Music publisher in N.Y., Nashville

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Al Gallico, 88, an influential music publisher whose firm's copyrights included "Stand By Your Man," "Time of the Season" and "House of the Rising Sun," died of cardiac arrest and pulmonary disease May 15 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In 1963, he started Al Gallico Music Corp., with offices in New York and Nashville. He recorded a number of British imports, including hits by the Zombies. He later signed songwriter Billy Sherrill, who amassed scores of top song awards from Broadcast Music Inc. Sherrill and Gallico eventually became business partners, forming Algee Music in the early 1970s.

"He was a big driving force in country music in Nashville, even though he was behind the scenes," Sherrill told the Nashville Tennessean.

According to the Tennessean, Gallico discovered country singer Donna Fargo and published her big hit "The Happiest Girl (in the Whole U.S.A.)." He also managed Joe Stampley.

Gallico started his nearly 70-year career in the publishing business as an errand boy for G. Schirmer Publishing Co. in New York. He later joined Lou Levy's Leeds Music in 1939 as a song plugger.

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