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Dave Catalano

By Kevin Zimmerman

Dave Catalano
(48HRs and Nashville Star)

Catalano wears many hats: Songwriter; multi-instrumentalist; composer of scores, underscores, and jingles; and head of full-service music production
company Beach Street Music. Even so, getting into the world of TV composing wasn’t an easy achievement.

“I began with a small New York company, and started to have success with a variety of TV shows, eventually getting to a point where I began to think, ‘I can do this, and make a living’,” he explains. “I approached the company I was writing for with a business proposal … which they shot down immediately, so I forged ahead and went out on my own. It seems to still be working.”

Having composed some 3,000 pieces over the years, it’s hard for Catalano to pick one favorite track. “I try not to get attached to any piece on a personal or artistic level,” he says, “as by the nature of what I do, volume factors in, so you become detached. Composition has become a full time job. It’s almost like manufacturing a product. There is definitely an element of ‘formula’ involved with my client base, so the process can be very routine.

“Breaking into the business has become progressively harder,” he adds. “I’m not quite sure it would be as satisfying if I started out today, as it was close to 20 years ago,” he says. “Perseverance is key, as well as determination and having a thick skin. Never forget that this is the music business, with the emphasis on business. You could be Billy Joel, Paul McCartney and Beethoven all rolled into one, but if your business acumen isn’t together, you’ll have a rougher road ahead of you.”

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