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Published: 9/3/2014

Long-time SESAC Executive Norman Odlum Passes Away

SESAC extends its condolences to the family of former SESAC executive Norman Odlum, who passed away on August 27, 2014 in New York City.  Odlum joined SESAC in 1950 after serving honorably in the United States Navy and obtaining a degree from New York University in 1949.  He served in various capacities at SESAC before becoming Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations with a focus on Gospel Music.

“Norman’s contribution to SESAC spanning more than four decades was instrumental in establishing SESAC as a powerhouse performing rights organization,” says Pat Collins, SESAC President/Chief Executive Officer. “He was a tireless advocate for songwriters, particularly in the Gospel field, and is responsible for bringing the American standard, ‘I’ll Fly Away’ to SESAC.  In the office, he served as a mentor to his colleagues and we all considered him our friend. We will miss him.”

Odlum’s devotion and passion for the Gospel genre nurtured the careers of many Gospel greats, such as Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood, Hezekiah Walker and The Reverend Timothy Wright and publisher Albert E. Brumley. In addition to securing representation of Brumley’s classic, “I’ll Fly Away, “Odlum also was instrumental in acquiring representation of the children’s classic “I’m A Little Teapot” and the Christmas classic “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”.

Odlum was a lifetime member of the Gospel Music Association as well as a long-standing member of NARAS and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.