Pinwheel of Death


Freddy Bienstock
Carlin America is among the largest of the few remaining independent music publishers in the US, and is still owned by the family of its founder, music industry icon Freddy Bienstock. Carlin's catalog spans one hundred years of popular and classical music history. Vintage ballads, Number One hits from the rock 'n' roll years, numerous rock and pop best-sellers, great song standards, Broadway showtunes and significant classical works are among the vast range of Carlin titles that have been recorded by virtually every major recording artist.

The catalog encompasses every conceivable genre - from jazz, country and R&B to soul, pop, rock, the great American songbook and classical music - while James Brown, Stephen Sondheim, Bobby Darin, Kander & Ebb, Billie Holiday, John Sebastian, Jim Steinman, William Bolcom, Bill Anderson, Arthur Schwartz, Fats Waller and Ernesto Lecuona are just a very few of Carlin's most important songwriters and composers. Many Carlin titles have been featured in blockbuster motion pictures and Carlin also publishes the scores to many well-known and much loved stage musicals, such as 'Fiddler on the Roof', 'Follies', 'Company', and 'Cabaret'.

Carlin America was started by music industry legend Freddy Bienstock. His remarkable career began in New York in 1942, when he became a counter boy in the trade department of Chappell Music. Freddy left soon afterwards to work for Hill & Range where his job as a song-plugger required him to do the rounds of the bandleaders with the latest tunes, hoping to get them played on the radio. In the post-war era, as the big bands faded, Freddy turned his energies to the emerging R&B scene and developed relationships with many influential artists, composers and producers including the one and only Elvis Presley.

In 1966 Freddy acquired the Hill and Range UK affiliate Belinda Music which he renamed Carlin Music Corporation after his daughter, Caroline, the present Chief Executive Officer and President of Carlin America. He soon expanded the Carlin Music catalog by associations with such hit makers as Leiber & Stoller in addition to representing Atlantic Records and Jobete Music, the publishing arm of Motown Records. (Carlin Music, in fact, became so successful that it won the Top Publisher Award from UK trade magazine Music Week for ten consecutive years.)

Soon after, in partnership with Leiber & Stoller, Freddy formed Hudson Bay Music as his US business. Located in New York City on the top floor of the legendary Broadway landmark Brill Building, Hudson Bay - soon to become Carlin America - rapidly acquired such major assets as the TM Music and Faithful Virtue Music catalogs, which published the songs of Bobby Darin, Tim Hardin and John Sebastian, and later, the label and publishing divisions of two seminal rhythm and blues companies, Starday and King Records. His holdings were further enlarged by the acquisitions of the music publishing interests of the New York Times, the preeminent Broadway show catalog of its era, with scores such as 'Fiddler on the Roof', 'Cabaret', 'Company', 'Follies', 'Godspell', and hits by songwriters Peter Allen, Marvin Hamlisch, Carole Bayer Sager, etc.

After his partnership with Leiber and Stoller ended in 1980, Freddy, along with the estates of Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers, acquired Edward B. Marks Music Co., the publishers of George M. Cohan, Billie Holiday, Ernesto Lecuona, Jim Steinman (Meat Loaf, etc.) in addition to numerous classic American song standards and works by such significant serious composers as William Bolcom, Norman Dello Joio and Roger Sessions.

In 1984, Freddy acquired Chappell Music (the company where he got his first job in their mail room four decades before) and became its Worldwide President, with Carlin becoming an administered company. However, after Freddy sold Chappell to Time Warner four years later, he restructured Carlin as an independent international publishing organization with Carlin Music as the London-based main office for the company's UK and European operations.

The Carlin companies pride themselves on the longevity of its relationships with its staff (many of whom have been with the company for over 20 years, some for over 30 years) and, of course, with its writers and composers. Considered today as among the world's preeminent independent music publishing corporations, Carlin America continues to represent the history of American musics at their finest and most commercial. Its catalog includes over a hundred thousand titles that number such song classics as 'God Bless' the Child', 'Chantilly Lace', 'Fever', 'Happy Together', 'I Got You (I Feel Good)', 'Malaguena', 'Manhattan', 'The Twist', 'Under the Boardwalk', and 'What A Wonderful World'.

Sadly, Freddy Bienstock passed away on 29th September 2009, but his legacy lives on and today Carlin America remains as among the largest of the few remaining independent music publishers in the US - still owned by his family, with his daughter Caroline heading the company from her office in New York.

With many active subsidiaries including Edward B. Marks Music Co. (which in 1994 celebrated its 100th Anniversary), a thriving Nashville office and a constantly expanding catalog of copyrights that continue to excite and attract film and television audiences, record buyers, and product consumers everywhere, Carlin America endures as an industry leader and currently one of the most successful and significant powers in music publishing.