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Lucky

The Record Producers

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All the great artists of the fifties needed and outlet for their music, and someone to give them a start. There are many small record companies, and producers, that deserve the credit for bringing Rock n Roll to the masses. There are a few however who with their visionary ideas, and the record companies they founded, are directly responsible for the very foundation of Rock Music:

Sun Records ~ Sam Phillips

Phillips brought us the Rockabilly sound. He founded Sun Records in 1952. Sun Records grew from Phillips personal business, "The Memphis Recording Service" which served as the recording studios for Sun throughout the 50's. Phillips

recorded what is recognized as the first Rock 'n' Roll record. "Rocket 88" was written by Ike Turner, and performed by Turner, with his Kings of Rhythm. Sam Phillips is probably most recognized for bringing us Elvis Presley. In addition to Presley, he also introduced us to Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Chess Records ~ Leonard Chess

Along with his brother Phil, Leonard Chess founded Chess records in 1947. Historically, they are associated with Blues influenced music. Noted first for introducing us to greats such as Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, Chess went on to bring us Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, Little Walter, Etta James, Fontella Bass, and of course, the Great Chuck Berry.

Stax Records ~ Jim Stewart

Founded in 1957, in Brunswick Tennesee, Stax as a stand alone label and production company was producing early country music. Stewart saw that R&B was a more lucrative format, and changed courses, knowing little about the music. In association with Atlantic Records, and through it's many subsidiaries and connections, Stax was directly or indirectly responsible for such artists as Wilson Pickett, Booker T & The MG's, Sam & Dave and a multidude of other early R&B artists.

Atlantic ~ Ahmet Ertegun

The Big Daddy of them all. Also founded in 1947, by Ahmet Ertegun (who is a topic unto himself), and Herb Abramson. Later they were joined by Jerry Wexler, and Ertegun's brother Neshui. Atlantic's earliest contributions were Ray Charles, Joe Turner, The Drifters, and The Coasters. Through it's associations with Stax, Atco, Warner (who aquired Atlantic in '67), Atlantic records' influence has carried over to the present, most of that time with Ertegun at the helm. You can see here, entire lists of former and current Atlantic artists.

Of course there are many, many others. However, these particular men, with their vision, and their very real love of this music are in many ways responsible for giving us Rock 'n' Roll, as we know it. They deserve to be honored.

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Hey Lucky,

Maybe you should change the name of this thread. I (for one ) thought you were refuring to Mel Brooks "The Producers" but curiosity got the best of me, so I took a look. I have nothing to add right now as I did not read the post with a fine tooth comb, but I got the jist. Maybe later, pressed for time right now.....

Jim

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Hey Jim ... ;)

There you go, I took your suggestion. Please, when you get the chance, add your own comments and bits to this. I just picked 4 of the earliest producers and their labels. There are so many more!

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Any such list has to have right at the top Berry Gordy of Motown Records. Motown revolutionized popular music more than any other label, with legendary artists such as Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, the Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Martha & the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross & the Supremes, the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Jackson 5 and the Commodores.

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