“What I learned the hard way about owning your own jazz club in New York was this; make sure your own mother is working the cash register”. – Cy Coleman
It was perhaps this lesson that led this Great American Songbook legend to found and run his own independent music publishing company, Notable Music Co. Inc. in 1962. It was during the summer of this year that the 33 year-old was well on his way to writing the score for what was to become his second big hit Broadway musical entitled, Little Me.
Already widely considered a prodigy on piano since age 6, Cy was the leader of the popular Cy Coleman Trio on 52nd Street New York and beyond. Coleman had enjoyed major success as a songwriter in the middle and late 1950’s by penning “I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life” for Nat King Cole, “Why Try To Change Me Now” & “Witchcraft” for Frank Sinatra, “The Best Is Yet To Come” for Tony Bennett & “The Playboy Theme” for the popular TV series, Playboy’s Penthouse.
Notable Music’s catalog would soon include hit Broadway scores for such landmark musicals as Wildcat (1960), starring Lucille Ball, Little Me (1962), starring Sid Caesar with book by Neil Simon, and Sweet Charity (1966) starring Gwen Verdon and directed by Bob Fosse. Several songs from these shows would go on to become pop standards including, “Hey Look Me Over”, “Real Live Girl”, “On The Other Side of The Tracks”, “I’ve Got Your Number”, “Big Spender”, and “If My Friends Could See Me Now”. It was also during the 1960’s that Cy would found Portable Music Co Inc and sign such writers as Bobby Hebb and Clifton Davis. Bobby Hebb would soon tour with the Beatles on their last major U.S. tour and go on to write one of the Top 50 most performed songs of the last century, the soul classic “Sunny”. Clifton Davis would soon enjoy major success in the R&B, Pop, and Dance charts with his soul classic, “Never Can Say Goodbye” recorded by such artists as The Jackson 5, Isaac Hayes, and Gloria Gaynor.
The 70’s, 80’s & 90’s would bring 7 more landmark Broadway musical scores to the Notable Music catalog, including: Seesaw, I Love My Wife, On The Twentieth Century, Barnum, City of Angels, The Will Rogers Follies, and The Life. These shows would introduce such American standards as “It’s Not Where You Start”, “I Love My Wife”, “The Colors of My Life”, “Come Follow The Band”, “Our Private World”, “With Every Breath I Take”, “Never Met A Man I Didn’t Like”, and “My Friend”.
A few of the artists who have recorded & performed the Notable Music & Portable Music repertoire include: Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Sarah Vaughan, James Brown, Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Isaac Hayes, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Jon Brion, Shirley Horn, Sammy Davis Jr., The Jackson 5, Michael Buble, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Queen, Fiona Apple, Wilson Pickett, Shirley Bassey, Nancy Wilson, Dusty Springfield, Sam Phillips, Patty Griffin, Madeleine Peyroux, Rhett Miller, The Dap Kings, Jon Rauhouse, DJ Bonebrake & the Bonebrake Syncopators, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss.
Notable Music Co. today is as committed to representing new and developing talent as it is in promoting the legacy of what we believe is one of the great independent music publishing catalogs of our time.