Ahmet Ertegun, the founding member of Atlantic Records died yesterday in New York, he was 83yrs old.
I thought was fitting that he is remembered by all for bringing us most of the greatest musicians to ever grace the airwaves. Not only was he a music mogul and a legend but also a mentor to many of the artists he signed for Atlantic. We have all listened to his creations and such is life that he will live on forever even though he has passed away...His story is an amazing one and I'm sure that one day there will be a film about his life.
Ahmet was born in Turkey and was mad about music from as young as 9yrs old and when his dad, an ambassador was posted to Washington that would become the starting place for a 50yr journey in the music industry. When his father died in 1944 his mother and sister returned to Turkey, but Ahmet and his brother Nesuhi stayed in the US. Nesuhi moved to Los Angeles, where he taught jazz studies at the University of Southern California, and Ahmet moved to Manhattan where he decided to start a record label with $10,000 he loaned from a dentist, Vahdi Sabit.
With Herb Abramson, Ahmet set up Atlantic Records in 1947 in a 2 room office (1 being the studio) and after his brother Nesuhi joined Atlantic in 1956 (later joined by Arif Mardin) the label attracted many of the most inventive jazz musicians of the era, including Coltrane, Charles Mingus, the Modern Jazz Quartet and Ornette Coleman and
By the 1960s, often in partnerships with local labels like Stax in Memphis, Mr. Ertegun was selling millions of records by the leading soul & Blues musicians of the day, among them Aritha Franklin, Otis Redding & Ray Charles.
Mr. Ertegun's music partnership was key to his uniqueness too, Ahmet a muslim whilst his fellow executives, (the producer Jerry Wexler, who was a Jew) who produced mainly black artists. Together, they helped move rhythm and blues to the center of American popular music before Motown was born
Ahmet moved into Rock & Atlantic Records signed the Rolling Stones to a distribution deal when the band's contract with Decca Records ended; Led Zeppelin; and Crosby, Stills & Nash, who became Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young after Mr. Ertegun persuaded Neil Young to join the group were other artists along with Cream and many, many more.
In 1968 he sold Atlantic for $17 million to the Kinney Corporation, but Mr. Ertegun kept making records. When Kinney completed the acquisition of Warner Brothers-Seven Arts in 1969, he and his label kept going.
Ertegun also had a passion for football and 4yrs later he and his brother then took some of the money & co-founded the New York Cosmos soccer team in 1971, and were instrumental in coaxing such legendary players as Pelé to play for the club.
In 1987 Ertegun was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which he himself founded. His brother, Nesuhi, died in 1989 and was inducted posthumously two years later.
Ahmet, Nesuhi, Arif - WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU!
Thankyou for the music you gave us!