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Paris, December 12th, 1997 MIDEM 1998 will celebrate ATLANTIC RECORDS's 50 successful years in business and will pay tribute to its founder, Ahmet Ertegun, who will be awarded the distinction of "Man of the Year"

ATLANTIC RECORDS was founded in 1948. History would have it that its founder, Ahmet ERTEGUN, borrowed $10,000 from his dentist to launch the company and began activities in a one-room office/recording studio.

Closely associated with the development of Black Music, ATLANTIC RECORDS quickly established itself as the leading Rhythm & Blues label and was highly instrumental in the crossover of black Vocal Groups towards a new white Rock & Roll audience.

Two important personalities worked closely and became partners with Ahmet Ertegun during the Fifties - the Producer, Jerry Wexler, and Nesuhi Ertegun, his brother, who went on to take the reins of the label's jazz activities, producing a series of historic recordings by such greats as John Coltrane, Charlie Mingus, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Ornette Coleman and Herbie Mann.

ATLANTIC RECORDS played a predominant role in the burgeoning music industry of the Fifties and Sixties, producing a veritable pantheon of Soul artists including Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Booker T. and The MG's, Sam and Dave, King Curtis and, of course, the great lady of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Notwithstanding the comfortable home in the mainstream marketplace that Soul music had now achieved, it was also during this period that ATLANTIC RECORDS recorded and developed groundbreaking white Rock & Roll bands such as Cream, Buffalo Springfield, The Rascals, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Led Zeppelin, The Bee Gees, Yes and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, to name but a few. ATLANTIC RECORDS also signed and developed a successful Pop roster including Bobby Darin,Sonny & Cher, Nino & April and Manhattan Transfer.

In 1967, the company was sold to WARNER, but Ahmet Ertegun remained CEO of the company and maintained artistic control of the label, signing The Rolling Stones in 1971, thus establishing a relationship that was to last 14 years.

In the Seventies and Eighties, ATLANTIC RECORDS continued to sign such leading performers as Roberta Flack, The Spinners, Sister Sledge, Chic, The Allman Brothers, ABBA, AC/DC, Foreigner, Genesis, INXS, Phil Collins and a host of others. A confirmed Francophile, Ahmet also signed an impressive list of French artists to the label: Mireille Mathieu, Michel Polnareff and Jean-Luc Ponty; StÈphane Grappelli also released numerous albums for ATLANTIC RECORDS and the great Edith Piaf saw many of her albums released on the prestigious label.

ATLANTIC RECORDS has consistently launched successful new talent - recently Hootie and The Blowfish, Tori Amos, Jewel, Everything But The Girl, Stone Temple Pilots, Collective Soul, Matchbox 20, Sugar Ray, The Corrs, Donna Lewis, Aaliyah, Brandy and Jody Watley, thus perpetuating the label's legendary history. Indeed, Jewel has remained at the top of the US album charts for over 90 weeks and sold over 8 million records in the US to date, proving that ATLANTIC RECORDS continues to be a force to be reckoned with.

Texas Music Magazine   Vol. 10  No. 1  January 2001





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