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Archive for the ‘Record Label’ Category

RIP, John Carter (May 10, 2011) Respected Producer and A&R Man

Posted by on May 10, 2011

John Carter
June 14, 1945 – May 10, 2011

John Carter
was a successful producer, songwriter, A&R man, and artist manager who due to the respect he garnered, was commonly referred to as simply, Carter.  His earliest success came in 1967 when “Incense and Peppermints,” a song he co-wrote, became a hit for the Strawberry Alarm Clock.  He in fact also came up with the band’s name by putting together random words he found on the singles chart.  He was soon hired by Atlantic Records where he worked in promotion, and eventually went to work at Capitol Records where he produced numerous hit albums by the likes of Sammy Hagar, Bob Seger, the Steve Miller Band, Bob Welch, and the Motels, to name just a few.  In 1983, he made perhaps his biggest mark on pop music by A&Ring Tina Turner’s landmark album, Private Dancer, which sold over 20 million copies, collected numerous Grammy’s and made the singer relevant again.  In later years he held high positions at Chrysalis, A&M, Atlantic, and Island Records.  John Carter died of cancer on May 10, 2011.  He was 65.

Thanks to Bruce Kilgour for the help

Posted in Producer, Record Label, Rock, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

RIP, Norio Ohga (April 23, 2011) Former President of Sony Credited For Developing Compact Disc

Posted by on April 23, 2011

Norio Ohga
January 29, 1929 – April 23, 2011

Norio Ohga is best remembered as the president of Sony from 1982 to 1995.   He also happened to be a professionally trained opera singer and musician.  After writing a letter to the electronics giant to complain about the inferior sound quality of their cassettes, Ohga was offered a job.  He rose through the ranks until he ultimately served as president and CEO.  Under his watch, he helped develop the compact disc which went on to revolutionize the music industry and made Sony into the huge entertainment company it is today.  Also while president, Ohga oversaw the purchase of Sony Pictures and the creation of CBS/Sony Records, now Sony Music.  Norio Ohga was 81 when he passed away on April 23, 2011.

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RIP, Randy Wood (April 9, 2011) Founder Of Dot Records & Ranwood Records

Posted by on April 9, 2011

Randy Wood
March 30, 1917 – April 9, 2011

Randy Wood was a successful music industry executive who is perhaps best remembered for being the man behind Dot Records.  Wood had just returned home after serving in World War II when he opened an appliance store in Gallatin, Texas.  When he started music – mostly pop and classical albums – young customers began coming in, but asking for the rhythm & blues records they heard on a powerful station from faraway Nashville, Tennessee.  Wood quickly realized there was a need for a mail-order record business, and 78RPM was born.   By sponsoring a show on that Nashville station, WLAC-AM, spots for Randy’s Record Shop’s mail-order services could be heard clear across the United States and beyond.   With the income he was realizing from orders, Wood soon launched Dot Records out of the store.   The label quickly turned a profit as Wood figured out that white performers singing watered-down R&B songs was a recipe for success.   His artists like Pat Boone were turning songs by Little Richard and Fats Domino into pop hits while helping to further popularize the R&B singers as well.  Others he signed to Dot included Lawrence Welk, Tab Hunter, Debbie Reynolds, and the Mills Brothers.  The label was one of the most successful independent record companies of its time.  In 1968, Wood partnered with Welk to launch Ranwood Records in order to release records by artists mostly associated with the Lawrence Welk Show.  Welk purchased the label from Wood in 1979.  Randy Wood passed away on April 9, 2011.  He was 94.

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RIP, Don Kirshner (January 17, 2011) Influential Producer, Publisher & Television Host

Posted by on January 17, 2011

Don Kirshner
April 17, 1934 -January 17, 2011

Don Kirshner was a music publisher, producer, songwriter-manager, and television host who rightfully earned the nickname, The Man With The Golden Ear.  His music career began during the ’50s when he and his partner, Al Nevins, launched Aldon Music, a publishing company that included such future superstar talent as Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and Neil Sedaka.   Kirshner also owned three successful record labels during the early part of his career.  In the early ’60s, the creators of a new NBC television program enlisted Kirshner to provide songs for that show.  The influential sit-com followed the fictional adventures of an up-and-coming band as it bounced from one loony situation to another while performing catchy pop songs along the way.  The show was called The Monkees, and Kirshner brought songs like “I’m A Believer,” “Last Train To Clarksville,” and several others that would become hits that help define the era.  He later helped create an animated version of that same concept with The Archies. Then in 1973, Kirshner became a television star in his own right with the launch of Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.  The late night show offered full live performances of songs by current rock stars, making it unique in a time where lip syncing on television was the norm.  For many rock music fans in a pre-MTV, pre-youtube era, it was THE only way to enjoy your favorite bands live.  Along with being executive producer, Kirshner introduced each act in a monotone manner that was later popularly parodied by Paul Shaffer on Saturday Night Live. The show’s premiere episode included the Rolling Stones and and the series continued at that pace hosting the likes of Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Rush, the Eagles, the Ramones, KISS, and Kansas.  It quickly became serious competition for other late night programs like The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.  The show ran until 1981.  Don Kirshner was 76 when he died of heart failure on January 17, 2011.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the help

Posted in Producer, Publishing, Record Label | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

RIP, Nick Hunter (December 15, 2010) Industry Veteran

Posted by on December 15, 2010

Nick Hunter
DOB Unknown – December 15, 2010

Nick Hunter was a respected music industry veteran who worked in radio promotion and sales. Over the course of a career that spanned some 40 years, he worked for Giant, Atlantic, and Warner Bros. Records, among others.  In 1999, he founded his own label, Audium Records.  Over the years, Hunter was directly involved with the successes of such artists as Willie Nelson, Randy Travis, and Johnny Paycheck who he is credited for reviving his career and probably his life in the early ’70s.  In later years, Hunter was perhaps better known as “Nick the Stick” for his two decades as a popular radio sports commentator in Nashville.   Nick Hunter, 67, passed away on December 15, 2010 after a long struggle with cancer.

Thanks to Jon Grimson for the help

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RIP, Tony Moreno (November 14, 2010) Record Label Veteran

Posted by on November 14, 2010

Tony Moreno
DOB Unknown – November 14, 2010

Tony Moreno is best remembered as the founder of MP Records, one of the biggest independent Latin music labels in the United States.  Moreno moved to Miami from Cuba shortly in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s revolution.  In 1987, he started MP Records which quickly established itself as one of the premier Tropical labels in the world.  Over the course of MP’s long run (it merged with J&N Records in 2006) it was home to the likes of Oscar D’ Leon, Eddie Santiago, Tito Rojas, and Jose Luis “El Puma” Rodriguez.   Tony Moreno was 66 when he passed away on November 14, 2010.

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RIP, Sean “The Captain” Carasov (October 30, 2010) Record Label Exec

Posted by on October 30, 2010

Sean Carasov
November 17, 1961 – October 30, 2010

Sean “The Captain” Carasov was a respected music industry executive who launched his career in the mid ’80s.  In those early years he acted as the Beastie Boys’ road manager and more – working for Russell Simmons at the time – on the inaugural tour.  If there was ever a “fourth Beastie,” by all accounts, it might very well have been Carasov.  An expert on and lover of hip-hop, he had no difficulty landing A&R gigs at such labels as Jive, Atlantic and Mammoth just as the genre was starting to explode.  His successes include signing A Tribe Called Quest and curating the popular Menace II Society soundtrack.   Carasov also contributed numerous articles to music magazines from France to Japan.  In later years, he handled music supervision for the film, American Pimp and was did A&R for ARTISTdirect Records.  Sean Carasov was 48 when he took his own life on October 30, 2010.

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RIP, Andy Kotowicz (October 23, 2010) Record Company Executive

Posted by on October 23, 2010

Andy Kotowicz
DOB Unknown – October 23, 2010

Andy Kotowicz was a beloved music industry executive who is best known for his many years working at indie giant, Sub Pop Records.  At the time of his passing, Kotowicz was the Vice President of Sales and Director of Marketing.  He also dabbled in A&R, bringing such acts as Mudhoney and Pissed Jeans to the label.  Prior to Sub Pop, Kotowicz worked briefly at Spongebath Records.  Kotowicz was involved in a car accident on October 21st, 2010 after which he was taken to a local hospital where he was placed on life support.  His young daughter, who was also in the car, was pulled to safety.  On October 23, Andy Kotowicz was taken off life support and passed away from injuries sustained in the accident.  He was 37 years old.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the help

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RIP, Aaron-Carl Ragland (September 30, 2010) Popular Detroit DJ

Posted by on September 30, 2010

Aaron Carl Ragland
1973 – September 30, 2010

Aaron-Carl Ragland was a respected house and electronic producer and DJ who began building a following in Detroit during the mid ’90s.  Ragland was revered for his dynamic showmanship and for bringing the house, electronic and techno communities together.  After several popular releases on respected techno labels like Soul City, he formed his own label, Wallshaker Music.   Ragland recently canceled his European tour when he was hospitalized for abdominal pains and learned he was suffering from lymphoma.   Aaron-Carl Ragland was 37 when he died of the disease on September 30, 2010.

What You Should End

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RIP, Dick Griffey (September 24, 2010) Founder Of SOLAR Records

Posted by on September 24, 2010

Dick Griffey
November 16, 1938 – September 24, 2010

Dick Griffey is best remembered as the founder of influential R&B label, SOLAR (Sound Of Los Angeles Records).  Formed in 1977, the label was one of the most successful R&B labels outside of Motown.  Griffey launched his music career during the ’60s when he became part owner of a Los Angeles nightclub, Guys and Dolls which played host to shows by the likes of Ike & Tina Turner and Isaac Hayes.  He soon went on to work as a talent scout for the influential TV dance program, Soul Train.  That lead to a partnership with show creator, Don Cornelius with Soul Train Records.  For some reason, the label folded within two years, so Griffey built SOLAR from its ashes.  The label was one of the most influential urban labels during the late ’70s and ’80s thanks in part to Griffey’s ability to find talent that were much more than the majority of one-dimensional disco and dance acts of the era.  The label roster included the Whispers, Klymaxx, Midnight Starr, Lakeside, and the Deele.  The latter featured a young Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A.” Reid.   Griffey was also a successful concert promoter for a time, setting up tours for the likes of Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Michael Jackson, and Aretha Franklin.  During the ’90s, Griffey had a part in the birth of Death Row Records, the label founded by Suge Knight and Dr. Dre.  On September 24, 2010, Dick Griffey passed away while recuperating from heart surgery.  He was 72.

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