Tag Archives: songwriting

Restless Giant: The Life and Times of Jean Aberbach and Hill and Range Songs – Bar Biszick-Lockwood

Restless Giant provides a fascinating account of the career of Jean Aberbach, legendary founder of one of music history’s most powerful music publishing companies: Hill and Range Songs. During the 1940s and 1950s music publishers, rather than artists and record companies, controlled the American hit-making machine. Bar Biszick-Lockwood shows how Austrian-born Jean Aberbach, and his brother Julian, captured entire genres of music to build a privately owned international “empire of song” while at the same time affording songwriters unmatched control over their work. Their model resulted in more than three hundred chart hits and the first-ever song royalties being paid to songwriters and performers including Bill Monroe and the Sons of the Pioneers. Using corporate records, Aberbach’s daybooks, and extensive interviews with top performers and songwriters, Biszick-Lockwood weaves an adventure story that demystifies music publishing, showing how Jean Aberbach’s keen insights, behind-the-scenes manipulations, and bold business moves fundamentally changed the music industry and nurtured the careers of some of America’s biggest popular performers and songwriters.

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