Peer-Southern Organization (Canada)
Peer-Southern Organization (Canada). Opened in Toronto in 1944, under the management of Allister Grosart, as the Canadian branch of the US company founded in 1928 by Ralph Sylvester Peer primarily to publish hillbilly and Latin American pop songs. Southern Music Publishing Co (Canada) Ltd was a CAPAC affiliate, and Peer International (Canada) Ltd was a PRO Canada affiliate. With its head office in New York, the Peer-Southern Organization in 1990 had branches in 23 countries. The Canadian office moved in 1950 to Montreal in response to the popularity in Quebec of the Peer-Southern catalogue of Latin American music. J. Newman was the first manager in Montreal.
Matthew Heft, who began his career with the company in 1956, became general manager in 1958. (A graduate of the McGill Cons, Heft was a pianist-accompanist in Montreal in the 1930s. In London 1938-55 he was the manager of the music publishers Francis, Day and Hunter's. He was president 1968-9 and 1979-80 of the CMPA.) Heft was managing director when Peer-Southern returned in 1972 to Toronto, and remained until his retirement in 1982. His successor, Gregory Hambleton, held the position until October 1990. David Baxter was appointed manager in 1991.
In Canada Peer-Southern distributes the publications of the parent firm and represents the international repertoire of the Peer-Southern Organization. It also handles the Southern Library of Recorded (background) Music. The company published music by the Canadians Wilf Carter, Wade Hemsworth, Terry Jacks, and Alan Mills and in the mid-1960s, on the Spark label, issued recordings by Tommy Common, the Band of the Black Watch, and others. Peer International (New York) has published Canadian concert music, including Violet Archer's Two Chorale Preludes for organ, Jean Papineau-Couture's Étude in B Flat Minor for piano, and Robert Turner's Four Fragments for brass quintet. During the 1980s Peer added such groups as the Sattalites and the Stampeders to its roster.