Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ahmet Ertegun (1923-2006)

Ordinarily, I wouldn't make too big a fuss about a record company executive, but I do want to acknowledge the passing of Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, because he was a VERY important figure in Rock 'N' Roll.  He excelled at spotting talent, and is the man responsible for bringing us singers like Ray Charles, Bobby Darin and Aretha Franklin and groups like Led Zeppelin and my boys Black Oak Arkansas, among many others.  Speaking of Brother Ray, one of the funnier moments in 2004's Oscar-winning film Ray is when Ahmet (rhymes with Comet) first meets up with Ray Charles and Ray mispronounces his name "Omelet"!

Ahmet Ertegun died at age 83 from a head injury he suffered after a fall at a Rolling Stones concert in late October.  The man was STILL rockin' at age 83!  And ironically, at the time of his death, he looked a good ten years younger than Keith Richards! R.I.P. Ahmet...