Ahmet Ertegün (83) - Co-Founder, Atlantic Records

Ahmet Ertegün (83) - Co-Founder, Atlantic Records

(Ertegün brothers - from Wikipedia)

Ahmet, Co-Founder, Atlantic Records, was injured after a fall at a Rolling Stones performance on October 29, 2006. He slipped and hit his head backstage while the band was playing at former US President Bill Clinton's 60th birthday party in New York Sunday 29 October 2006. He died December 14 and will be buried in his native Turkey.

Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Ahmet moved to Washington, DC in 1935 with his father Münir Ertegün, who was appointed the Turkish Ambassador to the United States and his brother Nesuhi. Ahmet Ertegün, producer Tom Dowd, Herb Abramson and others created Atlantic Records in the late 1940s as an
independent record company that became, with the added partnership of Jerry Wexler, a jazz and pop empire in the 1960s. Their first success came in rhythm and blues (R&B), with such artists as Big Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, The Clovers, The Drifters, LaVern Baker and Ray Charles. Regarding Ray Charles, Ahmet Ertegün is quoted as saying "First time I saw Ray I told him, 'You are the fucking end, you know.'"

Ahmet Ertegün wrote a number of classic blues songs, including Chains of Love and Sweet Sixteen, under the pseudonym A. Nugetre (Ertegün backwards). "A. Nugetre" also sang back-up vocal on Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle & Roll"!

His brother Nesuhi was persuaded to join Atlantic in 1955 and became vice-president in charge of the jazz and LP department. At Atlantic, Nesuhi produced records for artists like John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Les McCann and Hank Crawford. Both brothers promoted jazz concerts, founded jazz record companies, and organized jazz bands. Nevertheless, they were also open to more modern popular styles and worked with such famous artists as Bobby Darin. Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Sonny and Cher, Cream, Dire Straits, Wilson Pickett, Bette Midler and Li'l Kim. In 1971, Nesuhi founded WEA International, now Warner Music International.

During the 1960s, Ahmet heard Led Zeppelin's demo and knew they would be a smash hit after hearing the first few songs. He quickly signed them. He also convinced Crosby, Stills and Nash to allow Neil Young to join them on one of
their tours, thereby founding Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Ertegün helped introduce America to blue-eyed soul when he discovered the Rascals at a Westhampton nightclub in 1965 and signed them to Atlantic. They went on to chart thirteen top 40 singles in four years and were elected to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Ahmet also used his considerable personal skills in negotiations with major stars, such as when The Rolling Stones were shopping for a record company to distribute their independent Rolling Stones Records label. Ertegun personally conducted the negotiations with Mick Jagger, successfully
completing the deal between The Stones and Atlantic, when other labels had actually offered the band more money.