Hal Leonard – the print publishing company – was founded in 1947, after the Hal Leonard Band broke up. At the time, Ev started a music store using the Hal Leonard name while Roger and Harold were both directing award-winning high school bands in Winona. In those days, most school bands played serious literature, but Harold and Roger had the unique ability (because of their professional experience) to arrange "popular" music for school bands. Soon band directors across the U.S. wanted their arrangements. They started to mimeograph copies and sell them. They realized that to successfully launch a new publishing company, they needed to license songs, so they ventured to New York's Tin Pan Alley in search of copyrights. What they got on their trip was an education in publishing and the rights to "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now," one of the most popular songs of the day. Eventually, many music publishers in New York were licensing Hal Leonard to do school band arrangements of their songs. Thus began their publishing business and a new industry.
Today, Hal Leonard Corporation, led by Chairman and CEO Keith Mardak and President Larry Morton, is the world leader in the music print industry. The company produces sheet music, songbooks, and method book/CD packs for all instruments, as well as band and choral arrangements, reference books, instructional DVDs and videos, CD-ROMs and other music software, children's music products and more.
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