Ahmet Ertegun: July 31, 1923 - December 14, 2006
Ahmet Ertegun, a U-S immigrant from Turkey, was a founder of Atlantic Records. He helped popularize R&B and soul music to the masses.
See the red Atlantic label above.
In the spirit of Christmas, here's a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun written by producer/artist Narada Michael Walden.
"Ahmet, God shines down upon your precious heart and soul, His choice Blessings for the love you have given on a regular basis of your life. Our hearts are heavy with sadness because you were so Damn Cool.
You who've been witness to so many miracles in your life. The Birth of Jazz with Louis Satchmo Armstrong as its Father. The Discovery of the Genius of Soul Ray Charles. The making way of the new sound for The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
The promoting of the Hot fresh sounds of Joe Turner, Ruth Brown who joins you in Heaven, and a host of others who created early Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Soul.
You were not only there but helped make it happen. You and your Brother Neshway, who was always supportive of my career with Atlantic since 1976.
Ahmet, I love you for taking me under your wing and teaching me the ropes. You so loved Barry White and inspired Phil Collins with his message. You were a delight and knew how to charm the beautiful ladies.
I thank you most recently for introducing me to your long time friend Diana. She's beautiful and kind and knows you well. You kept us up with my friend Danni, till 4 in the morning at Kodak Theater bar explaining to us the history of Jazz and the evolution of music.
That Louis was in fact the Father of Jazz and changed everything with his phrasings and Genius. And that we should make the Louis Armstrong Story Film.
Then you'd swing over to memory lane where you brought sandwiches to the shivering cold Stones fans in London waiting for tickets all night long, to look out for them. How White people have always borrowed from the Black man's music.
How delighted you were that to this day, that the Black man's sound and influence from the streets is still profound and rules.
How to make Hits was still a big and major motivation for you even to the end as we were working co producing your Turkish artist and friend Tarkan.
So many things I can say about you my friend but in closing, I'll never forget your embrace with Stevie Wonder last year after the Grammies and your profound tears with him and your wife.
Brother Brother Brother, it is because of you , so many of us have had a voice and were able to be heard and loved round the world.
As you are so loved and beloved round this world and in the hearts of true music lover's everywhere. I will love and cherish you...
Your Brother Always, Narada Michael Walden"
"PS: I recorded 7 solo albums for Atlantic Records 1976 thru the 80's, and dozens of productions from my first of Don Cherry 1976 thru Stacey Lattisaw's, Let Me Be Your Angel LP and thru her career - to Sister Sledge, All American Girls, in the disco period (which later became the Hit "Sex Bomb" for Tom Jones)."
"Ahmet, You have always been a friend of mine."