AL GALLICO 1920 – 5/21/09

When Ben Raleigh (“Tell Laura I Love Her’, “Wonderful, Wonderful”) and I started writing songs together one of the first publishers we went to see was Al Gallico up at Shapiro Bernstein music.

Al was not only one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known; he was a legend in country music with hits like, “Stand by Your Man”, “Ring Of Fire” and “Wolverton Mountain”. He encouraged Ben and me to write even more than we did and got us quite a few covers including Leroy Van Dyke, Hank Lochlin, and ”The Cowboy Wedding Song” for Clint Eastwood which he sang on his hit TV series, “Rawhide”.

When he was on the forefront of the “British Invasion” with hits by the Animals (“House Of The Rising Sun’, The Zombies, “She’s Not There”, and the Kinks, “You Really Got Me” , he got Freddie and The Dreamers to cut one of our songs.He also spent hours trying to talk me into becoming the first “Negro” country artist signed to a major label, who would be produced by Billy Sherrill. Although I was flattered I knew that the social climate of Nashville, at the time, wouldn’t be comfortable for me.

Even though we became publishing competitors, Al and I remained friends over the years. After I stopped running Irving/ Almo Music, Al took me to lunch and encouraged me to start writing again.

My long time friend and former Warner Raider, Stephen-Craig Aristei who was administering my new publishing company out of Al’s office, married his daughter Linda. This allowed me a chance to see Al more often, and learn more about the music business than I ever could on my own.

I was privileged to have known him and honored to have been his friend.

Al Gallico, R.I.P.  Rock In Perpetuity!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne



Top picture L to R, Merle Kilgore and Al Gallico receive BMI Award 1962 for “Wolverton Mountain”