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Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83 December 14, 2006
Posted by: The Joker ()
Date: December 15, 2006 02:09

By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY, AP Music Writer
12 minutes ago



NEW YORK - Ahmet Ertegun, who helped define American music as the founder of Atlantic Records, a label that popularized the gritty R&B of Ray Charles, the classic soul of Aretha Franklin and the British rock of the Rolling Stones, died Tuesday at 83, his spokesman said.

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Ertegun remained connected to the music scene until his last days — it was at an Oct. 29 concert by the Rolling Stones at the Beacon Theatre in New York where Ertegun fell, suffered a head injury and was hospitalized. He later slipped into a coma.

"He was in a coma and expired today with his family at his bedside," said Dr. Howard A. Riina, Ertegun's neurosurgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Ertegun will be buried in a private ceremony in his native Turkey, said Bob Kaus, a spokesman for Ertegun and Atlantic Records. A memorial service will be conducted in New York after New Year's.

Ertegun, a Turkish ambassador's son, started collecting records for fun, but would later became one of the music industry's most powerful figures with Atlantic, which he founded in 1947.

The label first made its name with rhythm and blues by Charles and Big Joe Turner, but later diversified, making Franklin the Queen of Soul as well as carrying the banner of British rock (with the Rolling Stones, Cream, Led Zeppelin) and American pop (with Sonny and Cher, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and others).

Today, the company, part of Warner Music Group, is the home to artists including Kid Rock, James Blunt, T.I., and Missy Elliott.

Ertegun's love of music began with jazz, back when he and his late brother Nesuhi (an esteemed producer of such jazz acts as Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman) used to hang around with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington in the clubs of Washington, D.C.

"My father was a diplomat who was ambassador to Switzerland, France and England before he became ambassador to the United States, and we lived in all those countries and we always had music in the house, and a lot of it was a kind of popular music, and we heard a lot of jazz," Ertegun recalled in an interview with The Associated Press. "By the time we came to Washington, we were collecting records and we amassed a collection of some 25,000 blues and jazz records."

Ertegun parlayed his love of music into a career when he founded Atlantic with partner Herb Abramson and a $10,000 loan. When the label first started, it made its name with blues-edged recordings by acts such as Ruth Brown.

Despite his privileged background, which included attending prep school and socializing with Washington's elite, Ertegun was able to mix with all kinds of people — an attribute that made him not just a marketer of black music, but a part of it, said Jerry Wexler.

"The transition between these two worlds is one of Ahmet's most distinguishing characteristics," Wexler said.

Black music was the backbone of the label for years — it was Atlantic, under Wexler's production genius, that helped make Franklin the top black female singer of her day.

"We had some pop music — we had Bobby Darin ... and we developed other pop artists such as Sonny and Cher and Bette Midler and so on," said Ertegun. "But we had been most effective that set a style as purveyors of African-American music. And we were the kings of that until the arrival of Motown Records, which was long after we started."

But once music tastes changed, Ertegun switched gears and helped bring on the British invasion in the '60s.

"If Atlantic had restricted itself to R&B music, I have no doubt that it would be extinct today," Wexler said.

Instead, it became even bigger.

In later years, Ertegun signed Midler, Roberta Flack and ABBA. He had a gift for being able to pick out what would be a commercial smash, said the late producer Arif Mardin, who remembered one session where he was working with the Bee Gees on an album — but was unsure of what he had produced.

"Then Ahmet came and listened to it, and said, `You've got hits here, you've got dance hits,'" Mardin once told the AP. "I was involved in such a way that I didn't see the forest for the trees. ... He was like the steadying influence."

One strength of the company was Ertegun's close relationships with many of the artists — relationships that continued even after they left his label. Midler still called for advice, and he visited Franklin's home when he dropped into Detroit.

His friendships extended to the younger generation, too, including Kid Rock and Lil' Kim.

Besides his love of music, Ertegun was also known for his love of art, and socializing. It was not uncommon to find him at a party with his wife, Mica, hanging out until all hours with friends.

Although he was slowed by triple-bypass surgery in 2001, he still went into his office almost daily to listen for his next hit.

Finding those hits were among the most wonderful moments in his life, he said.

"I've been in the studio when you go through a track and you run down a track and you know even before the singer starts singing, you know the track is swinging ... you know you have a multimillion-seller hit — and what you're working on suddenly has magic," he said. "That's the biggest."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2023-03-10 14:24 by bv.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: ROPENI ()
Date: December 15, 2006 02:15

A great man has passed, R.I.P.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: ROPENI ()
Date: December 15, 2006 02:17

...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2006-12-15 02:20 by ROPENI.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: rrronnie ()
Date: December 15, 2006 02:23

"I can't imagine a world without the Rolling Stones" - wasn't that his sentence?
He was with the Stones till the end of his life - RIP !

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: rooster ()
Date: December 15, 2006 02:29

Sad God bless him.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Date: December 15, 2006 02:47

rrronnie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "I can't imagine a world without the Rolling
> Stones" - wasn't that his sentence?
> He was with the Stones till the end of his life -
> RIP !


No - I think this was Bill Graham, who said that - as far as I remember from a TV interview

But anyway RIP Mr Ertegün

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: ryanpow ()
Date: December 15, 2006 03:07

He was one of the last music execs around who actually cared about music.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Date: December 15, 2006 03:12

...to think the last thing he did on earth was see the Stones at Beacon...man, whatta way to go...I'd be cool with that...

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: chippy ()
Date: December 15, 2006 03:28

Tank U Kindly

God Bless










Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: 1cdog ()
Date: December 15, 2006 03:36

A musical icon. R.I.P.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Date: December 15, 2006 04:48

OK, this may sound a bit odd. But TODAY I was thinking about Ahmet and I couldn't recall if he'd passed or was still around! Ahmet, I wanna meet you when I get to Heaven!

"The wonder of Jimi Hendrix was that he could stand up at all he was so pumped full of drugs." Patsy, Patsy Stone

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: CindyC ()
Date: December 15, 2006 05:07

Very sad loss - Rest in Peace.
It is very strange that this whole thing started at a Rolling Stones concert, and like NumberOneStonesFan said, I guess this is not a bad way to have your life end.
The cyncical side of me can already hear the "clever" journalists and comedians using the irony of this into their weak arsenal of RS joke, but what can you do.

Anyway, back to Ahmet... When Atlantic Records had their big 40th birthday bash at MSG, I was lucky enough to attend. I was actually seated fairly close to him which I was very excited about. Anyway, at one point Ahmet got up to speak and he was basically ignored by 90% of the crowd. You could hear a word he said because the crowd wanted Led Zeppelin who were performing together again for the first time (with Jason Bonham on drums) so Ahmet was unfortunately drowned out. I thought it was completely disrespectful.

A journalist who was reviewing the concert, and unfortunately I can't remember who or where I read it, possibly Rolling Stone, wrote how the crowd was acting while Ahmet spoke. The journalist said something along the lines of "had they known who this great man was, and what he has done - he would have received a standing ovation". I had the same sentiments. I wish I saved that review.

RIP

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: LeedsLungs71 ()
Date: December 15, 2006 05:19

Very sad news indeed. RIP Ahmet and I hope you are listening to some Stones tunes in the cosmos somewhere.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: inopeng ()
Date: December 15, 2006 06:11

Yes, very sad news. sad smiley

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: Leonard Keringer ()
Date: December 15, 2006 06:18


R.I.P.............besides helping to change the music world in a big way........he also seemed like a nice person as well (always a big plus imo)

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: inopeng ()
Date: December 15, 2006 06:29

You're right Leonard...I always thought that if I ran into him just walking down the street in New York that he would be naturally gracious, a true gentleman.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: HelterSkelter ()
Date: December 15, 2006 06:36

I always felt that Mick was really fond of him (which is a very rare thing to see in and of itself but actually quite touching). Sad news indeed but not a total surprise after reading about the head injury weeks ago. Another great man who did a lot of good is gone......RIP Ahmet.

EVERYTIME YOU STOP AND TURN AROUND/SOMEONE ELSE HAS HIT THE GROUND - Bob Dylan, "Everything is Broken"

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: J.J.Flash ()
Date: December 15, 2006 06:38

the biggest of the bigs. RIP.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: sarahunwin ()
Date: December 15, 2006 06:39

...to think the last thing he did on earth was see the Stones at Beacon...man, whatta way to go...I'd be cool with that...


My sentiments exactly...

A great loss to the music world. RIP

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: trainarollin ()
Date: December 15, 2006 06:42

How can Kid Rock's name be mentioned in the same article?

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: Bruce ()
Date: December 15, 2006 07:09

Gosh - that's shocking news. I met the man a few months ago at his "Tribute to Ahmet Ertegun" concert at Montreux (Switzerland). See my post at [www.iorr.org]

He was such a great man - who was extremely influential for the world of music. Thank you, Ahmet! We'll never forget...

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: erikjjf ()
Date: December 15, 2006 07:39

Very sad news.
Rest in peace, Ahmet.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: December 15, 2006 09:12

love & light to Ahmet - thanks & praises, love & light

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: Glam Descendant ()
Date: December 15, 2006 10:46

Anyone remember Neil Young being inducted into the RnR HOF? He gave an emotional thank-you to Ahmet.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: JumpingKentFlash ()
Date: December 15, 2006 11:13

Rest in peace Ahmed. You were one of the absolute best.

JumpingKentFlash



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2006-12-15 11:47 by JumpingKentFlash.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: JumpingKentFlash ()
Date: December 15, 2006 11:13

.Sorry

JumpingKentFlash



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2006-12-15 11:47 by JumpingKentFlash.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: Nikolai ()
Date: December 15, 2006 11:46

The man wasn't just a legend, he had a golden ear.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: yap yap ()
Date: December 15, 2006 13:32

Hate to hear that.He was a cool dude.RIP

Pleased to meet you......

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: 3DTeafoe ()
Date: December 15, 2006 16:35

The Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert at the Garden was indeed a most memorable event. Nearly 12 hours of music from some of the most prolific artists in history, all in one day. Wow!
Maybe HBO will rerun the concert as it was first broadcast back then.
I too sat near Mr. Ertegun at the Garden, it was a thrill to see him there.
Gold Rings and confetti on ya, Ahmet.

Re: Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83
Posted by: arturo ()
Date: December 15, 2006 16:58

cheers to ahmet - i've collected some mighty fine music through the years. RIP big guy !

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