When you talk about people in the music industry who have had a profound effect on the sound and substance of popular music, Ahmet Ertegun's name could easily be at the top of the list. The second son of the first ambassador from the Turkish Republic to America, Ertegun's life was turned around forever when he witnessed a performance by Duke Ellington at the London Palladium.
When his ambassador father was assigned to the Washington, D.C.,
desk, Ahmet began spending time in local record shops and was especially taken with the businesses located in the black ghetto area of the nation's capital.
He and his brother, Nesuhi, staged some of the very first integrated concerts in the city's history and hosted the country's greatest jazz musicians at the Turkish Embassy.
He partnered with Herb and Miriam Abramson and coaxed his family dentist to finance what would become Atlantic Records. Though he had no experience running a label, one of his earliest signings was Ray Charles, followed by the likes of Bobby Darin, Sonny and Cher, the Bee Gees, Cream, Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash
This is an amazing tale of one of the most profoundly important movers and shakers in the music industry. Greenfield, a masterful biographer, details Ertegun's tempestuous relationship with record producer Jerry Wexler, the man who encouraged Ahmet to sell Atlantic Records in what "Would come to be regarded as one of the worst financial decisions in the record business."