Friday, December 15, 2006
Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records and one of the most enlightened people ever to run a record company, has died following a fall at a Rolling Stones gig, aged 83. The Turkish-born ambassador's son founded Atlantic in 1947 with Herb Abramson, perhaps one of the finest examples ever of a successful Jewish-Muslim business collaboration. Artists on his roster were among the best such as Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Booker T and the MGs, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and today, Missy Elliott and The Streets. Ertegun started off a jazz fanatic and later broadened his horizons to incorporate newer forms of blues-based music. Atlantic might belong these days to Warners, as it has for a long time, but the quality is still to be found on its label. May he rest in peace.