the works of Jim Steinman. Several years later, in 1984, Bienstock became the single largest stockholder and CEO of Chappell & Company, the publisher in whose stock room his career had begun many years before.

When Chappell was eventually acquired by Warner Communications, Bienstock departed but continued as chairman of his own firms which had never become a part of the Chappell arrangement. Bienstock later entered the background music library business in the UK with the formation of the Carlin Recorded Music Library, whose business is currently the second largest in its field in thai nation. In 1995, all of Freddy Bienstock’s US companies relocated to beautiful new offices in their own building on East 58th Street in Manhattan and were reorganized under the umbrella name Carlin America, Inc.