(Sept 5,1912 - Oct 19, 2011)
Michael H Goldsen, aka Mickey, was born in Brooklyn, New York, and started his career in the music business as a bookkeeper for lyrics magazine Song Hits in 1934, was Professional Manager for Mills Music, under Irving Mills in the mid 30’s, then left to become manager of publisher Lou Levy’s Leeds Music, which in later years was sold to MCA, and was the foundation of the MCA Music Catalogue. He had the distinction of being Errol Garner’s first Manager. Mickey began his executive career with Capitol in 1943, heading up the publishing division for Capitol Records, Capitol Songs. When Capitol Records became a public corporation in 1948, Goldsen put Capitol Songs in trust until 1950, and started and ran Ardmore and Beechwood Music, solely owned by Capitol Records. Moving to California, from New York, in 1947, Goldsen purchased the rights to the original music companies in 1950, from songwriters Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and Capitol Records founder, Glen Wallachs. He transformed Capitol Songs into Criterion in 1950, naming it after a Broadway theater. Taking with him the catalog of standards from Johnny Mercer, Peggy Lee, Nat Cole, Tex Ritter, Stan Kenton, etc., Criterion went on to acquire the Charlie Parker catalog in the 1950s, along with a number of other jazz works from Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Barnett. In the late 50’s, Mickey discovered and managed the career of Earl Grant, and launched the Criterion standard, The End. In the ’60’s until his death in 2007, Mickey worked extensively with Lee Hazelwood, publishing hits for Nancy Sinatra, Dean Martin, but most notably “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” which hit No. 1 in 1966, and sold over 6 million singles, worldwide, and 2 million albums.
Also in the ’60s, Criterion expanded into Hawaiian music, publishing Hawaiian contemporary Standards, “Tiny Bubbles” and “Pearly Shells,” among other standards. The next 50 years produced the wealth of authentic to hapa haole to exotic songs for which Criterion published. In all the visits he made to Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and New Zealand (for Maori tunes) to acquire songs, Mickey notes, “it proved one thing, the writers, artists and producers were the most wonderful, loyal and friendly people I have ever met”, and the music “great songs by great writers.” Among the composers in Criterion’s Hawaiian and Polynesian Catalogue, are Irmgard Farden Aluli, Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs, Victoria I`i Rodrigues, R. Alex Anderson, Bina Mossman (all Hall of Fame honorees); Andy Cummings, Webley Edwards (Hawai`i Calls), James Norman Hall, Mel Peterson, Leon Pober, Jack Pitman, Tony Todaro & Mary Johnston, and Bob Nelson (Hall of Fame member and composer of the popular “Hanalei Moon” and “Maui Waltz”). Mickey also wrote under the pseudonym, Steve Graham, and personally penned the lyrics to many notable Hawaiian songs. He was regarded as a ”notable member” of the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame for his work.
Recognizable among the vocalists who sang the songs are: Alfred Apaka, Bing Crosby, and Don Ho. Many of the songs Mickey published were used in movies like “Donovan’s Reef”, “Hell’s Half Acre”, “Mr. Roberts”, “From Here To Eternity”, “The Revolt of Mamie Stover”, “Smokey and the Bandit”, etc. In 1962, as a result of his work consulting and recording authentic Tahitian native songs for the MGM film “Mutiny on the Bounty”, Goldsen received membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Criterion has seen tremendous success in licensing it’s songs in Feature Films,TV, and Commercials. Criterion has had songs in such classics as ET (Papa Ooh Mow Mow), Goodfellas (Look In My Eyes), The Firm (Lyle Lovett’s “M O N E Y), and most recently, The Decendants.
Over the years, Criterion has been known for its’ standards, beginning with Johnny Mercer’s “Dream”, Peggy Lee’s “It’s A Good Day”, and “Manana”, plus continuous standards over the years like “Moonlight In Vermont”, Woody Guthrie’s “Oklahoma Hills”, in the 40’s; the 50’s brought “When The World Was Young”, the classic “Let The Good Times Roll”, Earl Grant’s “The End”, and Les Baxter’s “Quiet Village”. Mickey purchased the Charlie Parker Catalogue in the late 50’s, which included 58 original Parker songs, including “Yardbird Suite”, “Ornithology”, “Confirmation”, “Scrapple From The Apple”, and on and on. Mickey also published the score to the 50’s TV Classic, Rocky And Bullwinkle, and the theme to the 50’s TV Classic, Father Knows Best.
In 1977, Mickey founded The Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP), and served as its first president. Around the same period, Mickey was instrumental in forming ASCAP’s Publisher Advisory Committee. He was a true spokesperson for The Independent Music Publisher.
In 1970, under Mickey Goldsen as CEO, Bo, Mickey’s son, began working for the company, and the contemporary side of the catalogue began. The 70’s and 80’s brought the Singer-Songwriter Era to the company, with the signing of Jackson Browne, and classic songs like “Doctor My Eyes”, “Song For Adam”, and “Jamaica Say You Will”. The late 70’s brought a whole new crop of Nashville writers, including Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash and Eddy Raven. Together, these writers compiled a total of over 16 #1 Country Hits, including Crowell’s “Shame On The Moon”, a classic for Bob Seeger, Cash’s “Seven Year Ache”, Raven’s “I Got Mexico”, Michael Anderson’s “Maybe It Was Memphis”, recorded by Pam Tillis, and Maribeth Derry’s “I Can Love You Like That”, ASCAP and BMI’s Most Performed Song of The Year. In 1986, Criterion signed Lyle Lovett, who has been a musical force in Pop Culture during his run of Gold and Platinum records during the 80’s, 90’s, to current day. Goldsen continued to be supportive and interested in the activity of the company through his 90’s, as CEO of Criterion Music Corp., until his passing in October of 2011, at 99. He spent a total of 77 years in the Music Business.