Joe M. Leonard, Jr., president and Executive Producer, founded this company in 1954. It was chartered as a record production and BMI music publishing company to develop opportunities for young, unknown talent. Beginning in 1957 with the Top 10 million seller hit, "Pledge of Love," the company established itself as a commercial success with the LIN label. The KLIFF label was added a few years later. "Pledge of Love" not only topped the charts in country/western, but had commercial cover records in both pop and R&B. The song continues to be a favorite album release. This hit opened the door for many LIN/KLIFF singers and composers whose masters created by the company were instantly leased to the majors, including MGM, DOT, IMPERIAL, KAPP, LONDON/DECCA, HOLIDAY INN, and others. In the period 1957-67, Joe Leonard personally produced over fifty album and 45 rpm releases for the major record and film companies. His company was among the first in releasing rockabilly records, and one of the few innovators by introducing saxophones, trumpets, and even clarinets into sessions. In recognition of his role as a producer he was later inducted into NARAS, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Science and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
Joe M. Leonard, Jr.
Born: June 20, 1919, Gainesville, TX.
Married: Mary Sue Leonard, Marietta, OK, July 8, 1942.
Children: Joe III; Susanne (Mrs. Bruce C. Beard); Jan (Mrs. Bryan Stamper) six grandchildren.
Education: Graduate, Gainesville High School, 1937. University of Texas, Austin, B.A. graduate 1941 with major in Government, minor in economics/journalism. Graduate, Officer Candidate School, Signal Corps, Ft. Monmouth, N.J., 1942. Special Course, Signal Intelligence, Vint Hill Farms, VA 1943.
Joe with Bob Moore
1926-1936: Newspaper sales and route carrier. Magazine sales.
1937-1941: Part-time student employment, Mail Department, Railroad Commission of Texas, Austin. News reporter, 1940, Gainesville Daily Register, summer session.
1946: Advertising Manager, Gainesville Daily Register, Gainesville, TX.
1947-1967: Co-founder, General Manager, Secretary-Treasurer, and later President, of Gainesville Broadcasting Co., Inc., owner of Radio Stations KGAF AM/FM.
1967-1984: President and Owner, Joe M. Leonard, Jr. and Associates, Inc., Merger/Acquisition Consultants, Dallas, TX. Co-founder, Executive Vice-President and Chief Administrative Officer, NAMAC/INTERMAC (National and International Consultants) Dallas, TX.
1973-1977; President and Chief Executive Officer.
1977-1982; Chairman of the Board and CEO
1982-1984; Chairman Emeritus
1984-present. President and majority stockholder, Leonard Productions, Inc, music publishing and record production.
Career Related Activities: President, Texas Association of Broadcasters, 1959-60. Secretary-Treasurer, Daytime Broadcasters Association, 1959-62. Director, National Association of FM Broadcasters, 1960.
Political and Civic: Director and Vice-President, Red River Authority of Texas, 1960-67. President, Gainesville Junior Chamber of Commerce, 1951. Director, Texas Goods Roads Association, 1967-82. director, Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, 1948-50.
Military Record: Served in the U.S. Army, 1942-46, twenty-two months of which were overseas. Commanded intelligence platoon, 113th Signal RI Company, attached to First U.S. Army, SHAEF. Security clearance for OVERLORD, complete invasion plans for Normandy and France, and disposition of all Allied Expeditionary Forces. Awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Signal intelligence work/ the European Theatre of Operations Medal with Five bronze stars for the campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe; the Victory Medal. Company also received Meritorious Service Wreath. Honorable discharge, 1946, with rank of Captain.
Religious: Member, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Gainesville, TX. Vestryman and Stewardship chairman, 1968-71; 1974-77; 1985-88; Finance Chairman, 1991-93. Now voted Vestryman Emeritus.
Organizations: Sigma Chi; Eagle Scout and Alpha Phi Omega; Voting member, Naras, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; Lake Kiowa Club; Leeper Lake, Inc.; Marquis' Who, Who, Finance and Industry; Lifetime Member, IMPA, International Merger and Acquisition Professionals; Lifetime Member, Texas Association of Broadcasters; Member, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.
LEONARD, JOE M. JR. AND MARY SUE DAVIS
Joe M. Leonard, Jr. was born on June 20, 1919, in Gainesville, Texas, the oldest child of Joe M., Sr. and Phoebe Myers Leonard. He married Mary Sue Davis, native of Marietta, Oklahoma, and daughter of William G. and Hazel Davis, on July 8, 1942. Both are members of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church. Mary Sue was born on February 15, 1919, in Marietta, attending public schools there and graduating as valedictorian of her high school class in 1936. She later attended the University of Oklahoma, graduating with honors in 1940 with a BBA degree. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma social sorority and Alpha Lambda Delta and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies. After graduating she worked for a major bank in Oklahoma City and during the early years of World War II in the office of Congressman Ed Gossett in Washington, D.C.
Joe M. Leonard, Jr. attended public schools in Gainesville and graduated in 1937. He also attended the University of Texas, Austin, graduating in 1941, with a BA degree in Arts and Sciences. He was a member of Sigma Chi and Alpha Phi Omega. He served in the U.S. Army, 1942-1945, rising to the rank of Captain. Twenty-two months of army service was overseas, serving in London, the invasion of Normandy, and campaigns in France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany. Decorations included the Bronze Star Medal, European Theatre Campaign medal, with five battle stars, company Meritorious Wreath, and World War II Victory Medal.