Martin Bandier is vice chairman of EMI Music Publishing Worldwide, the largest music publisher in the world. He is also president and chief operating officer of SDK Records, a joint venture created in 1989, in conjunction with Charles Koppelman and EMI Music and distributed worldwide by Capitol/EMI Records.
Martin Bandier was born July 21, 1941, into a musical family in New York City. His mother was a classically trained pianist, as was his older brother. Bandier graduated from Stuyvesant High School at 16. He entered Syracuse University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961. Following graduation from Brooklyn Law School, he joined the New York firm of Battle, Fowler, Jaffin and Kheel.
In 1969, Bandier became General Counsel to the LeFrak Organization, eventually rising to Senior Vice President of the giant building concern. In 1975, he formed The Entertainment Company with Bandier, Sam LeFrak and Koppelman as its principals. Some of the best-selling recordings for which the Company was responsible were “Groovin”’ by the Rascals, Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again,” Barbra Streisand’s “My Heart Belongs To Me,” Streisand and Donna Summer’s duet, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” Glen Campbell’s “By The Time I Get to Phoenix,” Diana Ross’ “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain & Tennille, and the soundtrack album to the television series “Fame.”
In 1984, Bandier and Koppelman dissolved their partnership with LeFrak and formed the Entertainment Music Company and the Entertainment Television Company. The latter produced the syndicated variety series, “This Week’s Music.” In 1986, the partners purchased the Combine Music Catalog, one of Nashville’s premier publishing companies. Among Combine’s more than 50,000 titles were “Me and Bobby McGee,” “A Rainy Night In Georgia,” “You Decorated My Life,” and “Burnin’ Love.”
That same year, Bandier and Koppelman teamed with financier Stephen C. Swid to form SBK Entertainment World, Inc. and purchased the 250,000 title CBS songs catalog for the then record price of $125 million. Bandier, who shared operating responsibilities with Koppelman, greatly expanded the use of the catalog in commercials, films, television, sound and stage recordings and stage productions, and set up a new worldwide collection and administrative system for their vast copyright holdings.
In 1989, Bandier helped engineer the sale of SBK’s song catalog to EMI Music as well as the creation of SBK Records. By the end of the first year at EMI, the company was named Billboard Magazine’s number one music publisher, and during the first twelve months at SBK Records, the company has had unparalleled start-up success, with the platinum “Pump Up The Jam” by Technotronic, the launch of supergroup Wilson Phillips, and the platinum soundtrack album for the enormously successful film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”