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Music City
REMEMBERING PHRAN
9/23/19

by Holly Gleason

Phran (Schwartz) Galante passed on 9/23 after a lengthy and determined battle with lung cancer. The empowering community activist and cornerstone of Arista Nashville’s original team was 64.

The daughter of an Army doctor, she grew up traveling the world. Her formative years fueled a vibrant curiosity, commitment to helping others and a desire to experience everything life could offer.

The grind of pursuing a life on Broadway led to a temp job at Chrysalis Records in New York in the early ‘80s. Impressing her boss, she applied for—and got—a job at RCA Nashville in 1983. There she would rise through the marketing ranks,  orchestrate groundbreaking campaigns and produce music videos for KT Oslin, future Country Music Hall of Famers Alabama, Ronnie Milsap and the Judds.

More importantly, she would meet Joe Galante, who recognized her brilliance. The two would go on to marry, becoming Nashville’s preeminent power couple from the ‘90s on.

Given her marketing prowess, Phran was tapped to head Arista Nashville’s launch. A key factor in the success of Alan Jackson, Pam Tillis and Brooks & Dunn, she returned to NYC when Joe was tapped to head the whole of RCA.

Upon returning to Nashville in the mid-‘90s, Phran turned her incredible energy and commitment to the community. An animal lover from childhood, she was a founding member of the United Partnerships in Animal Welfare, working to reduce the high rate of animal euthanasia in Nashville shelters. She received the Jourdan Parenteau Excellence in Service Award for 20+ years of leadership from the Pet Community Center in 2018.

Also active with Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, she not only harvested her record industry contacts to bring music into the hospital, but also created the annual and highly anticipated Music City Tennis Invitational. Raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, the event was a cornerstone for the hospital. She received the MCTI Sportsmanship Award twice and the 2017 Outstanding Service Award for her many years of co-chairing, silent auction running and actual tournament play.

But more importantly, Phran Galante was a fighter who put her own diagnosis to use. Willing to go on camera, she shared her story and experience on behalf of the T.J. Martell Foundation, and its fundraising mission. Looking into the camera, she proclaimed, “As each day goes by, we get closer and closer to a cure.”

Sadly, the woman who embraced so many, listened and encouraged others battling various types of cancer and offering bottomless friendship to the people who were in her life wasn’t able to hold on for that cure. Her life, though, was invested with a courage rarely seen—and a will to take everything she had and put it to use.

No one would laugh—or cook—like Phran Galante. Open, smiling, willing, she created so much hope and so many miracles for others. She is survived by husband Joe, sister Debbie Linn, brothers Pete and Myke Schwartz, parents Marvin and Claire Schwartz, as well as her fur babies Lexie and Fergie.

A celebration of Phran’s life will be held on 10/23 at Congregation Micah in Brentwood, TN. Details forthcoming. The family requests anyone wishing to honor her life consider a donation to the TJ Martell Foundation's Phran Galante Memorial Fund for Lung Cancer Research or the Pet Community Center (noting it’s in memory of Phran).