African-American record executives - Includes related profiles of executives and hit makers - Cover StoryAfrican American record executives, including four presidents of major labels, control multimillion dollar businesses that are steadily increasing their share of mainstream listeners. A history of the Black music business and profiles of several executives are given.
Pumping up the jam for profits.
African-American record executives take on the music industry by charting new territories.Anyone who wanted to put a serious hurtin' on America's black music industry just had to drop a bomb on the Atlanta Hilton & Towers Hotel during the annual "Jack The Rapper" convention and reunion, a three-day star-studded event that attracted everyone in black music from top executives and hot producers to hangers-on and wannabes. But during the 15th annual gathering in August, the requisite deal making, networking and stargazing took second place to a historic event. For the first time the conclave was able to honor four--count 'em, four--black presidents or co-presidents of major record labels owned by the nation's leading record companies. Included in this prestigious roster were: Jheryl Busby of Motown Records Co. L.P. (see sidebar "The New Motown"), Ed Eckstine at Mercury Records (a division of PolyGram Records), Ernie Singleton of MCA's black music division and Sylvia Rhone of EastWest Records America (a division of Atlantic Records). Since this unprecedented event, history was made once again. Last September, Rhone added the titles chairman and CEO, plus an additional label to her resume. In a savvy marketing move designed to tap Rhone's knack of cultivating hot talent, Atlantic has now put 40 acts (black and white) under her charge. The newly formed Atco-EastWest label will offer rock, pop, rhythm & blues, jazz and rap. While the general public thinks of black music in terms of ...