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Trade Regrets: Frank Hackinson

Mike Lawson • News • February 11, 2021

Frank Hackinson

On February 10, we recieved the following from NAMM‘s Dan Del Fiorentino:

Pioneering music publisher Frank Hackinson passed away on Saturday.  He was 93 years old.

Frank received the Music Publisher Association’s Life Time Achievement award in 2012 for a good reason; he was a legend in the industry! He began his career in music publishing working for Charlie Hansen in New York. He learned so much from Charlie who himself pioneered many practices still commonly used in the industry today. Frank kept his eye on the quality of products and on producing meaningful publications for music teachers and students. Music education was always a main focus for Frank and his own company, FJH Music Company Inc.

More details from the FJH Music Company Inc. (https://www.fjhmusic.com):

It is with great sadness and immense appreciation that we share news of the passing of Frank J. Hackinson, President and Chief Executive Officer of The FJH Music Company Inc. on February 6, 2021.

Frank was the consummate music man. Recipient of the prestigious 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Music Publishers Association (MPA), the Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA) Citation for Leadership, and the Retail Print Music Dealer’s Association (RPMDA) “Dorothy” Lifetime Achievement Award, his achievements are a measure of his lifetime of success.

Frank transformed the world of music education, taking it in a new direction with his vast experience in print music publishing and licensing. His name is one of the most recognized and respected names in the music publishing industry.

Frank’s career in the music business began in the 50’s when he signed on with Charles Hansen. In the years that followed, he distinguished himself in the fields of sales, marketing and licensing; propelling Hansen

Publications to lead the print music market at the time. Throughout his tenure at Hansen, Frank worked with

hundreds of the profession’s top artists, producers and publishers, and was ultimately responsible for signing The Beatles to their first print music contract in the United States. So dominant was Hansen’s market position that they once controlled the print rights for 99 of the 100 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart.

With a staff of just six, Frank went on to establish Columbia Pictures Publications (CPP) in 1971. Over the years, CPP held the print music rights to the popular music industry’s most notable artists, including: The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Henry Mancini, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, and Chicago, to name a few. Frank’s goal was to establish an outstanding catalog of popular music publications, signing exclusive representation agreements with many of the music industry’s most important publishers of the time.

In 1983, he guided CPP’s acquisition of the publisher’s share of the print rights vested in the copyrights contained within the Big 3 catalog (Robbins, Feist and Miller), an industry first! As a result, and with his further acquisition of Studio P/R, Columbia Pictures Publications soon established itself in the educational print music market, and later came to be defined as the premier publisher of educational music in its time with the acquisition of Belwin-Mills Publishing Corporation. The company eventually became known as CPP/Belwin

and employed more than 250 people.

Throughout his career, Frank recognized the need to provide sound supplemental keyboard and instrumental music for up-and-coming musicians and, in doing so, was instrumental in nurturing and establishing the likes of John Brimhall, Richard Bradley, Dan Coates, Robert & Pamela Schultz, Nancy & Randall Faber, Helen

Marlais, Kevin Olson, Brian Balmages, Soon Hee Newbold, Philip Groeber, and others as industry icons in this field.

In 1988, Frank and his wife Gail began a new adventure and founded The FJH Music Company Inc. Together, they built one of the nation’s most exciting, best-selling educational print music catalogs. This remarkable catalog has raised the level of music education to new heights, with a variety of innovative instructional materials and original music by many outstanding writers and composers. Their children, Kevin, Kyle, and Kerry, have been with the company since its inception.

Music was Frank’s passion in life and working in the music business was his life’s dream. There was nothing Frank loved more than creating publications and having his family around him. His unwavering commitment and determination inspired all who knew him and will continue to inspire musicians, music educators, family, friends and business colleagues for many years to come.

 

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