Feisty music publisher is home to songs by The Who, T. Rex and T Bone Burnett

In 1995, Mark Fried was a veteran executive at BMI, the performing rights ­organization, working with songwriters and publishers at a time of turmoil.

"By the mid-'90s," he recalls, "publishing had had about three decades' worth of consolidation, and four or five companies represented 500,000-plus songs each, making the actual job of publishing -- which is focused on royalty ­collection and thoughtful song promotion -- nearly impossible."

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