Publisher, songwriter Dean Kay was honored with the National Music Publishers Association’s Lifetime Service Award at the organization’s Annual Membership Meeting in New York, June 12, 2019.
NMPA Chairman, Irwin Z Robinson, introduced Kay as someone who "has truly spent his life enriching the publishing business," whether working as a creator (he wrote Frank Sinatra’s "That’s Life"), a publisher, or sending out his Dean’s List newsletter providing links to all the latest music industry related news and analysis that "greets us each morning when opening e-mail."
In addition, NMPA president and CEO David Israelite noted that Kay had been a featured performer on Tennessee Ernie Ford’s TV show, was an RCA Victor recording artist, produced dozens of recordings and commercials, and headed the Welk Music Group’s music publishing companies as well as PolyGram International Publishing US. He is now president of his own publishing company, Demi Music Corp..
In accepting the award Dean talked about how he got his start in the music business some 65 years ago, and, for the first time in public, detailed how he came to write, "That's Life."
Dean has been an advocate for music creators since the 1960's. He first lept into the politics of music as a member of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) West Coast Advisory Council. He's been a member of ASCAP for 60 years and a member of the ASCAP Board of Directors since 1989. He Co-Chairs ASCAP's Administrative and Ops Committee, and is a member of the Legislative Committee. He's also on the Board of the ASCAP Foundation. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), the Harry Fox Agency, Inc (HFA), the Country Music Association (CMA), the Academy of County Music (ACM), the California Copyright Conference (CCC) and the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP.)
Each year The ASCAP Foundation and The Library of Congress jointly present " We Write the Songs" at the historic Coolidge Auditorium in The Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The evening celebrates the gift by The ASCAP Foundation to the Library of Congress of the original manuscripts, lead sheets, lyrics sheets, photos and letters of some of America’s greatest creators of words and music. We Write the Songs includes performances by several of ASCAP's leading songwriters and composers members. The show has become a Washington tradition and an "exclusive" ticket for legislative and cultural dignitaries, as the event is not open to the public. Dean was invited to perform in 2011. More than 40 Members of Congress were part of the packed house at the Coolidge Auditorium for an evening of classic songs and stories.
The ASCAP Foundation is dedicated to nurturing the music talent of tomorrow, preserving the legacy of the past and sustaining the creative incentive for today's creators through a variety of educational, professional, and humanitarian programs and activities which serve the entire music community. The Michelle and Dean Kay Award was established to support careers in music, particularly for those who concentrate their efforts in the Los Angeles area. The award is given to an aspiring ASCAP songwriter or composer participating in an ASCAP Foundation pop, musical theater or TV & film workshop. The recipient is selected by a panel of ASCAP Creative Services Executives and music industry professionals. "It's all about doing our best to make sure there is a next generation of music creators; and, It's such a joy to follow the careers of our honorees as they continue to blossom." - Dean