Back to Oral History
  • Oral History

Paul Marks

March 14, 1980 OHC377 133 min.


Executive, American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

Interview Summary

1980 March 14
(2 hours, 12 minutes)
ASCAP executive Paul Marks discusses the history of performing rights, ASCAP and BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc., and his career. Discussion includes being hired as a lawyer in ASCAP’s legal department and working his way up to Managing Director; the importance of helping songwriters protect their creative works; the business structure of ASCAP; the competitive relationship between ASCAP and BMI; the history of performing rights organizations; the issue of BMI’s “illegal” status; the necessity of having the government involved in protecting the music industry, ASCAP, writers, music publishers, and the public; the ASCAP-radio “war” of 1941; fees collected by performance rights organizations from jukebox operators; differences between the ways ASCAP and BMI operate; Nashville’s diverse music scene; various awards given by ASCAP; major problems ASCAP faces; signing Bob Dylan; and how performance rights organizations work together to insure that the creator is compensated when his work is performed.

We use cookies in the following ways: (1) for system administration, (2) to assess the performance of the website, (3) to personalize your experience, content and ads, (4) to provide social media features, and (5) to analyze our traffic. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Please consult instructions for your web browser to disable or block cookies, or to receive a warning before a cookie is stored on your computer or mobile device. Read our Privacy Policy.