Spotlighting the contributions of a Middle Eastern immigrant to the cannon of American culture.
“Fifty years from now, people will still be listening to Led Zeppelin. They won't even remember me.” – Ahmet Ertegun, founder and former president, Atlantic Records.
Recently, I told a potential listener that this program was political in nature, as few other music anthology programs are attempting to ensure that the contributions of people of color and women are represented as important, significant and worthy.
The show you are beginning right now is similar in tone, but for a very different reason. It details the unique and singular vision of a middle Eastern immigrant, Ahmet Ertegun, the son of a Turkish diplomat who came stateside as a young man with his family and lived in Washington D.C., where he was exposed to Black people and their music for the first time. When the family moved back to Turkey, Ahmet, and his brother Neshui, stayed.
In October 1947, 70 years ago, Ahmet, with the financial help of a Jewish New York dentist, Herb Abramson, he founded Atlantic Records, which specialized in what was then called “Race Music”: the music of Black musicians, often looked down upon by mainstream record companies of the era.
(l-r) Ahmet Ertegun and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. Photo by and courtesy of Jean Pigozzi. Click on image to enlarge for detail.
By the mid-1960, as Rock and Roll’s first wave was supplanted by a new type of guitar-based rock music originating with British Invasion took hold Stateside, Atlantic jumped at the opportunity to forge a new identity apart from their R&B roots. It wasn’t just volume that was the difference, but an overall attitude that signaled a passing of the torch to a more progressive audience.
Take a trip through 50 years of popular Rock music with us today, all released or distributed by what may be the most important and influential record label in recorded music history.
Our tracks this program: Title, Artist, Source, Year
First Hour: First Part
1. Communications Breakdown, Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin, 1969
2. You Wanna Get Me High, The Donnas, Spend the Night, 2002
3. Bitch, The Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers, 1971
4. Round and Round, Ratt, Invasion of Your Privacy, 1984
5. Hot Blooded, Foreigner, Double Vision, 1978
6. Owner of a Lonely Heart, Yes, 90125, 1983
7. Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television, George Carlin, Class Clown, 1972
First Hour: Second Part
8. White Room, Cream, Wheels of Fire, 1968
9. Mr. Soul, Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again, 1967
10. Two Hearts Beat as One, U2, War, 1983
11. What You Need, INXS, Listen Like Thieves, 1985
12. Can-Utility and the Coastliners, Genesis, Foxtrot, 1972
First Hour: Finale
13. Whole Lotta Rosie (live), AC/DC, Live at the Atlantic Studios, Recorded 1977/Radio Promo 1978
Second Hour: First Part
1. Love is the Drug, Roxy Music, Siren, 1975
2. Whipping Post, The Allman Brothers Band, The Allman Brothers Band, 1969
3. Some Boys, Death Cab for Cutie, Codes and Keys, 2011
4. I Believe in a Thing Called Love, The Darkness, Permission to Land, 2003
Second Hour: Second Part
5. Caravan, Rush, Clockwork Angels, 2012
6. Closer, Nine Inch Nails, The Downward Spiral, 1994
7. Mouth For War, Pantera, Vulgar Display of Power, 1992
8. Supernova, Liz Phair, Whip-Smart, 1994
9. Big Empty, Stone Temple Pilots, The Crow: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, 1994
Second Hour: Finale
10. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (full-length album version), Iron Butterfly, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, 1968
Love to you all.
Ben "Bear" Brown Jr., owner
Ace of Spades PDX