Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Church and Radio Songs

This radio hymnal was compiled by John T. Benson, and published privately by John T. Benson Publishing in Nashville, TN. the companies primary focus was on hymnals, this is the only one I have found that tapped into radio.  It's songs are registered with SESAC and it contains it's own press line on the inside cover:
"This book contains a fine collection of your favorite gospel songs- practical for use in churches, Sunday schools, young peoples gatherings, revivals and camp meetings."
I don't have a printing date but the latest copyright on the lyrics is 1946.  So it must be printed on or after that year. But thanks to the internet I now know two very surprising things.  Firstly that Benson Publishing only ceased to exist very recently.  Secondly that it lasted for almost a century. The Brentwood-Benson Publishing Co was shut down only in 2001. 

The John T. Benson Music Publishing Co. changed hands  lot after it was founded in 1902 by Bob Benson & John Benson. Thsi was long before the debut of radio. Founder John T. died in 1931 handing over the reins to his son John Benson II.  More here.
"John T. Jr. followed as president of the publishing company after the senior Benson’s death in 1931 and with another son, Bob, founded the Heartwarming Label in 1960 as a record company that would help to popularize the Benson Company’s existing copyrights and to develop new songwriters. Benson III, after a successful career in the family’s other business, a commercial printing company, joined his brother Bob in 1969, first as vice president and later as president, and with his brother, served the company during its most flourishing years..."
The company was bought by Zondervan Publishing House in 1980 for 3.6 million dollars. In 1988, Zondervan was purchased by Harper Collins for $56.7 million.  Harper turned around and sold Benson to the Music Entertainment Group. In 1997, Music Entertainment Group sold Benson to the Zomba Music Group.