Saturday, December 16, 2006

MusiQuote: Ahmet Ertegun, (1923-2006)

"I'd be happy if people said that I did a little bit to raise the dignity and recognition of the greatness of African-American music."
--Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, on his legacy.

Other stories about Ertegun:

Ahmet Ertegun Earned Aretha Franklin's Respect (All Things Considered, NPR): Ertegun helped discover and develop many artists, including Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin and Sonny and Cher.

The Amazing Ears of the Late Ahmet Ertegun (Morning Edition, NPR): "Ertegun, who died Wednesday at 83, had some of the best ears in the business."

Music pioneer Ahmet Ertegun dies at 83 (Associated Press): "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. "(Also includes a slideshow)

Rock & Roll Founding Father Ahmet Ertegun Dies at 83 (Rolling Stone): "Ertegun helped usher in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock & roll, signing Ray Charles and the Drifters to Atlantic and producing Big Joe Turner's original version of 'Shake, Rattle and Roll.'"

Ahmet Ertegun, Music Executive, Dies at 83 (New York Times): "By the 1950s, Atlantic developed a unique sound, best described as the mixed and polygamous marriage of Mr. Ertegun’s musical loves. He and his producers mingled blues and jazz with the mambo of New Orleans, the urban blues of Chicago, the swing of Kansas City and the sophisticated rhythms and arrangements of New York. "

A Mogul Who Helped Mold Pop Culture (New York Times): "Part of what Mr. Ertegun also heard in his cherished singers was the sound of the gospel church. Mr. Charles merged the beat and the call-and-response of sanctified church music with considerably more secular implications in songs like “What’d I Say.” Mr. Ertegun, who was born a Muslim, worked with church-rooted African-American musicians and Jewish producers, notably Jerry Wexler, on many Atlantic hits; that interfaith coalition helped forge soul music. "


A Pioneer. A Gentleman. And a True Original. Atlantic Records' tribute site includes photos, bios, quotes and a recording of Ertegun singing an early version of "Mess Around."

Rolling Stone and Rhapsody have compiled a mixtape of several Ertegun-related hits.

The Gospel Ghost (because if you read this blog, you know there's always one if you look hard enough): Although I'm interested in Ertegun's life/career because of my interest in African-American music history (aural fusions between gospel music/R&B/jazz/blues, etc.), I'm really intrigued by something I read: That Ertegun co-founded a gospel label, Jubilee, in 1946. Oh. My. Goodness. Anybody in the blogosphere know about this? I'm going to ask Friends-of-the-blog Bob Marovich and Bil Carpenter. I'll let you know what I find.