You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mickey Goldsen dies at 99

Published songs including 'Tiny Bubbles'

Michael “Mickey” Goldsen, a lifelong music publisher who founded Criterion Music Corp. and served as its CEO for well over half a century, died Wednesday in Encino, Calif. He was 99.

Goldsen published such songs as Lee Hazlewood’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” and Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles,” as well as hits from Nancy Sinatra, Jackson Browne and Johnny Mercer.

Goldsen was instrumental in running one of the first record label-owned publishing companies with Capitol Records in the 1940s before spending the vast majority of his career steering the independent Criterion. He served as the first president of the Assn. of Independent Music Publishers in the ’70s.

The Brooklyn-born Goldsen started off as a bookkeeper for lyrics magazine Song Hits in 1934 and later worked for publisher Lou Levy’s Leeds Music. He began his executive career with Capitol in the 1940s, heading up publishing division Capitol Songs, in which he was given a 25% share. In 1950, Golden left the company and bought out existing shares of Capitol Songs from Mercer and Buddy DeSylva, relaunching as Criterion Music.

In addition to its catalog of standards from Mercer, Peggy Lee and others, Criterion acquired the Charlie Parker catalog in the 1950s, along with a number of other jazz works from Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Barnett. In the ’60s, Goldsen worked extensively with Hazlewood, publishing hits for Nancy Sinatra, most notably “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” which hit No. 1 in 1966. Also in the ’60s, Criterion expanded into Hawaiian music, publishing Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles” and “Pearly Shells,” among other standards.

Goldsen was later inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame for his work.

In the ’70s the publisher had a top 10 hit with Browne’s “Doctor My Eyes,” and later expanded into country music by opening a Nashville office, signing Roseanne Cash in the ’70s and Lyle Lovett in the ’80s.

Goldsen is survived by son Bo, currently president of Criterion, and daughters Eileen, who owns publisher French Fried Music, and Nancy; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral services are set for 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, at Eden Memorial Park, 11500 Sepulveda Boulevard, Mission Hills.

More Scene

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Hugh Jackman'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway

    'To Kill a Mockingbird's' Starry Opening: Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and More

    The Shubert Theatre in New York City last was filled on Thursday night with Oscar winners, media titans, and, of course, Broadway legends who came out for the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The starry guest list included Oprah Winfrey, Barry Diller, “Les Misérables” co-stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • John CenaSports Illustrated Sportsperson of the

    John Cena on WWE's Acceptance by Hollywood and the Professional Sports World

    John Cena says the WWE is finally getting the attention it deserves by Hollywood and the professional sports world. “I’m just glad that no longer are we looked down upon, not only by the sport industry, but by the performing arts industry,” Cena told Variety on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of [...]

  • Steve Carell Welcome to Marwen

    Steve Carell on New Film 'Welcome to Marwen' and Reprising His 'Anchorman' Character

    In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death by five men outside of a bar. Left with brain damage and little money to afford therapy, Hogancamp began creating miniature doll versions of himself, his friends, and his attackers as a way to cope. This true story inspired the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” and the upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content