The Most Important Generator of Popular Songs In The Western world*

Is it a person, place or thing?  If you guessed THING, you’re correct.

The Brill Building has been called, “the most important generator of popular songs in the Western world”.  But why?

The Brill Building (built 1931) is an office building located at Broadway and 49th Street in New York City, just north of Times Square and not too far from the historic musical Tin Pan Alley neighborhood. It is famous for housing music industry offices and studios, where some of the most popular American music tunes were written.

The Brill Building (named after the Brill Brothers, who owned a clothing store on the street level and who later bought the entire building) was intended as a financial office space for brokers and bankers. In the midst of the Depression, the timing couldn’t have been worse, and the owners resorted to renting space to music publishers, as there were few other takers. For this reason, the Brill Building became a centerpiece for the music industry in New York, and the country, with many publishers and writers using the space for their offices. By the 1960s, there were over 120 independent music businesses in the building.

The building was designated an official city landmark in 2010.

* “Eddie Snyder obituary”. The Telegraph. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2011-04-02.