Iconic producer/engineer Jack Joseph Puig commemorates the music industry legend who helped shape the careers of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Led Zeppelin, with a playlist of just a few of the soul and rock classics he had a hand in creating.
He was one of the most influential figures behind the scenes of American popular music in the twentieth century. As co-founder and president of Atlantic Records, as well as record producer, songwriter and mentor, Ertegun was a prime mover behind the careers of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and many others. Admired by artists and music entrepreneurs alike, Ertegun passed away ten years ago, leaving behind a legacy of multi-cultural and multi-racial creativity.
Grammy®-winning producer/engineer Jack Joseph Puig remembers this music industry leader:
“In the days of rock & roll’s birth, Ahmet Ertegun was a true rock symbol and guiding light. Ahmet created a safe house and creative home for what turned out to be some of the greatest rock artists of the day, who have now become icons.
“I remember finishing a session one night and driving around a back private area of the studio to see Ahmet standing with the most two beautiful women on his arms, a brunette and a blonde. He himself looked like rock royalty. In today’s music world a lot of what we do is give confidence and a reason for executives to take a step and believe. Ahmet gave all his artists and record makers that reason and a chance to take that step. He was the pillar that didn't waver – he was the North Star.”
Ray Charles, “Mess Around”
Big Joe Turner, “Shake, Rattle and Roll”
Ben E. King, “Don't Play That Song (You Lied)”
Ray Charles, “What’d I Say”
Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters, “Let The Boogie Woogie Roll”
Want to read more behind-the-scenes insights from Jack Joseph Puig on America’s greatest record makers? Check here.