We at the Songwriters Hall of Fame were saddened to learn of the passing of Board Member and friend Frank Military today.
Mr. Military’s musical career, spanning the past forty-five years, enabled him to build strong personal and working relationships with such stellar personalities as Frank Sinatra (whom he had been associated with for over 40 years), Barbra Streisand, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Louis Armstrong, Mel Torme, Bing Crosby, Liza Minnelli, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Julius LaRosa, Peggy Lee, Jack Jones, Maureen McGovern, Margaret Whiting, Sylvia Syms, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Alien, Jerry Lewis, Vic Damone, Al Martino, Jerry Vale, Nelson Riddle, Neil Diamond, Eileen Barton, and dozens more.
Add to this his close involvement with composers and lyricists from Hollywood Films, Broadway productions, and popular music, such as Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn, Cy Coleman, Richard Rodgers, Bui-ton Lane, AlanJ. Lerner, Stephen Sondheim, Jimmy VanHeusen, George David Weiss, and the team of Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt, Yip Harburg, Carol Bayer Sager, Bruce Roberts, as well as Benny Benjamin.
Some of the more familiar hit songs Mr. Military had been responsible for, were Johnny Mathis’ “Misty,” Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” and “Cabaret,” Barbra Streisand’s “My Coloring Book,” and Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”
At Valando Music Publishers, Mr. Military worked with his best friend Jay Morgenstern from 1959 to 1970 (later acquired by Metromedia). He assumed the position of Vice President, where he and Jay were involved in several Broadway productions including “Fiddler On The Roof” written by Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick, “Cabaret” by Fred Ebb & John Kander, “Company” by Stephen Sondheim, “Godspell” by Steve Schwartz, and “Minnie’s Boys” by Hal Hackady & Larry Grossman.
After 1970, both Frank Military and Jay Morgenstern formed their own publishing firm which handled the catalogue of Jimmy Webb & Johnny Rivers. This company was subsequently sold, and Mr. Military was asked to join Chappell Music Publishing as Vice President.
He then proceeded to become Executive Vice President of Warner Brothers Print Operations for three years. When Warner Brothers bought Chappell Music, Mr. Military was put in charge of their New York Operations as Senior Vice President of Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
He was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Friars Club. Also, he was elected Scribe and Prior of the Friars Club. Mr. Military now holds the title of Scribe Emeritus.
In 1991, he was a recipient of the the Songwriters Hall of Fame Abe Olman Award and serves on The Board of Governors. Mr. Military was awarded the NARAS 2000 New York Heroes Award.
President & CEO Linda Moran said; “The industry has lost another great music man ...... Frank Military passed away early this morning of pneumonia. Frank was close to several generations of music legends, namely Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Cahn, etc. He was a Wikipedia of music before there was Wikipedia! He nurtured new generations of songwriters and execs.”
SHOF Board Member John Titta said; “I knew of Frank Military long before I got to work with him. As a song plugger and publisher, he was someone to idolize. He was the consummate music man who placed so many iconic songs into our musical landscape. He was universally loved and respected by songwriters, artists, and other executives. When we worked together at Warner/Chappell Music, I would watch, on an almost daily basis, a parade of the who’s who of the greatest names of the entertainment world come in and out of his office…and you could just see the way they felt about him ...he wasn’t just one of the good guys, he was the ultimate good guy. If you ever visited Frank’s office, I’m sure you’ll remember the “wall of fame”. There were hundreds of pictures that covered every inch of wall space. It was a photographic history of the lives and careers that he touched. Frank was kind, gentle, passionate and at all times a gentleman. To know him and work along side him for over 20 years has been the highlight of my musical journey. Frank also wrote the lyric to a beautiful holiday song, “Christmas Auld Lang Syne”, that was first recorded by Bobby Darin. I would pitch it every year and my biggest thrill was to be able to tell Frank I got another cover for him, on his song!...He was my friend and mentor and like a 2nd father to me, and I will miss him terribly.”