February 2009 marks two milestone anniversaries for ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). February 1 was the 150th birthday of Victor Herbert (pictured), the great Irish-American composer of such operettas as “Babes in Toyland,” “Naughty Marietta,” “Sweethearts” and “The Red Mill.” Herbert was also the driving force behind the establishment of ASCAP and served as vice president of the organization from 1914 until his death in 1924.
February 13 is the 95th anniversary of the formal founding of the Society envisioned by Herbert and a small group of composers, lyricists and music publishers at New York City’s Claridge Hotel in 1914. ASCAP made it possible and practical for music creators in the United States to be compensated for the public performance of their works in accordance with U.S. Copyright Law.