Industry Profile: Ritch Esra

— By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess MediaWire)

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Ritch Esra, co-publisher, The Music Business Registry.

Since 1992, Ritch Esra and Stephen Trumbull have been publishing The Music Business Registry, starting with The A&R Registry.

Their comprehensive industry directories have expanded to include: The Publisher Registry, The Music Business Attorney Registry, The Record Producer Directory, The Film and Television Music Guide, and The Management Registry (available online only).

The directories, primarily in PDF and online versions, provide current contact information on the A&R, music, publishing, legal, management, and film/TV music communities.

Each directory describes how to reach industry contacts by regular mail, email (including web sites), telephone, and by fax. Also provided are the title, street address, the name of contact’s assistant, and the style of music that each executive deals with.

The A&R Registry, updated, and reprinted every eight weeks, covers the scene in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, London, Chicago, Atlanta, Vancouver, and Toronto.

The Publisher Registry, updated every six months, lists all of the creative departments at music publishing companies.

The Film & Television Music Guide covers personnel responsible for the placement of music into film and television; including over 200 music supervisors, as well as listings of all of the film studio and TV network music departments, video game companies, music placement companies, as well as all of the music licensing personnel at record labels and music publishing companies. In addition, it lists music editors, film and television composers, and score mixers.

The Music Attorney, Legal & Business Affairs Registry, updated annually, lists attorneys specializing in the music industry as well as business and legal affairs executives at the record labels, publishing companies, as well as music departments of film studios and television networks.

Esra began his career in the music industry in 1980 as a promotion coordinator for A&M Records in Los Angeles.

From 1981-1987, Esra was director of West Coast A&R for Arista Records. He signed Mara Getz, and the Thompson Twins. He also worked with Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin, Melissa Manchester, Tanya Tucker, Jennifer Warnes, Jermaine Jackson, and Air Supply. As well, he coordinated tracks for the “Ghostbusters” and "Perfect" soundtracks.

From 1988-1991, Esra worked on numerous independent projects. He was an instructor at the Trebas Institute of Recording Arts in Los Angeles. As well, he taught music courses at UCLA Extension, and the University of Southern California.

Esra also produced the ground-breaking educational video "How to Get a Record Deal” which featured producers Phil Ramone, and Jeff Baxter as well as such artists as Mark Knopfler, Phil Collins, Jody Watley, Karla Bonoff, Michael Bolton, Fleetwood Mac, Chick Corea, Kenny Loggins, and Los Lobos.

For decades, being A&R head was the most powerful position in the music business; with numerous A&R executives regarded as almost mythical figures.

Responsible for discovering and signing upcoming acts for labels; they supervised song arrangements, recording (including the selection of producers, and songs), mixing, mastering, album artwork, marketing, promotion, and merchandising.

Discovering new talent is far easier these days with increased avenues available for new music, including via the Internet, satellite radio, and college radio.

However, Esra acknowledges that the art of A&R has greatly diminished in recent years.

He notes that the major labels have been hiring fewer A&R executives because the volume of acts being signed has decreased; and, more importantly, the types of acts being signed has dramatically narrowed.

Meanwhile, the A&R personnel turnover continues to be brutal.

As a result, the music industry is littered with former A&R powerhouses now acting as consultants, producers or managers. Others have moved into fields unrelated to entertainment.

The changes in the music industry after 2000 were…

Profound.

With job losses and…

And major labels shutting down like Elektra, Arista, MCA, V2, and so on.

I once wrote that if your only job skill set is carrying records to a radio station, you should get another job.

Oh, my God, yes.

Also, if your job at a record company is having good ears, that may not be enough to stay in the business. A lot of those A&R executives let go never got jobs in music again.

That fact is far more pronounced in the last year or two than it ever was before. There are no companies today for these people to get jobs in.

Few A&R executives, however, have been creative forces in the league of John Hammond, Lenny Waronker or John Carter. Many were middleman. They may have been creative--but not necessarily in the studio.

No they weren’t. I think that there are different types of A&R people. One of the people that I always thought was so phenomenal in the job was John Kalodner. Most people have their focus; but Kalodner could work with an Asia or an Aerosmith and really understand what was needed for them as a rock band.

At the same time, he could also revive the career--song-wise, A&R-wise and studio-wise--of a Cher. And he could do both very well, and very successfully. Not that many people have that kind of breadth in A&R.

[From his signature white suit and John Lennon glasses to his unique "John Kalodner : John Kalodner" album label credits, John David Kalodner practically defined A&R in the ‘80s, and early ‘90s.

Rocker Jon Bon Jovi credits Kalodner for convincing Vancouver-based producer Bruce Fairbairn to take a chance on his band, as well as discovering “Always” sitting on a shelf in his basement.

Although Atlantic Record’s A&R department had earlier passed on Foreigner, Kalodner--Atlantic's first West Coast Director of A&R in the ‘80s—fully believed in the band. When Phil Collins was being discouraged from going solo, he felt Collins could be a major star.

At Geffen Records, Kalodner built career foundations for Asia, White Zombie, Madness, Wang Chung, XTC, Whitesnake, Berlin, and Aerosmith.

Later, as West Coast senior VP of A&R for Columbia Records, Kalodner worked with Santana, Journey, Manowar, Chicago, Shawn Colvin, Heart, Kenny Loggins, Iron Maiden, Joe Satriani, REO Speedwagon, and the Black Crowes, among others.]

Well, there’s Rick Rubin.

Rick Rubin’s sensibility, I think, is the same with all of the acts that he works with. His approach is much more on the…

Let’s strip it down and rebuild…

Exactly. He’s not like a Mutt Lange—a song or a technical kind of guy. He’s much more, “Let’s strip it down, and get a vibe.” The record that he did with the Dixie Chicks (“Taking The Long Way” in 2006) was indicative of that. I think that (production style) works to an extent with a certain kind of talent. I don’t think that it’s the right approach for every kind of artist.

No A&R guy today has the freedom that John Kalodner had.

That’s right. Nor those kinds of budgets. John not only had the power, but he had the budgets to spend the time and the energy to put artists with co-writers to work, work and work until he got the Aerosmith to the point where they got “Dude Looks Like A Lady.”

In past days, a good A&R executive was the ultimate match-maker.

Right.

Now many A&R executives are primarily traffic cops.

Not only the traffic cop. I don’t know if that particular skill that you are talking about in terms of being a match-maker---not only with the producer and artist; but also with the songwriter and artist talent--I don’t know if it’s a skill that is needed anymore at record companies because of the way that they operate—especially the big ones. I don’t think that they look for talent as much as looking for an ongoing business.

A&R and music publishers used to build relationships by hanging out in clubs with artists and managers. Email and texting contact isn’t the same.

Nor do they have (the relationships) anymore. That’s very true. I think there are a couple of reasons for that. Number one, there’s not the breadth of artistry that the publisher/A&R world can co-exist in anymore; and number two, it’s about the kind of artists that publishers and A&R people, especially at major labels, are going to be involved with. Larry, you interview any top publisher today, they will tell you that in a year’s time that a minimum—a minimum—probably 5% of their income will come from getting songs recorded on a record. A co-write, maybe. But getting song on records? That just doesn’t happen anymore.

Also the kind of music that is successful today is more producer-oriented. It’s writer-oriented; but it’s writer/producer. Every one of those giant hit singles these days has no less than three or five co-writers.

Music publishers seem to be more into talent development than previously. Matching up co-writers; starting labels and having their writers working with others. You don’t see that as much with labels.

No I don’t, and I think you are right. But I think that one of the reasons that they (publishers) are doing that to bring a record to market does not cost the cost of a home that it did 10 years ago. A lot of what they (publishers) are doing now is based on the fact that economically, they can afford to do those things now.

Ray LaMontagne, that’s a great example of someone doing that. Chrysalis Music Publishing signed him, and they didn’t want A&R fucking around with that first record (“Trouble” in 2004) or his artistry. They spent the money to make that record. It was recorded, mixed, mastered, and shopped as a finished record to the labels (to RCA Records in the USA and Echo Records in the UK); and they took it as is.

With such a decline in the marketplace, why is there still a market for The A&R Registry? Who is your market?

Our market is publishers, attorneys, recording studios, songwriters, and producers that want to keep in touch with A&R people in order to get the work. There still is a certain market. It’s not as large as it once was; but there still is a certain market within the music business that wants to deal with A&R; as far as getting songs recorded; and as far as getting jobs. All of the producer management companies get the A&R directory because there’s a direct link there that hires producers.

At the same time The Film and Television Music Guide continues to grow in importance.

It has. It is because the income sources are there.

How did you and Stephen come to publish The A&R Registry in 1992?

I came from the A&R world. In ’92, I was thinking, “What’s out there?” There were these yearly (industry) directories that were all researched in September, and October. They were laid out, and designed in November or December. Then they were sold to people in January as the brand new edition. It was 35% to 40% out of date by the time that you got it. The problem was that they were all yearlies and they were all print.

My whole notion, and how this started, was that I basically said, “What is needed is something that is consistently updated at least four or five times a year.” I decided on six (updates) because of what I saw happening in the early ‘90s was that the world of A&R—which at that time was at its height—was constantly changing. This person was being hired; this person was being fired.

I felt that if we could design a book—and this was my idea before I got involved with Stephen—if we could design a book that would basically have its obsolescence build it; that it would create more value for it. People would always need the new edition. No one in the market, even to today, continues to keep up on the aspects of A&R, and about who is doing what in L.A., New York, Nashville, London, Chicago, Atlanta, Vancouver, and Toronto.

I felt that what was needed was that information on a more timely basis. What was also needed was (information on) assistants. No directory I had ever come across listed the assistants that I was aware of. I felt that these are the people that get the majority of your work done; the song listened to; the call returned; your package gotten out to you; and your check cut. Nobody was listing them. So I said, “We need to include the assistants for every single person (executive) because that would be a key factor of why you should get our directory as opposed to someone else’s.”

The A&R Registry was the first directory?

Yes. The second directory was Film & TV in 1994. The next one was Publishers; and then Attorneys. The newest one is Music Managers which is an online data base. We only do it online.

Your business has slowly moved from print to PDF files to online.

That’s the direction of most informational sources because they (directories) can be kept most accurate that way. When someone orders a directory, they can get a PDF version right away or they can get a subscription online.

What are the costs?

The costs of a PDF file for the Film & TV directory is $100; PDF costs for the A&R and Publisher directories is $75. You can get a subscription for the A&R directory for $400 a year. Our customer base is throughout the world. We have 12 countries of people that subscribe.

How big is your staff?

Here (in Los Angeles) it is myself; and we have someone in Columbus, Ohio. My business partner is based in Lyon, France, and he has someone working with him. Back in the day, we had more people working for us but because we don’t print books anymore, and we don’t have the administration aspects anymore, we don’t need many people.

How do you get the label information?

We contact record companies or people contact us. We have such a large network now that we are told that people are leaving or that a new person is beginning (a new job). Or the people from the companies tell us what’s going on when we contact them.

You came from an era where the A&R executive was a gatekeeper and knew about marketing, songwriting, and producing. Being signed by a label; working with an A&R executive; and working in a studio with a producer were then all filters for new artists to get through.

Yes they were, and the filters are gone now. Part of that is cultural; part of that is technological. To be honest with you, I don’t think that we have really seen the full consequences of that (evolution). We are starting to. We have seen some of it. One of the most interesting aspects of it is that as a result, as well as the economic factor, is how labels have stopped looking for music. They are now looking for ongoing businesses because the internet has allowed this to happen. They want the natural forces of the marketplace to do their A&R work for them. I think that as a result of what you said that there is no bar anymore. It is just what is successful. (The attitude is), “Fine, I don’t care if I like it or not, this is selling. This is selling concert tickets. This is records. We should put this out.”

What’s the mark of being successful today for an emerging act? So many fans on Facebook and Twitter? Or the act successfully using its fan following to boost attendance at their live shows. Or both?

I think that it’s both. I think that there is a belief of having some kind of story to tell. There is still an element of faith. It’s not totally lost. There still has to be an element of faith. If someone has sold 5,000 or 10,000 copies of a record, you have to believe that that this is viable; and that this can work.

The Mac Miller story was a very, very interesting one. I followed that story. That wasn’t something that came along. They (Rostrum Records) had been working with him since he was 13 years old. He had been building his base in his area for five or six years before expanding it regionally. That whole thing was set up for a very, very long time. It didn’t just happen.

[Malcolm "Mac Miller" McCormick---a white 19-year-old rapper from Pittsburgh-- made modern-day music industry history when his debut album, “Blue Slide Park,” recently jumped to #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart with 160,000 copies sold in its first week of release.

It marked the first independently-distributed debut album to reach the #1 position in years. The album was digitally distributed by iTunes and INgrooves with Fontana Distribution handling physical retail sales.

Rostrum Records released the album independently of major label support, and there was virtually no radio airplay. Sales were the result of Miller’s towering social media following (over 1 million Twitter followers) and a creative pre–sales strategy that Rostrum worked out with iTunes and INgrooves which engaged fans prior to the release date.]

The same thing with Cash Money Records.

Oh, back in the ‘90s they were selling stuff out of their car. They had an office in New Orleans in those days.

Indie rap labels, and rap artists use the internet more effectively than their rock counterparts.

That’s right. They know how to reach their market. What is interesting to me is that there are a lot of artists today—in rap, and, definitely, in electronic music—having nothing to do with record companies and are building viable successful careers. That has nothing to do with mainstream; and has absolutely nothing to do with radio. One of the most profound changes that I’ve seen is how we define success. We used to define it as massive hit singles; huge album sales; and lots of concert tickets now being sold. I think that success today is defined as, “Can I find an audience for my work? Can I make a viable living doing this?”

Success on any level.

Yes on any level. “Can I make a viable living doing this?” The internet has allowed a lot more people to make a viable living. Are they stars? No. Do we even know about them? No. But I would venture to say that we live in a culture now that has so much choice. This isn’t only with music, this is a great part of media—we don’t live in a top down world anymore. We live in a massive, open and endless choice world of—especially with music, especially media, especially television—that gives us massive amount of choices for anything and everything. So getting peoples’ attention is the hardest, most valuable commodity of all.

I’m not sure any one major label can press a button anymore to produce an internationally successful act.

No. I don’t think that they can. I certainly don’t think that they can. If you don’t believe me, talk to the multinationals. Ask about the 26 acts, besides Adele, that Sony can’t get on the radio; can’t get press on; and can’t get iTunes (sales). The reason that they can’t is that people aren’t paying attention and also because people have options today. They don’t have to pay attention to what the multinationals are pushing. And that is the greatest, most difficult thing that they (the major labels) have going against them. They don’t have those peoples’ attention anymore. Two hundred million other musical choices do—things that people are more interested in.

An act still needs multinational support to break internationally—either being signed direct; or through distribution via an affiliated indie label.

You are right but I think that we are going to see far, far fewer international worldwide kinds of acts. I don’t know if we live in that era anymore where that is even necessary.

I see the international successes of Adele and Lady Gaga as aberrations.

I do too.

The last international acts truly built by that major label system was Black Eyed Peas, and Jason Mraz that his manager Bill Silva had been developing.

And Jason Mraz had been working a very long time before he had any kind of success. He had been building that (international profile) on his own through live performances.

Can labels still break acts internationally in the manner that Jay Durgan did at A&M in the ‘80s with Janet Jackson, Bryan Adams, Soundgarden, Suzanne Vega, Bon Jovi, Boyz II Men, Sheryl Crow; and what he did later at Warners with Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, and Linkin Park?

Here’s the problem, Larry, which I see that faces us with comparisons. That was also an era when the major label consisted of everything from a Bryan Adams, Metallica to Sade; and it doesn’t anymore.

You mean that there was a sizable breadth of music in the mainstream.

That’s right. We don’t have that today in the major label system anymore. Look at the examples that you gave. Even the aberrations. Adele, Black Eyed Peas, and Gaga. It is all in the kind of Top 40 pop sensibility. It’s not like Metallica, Sade, and George Winston. It doesn’t have that kind of breadth anymore on the international level. So that’s part of the problem with the major labels. They wouldn’t know how to break a Mac Miller. They don’t know how to break that type of act.

Indie labels have always been the ones to break new music genres dating back to rockabilly, rap & hip hop, and reggae. The majors were never there day one; they showed up on day five.

That’s right. The difference today is that the kind of successes that they are having are far, far fewer; and what is most profoundly disturbing about it (success) is that they are the examples, as good as it gets. Let’s take Katy Perry. This is classic. This is something that nobody in the music history other than Michael Jackson has achieved which was five #1 hits off one album; and all that she was at the fifth #1 was 1.98 million albums (in the U.S.). Really, Larry? That’s as good as it gets? I don’t know if it’s worth the effort when you know the machinations, and costs it takes to bring each one of those singles to #1, and that’s all you get? I mean, wow!

[In 2010, Katy Perry’s third studio album, “Teenage Dream,” topped the Billboard 200 chart, and spawned five #1 singles—"California Gurls", "Teenage Dream", "Firework", "E.T." and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)." “Teenage Dream has now sold more than seven million copies worldwide.]

Critics still question if Katy Perry has a sustainable career?

I don’t know if she has a career. I don’t think she has a career unless she continues to build hit singles. I don’t know if there would be a touring base for her continually again and again as there seems to be for Adele. Dave Matthews could stop making records today, and still have a career for like 20 years.

Music industry blogger Bob Lefsetz recently roasted Madonna for weak second weeks sales of her new album, “MDNA.”

And rightly so because the way she went about doing all that (promotion) I thought was very distasteful. Some magazine (The Daily Beast) criticized her, and the famous thing (she allegedly said) was, “Well, I’m worth $300; so start saving your pennies.” If that is not a fuck you to your fans, I don’t know what is.

[“MDNA,” Madonna’s latest album, and her first under her 360 deal with Live Nation, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, but sales for the album fell 86.7% the following week; from 359,000 to 48,000 units according to SoundScan.

The Daily Beast recently reported that Madonna sounded annoyed that anyone would argue over the high prices of her tickets. “People spend $300 on crazy things all the time,” she said, “I’m worth it.” She also reportedly said, “Start saving your pennies now. Work all year, scrape the money together, and come to my show.”

Talking to Billboard.biz recently, Live Nation chairman of Global Touring, Arthur Fogel tried to dispel rumors that Madonna's upcoming tour, and her album “MDNA” were underperforming.

"This tour is completely on track to end up in the top 10 tours of all time,” Fogel said.

Fogel attributed the drop in “MDNA” sales being due to industry pricing strategies being geared toward building first week sales; and that Madonna has been focused on rehearsals for her upcoming tour and promotion efforts for her tour.]

People tend to not like Madonna although they applaud her business smarts. Gaga is deemed more likeable.

Because she’s not a cold, calculating (artist) saying things that are contemptuous of her fan base. The way that Madonna went about marketing and promoting this new release was very old school. The Super Bowl, and the press. And he songs you’d have a hard time believing from a 20-year-old.

I like “MDNA.” The production, and the songs are good. The weak link is…

Her.

Bingo.

Right. That’s because a 53-year-old woman is not going to have the connection to those elements that you love. There’s something inauthentic about it. The thing she did in regards to giving the album away if you bought her concert ticket hurt her. If she had not done that I don’t think that the press would have jumped on her and she wouldn’t have had an 86.7% drop. That’s profound in a one week.

Madonna doesn’t have an album base anymore. She still has a live base, obviously. People will go and see her live. But that’s true of any big veteran act that has been around 25 or 30 years. Elton John has that. Bon Jovi has that. Even Bette Midler has that; and she has never been a big record seller. People will go and see her live and pay huge money because she’s so desirable to see live. I don’t know how well the Van Halen record (“A Different Kind Of Truth”) has done, but their concerts have been selling out left and right.

You weren’t born in California?

I was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. My father worked in various jobs, and we moved to California in ’64. We lived in L.A. until ’67. I grew up in San Diego from 1967 to 1978, In ’78, I came to L.A. to be in the music business

Your first job in the music business was working at the music trade Record World on Sunset and Vine.

Yes, that is true. I did. I was only at Record World for a couple of weeks. A friend of my father who was in the business knew the receptionist there. They needed a new delivery guy. I was 18 at the time.

What was your job?

My job was to go to the airport to pick up the magazines, and distribute them to all of the newsstands in Los Angeles. It was a wonderful, first music business job. About a week or so into it, they called me into the office, and said that they had to let me go because with the size of their company the insurance that was required for the driver was such that somebody my age would not qualify that that kind of coverage. You had to be a minimum of 26, according to the insurance company, to get the kind of insurance coverage that a big company needed. They let me go. I left the gig very reluctantly because I didn’t have a car at the time. That job was going to give me a car. In Los Angeles, especially in ’78, you couldn’t get by without a car.

Record World was then one of the three main music industry trade publications in the U.S., along with Billboard and Cash Box magazines. It ceased publication in 1982.

I miss those days when there were all those music trades. There was Record World, Cashbox, Billboard, R&R (Radio & Records), and FMBQ. There was a whole industry within that world that supported all of this stuff. It just wasn’t one thing.

While in high school in San Diego, were you reading the music trades?

No. I didn’t start doing it until I got into the business. I used to read Calendar (on Sunday in the Los Angeles Times) all of the time and see what was going on. During the week the paper had The View which was movies and entertainment, and music stuff. Then it became its own section called Calendar. (Music editor) Bob (Hilburn) was the guy there from ’70 one right up to 2005.

Rock journalism was then blooming.

There was Paul Williams and Crawdaddy, and there was Cream and Bam magazines. All of those great writers like Bud Scoppa, Jon Landau, and Greil Marcus. I miss those days when rock journalism was really coming into its own. It sort of last all the way through the ‘80s with those incredible interviews that you would read in Rolling Stone or those incredible interviews in Musician magazine. Remember Jock Baird? There was Bill Flanagan, Mikal Gilmore, Ben Fong-Torres, Dave DiMartino, and Anthony DeCurtis. All of these incredible writers. Do you remember Robert Palmer? Poor Robert, he was a great writer.

Timothy White was such a brilliant writer as well. I just loved him. He wrote several books too. He did the book on the Beach Boys ("Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys, and the Southern California Experience” in 1996). Timothy wrote an essay in Billboard, in the ‘90s, a brilliant thing in which he was being very, very outspoken, and critical about the gangsta rap. He wrote this brilliant line where he said, “The problem with the music industry is that that they are loath to ever criticize anything that makes money, especially a lot of money.” I always remembered that.

And he was right.

Yes he was. And I loved him because he was willing to say things in such an incredibly eloquent way. People weren’t willing to say especially in a publication like Billboard.

We just don’t seem to have that level of journalism within rock music these days. Or if we do have it, it is very, very hard to find.

With the internet today, anybody can write about music in a blog.

That’s right, and everybody does. I don’t follow Pitchfork, for example, but their reviews seem to be really moving the needle on their particular world. I don’t know who writes those things or know what they’ve got to say but that whole in-depth element that really appreciated rock music, and really seemed to have a deeper understanding of the nature, and the sensibility of it within the context of culture, I miss that today.

You were a music fan as a kid.

Oh sure I was. I definitely was.

San Diego certainly was then a hot music market.

Yes it was. We had KPRI-FM, KGB-FM and the Sports Arena there. We had all these bands that would come through. I remember seeing Jethro Tull, Zeppelin, the Who. All of these different kind of acts.

What did you do after losing your job at Record World?

I ended up getting a job as a sales guy selling office supplies on the phone. That was a tough gig. I made enough through doing that for just a couple of months. Then I got a job being a handyman taking care of a house. I was able to live in a nice single studio apartment at Sunset (Boulevard) and Laurel Avenue at $150 a month. It had a little pool. Schwab’s was right in front of me and Greenblatt’s (Greenblatt's Deli) was right there. I lived there for about 18 months. Then two friends decided they wanted to get an apartment. So we all lived together in a big apartment. I lived in that apartment until 1992.

How did you come to work at A&M?

I came to work at A&M from an internship notice posted on a bulletin board that I saw at UCLA in April, 1980. So I applied for the job. I went to work for the radio promotion department with Bob Gaiters, Al Monet, Marko Babineau and Brad Kramer. Those were the guys at A&M then. I was an intern in promotion. I worked there from April to December (1980) when I got a paid gig doing north west AC promotion at Arista.

Did Clive Davis hire you?

It was Lana Palmese and Pete Schwartz who hired me. I had first applied for a job in sales. I didn’t get the job. But Lana and Peter hired me in promotion. It was through that gig that I got to know the great Bud Scoppa. He had a great background in journalism and he had worked at Mercury and A&M; and then he came to work at Arista in A&R (as head of West Coast A&R starting in 1978). He had signed the BusBoys, and (L.A. power pop band) Elton Duck. I came to work with him a couple of days a week. It was through working with Bud that I moved into A&R.

Arista was quite a diverse label then.

It’s interesting. During that era, the most successful pop music acts at the time on the charts were very AC-based. It was Barry Manilow, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Christopher Cross. Very AC-based. Prior to the whole new wave movement, pop music was very AC-oriented. Not like what came afterwards in the ‘80s with Culture Club and the Eurhythmics, Men at Work and all of that stuff where it became course du jour of that era.

And Arista was then having those kind of Adult Contemporary mega-hits.

That was also the era when you could sell millions and millions of albums based on those hits. That era is gone. Nobody sells millions and millions of albums except Adele who has hit singles. I am always amazed to see today how these people who have four and 5 million selling singles, and their album sells 110,000 copies.

You worked with Arista’s roster including with Air Supply…

Air Supply, Tanya Tucker, GQ, Aretha Franklin, and Dionne Warwick, yeah. My job was song intensive. I used to find material. That was the key thing in A&R; trying to find material by chasing down music publishers, and developing relationships with writers; trying to find material for these records. Clive was also making deals with companies overseas like Jive and so forth. We would distribute those records. Jive Records was just beginning; and we got Billy Ocean. Whodini ended up being one of the first million selling raps acts before anyone knew that was going to be a big movement. And our UK office gave us the Thompson Twins.

I saw Whitney Houston in a Toronto club singing to backing tracks before her first album. A sweet kid then.

She was. I remember meeting her for the first time. It was at a reception that we had right when the record was going to come out. She was at the recording studio. in jeans and a sweat shirt and she had her own natural Afro. All of the company was there; and she was standing there. She was so shy. She was very young; very sweet; and very, very shy. Not talkative or loud. The problems that she developed in her life were not problems that she had as a young woman. They developed later in her career.

An label A&R executive signing an artist changes their life. That’s a big responsibility.

Yeah. It is a big responsibility. A&R differs at each company depending on the size; and depending on who is signing. At Arista back then, Clive made the ultimate decisions of what was signed; and what was or wasn’t recorded. I don’t think he looked to us to say, “This is your failure,” because it was always an artist that he wanted to sign. That’s the bottom line there. But you are right. You are taking on an enormous responsibility still today when you are signing somebody.

One of the things I always looked for in artists was, do they have the drive? They can have the talent but do they have the drive? Do they really want to be successful? The most successful artists that I know did not get successful by accident. I don’t think I have ever met an artist who got successful by accident.

Larry LeBlanc is widely recognized as one of the leading music industry journalists in the world. Before joining CelebrityAccess in 2008 as senior editor, he was the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard from 1991-2007 and Canadian editor of Record World from 1970-89. He was also a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record. He has been quoted on music industry issues in hundreds of publications including Time, Forbes, and the London Times. He is co-author of the book “Music From Far And Wide.”

.

Industry Profile Archives:
Mick The DJ, DJ/Enterpeneur 04/30/15
Joanne Abbot Green, CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival 10/17/08
Lee Abrams, XM Satellite Radio 11/28/03
John Acquaviva, Fund Manager, DJ and Serial Entrepreneur 07/09/15
Jay Boy Adams, Roadhouse Transportation 05/04/07
Jamie Adler, Adler Entertainment Group 05/11/07
Gary Adler, National Association of Ticket Brokers 12/04/13
Rodney Afshari, Freeze Artist Management 03/01/02
JC Ahn, VU Entertainment 04/10/13
Steve Alaimo, Vision Records & Audio Vision Studios 05/26/06
Jaye Albright, Albright & O'Malley Consulting 07/19/10
Randy Alexander, Randex Communications 10/12/07
David Alexander, Sheer Publishing 07/21/16
Eva Alexiou-Reo, FATA Booking Agency 05/14/15
Marcie Allen, Mad Booking 12/14/00
Jeff Allen, Universal Attractions 08/16/02
Marcie Allen, MAC Presents 06/05/09
Marcie Allen Cardwell, MAC Presents 12/21/07
David Allgood, Bama Theatre 01/03/11
Patrick Allocco, AllGood Concerts 10/05/07
Michele Amar, French Embassy 05/26/16
Mike Amato, Rok Tours International 02/02/07
Jeff Apregan, Apregan Entertainment Group/Venue Coalition 09/30/15
Billy Atwell, AMP Studios 12/13/07
Bob Babisch, Milwaukee World Festivals Inc. 04/02/15
Tom Baggot, thebookingagency.com 05/02/03
Stephen Bailey, EPACC & Deleware Center For The Arts 02/06/04
Cary Baker, Conqueroo 05/11/11
Vince Bannon, Getty Images 07/05/11
Phil Barber, Barber & Associates 02/04/01
Camille Barbone, WineDark Records 12/09/05
Erin Barra, Musician/Producer/Educator 07/10/14
Ben Baruch, The Fox Theatre 09/27/08
Ben Baruch, By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess) 04/05/17
Paul Bassman, Ascend Insurance Brokerage 08/03/16
Adam Bauer, Fleming, Tamulevich & Associates 02/15/02
Ed Bazel, That's Entertainment International 10/05/01
Joachim Becker, ZOHO Music L.L.C. 01/12/07
Howard Becker, Comet Technologies 05/02/11
Mark Bego, Author 06/15/07
Jim Beloff, Flea Market Music 09/20/10
Richard Bengloff, The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) 09/12/13
Seth Berg, South Bay Music 01/30/09
Aimee Berger, 2 Generations SPA Music Management 09/24/04
David Berger, Future Beat 10/29/14
Barry Bergman, Music Managers Forum 03/14/03
Steve Bernstein, Relix LLC 09/30/05
Mark Berry, Attack Media Group 04/07/07
Scott Billington, Rounder Records 01/17/12
Jeffrey Bischoff, Cinder Block 03/24/06
Sat Bisla, A&R Worldwide/ Musexpo 03/29/10
Nina Blackwood, Sirius Satellite Radio 07/14/06
Adam Block, Legacy Recordings 11/07/13
P.J. Bloom, Neophonic, Inc. 01/24/11
Rishon Blumberg, Brick Wall Management 06/27/03
Justin Bolognino, Learned Evolution, and The Meta Agency 04/25/13
Steve "Chopper" Borges, Total Pro and Borse Techos 03/03/06
Les Borsai, Mediocre Management 01/30/04
Shane Bourbonnais, Live Nation Canada 03/21/08
Jeff Bowen, Sears Centre Arena 03/13/08
Rick Bowen, Mystic Music Experience 07/11/08
John Boyle, Sanctuary Music Group 03/19/04
Jeff & Todd Brabec, Writers/Attorneys 01/03/12
Bill Bragin, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 08/08/03
Joel Brandes, Avenue Management Group 11/02/08
Joe Brandmeier, Moving Pictures 03/15/02
Scooter Braun, SB Projects 12/13/10
Ron Brice, 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill 06/08/16
Billy Brill, Billy Alan Productions 11/11/05
Doug Brown, Talent Buyers Network 09/21/01
James Browne, Sweet Rhythm 11/01/02
Bob Brumley, Brumley Music Company 02/17/16
Tony Brummel, Victory Records 05/17/09
Charlie Brusco, TBA Entertainment Corporation 10/13/01
Del Bryant, BMI 05/18/07
Cortez Bryant, Bryant Management 12/06/10
Bruce Burch, University of Georgia Music Business Program 10/09/09
Deborah Burda, Kentucky Exposition Center 08/03/07
Patti Burgart, IEBA 06/07/02
Jordan Burger, The New Musiquarium 01/22/01
Ron Burman, Roadrunner Records 08/25/06
Suzanne Cadgene, Elmore 05/19/06
Karen Cadle, KGC Productions 03/12/04
Gary Calamar, KCRW 07/10/09
Charles Caldas, Merlin 07/05/10
Brian Camelio, ArtistShare 02/29/08
David Campbell, AEG Europe 08/02/10
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Entertainment Group 10/20/00
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Resort Casino 07/03/03
Tom Cantone, Mohegan Sun 08/30/09
Ashley Capps, A. C. Entertainment 05/21/04
Rio Caraeff, Vevo 07/12/11
Mike Carden, Eagle Rock Entertainment 08/16/11
Charles Carlini, Carlini Group 05/16/08
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 05/27/05
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 01/10/11
Troy Carter, Coalition Media Group 06/07/10
Daniel Catullo, Coming Home Studios 06/22/08
Raffi Cavoukian, Folk Singer/Children's Entertainer 05/11/16
Jeffrey Chabon, Chabon Entertainment Group 08/22/02
Mike Chadwick, Essential Music & Marketing 08/01/12
Rob Challice, Coda Music Agency 03/27/13
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 01/11/02
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 10/04/11
Lisa Cherniak, Artists Against Racism (AAR) 07/20/01
Bob Chiappardi, Concrete Marketing 06/13/03
Joel Chriss, Chriss & Co. 10/04/02
Michael Chugg, Michael Chugg Entertainment 09/14/01
Michael Chugg, Chugg Enterprises 10/02/09
Gary Churgin, Harry Fox Agency 09/13/10
Vinny Cinquemani, S.L. Feldman & Associates 12/13/12
Barry Coburn, Ten Ten Music Group 03/28/11
Matthew Cohen, Green Room Productions 10/19/01
Ted Cohen, TAG Strategic 01/10/13
Lisa Cohen, Associated Booking Corporation 02/10/06
Steve Cohen, Music + Art Management, Inc. 03/09/07
Dan Cohen, Music & Memory 01/12/17
Michael Cohl - Part 1, S2BN Entertainment 03/06/13
Michael Cohl - Part 2, S2BN Entertainment 03/13/13
Bryan Coleman, Union Entertainment Group 02/14/12
Mamie Coleman, Fox Broadcasting 07/05/12
Dennis Condon, Disneyland Resorts 07/13/01
Peter Conlon, Peter Conlon Presents 05/20/05
Tony Conway, Buddy Lee Attractions 10/06/00
Allen Cook, TOURtech 04/16/15
Tomas Cookman, Cookman International 09/05/03
Alex Cooley, Alex Cooley Presents 07/12/10
David Cooper, Foxman.com 10/31/03
Jay Cooper, Greenberg Traurig, LLP 05/23/11
Julie Coulter, Near North Insurance Groups 06/07/01
Amy Cox, Deep South Entertainment 02/09/07
Michael O. Crain, Crain Law Group, LLC 10/09/13
Charlie Cran, The Strawberry Music Festival 04/05/10
Jim Cressman, Invictus Entertainment Group 06/06/12
Russ Crupnick, MusicWatch, Inc. 07/23/15
Todd Culberhouse, Vision Management /Vision Records and Entertainment 09/05/08
Tony D'Amelio, Washington Speakers Bureau 04/21/06
Ray Danniels, Standing Room Only Management, and the Anthem Entertainment Group 03/05/15
Ken Dashow, WAXQ-FM (l04.3 FM) - New York 09/08/06
Hal David, Lyricist 07/26/11
David Davidian, Independant Lighting Designer/Director 06/18/04
Anthony Davis, D&L Entertainment Services, Inc. 03/02/01
Chip Davis, American Gramaphone/Mannheim Steamroller 05/31/02
Mitch Davis, Tempest Entertainment 07/16/04
Jeff Dawson, Canadian Recording Services 06/08/08
Desiree Day, USO Celebrity Entertainment 08/10/01
Shauna de Cartier, Six Shooter Records/Six Shooter Management 10/23/13
Gene DeAnna, The Library of Congress 02/21/12
Vincent Degiorgio, Chapter 2 Productions 08/01/13
Tony DeLauro, DeLauro Management 12/23/04
Valerie Denn, Val Denn Agency 04/30/01
Val Denn, Val Denn Agency 03/06/14
Robert DePugh, Alligator Records 07/29/05
Tom Derr, Rock Ridge Music 10/29/04
Paul Dexter, Masterworks Lighting Design and Road Cases 12/10/04
Marty Diamond, Paradigm 01/22/10
Glenn Dicker, Redeye Distribution/Yep Roc Records 07/07/06
Barry Dickins, International Talent Booking Agency 06/06/13
Jim Digby, Event Safety Alliance 09/01/16
Mark Dinerstein, The Knitting Factory 11/17/06
Neill Dixon, Canadian Music Week 03/03/16
Thomas Dolby, Musician, academic, technologist, and author 11/09/16
Jasper Donat, Music Matters 2009/Branded 04/24/09
Jim Donio, National Association of Recording Merchandisers 04/22/11
Marc Dottore, M. Dottore Management 04/11/03
Tim Drake, The Roots Agency 12/12/08
Mike Dreese, Newbury Comics 11/23/11
Charles Driebe, Blind Ambition Management Ltd. 09/22/06
Jeremy Driesen, Ray Bloch Productions 09/07/01
Michael Drumm, Music Link Productions 07/18/08
Angie Dunn, Lucky Artist Booking 10/13/06
Jay Durgan, MEDIAmobz 11/09/11
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver's Division of Theatres & Arenas 08/02/02
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver’s Division of Theatres and Arenas 08/23/10
Paolo d’Alessandro, International Solutions 06/25/14
Ros Earls, 140dB Management 02/19/14
Art Edelstein, Festival Productions 12/01/02
Bruce Eisenberg, Audio Analysts 08/31/01
Martin Elbourne, The Glastonbury Festival 12/18/09
Michael Elder, Red Entertainment 03/17/06
Tod Elmore, Sixthman 11/24/06
Paul Emery, Clear Channel Entertainment 11/19/04
Arty Erk, Citrin Cooperman 04/27/16
Joe Escalante, Kung Fu Records 07/08/05
Colin Escott, Music Historian/Journalist 07/18/11
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 09/27/02
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 04/24/12
Mike Esterman, Esterman Entertainment 09/01/06
Jeff Eyrich, BePop Records 11/25/05
Bob Ezrin, Bigger Picture Group 05/24/09
Lisa Fancher, Frontier Records 08/09/10
Rick Farman, Superfly Productions 10/15/04
Ray Farrell, eMusic 06/09/06
Sam Feldman, S.L. Feldman & Associates 10/25/02
Bob Feldman, Red House Records 11/24/02
Charlie Feldman, BMI 08/26/05
Paul Fenn, Asgard Promotions 11/22/09
Debra "Fergy" Ferguson, TourDesign 08/01/03
Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry 09/11/09
David Fishof, David Fishof Presents 01/08/01
David Fishof, Rock 'N Roll Fantasy 10/05/08
David Fishof, Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp 02/28/12
Mike Flanagin, New England Country Music Festival 09/12/08
Joel Flatow, RIAA 12/13/11
Jim Fleming, Fleming Artists 03/20/10
Joe Fletcher, Joe Fletcher Presents 01/12/06
Jeff Fluhr, StubHub 10/06/06
Nancy Fly, The Nancy Fly Agency 04/02/04
Arthur Fogel, Live Nation 08/09/09
Martin Folkman, Independent Music Awards & Music Resource Group 08/11/06
Belle Forino, Fantasma Tours 03/18/05
Fletcher Foster, Universal Records South 07/31/09
Sam Foxman, Contemporary Productions 01/06/06
Todd Frank, 4Star Entertainment, LLC 01/24/03
Bob Frank, Koch Entertainment 01/09/09
Larry Frank, Frank Productions 01/17/11
Mike Fraser, Record Producer/Engineer 10/11/08
Carl Freed, Metropolitan Entertainment 06/22/01
Elizabeth Freund, Beautiful Day Media & Management 01/26/07
Harlan Frey, Roadrunner Records 07/11/03
Adam Friedman, Nederlander Concerts 06/22/07
Ted Gardner, Larrikin Management 04/25/03
Daniel Gélinas, Festival d’été de Québec 05/23/13
Marci Geller, Sonic Underground 08/15/08
Chris Gero, Yamaha Entertainment Group 10/26/16
Steve Gerstman, SGS 07/19/02
Sandra Gibson, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/09/04
Sandra L. Gibson, Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/16/09
Steve Gietka, Trump Properties 07/30/01
Steve Gietka, SMG Entertainment 03/19/14
Darren Gilmore, Watchdog Management 03/17/16
Daniel Glass, Glassnote Entertainment Group 10/16/14
Jake Gold, The Management Trust 04/13/01
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 09/07/07
Harris Goldberg, Concert Ideas 06/27/11
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 04/16/14
Martin Goldschmidt, Cooking Vinyl Group 09/29/16
Harvey Goldsmith, Harvey Goldsmith Productions 06/28/10
Michael Goldstein, RockPoP Gallery 11/09/07
Seth Goldstein, Turntable.fm 09/20/11
Anna Paula Goncalves, CEO Global Brand Appeal 08/20/14
Arnie Goodman, Blue Storm Music 11/15/02
Wesley Goodman, Red Entertainment 09/16/05
Richard Goodstone, Superfly Productions 01/27/06
Christie Goodwin, Photographer 03/18/15
Rob Gordon, What Are Records? LTD 02/01/02
Steve Gordon, Entertainment Attorney 08/06/04
Yoav Goren, Immediate Music & Imperativa Records 06/10/14
Mike Gormley, L.A. Personal Development 11/10/06
Jonathan Gosselin, Gosselin Marketing & Promotions 07/02/04
Richard Gottehrer, The Orchard 04/10/09
Sean Goulding, The Agency Group London 09/12/12
Jerimaya Grabher, RPM Direct 09/26/03
Mary Granata, The Granata Agency 09/06/10
Kelly Graves, Providence Performing Arts Center/Professional Facilities Management 01/20/02
Stan Green, Stanley A. Green Lighting and Productions 12/12/03
Mark Green, Celebrity Talent Agency Inc. / Bergen Performing Arts Center 08/12/05
Jeffrey Green, Americana Music Association 03/10/06
Paul Green, The School of Rock 07/06/08
Benjy Grinberg, Rostrum Records 12/06/11
Brent Grulke, SXSW 03/06/09
Michael Gudinski, The Mushroom Group 10/29/15
Phil Guiliano, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. & OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/25/05
Steve Gumble, SBG Productions 06/16/06
Greg Hagglund, Vivelo! 05/07/04
Rodney Hall, FAME Music Group 11/06/09
Rob Hallett, Robomagic 02/05/15
Craig Hankenson, Producers, Inc 02/23/06
Kerry Hansen, Wynonna Incorporated 10/03/03
Eric Hanson, Ted Kurland Associates 12/20/02
Eric Hanson, Tree Lawn Artists 03/23/07
Rusty Harmon, MTM Music Management 12/06/07
Ali Harnell, Clear Channel Entertainment Nashville 08/15/03
Bob Harris, 02/06/09
Evan Harrison, Huka Entertainment 12/08/16
David Hart, The Agency Group 02/20/04
Laura Hassler, Musicians without Borders 12/02/15
Abe Hathot, Musician, composer, and music producer. 12/21/16
Steve Hecht, Piedmont Talent 08/29/12
Travis Hellyer, Mezzanine 09/02/05
Janie Hendrix, Experience Hendrix 02/01/10
Nona Hendryx, Rhythmbank Entertainment 06/02/06
Dan Herrington, Dualtone Records 07/25/03
Sara Hickman, Sleeveless/Stingray 06/30/06
Dan Hirsch, On Board Entertainment 04/04/03
Nick Hobbs, Charmenko 12/14/01
Carel Hoffman, Hilltop Live/Oppikoppi Productions 11/07/12
Ian Hogarth, Songkick 08/09/11
Gene Hollister, Rose Presents 04/08/01
Rusty Hooker, Rock Steady Management Agency 02/16/01
Jake Hooker, Hook Entertainment 05/10/02
Martin Hopewell, Primary Talent International 04/19/02
Tom Hoppa, TKO Booking Agency 09/29/06
Bobbie Horowitz, Times Square Group 01/04/02
Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages 11/01/11
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 10/27/00
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 01/22/14
Andi Howard, Peak Records and Andi Howard Entertainment 09/02/03
Barbara Hubbard, ACTS 09/12/03
Laurent Hubert, BMG US 11/12/15
Seth Hurwitz, I.M.P. 04/20/09
Ariel Hyatt, Author, and founder of Cyber PR 11/23/16
Mark Hyman, Ashley Talent International 11/09/01
Brett Hyman, Category 5 Entertainment 07/23/04
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 08/17/01
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 05/28/14
Doug Isaac, Super Bowl Concert Series Producer (EXI) 08/24/01
David Israelite, National Music Publishers' Association 11/29/08
Tom Jackson, Tom Jackson Productions 02/06/13
Jay Jacobs, Parc Landon 09/21/07
Larry Jacobson, World Audience 09/17/04
Audra Jaeger, The Management Trust 05/09/03
Ralph James, The Agency Group 01/31/11
Jeffrey Jampol, Jampol Artist Management 07/18/12
Jean Michel Jarre, International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) 06/19/13
Michael Jaworek, The Birchmere 05/08/09
Peter Jesperson, New West Records 11/03/06
John Jeter, The Handlebar 08/15/12
Mike Johnson, Groundrush Media 02/17/06
Mike Gormley & Jolene Pellant, Yes, Dear Entertainment 04/23/10
Susan Joseph, Justice Entertainment Group 02/21/11
Darren Julien, Julien's Auctions 10/25/10
Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson Guitars 09/28/10
Justin Kalifowitz, Downtown Publishing 04/20/17
Leonard Kalikow, Music Business Reference, Inc. 06/26/08
Craig Kallman, Atlantic Records 03/20/09
Steve Kane, Warner Music Canada 02/09/17
Danny Kapilian, Independent Producer 07/12/02
Mike Kappus, The Rosebud Agency 10/26/09
Andy Kaufman, Birdland 05/17/02
Wendy Kay, Mars Talent Agency 03/09/01
Lucas Keller, The Collective 03/22/11
Marty Kern, Clemson University 07/07/01
Carlos Keyes, Red Entertainment 10/08/04
Golnar Khosrowshahi, Reservoir Media Management 10/24/12
Martin Kierszenbaum, Interscope/Cherrytree Records 09/06/09
Barney Kilpatrick, Rattlesby Records 10/28/05
John Kinsner, The Walnut Room 03/28/08
Doug Kirby, LiveTourArtists 10/24/03
Steve Kirsner, Compaq Center 06/29/01
JoAnne Klabin, Sweet Relief 03/21/03
Andrew Klein, Revolution Marketing 11/05/04
Larry Klein, Producer, bassist, songwriter 03/13/12
Jack Kleinsinger, Highlights in Jazz 04/25/08
Ann Kline, Casa Kline 09/04/14
Brian Knaff, Talent Buyers Network 09/29/01
Kymberlee Knight, IEBA 11/16/00
Mike Kociela, 360 Productions 05/30/08
Stefan Kohlmeyer, Bach Technology 02/08/10
Lily Kohn, Microsoft Corporation 02/14/11
Tim Kolleth, Alligator Records 01/25/08
Al Kooper, Musician/songwriter/producer/author 02/06/14
Mitchell Koulouris, Digital Musicworks International, Inc. 02/11/05
Mark Krantz, John Schreiber Group 06/15/01
Jeff Krasno, Velour Music Group 11/19/07
Jeffrey Kruger, The Kruger Organisation 01/25/02
Harvey Kubernik, Author/historian/music journalist 08/20/15
Ted Kurland, Ted Kurland Associates 01/15/01
Jordan Kurland, Zeitgeist Artist Management 08/23/11
Carianne Laguna, Blackheart Records 03/07/08
Brady Lahr, Kufala Recordings 04/30/04
Ernie Lake, EL Records 01/19/07
Roks Lam, Wolfman Jack Entertainment 12/17/04
Anni Lam, Parc Landon 06/29/07
Gary Lane, CenterLane Attractions 10/14/05
Tom LaPenna, Lucky Man Productions 09/10/04
Camilo Lara, EMI Music Mexico/MIS 08/10/07
Gary Lashinsky, Lipizzaner Tours 05/13/05
Gregg Latterman, Aware Records 12/13/02
Tony Laurenson, Eat to the Beat 02/27/04
Emily Lazar, The Lodge 10/15/15
Bill Leabody, Leabody Systems 06/10/05
Peter Leak, 24-7 Worldwide Management 03/28/12
Steve Leeds, SR. VP/Promotion/Rock Formats at Virgin Records 07/26/02
Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter 11/14/08
Carl Leighton-Pope, Leighton-Pope Organisation 07/05/09
Steve Lemon, Live 4 Live, Inc. 12/06/02
Randy Lennox, Universal Music Canada 06/24/15
Simma Levine, Disson Furst and Partners 11/10/00
Andy Levine, Sixthman 06/08/07
Rich Levy, Clear Channel Entertainment Properties 06/25/04
Eddie Levy, Chelsea Music Publishing 07/24/14
Myles Lewis, Denise Rich Songs 12/20/10
Adam Lewis, Planetary Group 01/20/16
Terry Lickona, Austin City Limits 03/14/11
Justine Liddelow, Stage and Screen Travel Services 08/31/11
Jim Lidestri, Border City Media 09/03/15
Larry Lieberman, 4EverWild 03/28/03
Eric Lilavois, Crown City Studios, and London Bridge Studio 12/10/14
Miriam Linna, Norton Records 05/18/17
Marc Lipkin, Alligator Records 03/05/05
Tommy LiPuma (Part 1), Verve Records 11/08/10
Tommy LiPuma (Part 2), Verve Records 11/15/10
Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud 10/04/10
Andy Lo Russo, The Singing Chef 12/16/05
Phil Lobel, Lobeline Communications 08/13/04
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 01/21/05
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 05/17/10
Julie Lokin, New Audiences 03/23/01
Dave Lory, Artemis Records 03/30/02
Max Loubiere, Tour Director 04/11/12
Mark Lourie, Skyline Music 03/08/02
Dave Lucas, Live-360 04/28/06
Joe Lucchese, EventJoe 02/23/07
Kevin Lyman, 4 fini 03/30/01
Kevin Lyman, Vans Warped Tour 05/23/12
Bubba Mac, 09/14/07
David Macias, Emergent Music Marketing 06/17/05
Kristen Madsen, Grammy Foundation and MusiCares 11/22/10
Larry Magid, Larry Magid Entertainment 05/04/10
Peter Malkin, PM Management 02/07/03
Toby Mamis, Alive Enterprises 02/12/01
Billy Mann, Green & Bloom | Topl1ne, Manncom 09/18/14
Tasea Margeolas, Multi Entertainment 06/23/06
Tony Margherita, dBpm Records 09/06/11
Bob Roux & Mark Campana, Live Nation 12/20/11
Lee Marshall, Magic Arts & Entertainment 09/13/02
Zach Martin, Radio Producer at New York's WAXQ-FM 08/30/02
Mario Martin, Gorgeous PR 04/27/07
Molly Martinez, Ticket Summit 2008 05/23/08
Paul Mascioli, Mascioli Entertainment 01/14/05
Michael Maska, Big Hassle 01/28/05
Ted Mason, Mi-5 Recordings 11/16/01
Steve Masur, Masur & Associates, LLC 11/21/03
Pam Matthews, The Ryman Auditorium 04/08/05
Terry McBride, Nettwerk Music Group 03/01/10
Michael McCarty, ole 06/20/11
Jim McDonald, McDonald Group 12/19/03
Virginia McEnerney, HeadCount 11/26/07
Doc McGhee, McGhee Entertainment 06/14/10
Camilla McGuinn, Tour Manager 08/24/07
Andy McLean, North By Northeast (NXNE) 04/01/05
Dennis McNally, Grateful Dead historian/publicist 09/06/02
Garry McQuinn, Back Row Productions 06/14/11
Ruthann McTyre, The Rita Benton Music Library; and president of the Music Library Association 08/31/10
Dick McVey, Musician's Referral Service 10/27/07
Katherine McVicker, Music Works International 01/08/15
John Meglen, Concerts West/AEG Live 02/21/13
Mark Meharry, Music Glue 05/28/15
Jorge Mejia, Sony/ATV Music Publishing 09/17/15
Dan Melnick, Festival Productions, Inc. 02/22/02
André Ménard, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 06/12/09
Bob Merlis, Merlis For Hire/Memphis International Records 01/16/04
Doug Merrick, Cumberland Talent Agency and Merrick Music Group 07/21/06
Louis Messina, The Messina Group 10/22/04
Louis Messina, The Messina Group/AEG Live 07/17/09
Louis Jay Meyers, North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance 03/30/07
Louis Jay Meyers, Folk Alliance International 01/23/09
Todd Miller, House Of Blues - New Orleans 11/14/03
Jeff Miller, Fantasma Productions 03/16/07
Ben Miller, Rock Ridge Music 11/02/07
J. B. Miller, Empire Entertainment 08/22/08
Richard Mills, S.L. Feldman 11/02/09
Marty Monson, Barbershop Harmony Society 07/07/16
Linda Moran, Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) 04/05/09
Jesse Morreale, Nobody In Particular Presents (NIPP) 09/20/02
Chuck Morris, Live Rocky Mountains 09/28/09
Mo Morrison, Independent production 05/24/02
Kevin Morrow, Steel Wool Entertainment 01/25/17
Nick Moss, Blue Bella Records 11/30/07
Jim Musselman, Appleseed Recordings 04/14/06
Natalia Nastaskin, United Talent Agency 04/13/16
Marc Nathan, Flagship Records 07/01/05
David Neilon, Rising Star Promotions 11/30/01
Don Neuen, Star Coaches Inc. 10/10/12
Dennis Newhall, DIG Music 10/07/05
John Nittolo, John Nittolo Productions 04/13/07
Ian Noble, Metropolitan Talent 05/23/03
Fabricio Nobre, A Construtora Música e Cultura 05/04/17
Josh Norek, JN Media, LLC 07/05/02
David Norman, Tour Manager 04/20/07
Mimi Northcott, Canadian Recording Services (CRS) 04/11/08
Bill Nowlin, Rounder Records 01/05/07
John Nugent, NY JAM Inc. 11/08/02
Andy Nulman, Just For Laughs 11/20/13
Sal Nunziato, NYCD 06/01/01
Bob O'Neal, Ryman Auditorium 06/28/02
Andrea Orbeck, Prehab Health and Fitness 03/15/10
Heather Orser, Toad's Place 01/29/01
Janet Oseroff, MultiMediaProperties 11/18/05
Marc Ostrow, Boosey & Hawkes 12/05/08
Riley O’Connor, Live Nation Canada 07/24/09
Jeremy Palmer, Buddy Lee Attractions 11/02/01
John Palmer, Megawave Records 08/31/07
Panos Panay, Sonicbids 12/23/05
Julien Paquin, Paquin Artists Agency 04/30/14
Graham Parker, WQXR-FM 11/26/14
Crispin Parry, British Underground 02/24/08
Donald Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 04/09/10
Donald S. Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 01/06/16
Bruce Patron, Overland Entertainment 07/28/06
Alexandra Patsavas, Chop Shop Music 09/27/11
Cheryl Pawelski, Omnivore Entertainment Group 09/26/13
Kerry Peace, Alligator Records 08/18/06
Eric Peltoniemi, Red House Records 12/14/09
Scott Perry, Sperry Media 03/11/05
Lawrence Peryer, Jr., 23 Omnimedia 11/07/08
John Peters, MassConcerts 06/07/11
Holger Petersen, Stony Plain Records 04/15/05
Jon Phillips, Silverback Professional Artist Mgmt/Controlled Substance Sound 08/29/08
Dave Pichilingi, Sound City 03/30/16
Vince Pileggi, Music Inc./Music Inc. Sounds 12/01/06
Eric Pirritt, Endit! Presents / The Fox Theatre 10/17/03
Neil Portnow, The Recording Academy 02/08/11
Louis Posen, Hopeless Records 04/04/11
Stephen Posen, Estate of Glenn Gould 01/23/13
Nadia Prescher, Madison House 06/20/03
Jeff Price, TuneCore 02/28/11
Tom Principato, Powerhouse Records 02/01/08
Roger Probert, Core Records 12/08/06
John "Grinder" Procaccini, JP Squared (JP2) 01/17/03
Mark Pucci, Independent Music Publicist 09/09/05
David Pullman, The Pullman Group 11/03/00
Rod Quinton, Saigon Sound System 04/18/11
Dolphus Ramseur, Ramseur Records 10/19/07
Jack Randall, Ted Kurland Associates 04/05/02
Jack Randall, The Kurland Agency 03/08/17
Debra Rathwell, AEG Live 05/03/13
Jeff Ravitz, Visual Terrain 02/08/08
Paul Reed, Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) 06/14/17
Rich Rees, M.P.I. Talent Agency 09/19/08
John Reese, Freeze Artist Management 08/01/08
Bill Reeves, WRIII, Inc. 10/20/06
Stephen Rehage, Rehage Entertainment 07/30/04
Lisa Reiss, Pearl Productions 08/17/07
Salaam Remi, Composer, producer, musician and label executive. 01/08/14
David Renzer, Universal Music Publishing Group 08/23/09
Alison Richard, Universal Orlando Resort 05/06/05
Kelli Richards, The All Access Group 02/07/12
Gary Richards, HARD Events 08/29/13
Sam Righi, Waterfront Entertainment Group 05/30/03
Jon Rinaldo, Joker Productions 01/02/04
Geary Rindels, Geary Rindels Enterprises, Inc. 12/05/03
Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI 01/18/08
Lisette Rioux, Island Def Jam Music Group 05/16/03
Dave Roberge, Everfine Records & Everfine Artist Management 12/03/04
Sandy Roberton, Worlds End Producer Management 02/20/09
Ty Roberts, Gracenote 01/31/12
Bill Rogers, BRE Presents 07/13/07
Ian Rogers, Topspin Media 06/01/10
Benji Rogers, PledgeMusic 12/19/13
Dave Rose, Deep South Entertainment 09/15/06
Eric Rosen, Ronald S. Bienstock & Associates 05/25/01
Stuart Ross, The Ross Group 02/23/01
David Ross, President IAAM; Director, Show Me Center 09/23/05
Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall 02/28/03
Michael Rothschild, Landslide Records 04/29/05
Robert Rowland, Red Entertainment 06/13/08
Bill Royston, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival 03/07/03
John Rudolph, Bug Music 05/24/10
Elizabeth Rush, E.R.A. / Elizabeth Rush Agency 08/20/04
Aran Rush, Expo and Foro Imperial 02/16/07
Maurice Russell, Harry Fox Agency 10/21/05
Barron Ruth, Skyline Music 02/14/03
Andrea Sabata, Skyline Music 01/07/05
Numa Saisselin, Count Basie Theatre, Inc. 02/04/05
Ron Sakamoto, Gold & Gold Productions 01/16/10
David Salidor, dis Company 07/20/07
Shaw Saltzberg, S. L. Feldman and Associates 06/21/10
Bruce Allen & Sam Feldman, A&F Music 12/19/08
Mark Samuels, Basin Street Records 06/11/04
Jacqueline Saturn, Harvest Records 01/21/15
Tamara Saviano, American Roots Publishing 07/22/05
Tamara Saviano, Author, journalist, and producer 08/18/16
Michael Scafuto, Mountain High Entertainment 12/07/01
Steve Schankman, Contemporary Productions 12/21/01
Steve Scharf, Carlin America 10/11/02
John Scher, Metropolitan Talent 11/21/08
Al Schmitt, Producer/Engineer 02/13/10
Bobby Schneider, Tour Coordinator, Third Eye Blind 01/31/03
Jake Schneider, Madison House 04/02/14
Steven Schnur, EA Music Group 07/03/13
Elaine Schock, Shock Ink 02/19/10
Stacy Schott, Mad Booking and Events 08/22/03
Daylle Schwartz, Revenge Productions 08/19/05
Dean Sciarra, ItsAboutMusic.com 11/26/04
Joel Selvin, Author and Journalist 08/07/14
Jay Sendyk, Sendyk, Leonard & Company, Inc. 05/03/02
Peter Shapiro, Ideal Entertainment 04/16/04
Seth Sheck, Access Pass & Design 01/03/03
Seth Sheck, ACCESS Event Solutions 06/22/16
Seth Shomes, The Agency Group 11/12/14
Jay Sieleman, The Blues Foundation 07/18/03
Anya Siglin, The Ark 03/05/10
Bill Silva, Bill Silva Entertainment 10/19/10
Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy Entertainment 03/06/12
Steve Simon, Clear Channel Communications 05/14/04
Ralph Simon, Live Earth 07/06/07
Ralph Simon, Mobilium 04/12/11
Michael Simon, The Harry Fox Agency 08/14/13
Ron Simpson, RCS Productions 01/11/08
John Simson, SoundExchange 07/15/05
Dion Singer, Warner Bros. 12/07/09
Gram Slaton, The Community Arts Center 02/25/05
Owen Sloane, Gladstone Michel Weisberg Willner & Sloane 10/11/10
Peter Smidt, Eurosonic Noorderslag & manager Buma Cultuur 07/17/13
Garrison Snell, Gyrosity Projects 02/23/17
Mike Snider, Paradigm Talent Agency Nashville 05/17/11
Andrew Snowhite, Musictoday 05/04/01
Bruce Solar, The Agency Group 05/14/14
Nikki Solgot, Circle Talent Agency 02/18/15
Michael Solomon, Brick Wall Management 05/25/07
Mark Sonder, Mark Sonder Productions 07/25/08
Steve Sonnier, UIC Pavilion at the University of Illinois, Chicago 09/03/04
Kathy Spanberger, peermusic 06/20/12
Carolyn Specht, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. and OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/26/04
David Spelman, New York Guitar Festival 10/01/04
Jason Spiewak, Rock Ridge Music 04/07/06
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 11/29/12
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 02/18/05
Jeremy Stephan, Ventures, LLC 04/23/04
Walter Stewart, Mars Talent Agency 02/21/03
Gail Stocker, Gail Stocker Presents 11/12/04
Jon Stoll, Fantasma Productions 10/13/00
Jesse Stoll, AEG 06/27/09
Henry Stone, Henry Stone Music 06/24/05
Jason Stone, Live Nation New York 03/31/06
Howard Stovall, Resource Entertainment Group 05/28/04
Cameron Strang, New West Records 10/18/02
Don Strasburg, AEG Live Rocky Mountains 02/27/09
Barbara Strauss, Sovereign Ventures 05/12/06
Richard Stumpf, Cherry Lane Publishing 08/07/06
Patrick Sullivan, RightsFlow 10/25/11
Bernie Swain & Harry Rhodes, Jr., Washington Speakers Bureau 12/07/00
Dean Swett, Paramour Group 06/14/02
Jake Szufnarowski, Rocks Off 05/02/08
Marc Tanner, Chime Entertainment 12/22/06
Donald Tarlton, The Donald K Donald Group 04/12/02
Tess Taylor, Los Angeles Music Network 08/09/02
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Chris Taylor, Taylor 03/15/09
Peter Tempkins, DeWitt Stern Group 03/16/01
Peter Tempkins, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 03/27/09
Lisa Tenner, Tenner & Associates (EAT'M) 08/06/01
Jeremy Tepper, Diesel Only Records 10/10/03
Allan Tepper, Bicycle Music Company 09/28/07
Martin Terefe, Kensaltown Studios 05/31/11
Milun Tesovic, MetroLeap Media 10/18/09
Mandar Thakur, Times Music 08/06/15
Jerry Thompson, Promoter Line Inc. 03/05/04
Jose Tillan, MTV Networks Latin America 12/02/05
Jon Tiven, Hormone Studios 08/05/05
Rob Tonkin, Marketing Factory 12/17/15
John "J.T." Toomey, 25/8 Management 11/15/11
Livia Tortella, Warner Bros. Records 01/10/12
Phil Tripp, IMMEDIA! 01/19/06
Claudio Trotta, Barley Arts Promotion 11/26/01
Chris Tsakalakis, StubHub 01/11/10
Ben Turner, Graphite Media 05/10/10
Steve Vai, Favored Nations Entertainment 04/26/02
John Valentino, Fantasma Productions 04/18/03
John Valentino, AEG Live SE 11/01/10
Don Van Cleave, Coalition of Independent Music Stores 04/09/04
Casey Verbeck, Partners in Music 06/06/03
David "Boche" Viecelli, The Billions Corporation 04/18/10
Marsha Vlasic, Artist Group International 05/31/17
Ray Waddell, Billboard Magazine 08/27/04
Rob Waggener, Foundations Recovery Network 03/07/11
Jim Walczak, Racine Civic Centre 06/03/05
Jeff Walker, The AristoMedia Group 08/16/10
Carla Wallace, Big Yellow Dog Music 11/04/05
Russell Wallach, Live Nation Network 03/20/12
Steve Walter, The Cutting Room 10/24/08
Neil Warnock, The Agency Group 05/02/09
Diane Warren, Realsongs 08/14/09
Butch Waugh, RCA Label Group Nashville 01/10/03
Lauren Wayne, The State Theatre 05/09/12
Kirt Webster, Webster PR 02/03/16
Ken Weinstein, Big Hassle Media 04/22/05
Bruce Weinstein, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 02/15/08
Larry Weintraub, Fanscape 05/18/01
Pam Weiser, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 10/11/11
Kevin Welk, Welk Music Group 01/24/12
D-J Wendt, Dmand Management 05/09/08
Alison Wenham, Worldwide Independent Network 02/13/09
Bill Werde, Billboard 08/03/11
Joel Whitburn, Record Research 11/13/09
Judd White, Tour Manager/Accountant 02/13/04
Jeff White, In Ticketing 12/16/06
Adam White, Author 09/14/16
Adam Wilkes, AEG Live Asia 10/13/16
Fenton Williams, 04/04/08
Del Williams, Right Arm Entertainment 04/18/08
Bryan "Birdman" Williams, Cash Money Records 09/13/11
Paul Williams, ASCAP 10/19/11
J.P. Williams, Parallel Entertainment 10/03/12
Kurt Willms, Green Room Productions 09/20/03
Chris Wilson, Heartbeat Records 03/02/07
Tony Wilson, Factory Records/In The City 06/01/07
Tom Windish, The Windish Agency 07/26/10
John Wiseman, XL Touring Video 05/05/06
Thom Wolke, Twincloud.com 02/08/02
Michael Wood, City Lights Entertainment 08/08/08
Keith Wortman, Blackbird Presents 03/22/17
Nigel Wright, Independant Record Producer 11/07/03
Dusty Wright, CultureCatch.com 07/27/07
Jeremiah “Ice” Younossi, A-List Talent 09/20/09
Gail Zappa, The Zappa Family Trust 10/02/14
Kevin 'Chief' Zaruk, Chief Music Management 06/10/15
Ron Zeelens, RAZco Visas 04/20/01
Rick Zeiler, Sidney Frank Importing Company 06/04/04
Danny Zelisko, Live Nation 06/19/09
Hillary Zuckerberg, Brick Wall Management. 07/09/04
Steve Zuckerman, Global Entertainment and Media Summit 03/22/02
Paul Zullo, Muze 01/23/04
Nanette Zumwalt, Hired Power 02/03/06

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