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Ahmet Ertegun

by Academy of Achievement

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When Turkish-born Ahmet Ertegun (1923-2006) came to the United States as a boy with his diplomat father, he fell in love with American music. Rather than returning with his family to Turkey a few years later, he remained and started a record label to record the jazz and blues music he loved. Starting in a one-room office in 1947, the upstart label, Atlantic Records, became the premier outlet for the new sounds of rhythm and blues. Atlantic also enjoyed a reputation for treating artists fairly in an era when musicians, especially African American ones, were routinely exploited and cheated of their earnings. Atlantic Records made stars of Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, and its roster later expanded to include British rock acts such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. For his irreplaceable contributions to modern music, Ahmet Ertegun was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. The company he founded remains one of the most vital forces in the music industry. In this 1988 address to the Academy of Achievement, Ahmet Ertegun discusses his early life and the origins of the record label that changed American music.

Ahmet Ertegun
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  • Free
  • Category: Management
  • Language: English

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