JEWISH DOMINATION OF MODERN MUSIC
WHEN VICTIMS RULE. A CRITIQUE OF JEWISH PRE-EMINENCE IN AMERICA,
Chapter 24, pt. 3
Like the film, television, and publishing industries, the musical
recording business and general musical world is, and has been, in
virtually all its important facets, dominated by Jews.
Throughout the American geographical terrain, by 1998, Jews were
prominent in directing/conducting America's orchestras: Yoel Levi
of the Atlanta Symphony, David Zinman of the Baltimore Symphony,
Daniel Barenboim of the Chicago Symphony, Yaccov Bergman of
the Colorado Springs Symphony, Neal Gittelman of the Dayton
Symphony, Stephen Gunzenhauser of the Delaware Symphony, Leonard
Slatkin of the National Symphony (Washington DC), Gerhardt
Zimmerman of the North Carolina Symphony, Joel Levine of the
Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Victor Yampolsky of the Omaha Symphony,
Eugene Kohn of the Puerto Rico Symphony, Robert Bernhardt of
the Rochester Philharmonic, Philip Greenberg of the Savannah
(Georgia) Symphony, Gerard Schwartz of the Seattle Symphony,
Bernard Rubenstein of the Tulsa Philharmonic, and Joseph
Silverstein of the Utah Symphony, among others. [BRUNNER, 1998, p.
736] James Levine became head of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in
2001. The same year, a 25 year-old Israeli, Ilan Volkov, became the
youngest conductor to ever be appointed to head the BBC Scottish Symphony
(Per current Jazz, in 1998 the Cleveland Jewish News announced that "the world's No. 1 jazz group [is] Spyro Gyra. Meet the man who started it all -- Jay Beckenstein. The world-renowned musician and music producer and his jazz crew (Bekenstein and two other members are Jewish) have been legends since 1970.") [ALPEN, J., 5-1-1998, p. 46]
Jewish domination of the music world did not, of course, end with the
demise of Tin Pan Alley. As we shall soon see, Jewish influence merely
broadened. Tin Pan Alley (a term invented by song writer/journalist
Monroe Rosenfeld) [SHAW, A., 1982, p. 386] Jews were also
instrumental in maintaining popular negative views about themselves. "The
image of the Jews in the songs of the day," says Kanter, "was not
terribly flattering. Jews were presented as money-grubbing, hand-rubbing
old men who wore crepe hair and ran pawn shops. The Jews of Tin Pan Alley
helped perpetuate this stereotype." [KANTER, p. 57]
"Jewish women vaudevillians at the turn of the century popularized what is now a little-discussed and misunderstood performance venue, known as "coon shouting" ... Trying to break into the entertainment business, [Tin Pan Alley entrepreneurs'] aesthetics were circumscribed in a vehemently antiblack and xenophobic milieu. By the mid-1880-s they had formed a tight-knit Tin Pan Alley industry that came to dominate vaudeville and early black musicals ... Intended as comedy, coon song ranged from jocular and dismissive to cruel and sadistic ... Coon song sheet music and illustrated covers proliferated defamatory images of blacks in barely coded slanderous lyrics. For example, the 'N' word and associated inferences were dispatched in words like 'mammy,' 'honey boy,' 'pickinniny,' 'chocolate,' 'watermelon,' 'possum,' and the most prevalent 'coon.'" [LAVITT, P., 2000, p. 253-258] Especially well known Jewish "coon callers" included Sophie Tucker, Stella Mayhew, Fanny Brice, Anna Held, Eddie Cantor, and Al Jolson.
Jews have long gravitated to an entrepreneurial exploitation of the Black cultural scene and jazz music. As Burton Peretti notes:
"Aside from the hazards of the mob [organized crime] environment, the exploitation faced by jazz players was rather typical for this era [1930s and 1940s]. Jazz, like minstrels and ragtime before it, came under the control of professional promoters who sought to make music profitable. [They adapted] the technique of advertising, song plugging, and vaudeville ... Some promoters, like Joe Glaser (who managed Louis Armstrong in the thirties) were associates of organized crime who left the underworld when prohibition was repealed. Glaser apparently had overseen Al Capone's profits from the Sunset Cafe and a prostitution ring before he became Armstrong's manager in 1935. Many more promoters, however, were veterans of Tin Pan Alley, Manhattan's song-publishing industry, including Irving Mills, a former singer and songwriter who managed Duke Ellington's and other black bands in the thirties." [PERETTI, p. 147]
Glaser ran the Associated Booking Corporation, often "the
exclusive agent for many of the top Black performers. He became a close
associate of many of the top underworld figures in Chicago and New York,
whom he met through his band-booking agency." [MOLDEA, p. 14]
Glaser had been an early partner in the company with eventual MCA
chief Jules Stein. In 1962, mob-linked attorney Sidney
Korshak, also Jewish, gained control of the ABC company. [MCDOUGAL, p.
141] Mills and Paddy Harmon, owner of Chicago's Dreamland
Cafe, "sought and gained spurious renown, as Mills took partial
credit for many Ellington compositions and Harmon patented and gave
his name to a trumpet mute that had long been popular among Joe Oliver and
other black players." [PERETTI, p. 148]
"That practice of show business share-cropping ... in the 1920s and 1930s," notes the director of Harlem's Apollo Amateur Night, Ralph Cooper, "existed right on through the fifties and sixties. Its bitterness still exists among many performers to this day -- a bitterness from the theft of their songs, their sound, their talent." [COOPER, p. 199]
Jewish singers "Sophie Tucker, Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson," notes Donald Fischer, "performed in blackface at the beginning of their careers, singing black songs. They later built on their successes in this medium to develop national statures and professional sucesses with other music. However, their early songs were for the most part borrowed or plagiarized from African-American sources, with little or no public recognition -- or monetary reward -- for the creative talents that produced them." [FISCHER, D., 6-30-2000, p. 21A]
Jews were also prominent in the overseeing of the Black community's jazz life, including the control of musical clubs in Black neighborhoods in a variety of American cities. "The invasion of the Black community by organized crime lords with connections to downtown money," notes Ted Vincent, "was certainly the most sensational contribution to the loss of Black oversight of neighborhood dance halls and theatres." [VINCENT, p. 176]
"Slumming resorts" served a largely non-Black audience and "were noted for their riverboat decor, fake magnolia plants, and nearly nude dancers ... Perhaps the nationwide pioneer in the resorts was Isadore Shor's Entertainment Cafe." [VINCENT, p. 78] In Harlem, such clubs included Connie's Inn (owned by Connie Innerman) and the famed Apollo Theatre. "From the opening of the [Apollo] building in 1912 until 1934," notes Vincent, "the theatre was a showcase for white [i.e., largely Jewish] vaudeville burlesque shows, with white strippers coming to be the main attraction." [VINCENT, p. 189] The Apollo was eventually sold by "Burlesque Kings Hurtig and Seaman" to Sid Cohen and Morris Sussman, and then to Frank Schiffman and Leo Brecher. Brecher also owned the Douglas, the Roosevelt, the Lafayette Theatre ("the prime showcase for black talent in America") [COOPER, p. 44], and the Harlem Opera House located a block from the Apollo. [VINCENT, p. 189-192] Jay Fagan, and Moses and Charles Gale (Galewski), founded the popular Savoy Ballroom in 1926.
Mel Watkins notes the reputation in the Black community of dominant mogul Frank Schiffman:
"Schiffman was a controversial figure in black entertainment. Admired and respected by some, scorned and excoriated by others, he was rarely viewed neutrally. His Machiavellian approach to business is a matter of record, and most would admit that he was an unrepentant shark in business matters. He quickly eliminated his competitors and for decades eradicated all serious competition, which earned him the grudging esteem of other showmen. Among performers, however, the estimate was not glowing. Of his knowledge of black acts, John Bubbles [an African-American performer of the era] said, 'Only thing he knew was how to get people cheap as he could, and work them as long as he could.' And John Hammond, a record producer and friend, flatly declared 'Frank had no artistic taste at all.'" [WATKINS, M., 1994, p. 386]
Samuel Charters and Leonard Kunstad note the situation of another famous nightclub:
"The Cotton Club had opened at 142nd St. and Lexington Ave. in 1922 with a strict policy of white only. The owner, Bernard Levy, had pressed his policy, despite loud protests from the Harlem community. He used Negro orchestras and a Negro revue and ran it as a tourist attraction for society people who wanted to see a little of 'Harlem life' ... The club was forced to admit colored patrons during the next winter, but the prices he kept high and it remained predominantly a tourist attraction until the Depression." [CHARTERS, p. 217]
New York's Latin Quarter club (with eventual branches in other cities) was also owned by a Jew, Lou Walters, father of famous newscaster Barbara Walters; Monte Kay was the founder of the famous Birdland jazz club. He too was Jewish. Mobster Morris Levy later controlled the place. The Panama was one of the top two cabarets in Chicago. It was owned by Isadore Levine. [BRICKTOP, 1983, p. 53]
Bricktop, a famous international African-American nightclub manager from the 1920s-1950s, wrote about her time spent in Mexico:
"The most prominent of the wheeler-dealers in Mexico City's American colony was a strange, tiny little man called Blumey. He was A. C. Blumenthal, a financier who had his fingers in many pies. He was once married to Peggy Fears, a Ziegfeld showgirl. Blumey went to Mexico City to dodge Uncle Sam's tax collectors, and he was just one of many rich Americans who had gone to Mexico City for that reason. The others lived quietly and inconspicuously, but Blumey loved the limelight ... He had a stable of tall, beautiful girls who towered over him, and he could be found holding court every day in the Reforma Hotel, where he was the manager." [BRICKTOP, 1983, p. 223]
As Israeli scholar Robert Rockaway notes about a common undercurrent in such night life:
"Jewish Gangsters frequented nightclubs ... In fact, Jewish underworld figures owned many nightspots and speakeasies. In New York, Dutch Schultz owned the Embassy Club. Charley 'King' Solomon owned Boston's Coconut Grove. In Newark, Longy Zwillman owned the Blue Mirror and the Casablanca Club. Boo Boo Hoff owned the Picadilly Cafe in Philadelphia. Detroit's [Jewish] Purple Gang owned Luigi's Cafe, one of the city's more opulent clubs. Jewish singers and comedians, such as Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Fanny Brice and Sophie Tucker played in the mob clubs." [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 205]
Upset with outsider exploitation and degradation of the Black community (where many night clubs were located), there was an effort by the Marcus Garvey African-American movement as early as the 1920s to institute Black-owned Liberty Halls "where the musical offerings would be part of an overall effort at community uplift and not just a profit-oriented business." [VINCENT, p. 114]
(From France, even the international jet-set luxury playground/resort of "Club Med" was founded by Gerard Blitz, and built to power by Gilbert Trigano. Both are also Jewish. By 1999 the firm had 116 sites in 36 countries, now headed by Gilbert's son Serge. [REGULY, E., 4-25-88, pl. 24; MCDONELL, E., 5-1-99, p. D10] Hollywood's Roxy nightclub was founded by the Jewish
Jews have of course been prominent over the years as musical performers. These included three of the most influential band leaders of the 1930s -- Benny Goodman ("the King of Swing"), Harry James, and Artie Shaw (Arthur Arshansky). More recent popular names include Leonard Bernstein, Andre Previn, Arthur Fiedler, Stephen Sondheim, and many others.
As noted earlier too, by the 1930s MCA (Music Corporation of America) was a powerful talent agency, founded by Jules Stein and built later to power by Sidney Sheinbein and Lew Wasserman, who ultimately became one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Ronald Brownstein observes that:
"By the mid-1930s, MCA controlled many of the country's most popular bands, from Tommy Dorsey to Artie Shaw." [BROWNSTEIN, p. 181] For years, MCA's Jules Stein, adds Michale Pye, "ran the music business so toughly that no dance hall would stand against him." [PYE, p. 18-19] In a 1946 antitrust trial that MCA lost, a Los Angeles federal judge "declared that MCA held a virtual monopoly over the entertainment business." The presiding judge also stated that MCA was "the Octopus ... with tentacles reaching out into all phases and grasping everything in show business." [MOLDEA, p. 2, 3] "The one man," notes non-Jewish band leader Guy Lombardo, "who probably more than any other solidified the business and hastened the era of the Big Bands was Jules Stein. He had started his Music Corporation of America in Chicago and to that city gravitated bands from all over the country, seeking the buildup and engagements they would get if MCA took them in the fold." Lombardo was also under contract to Stein. [LOMBARDO, G., 1975, p. 153]
Stein even wrote an introduction to Lombardo's autobiography. For years MCA increasingly interfaced with Chicago's Mafia and other underworld personalities. Seemingly omnipresent in Hollywood was lawyer Sidney Korshak. "A close friend of Stein's and Wasserman's," says Dan Moldea, "Korshak quickly became one of the most powerful influences in the entertainment industry and in California politics ... [MOLDEA, p. 5] ... Korshak ... has been described by federal investigators as the principle link between the [Hollywood] legitimate business world and organized crime." [MOLDEA, p. 2]
And rock and roll? The Jewish foundation continued. "The most famous and important [rhythm and blues disc jockey]," note Steve Chapple and Reebee Garofalo, "was ... Alan Freed, the father of Rock 'n' Roll ... Freed was credited with co-writing fifteen rock and rock hits including Chuck Berry's 'Maybelline,' but he did little more than promote any of them." [CHAPPLE, p. 56-57] A biography of Freed notes that "by 1956, there was no bigger name in rock and roll than Freed, except Elvis Presley." [JACKSON, p. ix] (Another of America's best known early disc jockeys was also Jewish, Murray the K, aka Murray Kaufman).
In 1960, Freed was indicted for accepting $30,000 in bribes to play songs at his radio station. "[Freed] grabbed the kids and led them to the great rock candy mountain," says Albert Goldman, "He named their music, coined its us-against-them rhetoric, created rock show biz, including the package tour ... Alan Freed is really one of the principal exhibits in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Ill Fame ... [He] was not only a crook but a self-righteous hypocrite. Even [Freed's manager] Morris Levy [with deep ties to the criminal underworld, particular the Mafioso Gigante family] had to concede that the 'Father of Rock 'n' Roll' was not a nice man. Speaking as one Jew to another Jew about a third Jew, Levy said simply: 'He could have been another Hitler.'" [GOLDMAN, p. 519-520]
In a book about the Atlantic Records empire (later swallowed by Warners), Dorothy Wade and Justine Picardie noted Morris Levy and the kinds of people that populated the rock and roll industry:
"The truth is, with or without mob connections, Morris Levy was much more typical of the new music moguls than either [non-Jewish] Ahmet Ertegun or [Jewish] Jerry Wexler ... The world in which Atlantic had to survive was populated largely by hoodlums and hustlers." [WADE, p. 57] As Syd Nathan, the owner of King Records, once said, "You want to be in the record business? The first thing you learn is that everyone is a liar." [WADE, p. 60] "The early rhythm and blues companies were run by a fraternity of Jews ... They were tough and they were shrewd -- some say unscrupulous -- and they were alternately loved, despised, respected, and feared. The deep bond of these cultural outsiders prompted one gentile, mild rebuke in his voice, to comment that 'Yiddish was the second language of the record business." [COHODAS, N., p. 3-4, 2000]
"To the general public," notes Steve Chapple and Reebee Garofalo, "the music business seems to have a tremendous amount of corruption." [CHAPPLE, p. 226] "I think in Hollywood," media psychologist Stuart Fischel of California State University at Los Angeles told the Los Angeles Times in 1993, "people get into a kind of mind meld. You can come in as a relatively moral and ethical person, but eventually [Hollywood] produces a re-socializing of a subculture with different norms and ethics based on hedonism and materialism. It's hard to know what's going to breach the bounds of acceptable criminality in Hollywood." [ELLER, p. B8, B11]
Aside from drugs, prostitution, and all the other extracurricular norms of the interrelated music, film, and television worlds of Hollywood, just at the most basic business level, "payola [bribery] has been a key factor in the establishment of major artists," says Roger Karshner, "the evolution of publishing dynasties and the creation of recording empires. Payola, layola, and taking care of business are the ABC's of the music industry past and present. It has taken many forms, and many publishers, artists, managers, and record people at all levels have participated in payola practices." [KARSHNER, p. 39]
Probably the most important early rhythm and blues recording company was Chess Records, founded by Leonard and Phillip Chess, Jewish immigrants from Poland. They started out with a scrap metal business in the ghetto, then moved into the liquor business, eventually owning several bars in the Black neighborhoods of South Chicago, including the large Macamba Club, which was "reputedly a prime center for prostitution and heavy drug dealing." [DIXON, p. 78]
The Chess brothers soon recognized a profitable opportunity open to them with the many Black musical acts that played at their nightclubs; the entrepreneurs soon embarked upon a recording business, eventually producing blues, gospel, and rock and rock music. Seminal Black artists who signed on to the Chess label included Bo Diddley, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Chuck Berry, and many others. Berry's songs were among the most influential in rock and roll history.
"Some people have called Leonard and Phillip Chess visionaries who recognized the potential in the visceral blues of post-World War II Chicago, "says Don Snowden, who co-wrote the auto-biography of bluesman Willie Dixon, "A far greater number have branded the Chess brothers as exploiters who systematically took advantage of the artists who created that music." [DIXON, p. 78] The Rolling Stones even found seminal bluesman Muddy Waters still painting the Chess's home when they came to record in Chicago. [WADE, p. 71]
Frank Schiffman, owner of a number of musical venues in New York's Harlem area, "was a ruthless competitor who would do anything, including take advantage of his black employees and exploit the great black artists who worked for him, in order to increase his profits and beat down the opposition." [COOPER, p. 44] "Remember [Black singer] Little Eva Boyd?" asks Ralph Cooper, "She worked as a babysitter for two Tin Pan Alley [Jewish] rock and roll writers, Carole King and Gerry Goffen. They wrote a song called 'Loco-Motion' and they asked her to sing it ... Now  she lives in North Carolina, where her people are from. She's a working mother on welfare. She works in a barbeque kitchen as a cook." [COOPER, p. 196]
In 1997, Black singer Darlene Love won a lawsuit for back royalties against famous Jewish musical producer Phil Spector. (Originally awarded $263,000, it was later dropped down to $130,000.) Love was the anonymous lead singer on a number of 1960s-era Spector productions, including He's a Rebel, Da Do Ron Ron, He's Sure the Boy I Love, and other hits. In the early 1980s Ms. Love found herself cleaning toilets for a living, but her singing career later flourished anew. [WILLMAN, C., 10-15-88, CALENDAR, p. 10; WARRICK, P., 11-2-98]
"I didn't know anything about the record business," said early rock and roll sensation Little Richard (of "Tutti Frutti" fame) about his rock and roll career. " I was very dumb ... I was just like a sheep among a bunch of wolves that would devour me at any moment. I think I was taken advantage of because I was uneducated. I think I was treated inhumane ... I think I was treated wrong and many people got rich out of the style of music I created. They are all millionaires, writ many times, and nobody offered me nothing." [WADE, p. 74] Dorothy Wade and Justine Picardie note Little Richard's lamentation, then add: "To which many, if not most, of his black musical contemporaries would add: Amen." [WADE, p. 74]
Among others, Richard had in mind the Jewish owner of Specialty Records, Art Rupe, who many years ago bought the rights to his songs for a paltry $10,000. Chuck Berry remembers being cheated by the Chess brothers: "[Phil Chess finally acknowledged] in writing that no songwriter royalties had been paid for three years on my Chess Records product ... [And in a review of Chess documents] I was surprised to learn that I had been paid the same songwriter royalties for an LP as I was receiving for a single record. Chess claimed to be unaware of this 'mistake,' as if they had never noticed that LPs had between eight and ten songs on them." [BERRY, C., p. 246-247]
"In 1974 Howlin' Wolf filed a lawsuit against Arc Music [the publishing wing of Chess Records, it was co-owned by the Chess brothers and two brothers of Jewish band leader Benny Goodman] [COHODAS, N., 2000, p. 37] asking for $2.5 million for unpaid royalties from his songs ... In 1976 Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon filed identical lawsuits against the publishing company, alleging fraud and conspiracy and asking to paid money damages and to have their publishing contracts voided." [COHODAS, N., 2000, p. 308]
In 1972, Martin Otelsberg became the manager of African-American musician Bo Diddley. Suspecting in later years that he had been swindled, Diddley filed suit against Otelsberg's estate in 1994 and recovered $400,000. As Diddley's lawyer (also Jewish) John Rosenberg noted, "This is a typical story that's happened time and again to musicians like Bo." [MORSE, S., 6-18-94, p. 28] Diddley complained of being cheated by the Chess brothers as well. "To me every nationality has a reason for bein' here," said Diddley, "an' mostly all the Jewish people own everything. They got all the money. Give him a thousand dollars, he'll turn it into ten million. How the heck they do it, I don't know." [COHODAS, N., 2000, p. 110]
The Jewish community, of course, isn't comfortable with this history. As Jewish author Neal Karlen describes one African-American depiction of the Jewish music hustler:
"In the 1990 film Mo' Better Blues, Spike Lee crafted an artful if blazingly anti-Semitic portrait of the fictional Moe Flatbush, an avaricious Jewish club owner intent on swindling black jazzmen. The ferretlike, Yiddish-spouting Moe, played by John Turturro, was seemingly lifted straight from the pages of the anti-Semitic screed The Protocols of Zions." [KARLEN, N., 1994, p. 145]
The Jewish agent-producer exploitation of Black recording artists in the early rhythm and blues era of the 1940s and 1950s (and later) was predominant and widespread, entrenching a Black hostility among many to their Jewish financial controllers to the present day. The following Jewish entrepreneurs were among those who founded record labels featuring mainly Black talent: Herman Lubinsky (Savoy Records); the Braun family (DeLuxe Records); Hy Siegal, Sam Schneider and Ike Berman (Apollo Records); Saul, Joe, and Jules Bihari (Modern Records); Art Rupe (Specialty Records-- its biggest hits were those of Little Richard); Lev, Edward, and Ida Messner (Philo/Aladdin Records); Al Silver and Fred Mendelsohn (Herald/Ember Records); Paul and Lilian Rainer (Black and White Records); Sam and Hy Weiss (Old Towne Records; Sol Rabinowitz (Baton Records -- Rabinowitz eventually became vice president of CBS International); and Danny Kessler (head of OKeh Records, a "cheap" branch of Columbia Records). Sydney Nathan controlled both the King and Federal record labels and Florence Greenberg owned the Mafia-influenced Scepter Records (featuring the Shirelles and Dionne Warwick.
"During the 1960s, Warwick gained fame singing [Jewish] Burt Bacharach-Hal David compositions such as 'Walk on By' and 'I Say A Little Prayer.' In 1985, she had a brief comeback with another Bacharach song, 'That's What Friends Are For,' sung with Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight.") [CNN, 5-13-02] "Those illiterates," Hy Weiss of Olde Towne once said about his recording artists, "they would have ended up eating from pails in Delancey Street if it weren't for us." [WADE, p. 70]
"Artists are pains in the asses,' [music mogul Morris] Levy said. 'A lot of them are just imbeciles. They're ignorant." [KARLEN, N., 1994, p. 146] "The record producers were white," says Nadine Cohodas in her book about the Chess brothers, "their talent for the most part black, many from impoverished backgrounds and few with much formal education, living in a society that regarded them as second-class citizens. The deals between the two parties were not the negotiations of peers. The relationship coluld be paternalistic, even condescending. At Chess it sometimes looked as though Leonard and Phil gave their musicians an allowance rather than a salary." [COHODAS, N., 2000, p. 4]
The history of rock and roll is, of course," notes Rich Cohen, "riddled with pioneering white record men who built careers recording, and sometimes, exploiting black artists: Morris Levy, that burly, cigar-smoking product of the Brill Building, allegedly stealing writing credits from Frankie Lyman; Herman Lubinsky, the founder of Savoy Records in Newark, New Jersey, throwing around nickels as if they were manhole covers." [COHEN, R., 6-21-01]
In Philadelphia, in 1984 lawsuits were swirling around WMOT, a company that "developed a reputation as an aggressive independent record producer specializing in the 'Philly sound.'" Formerly owned by Steve Bernstein, Alan Rubens, and David Chacker, it was acquired by Michael Goldberg, Allen Cohen, and Jeff and Mark Salvarian. Lawsuits even named Israel's Bank Leumi among defendants in a scheme to use the record company to launder drug money. The central player in this accusation was Larry Lavin, who was indicted as the "kingpin of a 13-member [drug] ring that allegedly sold $5 million of cocaine a month." [DAUGHEN, 1984]
By 1978 president Oscar Cohen of the Associate Booking Corporation presided over "the country's biggest black talent booking agency." [SHAW, A, p. 419, p. 133] Recurrent, "mobbed-up" Morris Levy even eventually owned Birdland in its heyday, the famous jazz club. [WEXLER, p. 130] Levy also controlled the Roulette Record label. Nat "the Rat" Tarnopol headed the Brunswick label (Jackie Wilson was one of its most prominent African-American stars). Tarnopol was indicted twice in the 1970s "for using payola, drugola, and strong-arm goons to get radio airplay for Brunswick recording artists." [MCDOUGAL, p. 366]
An early and important supporter of disc jockey Alan Freed and his own empire was Leo Mintz, who owned a large record store near Cleveland's Black ghetto. Even earlier, Eli Oberstein founded Varsity records in the 1930s, Joe Davis launched Beach records in 1942, and "Jake Friedman had Southland, one of the biggest distributing outfits in the South." [SHAW, A., Honkers, p. 236]
"The whole history of rock 'n' roll," noted the London Guardian in a review of Jewish author Michael Billig's book about the subject, "has been portrayed as white artists 'ripping off' black music. Only now [with Billig's volume] has the major Jewish contribution been acknowledged." [ARNOT, C., 10-4-2000, p. 6] Atlanta-based Mark Shimmel, for instance, is the CEO of LaFace Records, which headlines TLC, Usher, Tonik Braxton, GoodiMob, "and a raft of hot hip-hop artists ... He built his own company, managing talents as varied as John Denver and Broadway composer Frank Wildhorn ... He doesn't worry much about what he calls 'the white guy in the black music business.'" He has also worked with Huey Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Ray Charles, and former Eagle Don Henley. [POLLAK, S., 1-7-00]
Looking to the Hispanic record market, George Goldner founded the Tico, Rama, and Vee record companies; he also owned a number of Latino-oriented dance halls. Goldner later founded the Mafia-influenced Red Bird label. (Goldner once hired a team of whores to service a deejay convention. He "had the girls arrive a day early, to sit down and go over his new releases with them. The idea was for the girls to whisper the names of those records in the jock's ear while they were making love." [ELIOT, M., p. 49]
By the 1970s, Joseph, Stanley, and Kenneth Cayre (of New York's Jewish Sephardic community) owned the Salsoul record label. It was worth $49 million in sales and held a 70% share of the Latino record market. [UPBIN, 11-10-99] In the folk music genre, Albert Grossman managed the career of Peter Paul and Mary ("known affectionately in the trade as 'two rabbis and a hooker.'" [PHILLIPS, M., 1986, p. 16] "This established his reputation as a star maker," notes Anthony Scaduto, "as some kind of genius manager, even as he was being criticized for commercializing folk and for being an excessively sharp operator." [SCADUTO, p. 106]
Israel Young ran the Folklore Center in New York's Greenwich Village in the 1960s. Fred Weintraub owned the well-known Bitter End nightclub. Manny Roth ran Cafe Wha? Among the prominent Jewish folksingers of the era were Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Jack Elliott, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary), David Blue (Cohen), and two (Fred Hellerman and Ronnie Gilbert) of the four Weavers. Ballad singer Leonard Cohen had a grandfather who was the first president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Moe Asch (whose father, Sholem, was "the most widely read Yiddish writer of the twentieth century") [GOLDSMITH, P., p. 1] headed Folkway Records, the label that released recordings by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger (manager: Harold Levanthal), Doc Watson, Black blues artist Leadbelly, Josh White, Black poet Langston Hughes, and ethnic performers from around the world. (Woody Guthrie's wife, Marjorie Gleenblatt Mazia, was Jewish, and their child, Cathy Ann, was "raised as a Jew." [POLLAK, O, p. 12])
Guthrie even lived with Marjorie in a Jewish neighborhood in Coney Island. Asch got into the recording business with a connection to David Sarnoff, the eventual head of NBC-RCA. [GOLDSMITH, P., p. 60] A later version of Folkways was Verve/Folkways, which featured Tim Hardin, Richard Havens, and Jewish artists Laura Nyro and Janis Ian. (Nyro's original name was Nigro, and her name was changed for fear that people might call her "Negro.") [KING, T., 2000, p. 73]
Another Jewish entrepreneur, Maynard Solomon, headed another prominent folk-oriented record label, Vanguard, which featured Joan Baez, Buffy St. Marie, Eric Anderson, among others. Another folk label in Chicago, Flying Fish, was founded by Bruce Kaplan. Jewish popular musical performers are many and varied, including the Beastie Boys ("widely castigated for glorifying sex and violence") [ANDERSON, 1991, p. 173], Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Randy Newman, Carly Simon (one of the heirs to the Simon-Schuster publishing house fortune), Helen Reddy, Lesley Gore, David Lee Roth of Van Halen, Lou ("Take a Walk on the Wild Side") Reed, [BELL, I., 6-1-93, p. 12] and Mountain's Leslie [Weinstein] West. Donald Fagen co-founded Steely Dan. Marty Friedman of Megadeth is Jewish, as is Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane, Marc Knopfle of Dire Straits, Paul Stanley (Stanley Eisen) and Gene Simmons (born Chaim Whitz in Haifa, Israel) of Kiss, Perry Farrell (Perry Bernstein; son of a diamond dealer) of Jane's Addiction, Kevin Dubrow (lead singer of Quiet Riot), Slash of Guns 'n Roses, Geddy Lee ( of Rush -- born Gar Lee Weinrib), Eric Bloom (lead singer of Blue Oyster Cult), Robbie Robertson, Warren Zevon, Jeff Beck, Mick Jones (of the Clash), Gavin Rossdale (head of Bush), Jay (Blatt) and the Americans, Marc Bolan of T-Rex, Manfred Mann (Lubowitz), Norman Greenbaum, Phranc (a Jewish lesbian folksinger), and Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman of the Turtles. And on and on. Jewish interest in the subject notes that ukelele-rooted Tiny Tim's mother was Jewish, Donovan's mother was Jewish, Cyndi Lauper's father is Jewish, Country Joe MacDonald's mother is Jewish, Twisted Sister's Dee Snider's father was Jewish and on and on. [JEWHOO, 2000; BOUCHER, G., 4-17-01, p. 62; TAYLOR, L., 12-27-00, p. F5]] Even the 1998 "Eurovision Song Contest winner" -- featuring an event watched by 100 million people in 33 countries -- was Israeli transsexual Dana International, born Yaran Cohen).
Not Jewish? Want to make it in the music business? Enhance your chances by learning Yiddish:
"Even gentiles learned to salt their language with pinches of Yiddish, the industry's vernacular. Courtney Love, not long before her own major label debut at Geffen Records, began boning up with the help of Leo Rosten's The Joys of Yiddish. 'I'm going to blow the minds of all those shemedricks at the record company,' Courtney said. She would even sometimes refer to her dispute with Kat [of the all-female band Babes in Toyland] over who was the first to wear a baby-doll dress onstage as 'that shmatte' controversy.'" [KARLEN, N., 1994, p. 146]
From France, singer Sergio Gainsbourg [born Lucien Ginzburg] "is still most famous in Britain for his number one 'Je t'aime moi non plus': the scandalous anthem which was in the British charts 30 years ago. He and [actress Jane] Birkin simulated their lovemaking so effectively that the single was banned by the BBC and formally condemned by the Vatican ...Yet Gainsbourg is the greatest popular musician France has ever produced ... Echoes of his favourite technique, of murmuring profanities against a delicate and beautiful harmony, can be heard in many contemporary records, not least the later work of Leonard Cohen ... Towards the end of his life, the singer's media apparances beame ritual provocations: in one television broadcast, he subjected a veteran paratrooper -- horrified by Gainsbourg's dub version of the Marseillaise -- to a torrent of obscenities, pausing only occasionally, to inflate condoms. On another notorious live show, sharing a platform with a young Whitney Houston, Gainsbourg, then 58, turned to the presenter Michel Drucker and declared, in English, 'I want to fuck her.'" [CHALMERS, R., 1-4-00]
The magazine "Bible" of rock and roll music, Rolling Stone, was also founded by Jewish entrepreneur Jann Wenner [see elsewhere, Mass Media chapters]. Wenner also is "the single most important person behind" Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. [HINCKLEY, D., p. 9] Joel Siegel, later prominent as a film critic, was also "TV's first rock and roll reporter." [SLEWINSKI, C., 3-23-99, p. 102]
Jerry Wexler, the Jewish co-director of Atlantic Records -- remembers with fondness the early rhythm and blues and rock and roll industry years with a curious perspective: "How well I remember those labels and the grizzled infighters who owned them. Exclusive (Leon and Otis Rene), Modern (the Biharis), Imperial (Lew Chudd), Specialty (Art Rupe), Old Towne (Hymie Weiss), Herald/Ember (Al Silver), Chess (the brothers Chess), and on and on into the night -- memorable logos, all. I am reminded of the tribes of the Sinai desert -- the Hittites, the Moabites, the Midianites, the Amorites. Gone, perished, vanished from the face of the earth. Only one survived -- the Hebrews." [WEXLER, p. 183]
Wexler's written memories also include stories about other fellow Jews in the later music world, including the music editor of Billboard, Paul Ackerman; his early Jewish bosses at MGM Records -- Abe Olman and Mitch Miller, and A&R men Harry Myerson at RCA and Morty Palitz at Decca; and Nat Shapiro, the promotion man at Atlantic. "What [Wexler] achieved at Atlantic makes him a key figure in the history of post-war black masterworks." [HOSKYNS, p. 10] Among Wexler's most famous Black talents were Aretha Franklin. Also, "throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Jerry Wexler worked with several of the most influential R&B singers ever to hit the charts: Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Clyde McPhatter, the Drifters, Joe Tex, Ray Charles, Ruth Brown, the Clovers, Joe Turner, and La Vern Baker, to name a few. Rolling Stone has gone so far as to christen him 'the Godfather of Rhythm and Blues.'" [BEGO, M., 1989, p. 90]
In the building of Atlantic Records to power, non-Jewish co-founder Ahmet Ertegun feared collusion between Wexler and two Jewish songwriters, Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, to oust him. [HOSYKYNS, p. 10] (Jerry Greenberg was also "one of Ertegun's top lieutenants at Atlantic." [KING, T., p. 166] Jewish mogul David Geffen once tried to create a rumor that Ertegun was anti-Semitic which "could hurt Ertegun's business." [KING, T., 2000, p. 292]
In 1992, Bill McKibben noted an interesting piece of music trivia that he had heard about on television:
"Neil Sedaka went to the same high school as Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand, and while he was there he wrote a song about a girl called Carole Klein who went on to become Carole King and of course had several number one records." [MCKIBBEN, p. 20] The author doesn't mention it, but, rather curiously, aside from the fact that they all became famous pop singers, they were also all Jewish. In fact, in the early 1960s, Don Kirschner and partner Al Nevins had a company called Aldon Music as a kind of last outpost of the seminal Tin Pan Alley complex at the so-called "Brill Building" in New York City. Their hirees (mainly song writers at that time) were virtually all Jewish, including Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weill, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, and Howard Greenflens. Later came Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman, Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller. [SCHEURER, T., p. 90] Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, notes Rich Wiseman, were "one of the hottest songwriter teams in pop." [WISEMAN, p. 31]
"To my surprise," writes Jewish author Michael Billig, "song after well-known pop song, revealed itself to 'Jewish music,' from [Elvis] Presley to the soft sounds of the drifters to [producer] Phil Spector. So much of the rebellion-music which I had loved in my youth and which seemed to be a window to a foreign, dangerous world, turned out to be a product of familiar surroundings. Surprise was mixed with delight." [ARNOT, C., 10-4-2000, p. 6]
In the 1960s era, the Beatles' agent/manager, Brian Epstein, was Jewish, as was the promoter, Sid Bernstein ("New York's leading promoter in the mid-sixties," [GLATT, p. 87] of their early Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium concerts. The head of Bernstein's employer -- the General Artist Corporation -- was Norman Weiss, also Jewish. A Jewish entrepreneur in America, Irwin Pincus, "secured foreign rights on six original Beatles recordings." [ELIOT, M, p. 127] These seminal tunes appeared on the Vee Jay label (which also recorded the popular Four Seasons) in the early months of "Beatlemania' in America. (Meanwhile, the state of Israel banned the Beatles from performing there in 1965 "for fear of the decadent affect it would have on Israel's youth)." [FRANKEL, G., p. 273]
Sandy Gallin (also Jewish and, like Epstein, gay) "shot to stardom after booking the Beatles for their legendary 1964 American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show." [KING, T., 2000, p. 93] "The daughter of prosperous furniture manufacturers in Sheffield," says Albert Goldman, "[Brian Epstein's mother] had been educated in a school dominated by Roman Catholics, an experience that led to her to attribute all her subsequent misfortunes in life to anti-Semitism, another trait Brian adopted." [GOLDMAN] "At age ten," adds Chet Flippo, "[Brian] was expelled from Liverpool College for scrawling dirty pictures. He and his mother attributed the expulsion to anti-Semitism." [FLIPPO, C., 1988, p. 143] Both Epstein's parents "were from prominent Jewish families in Liverpool" and he was an heir to his family's NEMS company: the North End Music Store chain, which was purchased in the 1930s. [FLIPPO, C., 1988, p. 143] "Brian didn't care that much about the Beatles' music," writes Flippo, "They knew that early on and he always acknowledged it. He had absolutely no experience in managing a group and the Beatles knew that. His contacts, such as they were, were with the business side of record companies." [FLI_PPO, C., 1988, p. 142]
Epstein, notes the Jewish Forward, was a "gay, Jewish record-department manager -- of the Liverpool store owned by his parents -- who met the Beatles and in little more than a year turned them into the most successful musical act in the world. The life of the Beatles' first manager has been familiar to Beatles fans for decades, though always as one of the sideshows to the record-shattering main attraction. With the focus reversed, some arresting tidbits emerge, such as when Paul McCartney explains his father's immediate approval of Epstein. 'He thought Jewish people were very good with money,' Mr. McCartney says. 'That was the common wisdom. He thought Brian would be very good for us ... And he was right ... If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.' MANDELL, B., 2001]
A biography of Epstein is entitled "The Man Who Made the Beatles." "While none of his performing artists were Jews," notes author Roy Coleman, "Brian veered towards the company of Jews in the music business, and some of his senior colleagues were Jews: Nat Weiss, Dick James [originally Richard Leon Vapnick], Dan Black, Vic Lewis, Bernard Lee." [COLEMAN, p. 345] Weiss became partners with Epstein in a company called Nemperor Artists. Another Beatle-based company (called Stramsact in London and Seltaeb in America) was formed, in conjunction with Epstein's lawyer, David Jacobs, to merchandize everything from Beatles chewing gum to wallpaper. Jacobs funneled considerable Beatles business in America to famous Los Angeles Jewish lawyer Marvin Mitchelson. [JENKINS, p. 85] David Jacobs, note Peter Brown and Steven Gaines, "adored the young Brian Epstein and took him under his wing. The two men were similar in many coincidental ways. Their families were both in the furniture business, both were born and bred of money, and both had doting Jewish mothers. Both were homosexual. David Jacobs became Brian's chief solicitor. From then on, all legal decisions and contracts would be made with David Jacobs' advice." [BROWN/GAINES, 1983, p. 122]
Victor Lewis, also Jewish, was the Managing Director of yet another Epstein company, NEMS Enterprises. The Beatles had a 10% interest in this company that was based on their profitability; Epstein and his brother held the other 90%. [COLEMAN, p. 305] As Decca writer Tony Barrow once noted, "As for hiring of staff, what John Lennon said to me upon our introduction -- 'if you're not queer and you're not Jewish, why are you joining NEMS?' -- proved to be pretty accurate. They weren't all Jewish, but that was the ideal combination of the two things that were most close to [Epstein] or his family's heart." [COLEMAN, p. 178]
Nemperor Holdings (formerly NEMS) was eventually sold to Jewish businessman Leonard Richenberg of Triumph Trust. "Trust became a 90 percent holder of Nemperor ... The Beatles were stunned that they had lost Nemperor." After various legal threats, they managed to reacquire it). [BROWN/GAINES, 1983, p. 322] The aforementioned Jewish businessman, Dick James, controlled the Beatles' publishing licenses and was their publisher at Northern Songs. James, note Peter Brown and Steven Gaines, "became the for the Beatles a symbol of the music business. He was a balding Jewish 'uncle' to the boys, a man with a big cigar and a sly smile, who taught John and Paul one of the biggest lessons of their lives ... John and Paul would form a songwriting partnership called Northern Songs ... Dick James, in return for his responsibilities as a music publisher, would get 50 percent of the earnings. In literal terms Brian [Epstein] signed over to Dick James 50 percent of Lennon and McCartney's publishing fees for nothing. It made him wealthy beyond imagination in eighteen months." [BROWN/GAINES, 1983, p. 186]
Chet Flippo notes the context of Epstein's death (an overdose of sleeping pills):
"There were immediate rumors then, just as there are rumors now, that Brian Epstein was murdered as the end result of one or another of the many business deals that he had cut regarding the Beatles. There were so many murky deals, involving so many people and so much money, that it could even have been a deal that he failed to do that might have resulted in such rumors of vendetta and revenge. Subsequent court hearings over the years have showed that the Beatles were probably -- there is no information for this kind of data -- the most underpaid superstar performers ever. Given thier worldwide acclaim and the milions of records they sold, one would have imagined that they were millionaires many times over. That was hardly the case ... As Paul [McCartney] especially had started to try to dig into the Beatle business books, which they had never even thought to do during the Fab Beatlemania years, suspicions of Brian had started bubbling to the surface." [FLIPPO, C., 1988, pl. 244]
Also after Epstein's death, in 1969 James sold the rights to the Beatles songs from under them. "It was the single most contentious deal arising from the Epstein-James era," says Coleman. "The Beatles were angry at what they regarded as betrayal." [COLEMAN, p. 306] Marc Elliot notes that James sold "his interest in Northern Songs to the notorious [British Jewish media mogul] Lew Grade, known in the film industry as Low Grade." [ELLIOT, p. 158] Epstein also had "good communication" with Grade's brother, Bernard Delfont, "one of the czars of London show business." [COLEMAN, p. 245-246]
Epstein also managed the career of singer Cilia Black. "After Cilia's performance [in New York City]," notes Brown and Gaines, "Brian threw a party for her in a hotel suite upstairs. The party was crowded with press and New York show business personalities when some woman within Brian's earshot remarked that the lobby of the Plaza Hotel looked 'Jewish.' Brian flew into a wild rage. The party came to a halt around him as he screamed, 'Madame, I happen to be Jewish!’.... It was a small miracle the incident didn't find its way into the press." [BROWN/GAINES, 1983, p. 183]
Moving in the circles of rich and powerful, notes Coleman, "Brian had struck up a particularly warm rapport in London with Bernice Kinn, wife of the owner of the New Musical Express. An ebullient, intuitive Jew, she and her husband Maurice formed part of the core of London's 1960s show business hosts and party goers." [COLEMAN, p. 245-246]
Another of Epstein's "close friends" was Lionel Bart (Beglieter), the Jewish song writer for many of pop star Cliff Richard's songs, and originator of the musical score for the musical play, Oliver! [PRESS ASSOCIATION NEWSFILE, 4-3-99] The Beatles' "official photographer" during their peak years (1962-67) was Jewish -- Dezo Hoffman. Paul McCartney's wife Linda (Eastman -- originally Epstein) was also Jewish. [GILBERT, G., 1996, p. 77, 172] Eastman's father also became active in legal squabbles between the Beatles, especially between McCartney and Lennon. McCartney's lawyer in this contentious era, Charles Corman, was an Orthodox Jew. [BROWN/GAINES, 1983, p. 333]
The producers of the Beatles first movie, A Hard Day's Night, were Walter Shenson and Bud Orenstein. Richard Lester directed the movie, and is also Jewish. [JEWHOO; online] Famous Jewish singer Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmerman) introduced the Beatles to marijuana the first time he met them, a gathering arranged by music writer Al Aronowitz. [BROWN/GAINES, 1983, p. 150]
After John Lennon's death, another Jewish agent, Elliot Mintz, has been for years Yoko Ono's publicist (he has also worked as a public relations man for Bob Dylan, and other capacities with pop singers throughout the years). Immediately after Lennon's assassination, an employee, Fred Seaman, and his "old college roommate," "psychiatrist and New York diamond dealer" Bob Rosen, set up a network (termed "Project Walrus") to market Lennon's stolen journals and other memorabilia. [MINTZ, 1991] One of the most famous popular music producers of the 1960s -- Phil Spector -- was also Jewish. Specter was renowned for his strange temperament and a music style described as a "wall of sound."
"Philip was a very strange person," remarked pop singer Sonny Bono, "He always had a tough time staying rational, a real tough time." [WADE, p. 100] Specter also founded Phillips Records with partner Lester Sil. "The most famous pop producer [Spector] of them all," noted the Los Angeles Times in 1988, "was a bigger superstar than any singers among his bullpen he kept on hand to belt out wonderfully disposable ditty after ditty -- and he kept it that way by issuing most of the singles under the name of some generic group, not the actual lead singer." [WILLMAN, C., 10-11-88, CALENDAR, p. 10]
Another top Jewish manager, Allen Klein -- starting out with clients like Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme (both Jewish), Bobby Darin, and Sam Cooke -- eventually owned the Cameo Parkway company, managing many of the biggest British musical acts of the 1960s, including the Rolling Stones (whose early agent was Sandy Lieberson), the Yardbirds, the Kinks, the Animals, and Donovan. Eventually, upon Brian Epstein's death, Klein even managed the Beatles' Apple company. "Klein was a New York accountant," notes Mark Hertsgaard, "whose foulmouthed personality and street-fighter instincts masked a razor-sharp financial mind but helped explain his propensity for attracting lawsuits and tax fraud accusations." [HERTSGAARD, p. 287] "At the peak of his career," says Phillip Norman, "his company was involved in fifty lawsuits," [NORMAN, p. 184] including one with the Beatles.
The Rolling Stones once sued Klein for $29 million. [SANDFORD, p. 164] Christopher Sandford notes that "By midsummer [Rolling Stones singer Mick] Jagger was unable to mention his manager's name [Klein] calmly. Later he gave an interview in which he stated, 'Half the money I've made has been stolen. Most artists in show business suffer the same kind of thing... It's all the hangers-on and parasites. There are very few honest people in the profession." [SANDFORD, p. 139]
Klein had this interchange with a Playboy interviewer in 1971:
"Q: Would you lie?
Early in Dylan's career, "when a girlfriend's mother challenged his lies and said she thought Zimmerman was his real name, he called her an anti-Semite, as if a mere description of the truth was bigotry." [RUBIN, p. 94] Dylan, who early in his career hid his Jewish past and made up various lies (he was from Oklahoma, etc.) about his background, nonetheless joined the Jewish fraternity house at the University of Minnesota in 1959, Sigma Alpha Mu. [SCADUTO, p. 26] After becoming rich and famous singing about social justice, in the 1980s, "Dylantologist" A. J. Weberman declared that the famous singer "is an ultra-Zionist. He is doing the tour to raise money for Israel. He has given large sums of money to Israel in the name of Abraham Zimmerman." [SPITZ, p. 430]
Newsweek and Time each reported that Dylan had indeed donated sums to the Jewish state, and even the far right-wing Jewish Defense League. [SPITZ, p. 407] A biographer, Anthony Scaduto, noted earlier, in 1971, "At this writing, Dylan's search for personal salvation seems to be coming around full circle, back to the religion of his fathers. Bob has started to study Judaism, and Hebrew. Dylan, who gets so Gemini-enthused about everything, has made several trips to Israel in the last year to 'sniff the breeze' as his friends put it. He has reportedly donated some of his funds to help support at least one kibbutz there. Folksinger Theo Bikel [also Jewish, and a Zionist activist] adds: 'Dylan has told me that Israel appears to be one of the few places left in the world where life has any meaning.' He has even attended several meetings of the militant Jewish Defense League. The JDL's head, Meir Kahane, [charged by many, including Jews, as a racist and fascist] will say only that Dylan has 'come around a couple times to see what we're all about' and has promised to donate money to the organization. Dylan refuses to discuss it." [SCADTO, p. 274]
By 1977, the biggest rock concert promoters were San Francisco-based Bill Graham (a Jewish Holocaust survivor originally named Wolfgang Wolodia Granjanka, the owner of the famous hippie Filmore Ballroom who had named his own northern California estate after the mythic Israelite fortress, Masada), Concerts West, Concert Associates, Chicago's Frank Fried, and in New York, Ron Delsener and Howard Stein. [CHAPPLE, p. 152] In 1976, Howard Stein (whose "father, Jack 'Ruby' Stein, had been a loan shark, ... ended up floating down the Hudson, sans head") [HADEN-GUEST, ., 1997, p. 66] noted that the field of his endeavors in musical concert production had a "territorial overtone":
"It's hard for a major concert producer to get started in New York City and do battle with Delsener and myself. It's equally difficult for a major concert producer to establish himself against Frank Fried and myself in Chicago. In Miami, I virtually don't consider myself as having any real competition. In Atlanta, minor competition. In Texas, some competition. In New York there are three: Delsener, myself, and Jerry Weintraub. Bill Graham on the West coast ... The power of an impresario or a concert producer is through associations. It's very political. It's very personal. It's building reciprocal relationships." [LEVINE, F. p. 262]
Jon Fischel at Billboard magazine named Jerry Weintraub and Bill Graham (sometimes described as the "Godfather of Rock and Roll") as the "most powerful men in the [rock concert] business" in their era. [LEVINE, p. 275] "As Bill Graham became increasingly successful and achieved celebrity status in San Francisco," says John Glatt, "he faced a growing hostility from many people who saw him as a capitalist pig growing rich on the backs of the Love Generation." [GLATT, p. 61]
By the 1970s, lawyer Allan Grubman (whose partner was Arthur Indursky) became "the biggest music attorney in the history of rock and roll." [DANNEN, p. 144] Grubman, Indursky, Schindler, & Goldstein have been "the country's leading rock-and-roll law firm." [Karlen, N.,, 1994, p. 59] Irving Azoff, "one of the most loathed men in the movie business," eventually headed the Front Line management firm, "the top management firm in rock and roll." [DANNEN, p. 134]
Top man at Front Line after Azoff? Howard Kaufman. [KING, T., 2000, p. 436] Azoff, short in stature, is known by enemies in the Hollywood world as the "Poison Dwarf." Azoff's acts included the Eagles, Boz Scaggs, Dan Fogelberg, Steely Dan, REO Speedwagon, Joe Walsh, and many others. Azoff eventually headed MCA, and later Giant Records. When he was president of MCA, three of four vice-presidents were also Jewish: Myron Roth, Zach Horowitz, and Larry Solters. [KNOEDELSEDER, p. 26]
The Leber-Krebs agency became "one of the biggest management companies in rock"; their acts included Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. Dan Weiner founded the rock talent agency, Monterey Peninsula Associates. John and David Handleman (the Handleman Company) eventually became the largest rock and roll "jobbers" (distributors) in the United States; in 1991 they bought out their largest rival, also Jewish-founded -- Lieberman Enterprises. [HULL, p. 181] "Almost every time you buy an LP, cassette, compact disc or book at K mart," says Tim Kiska, "you're putting a few dimes in the Handleman family fortune." [KISKA, p. 91]
Lou Adler (formerly teamed with fellow-Jewish mogul Herb Alpert) was the backbone producer of the influential Monterey Pop Festival and head of the Ode record label. (Alpert and another Jewish partner, Jerry Moss, also founded A&M Records. Adler, Jay Lasker, and Bobby Roberts also headed Dunhill Records -- which highlighted the Mamas and Papas, etc.) [PHILLIPS, M., 1986, p. 72] The Monterey festival was originally conceived by Benny Shapiro and Alan Pariser who sold the project to Adler and Michelle Phillips. [HOSKYNS, 1996, p. 142]
Ray Manzarek remembers when he and the rest of the Doors rock group went (before they became famous) to Adler's office, hoping he would sign them to a recording contract: "He rejected the whole demo. Ten seconds on each song ... and we were dismissed out of hand. Just like that. He took the demo off the turntable and handed it back to me with an obsequious smile and said, 'Nothing here I can use.' We were shocked. We stood up, the three of us, and [lead singer] Jim [Morrison], with a wry and knowing smile on his lips, cuttingly and cooly shot back at him, 'That's okay, man. We don't want to be used, anyway.'" [MANZAREK, R., 1998, p. 153]
The landmark 1969 Woodstock Musical Festival was the entrepreneurial investment of four young Jews: Joel Rosenman, John Roberts (heir to a pharmaceutical fortune), Artie Kornfeld, and Michael Lang. The person hired to pull the whole project together was Stanley Goldstein. Mel Laurence (born Melvin Bernard Lachs) was also the Director of Operations for the festival creators, Woodstock Ventures. Bert Cohen, of Concert Hall Publications, soon joined the production team for various tasks. [SPITZ, 1979] The first employee of Woodstock ventures was Rene Levine, a bookkeeper and another Jew, Alex Jaffee, was the company's accountant. In a book chapter called "Buying Off the Underground," Joel Rosenman recalls when he and others of the Woodstock Ventures investment team went to Greenwich Village's East Village Other "counterculture" newspaper to buy them off, guaranteeing that prominent members of that anti-capitalist community wouldn't cause problems with the economic exploitation of the supposedly anti-materialist Love Generation. Famed radical (and Jewish) agitator Abbie Hoffman demanded $10,000 from Woodstock Ventures, "or else that fucking festival you guys are planning is gonna end up around your ass." [ROSENMAN/ROBERTS/PILPEL, p. 102]
Others involved in the Woodstock project included Judi Bernstein (business manager for the sound company that handled the festival; she later became executive director of Boston's Zionist Hadassah Organization) and her husband Harold Cohen; Lee Blumer (Assistant to the Director of Security); Steve Cohen (who was "largely responsible for designing and building the Woodstock stage"); Len Kaufman (who "headed the 'elite black shirt' security force"); and Rona Elliot (who worked in Woodstock Ventures public relations and later became the music correspondent for NBC's Today show). Many of the Woodstock musical artists were even boarded at the famous Jewish resort hotel in the Catskill Mountains, Grossinger's. Even Max Yasgur, the dairy farmer whose land was used for the festival, was Jewish. [JEWHOO]
One of the four Woodstock festival entrepreneurs, Artie Kornfeld, was vice president of Capitol Records (1967-68). He "wrote and produced all the Cowsills' stuff." In later years Kornfeld recalled how Woodstock was started:
"My secretary said, 'There's a Michael Lang here to see you.' And I said, 'Who's Michael Lang?' And she said, 'He says he's from your old neighborhood.' And I said, 'Well, if he's from the neighborhood, tell him to come in.' Bensonhurst. It's a section of Brooklyn that's all Jewish and Italian. That's how he got to see me; by saying he was from the neighborhood.'" [MAKOWER, p. 25] The two men shared some marijuana in Kornfeld's office. Later, discussing the grand idea of a gigantic music festival, Kornfeld notes that much "was basically talked out that night, that first night, probably behind some Colombian blond, which had something to do with it. Overachieving, pseudo-intellectual Jewish kids with an idea that came from outside of us, I believe. It was the culture." [MAKOWER, p. 27] The two men later paid a visit to join forces with Rosenman and Roberts (later partners in a venture capitalist firm called J.R. Capital) and Woodstock was born.
The disastrous 1999 Woodstock Festival was also headed by Michael Lang, and John Scher. It ended in rioting, vandalism, injuries, arrests, and sexual crimes. [MORSE, S., 7-27-99]
Also in the rock-and-roll entrepreneurial world, "the first Lollapalooza," notes Neal Karlen, "was held in 1991 as the brainchild of Perry Farrell [born Perry Bernstein], former leader of the defunct Jane's Addiction. That summer's eight band line-up drew 430,000 fans, grossed $10 million, and was the surprise smash of the entire [music] industry." [KARLEN, N., 1994, p. 160]
Another Jewish entrepreneur, Harold Leventhal, promoted folk acts like the Weavers and Woody Guthrie. "Jefferson Airplane was the creation of [their manager] Matthew Katz." [GLATT, p. 57] Danny Rifkind managed the Grateful Dead. Paul Rothchild produced the Doors (and many other groups); Jac Holzman, head of Elektra, signed them to his record label. [DENSMORE, J., 1990, p. 79] (Todd Schiffman signed them to a talent agency). [KING, T., 2000, pl. 97] Rothchild was so integral to the Doors that band member Ray Manzarek calls him "the fifth Door." [Manzarek, R., 1998, p. 203]
Manzarek recalls Elektra owner Jac Holzman's attitude towards his best-selling group:
"We were all excited at the prospects of breaking the cherry of a brand-new, state- of-the-art [Elektra] recording studio. And we thought it was going to be for free. Hell, Jac Holzman built the damned place with profits from the Doors' record sales. Everybody called the new Elektra facility on La Cienga 'the house the Doors built,' so why shouldn't we record for free? Besides, it was an in-house studio. It would be for all Elektra artists. Outsiders could hire the studio at the going rates, but Elketra's own people could record there anytime they wanted and for free. Right? We were excited. Wouldn't you be? Bullshit! No free time. No freebee recording sessions. Everybody paid. Strangers or family ... everybody paid. However, Jac did say ... 'Boys, I'll tell you what I'm going to do. For you ...' And you could see the calculator in his head whirling. You could see that he wanted to be generous to us, he was on the West Coast now, he wore love beads, he had grown his hair long, he was not a crass materialist, he was new man who believed in peace and love for all races, religions, creeds, nationalities. But he was also from New York. 'For you ... a ten percent discount!' I almost snorted in his face. [Lead singer] Jim [Morrison] just spun around on his heels, unable to face Jac." [MANZAREK, R., 1998, p. 302]
Early in their career the Doors practiced at home of Stu and Marilyn Kreiger in wealthy Pacific Palisades. [MANZAREK, R., 1998, p. 149] This was the home of the parents of Doors guitarist Robby Kreiger, also Jewish. Heiress Naomi Hirschorn literally bought the Byrds their first musical instruments. [CROSBY/GOTTLEIB, p. 86] Terry Melcher (whose father was Jewish) managed both the Byrds and Paul Revere and the Raiders. [WYNN, N., 1990, p. 197] Herb Gart "handled" the Youngbloods. [KING, T., 2000, p. 66] David Kapralik managed Sly and the Family Stone and Barbara Streisand. [SCADUTO, p. 105] Nik Cohn, a music critic for the Manchester Guardian, and later the New York Times, provided Peter Townsend of The Who important criticism in the development of his rock opera "Tommy." Townsend, notes Larry Smith, had a "willingness to compromise his work for a favorable review from [this] respected journalist/friend." [SMITH, L., 1999, p. 3]
In 2002, just before a new Who tour, bassist John Entwistel died. And this is who announced the bad news:
"John Entwistle, the bassist for the innovative 1960s rock band The Who, was found dead Thursday in his hotel room of an apparent heart attack ... The Vegas show was canceled but the rest of the tour was undecided, said Beckye Levin of promoter Clear Channel Entertainment. 'I was told he passed away in his sleep last night,' Levin said, breaking into sobs during a telephone interview. Who manager Robert Rosenberg said he was 'saddened and shocked.'"
The Beach Boys story eventually centered around key member Brian Wilson's destructive drug habit and his controlling psychotherapist, Eugene Landy [see elsewhere for the story of Landy's exploitation of his famous patient]. The band's road manager was also Jewish, Arnie Geller. At the peak of his success, Wilson also married a 16-year old Jewish girl, Marilyn Rovell. His autobiography was also written by Todd Gold, who was hired by Wilson and his psychotherapist Landy, to create the book (portraying the controversial Landy in an extremely favorable light) from tape-recorded interviews.
Top rock act Creedance Clearwater Revival was effectively destroyed largely by its Jewish overseers. The group signed with Fantasy Records in 1964. In 1967 the company was bought by Jewish entrepreneur Saul Zaentz (he also produced the films One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus). When CCR soon began a string of hit records, the group demanded a royalty increase, per a clause in their contract. Zaentz refused, but led the group to an acquaintance, an unscrupulous (and mob-linked) Jewish lawyer named Bruce Kanter, who developed a complicated scheme to secure the rock group's earnings in a much lower tax bracket. Kanter shifted much of Creedance's money into tax dodge companies created in the Bahamas; one such Kanter company was called King David Distributors, and later Sholom (Hebrew for peace) LTD. [BLOCK, A., p. 268-269]
As Alan Block notes:
"Over the years the Creedance Clearwater Revival repatriated much of their Castle [another Kanter-related firm] money by borrowing it from companies they actually owned, or thought they controlled, under Kanter's plan. Nevertheless, when Castle went bust it took $4 million of the group's and [leader singer/writer] John Fogerty's money. Before that happened John Fogerty desperately tried to extricate himself from Castle and the Kanter grasp ... Fogerty was particularly angry with Saul Zaentz because he held him responsible for bringing the group into the Kanter scheme." [BLOCK, p. 271] In the mess, Fogerty also lost the rights to every song he wrote with the band. [BLOCK, A., p. 271]
In 1983, the group won a lawsuit of $1.5 million against Kanter for his part in the Creedance problems. The next year, recording again, Fogerty lyrics in his Centerfield album included obvious references to Zaentz that could certainly infer anti-Semitic overtones. He was described as a "little pig" who is "silent and quick / just like Oliver Twist." [BLOCK, A., p. 272-273]
African-American singing superstar Diana Ross, originally of the Supremes, married a Jewish Hollywood public relations agent, Robert Silberstein, in 1971. J. Randy Taraborrelli, in his biography of Ross, suggests careerist dimensions to the marriage:
"Why Diana Ross decided to marry Bob Silberstein remains a mystery today. If the two of them were in love, it was the best kept secret in Hollywood ... Bob Silberstein was both white and Jewish. Diana's appearance and singing style were meant to appeal to Caucasians, so a white husband would certainly not hurt her image -- in fact, it would enhance it -- and Jewish men were perceived to be shrewd and intelligent." [TARABORRELLI, p. 249] (African-American singer-actress star Diahann Carroll's first two husbands were also Jewish: Monte Kay (owner of the Birdland jazz nightclub), and Freddie Glusman, head of a Las Vegas dress shop. The second marriage collapsed after Glusman beat her).
Harvey Goldsmith is the manager of rock star Elton John, among others. He is recognized as "the best known rock promoter in England." [GRAHAM/GREENFIELD, p. 551] Doug Goldstein manages Guns 'n Roses. (Jerry Heller and Samuel Frankel manage Guns 'n Roses guitarist Slash. [SNYDER, N., 2-19-01] Steven Levine produced Culture Club. Jerry Meyer "became one of the top independent record promoters in the country. He was part of an informal group of about 10 promoters known at the Network, which dominated airplay on Top 40 radio during the '70s and '80s. The Network had the power to make or break records ... [Meyer] loves music, which next to his Jewish faith, has been the constant of his life." [VIOLANTI, p. 8M] Rock superstar Bruce Springsteen fell under the control of two agents of Jewish heritage, first "the tutelage of sharpie Mark Appel, who simultaneously managed him, ran the production company through which his contracts were signed, and owned his publishing.... [Springsteen] managed to escape ... Appel through a series of lawsuits prompted by rock critic/social climber Jon Landau. Landau ran Rolling Stone's record review section even as he worked as a producer for major record labels ... Landau came out the other end Springsteen's manager, producer, and best friend and confidant." [DOHERTY, p. 54] Reviewer Brian Doherty noted Landau's portrayal in a rock and roll history book as "an unethical, anti-art, money-grubbing climber." [DOHERTY, p. 54]
Elsewhere, Dick Friedberg was a partner at the Premier rock and roll management service. Gil Freisen became the president of A&M Records (Janet Jackson, Sting, et al). Herb Abrahamson was a cofounder of Atlantic Records. Norman Granz owned Verve. Jac Holzman founded Elektra Records with "$600 of bar mitzvah money." (President of Elektra? Mel Posner. [KING, T., 2000, p. 245] Simon Waronker and cousin Herb Newman founded Liberty Records in 1955 (Ricky Nelson, Jan and Dean, Bobby Vee, Fats Domino, Johnny Rivers, the Ventures, etc.). Newman also founded another label, Era. Ted Wallerstein headed RCA records in its formative years.
Art Kass, Phil Steinberg, Hy Mizrahi, and Artie Ripp founded the Kama Sutra recording label (financed in part by a known mobster, [WADE, p. 118] and later Buddah. Buddah producers Jerry Kasentz and Jeff Katz helped develop the trivial genre of "bubblegum music," including the 1910 Fruitgum Company and Ohio Express. Both groups had the same lead singer, Joey Levine. [DANNEN, p. 164]
Don Kirshner is credited with the supervision of the quintessential media-illusory artificial band, the Monkees; three of the four band members didn't even know how to play an instrument. Jewish film moguls Burt Schneider and Bob Rafelson were their creators. Bob Ezrin's Migration Records features acts like Peter Gabriel, Aerosmith, Lou Reed, Robert Flack, Kiss, et al. Trauma Records (owned by Rob Kahane and Paul Palmer) has featured acts like No Doubt, Bush, and basketball star Shaquille O'Neal. Israeli arms dealer and Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan sought to purchase Trauma in the late 1990s and merge it into his own Restless Records company.
Eventually most of the small record labels were bought out or rendered extinct by large mega-media corporations. "The term 'oligopoly' is an apt one to describe today's record business," wrote Frederic Dannen in 1990, "Most Americans get nearly all their wares from six suppliers -- CBS, Warners [including the labels: Warners, Atlantic, Atco, Elektra, Asylum, Reprise], BMG [the initials of the Bertelsmann Music Group, which includes RCA], Capitol-EMI, Poly-Gram [including Mercury, Polydor, London, Vertigo, Verve, Wing, A&M, Island, Motown], and MCA [including Decca, ABC-Dunhill, MCA, Geffen, DGC, GRP] ... Far out in front there are the big two ... A whopping one-third [of the record business] belongs to CBS and Warners ... Today CBS and Warners can be viewed as the record industry's equivalent of the world's two superpowers." [DANNEN, p. 112]
For years CBS Records was headed by Walter Yetnikoff. "The heart of Yetnikoff's persona," notes Dannen, "was his Brooklyn Jewishness ... An outsized number of [record] label bosses were Jews from Brooklyn, but Walter wore his ethnicity like a gabardine ... [He] fit well with the record business which was culturally Jewish ... The goyim. With Walter it was always Us versus Them. When CBS Records had its annual convention in London, Walter forbade his people to stay at the Dorchester Hotel because it was Arab-owned ... One of Walter's inconsistencies was that he dated only gentile women, preferring well-endowed blondes. Before his twenty-five marriage broke up in the early eighties, he had already begun to amass a stable of such girlfriends -- his 'shiksa farm.'" [DANNEN, p. 23]
Yentnikoff was a "close friend" of record industry mobster Morris Levy, as was Sheldon Levy, another president of CBS Records. "Walter grew fond of Morris," says Frederic Dannen, "and spent time at [Morris] Levy's farm." [DANNEN, p. 34] (To rock star Sting's credit, in 2001 he resisted unspecified "media" pressures to censor an Arab out of one of his songs. As the Associated Press noted, "Sting told the [Arab American Institute Foundation] that some people in the media had advised him not to put out his duet with Algerian vocalist Cheb Mami as a singer, 'because of the Arab guy singing at the front. 'They said, 'If you take him out, we'll play it on the radio.' I said, 'No can do. It's an integral part of the song.' His remarks drew cheers from Arab Americans across the ballroom.") [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 5-2-01]
Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) is a giant German-based entertainment conglomerate. The president and CEO of BMG Entertainment North America, since 1994, has been the Jewish executive Strauss Zelnick, formerly the president of Twentieth Century Fox. From this position he oversees "the operations of all North American divisions of Bertelsmann Music Group as well as Music Publishing and Interactive Entertainment operations worldwide." [BUSINESS WIRE, 9-13-94] The division Zelnick heads accounts for over $4 billion in yearly sales. In 2001 another Jewish executive, Joel Klein, was named chairman and CEO of the U.S. operations of Bertelsmann AG. For years, another Jewish head, Clive Davis, has overseen the important Arista record division in BMG's stable.
In 1998, another executive at BMG (both a German convert to Judaism, and a rabbi) quit to become the director of Germany's chapter of the environmental Greenpeace organization. In 1997, Frank Woessner, the non-Jewish CEO of Bertelsmann's giant book division, was awarded the (Jewish fraternal organization) B'nai B'rith of Continental Europe's "Gold Medal for Humanitarian Work." "Woessner," noted the Jewish Week, "was lauded for supporting liberal Jewish causes in speeches by prominent members of the local Jewish community." [AXELROD, p. 41] Among the most important of his "humanitarian work" was the publication of Jewish American author Daniel Goldhagen's controversial work that affixed blame upon all Germans for the Holocaust (not just Nazis).
In 1998, the Jewish Bronfman family's Seagrams firm (which already owned MCA) bought PolyGram NV -- "the world's largest music company" -- for $10.5 billion. The International Herald Tribune noted that: "The transaction would be the biggest in the history of the entertainment industry, eclipsed only by Walt Disney's $18.9 billion purchase of Capital Cities/ABC Inc. and the $11 billion merger of Time and Warner Communications that created Time Warner Inc." [INTERNATIONAL HERALD, p. 15] The Polygram-MCA amalgamation now under the combined rule of Edgar Bronfman made him, at age 43, "the most powerful mogul in music land," with a quarter of all world record sales on earth," including the largest output of classics and jazz. [LEBRECHT, p. 25]
Polygram alone, in the Bronfman empire, also owns over 320,000 song copyrights. Among its labels are A&M, Mercury, Decca/London, Phillips Classics, and Island. [HOOVER, p. 138] Worldwide, Polygram-MCA holdings include the Finnish Sonet Media AB company, Japan's Nippon Phonogram, Polydor KK, and Rodven Records, "the leading independent record company in Latin America." [HOOVER, p. 138] Prominent musical acts in the Polygram stable have included U2, Sting, Lionel Richie, Soundgarden, Kiss, the Village People, Janet Jackson and numerous others. MTV-like TV station projects include Atomic TV in Warsaw, Poland and (in association with MTV) 2 MTV in Asia.
Charles Koppelman was founder of the SBK record label, which recorded "white rapper" Vanilla Ice, and Wilson Phillips among others. Through the mid-1990s he was chairman of EMI Group North America, later founding a company called CAK Univeral Credits, geared to music stars looking for loans.
In 2000, Monte Lipman, co-founder of Republic Records, was named president of Universal Records (part of the Bronfman empire), which had bought out the former company. And, in the same year, as the Cleveland Jewish News noted, "Instead of forming on their own, megapop bands like Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync are the manufactured creations of Transcontinental Records mogul Lou Pearlman, where inspired grooming and marketing has shepherded a number of record boy-groups to stardom." [HOROWITZ, G., 3-24-2000, p. 37] (In 2000, 'N Sync played at young Rachel Colburn's private Bat Mitzvah party. She is the daughter of American Online's President of Business Affairs, David Colburn. "AOL spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg said the band has a relationship with Colburn, and they did the gig as a favor." Such a performance by the singing group normally costs between $250,000 and a million dollars.) [DESERET NEWS, 6-8-2000, p. A2]
In the music executive scene, at Warners, for example, for years Mo Ostin headed the music company. "Warners," notes Neal Karlen, in his book about the all-female band Babes in Toyland, "was run by Mo Ostin and Lenny Waronker; the company's entire A&R department was headed by Mo's son Michael. If [A&R man Tim] Carr could get his way, the Babes' campaign would be largely orchestrated from Warner Records' Burbank headquarters by a half-dozen Jewish music men ... Traveling the spectrum of popular music, one could still occasionally hear the word Jew used as an epithet. If one listened, one could catch bands talking of being 'Jewed down' by a record company executive or having to hire a 'Jew lawyer' to fix a thorny legal hassle. The attitude was no different in the shrunken universe of alternative music. True, three of punk rock's spiritual godfathers were Jewish: Bob Dylan, ne Robert Zimmerman, Lou Reed, ne Louis Firbank; and Joey Ramone, ne Jeffrey Hyman. Yet signing with a major label, one drunk English guitarist could be heard saying late one night in 1992 at the historic New York punk club CBGB, meant turning oneself into 'Jew-bait.'" [KARLEN, N., 1994, p. 145]
At Sire Records, an affiliate of Warners, Seymour Stein's artist stable has included Madonna, Talking Heads, the Ramones, and many other premiere talents. "Before long," says Christopher Anderson, "[producer Mark] Kamins and Madonna became lovers ... After a few days together, Madonna felt comfortable enough to spring her tape on Kamins ... He had become friendly with an up-and-coming artist and repertorie man at Warner's Sire label named Michael Rosenblatt ... Rosenblatt took the tape to the mercurial [Seymour] Stein." Madonna also got her start in movies in Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan. [ANDERSON, 1991, p. 96-98, 121]
Guy Oseary, born in Jerusalem, is "a partner in Madonna's Maverick Records" and he wrote a book called Jews Who Rock, about Jewish performers in the rock and roll world. "I keep getting calls," he says, "And they say, 'Why wasn't I in your book? I rock. And I'm Jewish.'" [BOUCHER, G., 4-17-01, p. 62; TAYLOR, L., 12-27-00, p. F5] Oseary "as Maverick's chief talent finder has become one of Madonna's most trusted confidants." [FURMAN, P., 6-17-98, p. 12]
When Bob Krasnow became the head of Elektra, "it was, he says, his ethnic credentials more than anything else, that got him the job." [WADE, p. 58] "I could work for a big company like Warner Brothers [which swallowed Elektra]," said Krasnow, "because I had all the ethnic qualities -- I was white, I was Jewish, they could invite me over to their home for dinner, and I could talk to Black people." [WADE, p. 58] Jerry Wexler was the co-founder of Atlantic. When the head of CBS Records, Clive Davis, was fired for embezzling $94,000 (including $18,000 for his son's bar mitzvah [DANNEN, p. 86], he was replaced by Irwin Segelstein. Dick Asher, also Jewish "was the number two man at Columbia Records under Clive Davis." [KING, T., 2000, p. 143] ("Since the days of Abraham," notes the Jewish Forward, "machers in the entertainment business have used their sons' and daughters' special day to power-schmooze fellow moguls. In 1973, Clive Davis, then president of CBS Records, threw one of the most famous bar mitzvahs in show business history (that he was fired for it only adds to its mystique.") [DORFMAN, J., 6-16-2000, p. 2]
Davis later ended up as the head of Bell Records under Columbia Pictures president Alan Hirschfield. (Davis later had a successful career heading Arista Records, whose artists included Whitney Houston and the Grateful Dead. Davis' business manager at CBS was Michael Levy; Goddard Lieberman was CBS Records' second in command; Lieberman's assistant was Norman Adler. Al Shulman was head of the CBS Special Products Division and Dick Asher was CBS Records' Executive Vice President. Ron Alexenburg was a vice president for promotion at Columbia. Elliott Goldman was the number two man at Arista Records; Mitch Miller was a prominent producer and musical celebrity at CBS. By 1998 Jay Boborg -- co-founder of IRS Records in 1979 which began the careers of the Go-Gos, R.E.M., and others -- was the president of MCA Records. Jerry Greenberg, former head of Atlantic Records, "is now [in 1998, superstar] Michael Jackson's right hand man and president of MJJ Records." [VIOLANTI, p. 8M] (Jackson was the best man for Israeli psychic Uri Geller's wedding. Geller's drawing -- minus a Star of David -- graces a recent Jackson album). [REUTERS, 11-1-01]
Alain Levy is chairman (1998) of PolyGram. In 1997
Danny Goldberg, chairman of Mercury Records, was described
by the Jewish Week as being "among the most powerful executives in
the entertainment industry." [GREENBERG, E., MUST, p. 49] Among the
divisions he directs is Motown Records and PolyGram Classics
and Jazz in the United States. Goldberg was also formerly
the president of Atlantic Records where he controlled, among other
groups, Nirvana. By 1995 he was the chairman and CEO of Warner
Records, but lost the position during the controversy over Warners'
support of particularly abrasive "gangsta rap" recordings. Goldberg
is also a former chairman of the executive committee of the American
Jewish Congress. In 1987 Goldberg (then manager of Bonnie Raitt,
Belinda Carlyle of the Go-Gos, Don Johnson, and others) organized a record
industry-wide propaganda effort for the state of Israel. As the Los
Angeles Times described it:
In England, Michael Levy headed Magnet Records, built to power with help in 1972 from the then head of (British) Columbia Records, Maurice Oberstein. Levy, known for "chasing people around the office and throwing ashtrays," is also chairman of Britain's Jewish Care organization. [BRIGHT, p. T2] Levy "made his personal fortune propelling pop acts -- Alvin Stardust, Chris Rea, Darts and Bad Manners -- to stardom." [DAVIS, D., 2-10-2000, p. 5] "At one point [he] was selling 8% of all records in the UK." [RED STAR RESEARCH] In 1991
British producer Ian Levine began recording old Black Motown record label acts for his new Motorcity label. Levine gathered over 100 former stars to Detroit. "I was in control of the entire Motown family," he chortled, "[I brought] it back together again, and the press and the fans were standing there in awe." [BULL, p. 14]
Perhaps the most famous agent/manager/record executive is David Geffen (also Jewish), former manager of Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and many others, who founded Asylum, and later, Geffen Records (the artist stable included Jackson Browne, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and many others). (Alan Cohen "structured the Asylum Records joint venture buyout [with Warner and] left Warner to become head of Madison Square Garden"). [KING, T., 2000, p. 287] Dennis McDougal notes that Geffen "spotted Aerosmith, XTC, Nirvana, and dozens of other pop acts in their infancy and nurtured them to monied maturity and more than fifty gold record albums ... In 1989 alone, Geffen worldwide record sales came to over $225 million." [MCDOUGAL, p. 474]
A key Geffen partner was Elliot Roberts (Rabinowitz) -- he was the "pre-eminent manager of L.A.-based folk rock in the seventies," including, even later, Neil Young and Tracy Chapman. [GRAHAM/GREENFIELD, p. 553] The president of Geffen Records was Eddie Rosenblatt. Geffen's business manager was Jerry Rubenstein. Gil Segel helped to get him into real estate. [KING, T., 2000, p. 160, 184] "The funny thing," says Geffen, " is that I had to forge a letter that I graduated from UCLA [to get an early job], and today I'm on the Board of Regents of UCLA." [SMITH, p. 303] ("He used his friendship with [his client] Linda Ronstadt, who was then dating California governor Jerry Brown, to obtain a seat on the University board of regents.") [KING, T., 2000, p. 316]
Non-Jewish musical stars, caught in the Judeocentric web of the musical world, often support Jewish/Israeli ethnocentric interests on behalf of their Jewish friends and managers. Among the old Geffen stable, for example, in 2002 a news item noted that Don Henley of the Eagles was "donating the $7,900 from the sale [of his guitar at auction] to the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas for use in supporting Israel and Jewish organizations." [TOP FORTY CHARTS, 6-12-02] That same year, the Jewish Week wondered: "What’s one of the world’s greatest rock stars doing at a Jewish benefit dinner? The answer came Monday night when Bono, the voice and wordsmith driving the fabulously popular band U2, became the first rock and roll personality to receive the Humanitarian Laureate Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center." [Jewish Week, 11-22-02] (That same year, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz noted that the new Wisenthal "tolerance" Center in Jerusalem was built on a Muslim cemetery).
In the rock and roll world which is so heavily Jewish, there are apparently different levels of what is considered to be morally offensive, including the usual admonition: Thou Shalt Not Offend Jews (Others, especially Christianity? -- No problem). As Leah Garchik wrote in 2002, "Marilyn Manson reveals in Rolling Stone's new book 'Tattoo Nation: Portraits of Celebrity Body Art" that Madonna's manager, who was thinking of signing Manson, called Manson's manager to inquire about whether the rocker had a swastika among his many tattoos. 'Of course not,' said Manson's manager. 'One of the guys in the band is Jewish.' 'Oh, OK,' said Madonna's manager. 'We don't have a problem with the Satanism, but we can't deal with any kind of Nazism.'" [GARCHIK, L., 11-7-02, p. D14]
Jews even came to prominence behind the scenes in the world of country music. The first important Jewish figure in Nashville was Paul Cohen, the A&R man for Decca in 1945-58 (the Decca company in the United States was founded in Chicago by Jack Kapp in 1934). Cohen, who lived in New York and visited Nashville for a few weeks at a time, was "called by some 'the King of Nashville.'" [JONES, M., p. 73] Margaret Jones notes that "As head of A&R for Decca's country division, Cohen was responsible for a blue chip roster of talent that included the top acts of the time: Ernest Tubb, Red Foley and Webb Pierce ... In 1952, Cohen signed the one and only female star of country to Decca, Kitty Wells, and by 1954 he had two other solo girl performers under contract: Goldie Hill and Wanda Jackson ... After Cohen signed Webb Pierce, Pierce became the hottest artist in country ... [JONES, M., p. 74] ... Nashville was Cohen's 'fishing hole,' and he galvanized the town, convincing Ernest Tubb to record there; soon all the other acts fell into line." [JONES, M., p. 73] "Paul was one of the first Jewish guys who actually came in to Nashville, once they saw country music was getting to doing something," recalled singer Faron Young. "Before that, most of the country people wouldn't accept Jewish people. They were too clannish about that. He more or less broke the ice, then the rest of them came in and more or less took over this business. Hell, they own all the labels and everything else now. Them and the Japs." [JONES, M. p. 73]
Cohen also signed Brenda Lee and eventual country superstar Patsy Cline, among others, to his stable. Earlier though, "Patsy got to know and work with Ben Adelman, another fixture on the [Washington] DC music scene. Adelman, and not Bill Peer, as one story goes, appears to have been the direct link to Patsy' first recording contract. The gregarious, redheaded Adelman was a 'Jewish feller' who hailed from upstate New York and had fallen in love with country music in the late forties. He was willing to spend a lot of his wife's money just for the fun of being in the ball game. Fortunately his wife, Kate Adelman, as an heiress and supported his efforts ... Adelman's real talent and the focus of his energies was songwriting. His early compositions were in the Tin Pan Alley mold, but when his interests shifted to the booming country and western field, he started writing hillbilly music. His wife claimed he wrote or co-wrote literally thousands of tunes that are registered in the Library of Congress." [JONES, M., 1994, p. 50]
"Cohen was a wheeler-dealer in many respects," notes Margaret Jones, "He started a dozen or more publishing companies of his own -- all named after brands of whisky. Then he had the chutzpah to open his office two blocks away from Decca, so he would be operating right under their noses." [JONES, M., p. 71] When Cohen's career was finished in Nashville, another Jewish Decca agent, Milton Gabler, "took over for him." [JONES, M., p. 73] Among his finds, Gabler signed Bill Haley and His Comets in 1954. (Irvin Feld is also credited with "discovering" Bill Haley, as well as Paul Anka, the Everly Brothers, and Fats Domino, among others). [BLACKWELL, E., 1973, p. 164]
In this same genre, years later, country star Waylon Jennings recalled that his big break in Hollywood came through Jewish producer and musician Herb Alpert. The Atlanta Jewish Times notes the story of the birth of another country star, Willie Nelson:
"[Jewish agent Joel Katz] received a phone call from a man with a distinct Texas drawl. The man said he had read about the contract Katz had negotiated for [Black pop star] James Brown. He didn't have money, but he wanted Katz to make him a star. Katz hopped on a plane for Austin, Texas, walked into a room at the Ramada Inn, and stared into the eyes of Willie Nelson." [POLLAK, S., 1-7-00] Katz has represented a wide range of singers: from country stars Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings, and George Straight to African-American artists The Temptations, B. B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Buffet, and the rappers Rone Thugs and Harmony.
Finding a niche wherever it is available, by the late 1990s Madeline Stone was even a "leading writer of Christian music," working with top Christian acts CeCe Wilnan, and the group Anointed. "I see myself," she explained, "as being a Jewish girl who writes inspirational songs, not a Christian writer." [DREYFUSS, I., p. Y4]
A Reform Jew, Steve Kaufman, is also "the only three-time winner of the National Flatpicking Championship held in Winfield, Kansas." As the Jerusalem Post notes, "His 50 books and videos include A Smokey Mountain Christmas for Guitar and Flatpickin' the Gospels. 'My mother said 'Oy,'' he recounted. 'I said, "mom, it's going to sell." In this business you fill the void. There weren't many bluegrass gospel videos.'" [ROBINSON, R., 7-24, 2000]
In the "heavy metal" musical world, Jewish entrepreneur Jon Zazula of Crazed Management-Megaforce Records has a stable of acts that includes Method of Destruction (M.O.D.), Anthrax, Ministry, Metallica, and others. Cliff Burstein and Peter Mensch have managed AC/DC, Metallica, Def Leppard, Bruce Hornsby, Queensryche, Tesla, and others. Their Q Prime company also owns three radio stations in California.
The "godfather of punk," manager and "mastermind" of the seminal "punk" band -- the Sex Pistols, was Great Britain's Malcolm McLaren. He was also the manager of the New York Dolls, Adam Ant, and Boy George. According to Sex Pistol lead singer Johnny Rotten, his manager was "the most evil man alive." [HARRIS, M., 8-19-94, p. 11; SHAW, D., 12-16-99, p. 5] McLaren "was brought up by his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Corre, a formidable woman from a very rich Sephardic Jewish family." [BARBER, L., 12-22-91, p. 8] The anarchistic Sex Pistols, notes the London Independent, were "brought into being quite cynically by Malcolm McLaren as an advertising gimmick to promote sales of the fetishistic clothes and other devices designed and sold by himself and Vivienne Westwood." [GRAHAM-DIXON, 8-19-95, p. 2] (The Ramones are also a candidate for the most influential punk band. The head of the Ramones, Joey Ramone -- born Jeffrey Hyman -- is also Jewish. ) [TAYLOR, L., 12-27-00, p. F5]
Elsewhere, Geoffrey Weiss "first made a name for himself as a Harvard undergraduate when he and some friends took over WHRB, the college's 50,000-watt radio station, and turned it into an oasis of punk rock known across the country for its idiosyncratic programming. After graduation, Weiss had gone to work for A&M records, where he'd helped to launch Soundgarden." [KARLEN, N., 1994, p. 160] Howie Klein founded the "punk" rock label 415. Joseph Heller, formerly of Heller-Fischel, booked acts like Styx, the Electric Light Orchestra, Boz Scaggs, and a variety of others. "He represented top-drawer rock talent like Van Morrison, the Guess Who, Marvin Gaye, War, Elton John and Pink Floyd." [SNYDER, N., 2-19-01] Stretching out as dangerously as possible to make a buck, Heller eventually gravitated towards a relative goldmine in the Black ghetto-based "gangsta rap." He cofounded Ruthless Records and managed the pioneer rap group NWA (Niggaz With Attitude) from early in their careers. The musical genre of gangsta rap, notes Jory Farr, "thrives on misogyny, as well as homophobic and race-baiting rage ... [It] was the perfect music for [a] lifestyle loaded down ... with warnings of betrayal, murder, revenge, and a short life." [FARR, p. 70]
"I believed that rap would become the most important music of the nineties," said Heller, "... [But] you can't sell two million rap records to kids in the inner city. That's a way to sell 200,000. You have to market it to the white kids." [FARR, p. 68, 71] Heller hired Ira Selsky as his corporate attorney and an Israeli-born security chief named Michael Klein to ward off angry, exploited Blacks who quite literally walked into his office threatening to kill him. Rap star Ice Cube even threatened Heller in one of his recorded songs, prompting the Anti-Defamation League to flag it as anti-Semitic. Ruthless Records released a Jewish rap duo called Blood of Abraham. As Chuck D, the lead vocalist for the Black rap group Public Enemy, noted, "There's no way to get trained on the seamier elements of the music business being on the street -- that element is reserved for boardrooms." [D, CHUCK, p. 85] Those in Chuck D's reminiscences about "boardroom" behavior include Lyor Cohen (manager of Rush Productions, and an Israeli); Al Teller, an executive at MCA whose parents died in the Holocaust; Steve Ralbovsky of CBS; Bill Adler (a publicist); and Rick Rubin of Def Jam Records. (Jewish diamond dealer Jacob Arabo has made the news as a favored jewelry merchant to the Black rap crowd that seeks to symbolize wealth and power, or, as the New York Times put it, "the jeweler who gives most of today's leading rappers their shine." [CENTURY, p. 1]
In 2001, Heller was named the "Godfather of Latin Rap" by the Los Angeles Business Journal; he was joining in attempting to build a rap movement in the Latino market via Hit a Lick records. As the Journal noted:
"If Heller is convinced that Latin rap will emerge as the next big thing, it probably will be, said other music industry veterans ... Indeed, Heller is widely acknowledged as one of the key forces behind gangsta rap's crossover into the music mainstream ... While Heller has the second-tier title of chief operating officer, he acknowledges that the other partners 'generally run everything by me because of my experience and expertise.'" [SNYDER, N., 2-19-01]
By 2001 too, the aforementioned Lyor Cohen had catapulted to power in the Rap world. Rolling Stone even magazine featured an article about him, sub-titled How Lyor Cohen -- the White, Jewish Israeli-Raised President of Island Def Jam Records -- Became One of the Most Important Men in Hip-Hop, and Why He May Now Become One of the Most Important Men in Rock & Roll." Cohen started out promoting punk rock acts like the Circle Jerks, Social Distortion, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He then became president of the rap music label Def Jam in 1988 and soon had become "perhaps the most powerful white executive in an African-American business." (Def Jam was bought out by the Jewish-owned Polygram company in 1999). Irv Gott, a Black record producer, notes that Cohen is "a white Jewish guy, but I think everybody respects him like he's black. He knows how to carry it too. He knows how to get gangster, how to fall back, when to shut the fuck up, whento say something. That's why other white executives are scared of him. He knows how to deal with the hoods, the criminal element." Cohen, continued Rolling Stone, has broadened his musical base and "oversees an empire that includes hundreds of artists performing in dozens of genres, a roster that features PJ Harvey, American Hi-Fi, Shelby Lynne, Lionel Richie, Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge, Saliva, Ludacris, Kelly Price and Sisquo." Cohen's nickname is "Little Lansky" (after famed Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky). He was born in New York City "where his father, an Israeli, worked in the consulate." He was later raised on an avocado farm near Tel Aviv. [COHEN, R., 6-21-01]
Cohen has also been active in trying to readjust Black consciousness of Jewish exploitation of the African-American community. "In the late Eighties," notes reporter Rich Cohen, when [Public Enemy's] album It Takes a Nation of Milions to Hold Us Back was topping the charts, the group's minister of information, Professor Griff, made several anti-Semitic statements. As a Jewish exec working with the band, Cohen found himself in the middle of a rough, formative experience. 'When Professor Griff from Public Enemy said what he said, and it caused this whirlwind, the whole industry asked me, 'What the fuck are you doing?' says Cohen. 'Every president of every record company called and said, 'Drop them: But I believe part of being Jewish is education. And I believe I was instrumental in changing Public Enemy's views. I said, "Your voice is being muted because you say Jews are this or that. You can't make blanket statements. If you want your message out there" -- and it was profound, I think -- "stop generalizing." And I was the only Jew in their lives. What if I resigned? They would only be more alienated. I hadn't quite being a Jew. I can't quit being a Jew. Instead, I tried to have an impact. I felt like I was doing the right thing. Not just as a Jew, as a person. They had a big voice da nation of millions, to quote their album. I had the Holocaust Museum [the Simon Wiesenthal Cednter] shut down, and we had a private tour. The first thing you see is a Jewish skull plus a black person's skull equals a baboon. The last thing is a monkey with enormous lips dressed with a Star of Daivd holding a trumpet and a sign saying, 'It'sthese Jews that are bringing in this music call jazz.'" [COHEN, R., 6-21-01]
Then there is former tax attorney Joe Weinberger who drives a Jaguar S-200, wears a diamond-studded Rolex watch and "fat gold rings," and carries a "9mm automatic pistol tucked in his pocket." As the Miami New Times notes about his rise to power in the African-American rap music world, "In the early Nineties, Miami's reigning booty-rapper, Luther Campbell, hired Weinberger away from the carpeted hallways of a swash Brickell Key law firm to help manage a growing musical empire and its attendant lawsuits. Within five years Campbell was bankrupt and Weinberger had purchased the rights to his music. Rather than return to the comfortable confines of his former life, the 42-year old lawyer, who is single and childless, opted to launch his own label, Lil' Joe ... In a post bankruptcy fire sale overseen by Richard Wolfe [Weinberger's lawyer/partner, also Jewish], Weinberger bought the rights to 2 Live Crew music for about $800,000, plus the outstanding money he claims Campbell owed him." [KORTEN, T., 8-10-2000] Weinberger has even been accused of ordering a car bombing and directing death threats against an employee.
Then there is Canada-born Bryan Turner, who founded Priority Records in 1985; he is also Jewish. [JEWHOO, 2000] By 1998, Priority had yearly sales of $250 million. As the Los Angeles Times notes:
"When the pioneering gangster rap group N.W.A. was looking for its first record deal, it found a distributor in Priority Records, which released an album so obscene it prompted a letter of complaint from the F.B.I. When Ice-T left Warner Brothers Records after police groups and the company's shareholders objected to his song 'Cop Killer,' he found a new home at Priority. When Suge Knight, the imprisoned head of Death Row Records, who is known for his pugnacious business tactics, was looking for his first deal, Priority gave it to him. Through all the violence and controversy of hardcore rap music -- from its roots in N.W.A to its current resurrection with Master P -- the Los Angeles label Priority Records has been a major player." [STRAUSS, N., 9-3- 98, sec. E, p. 1]
And as the Times noted on another occasion: "When Time Warner first parted ways with rapper Ice-T after the 'Cop Killer' flap and then with rapper Paris over a song that portrayed an assassination fantasy of President Bush, Turner wasted little time signing deals with both artists." [HOCHMAN, S., 7-30-95, CALENDAR, p. 82]
Jewish entrepreneur Steve Rifkind has also become very successful in the rap music field. In 1993, Rifkind founded and still heads Loud Records (its president is Rich Isaacson). Earlier, Rifkind began the Steven Rifkind Company, "a consulting firm specializing in Rap and R&B." Loud acts include Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Yvette Michelle, Funkmaster Flex, Alkaholics, Raekwon, and Xzibit. The company's value is estimated at about $100 million. [collegemusic.com/1-11-00]
"Rifkind," notes the online magazine Entrepreneur, "who trademarked the term 'Street Teams,' takes marketing to the street -- literally -- by hiring youths to tell their communities about his artists' music. 'My philosophy has always been 'You can't stop word-of-mouth, explains Rifkind, who has street teams across cities, distributing free singles to teenagers at housing projects and schools, and scrawling the names of his albums in the dust on parked trucks, which then serve as mobile billboards." [entrepreneur.com]
Yet another major Jewish rap entrepreneur is the aforementioned Rick Rubin, who, says Jory Farr, found his "biggest stars were former gangsters who used beats and rhymes to glamorize wealth, dope, and violence. Deciding who to sign could be a moral quagmire ... but Rubin wasn't one to be bothered by the trivia of social responsibility." [FARR, p. 126] "I could do anything I wanted," Rubin once said about his own family life in New York, "We were always upper middle class. We were wealthy for the community we lived in. In a sense I was spoiled." [FARR, p. 119] Rubin's record company Def American is now called American Recording; at one time Geffen Records distributed Rubin's material. Earlier in his career he had signed bands like Slayer (whose lyrics exhorted "everything from virgin sacrifice and satanism to sadistic mutilations and the atrocities of Auschwitz" [FARR, p. 109]) and the Geto Boys, who "pushed misogyny and sadism to new depths." [FARR, p. 108] Rubin's own star rose so high that he eventually produced albums for Mick Jagger and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Troubles, however, came from a lawsuit against him by Adam Horowitz of the Beastie Boys and threats from the Meir Kahane-founded Jewish Defense League. Outraged by Rubin's promotion of violently anti-Jewish lyrics by Black ghetto groups, the Jewish group reportedly came looking to beat him up. Rubin couldn't understand their anger. He told an interviewer that "They should've talked to me and found out what I felt before coming to attack me, because I was a JDO [Jewish Defense Organization] supporter. When I was at NYU I saw [right wing rabbi] Meir Kahane speak and he blew me away -- he was amazing ... After hearing him speak, I wanted to pack my bags and go to Israel ... I called the JDO several times, wanted to join, but they never returned my calls." [FARR, p. 123]
Among the most controversial "gangsta rap" labels was Death Row Records (including Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, and Snoopy Doggy Dog). A noted earlier, Death Row products were distributed by the Jewish-dominated Time-Warner company until "pressure from stockholders after an outcry over the flagrantly violent and misogynist lyrics" of its stars. Time-Warner dropped the label, but eighteen months later it was picked up (for $200 million) by the Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of the Jewish Bronfman family's Seagram company. Universal too eventually abandoned the controversial label, only after "pressure from stockholders and regulators." [HELMORE, E., 8-29-97, p. 10]
Still another Jewish push -- more recently -- into the rap world is Koch Entertainment's In The Paint record label. Koch, one of the largest "independent music distribution companies," is headed by founder and CEO Michael Koch and President Bob Frank. [kochentertainment.com]
Jewish author Nearl Karlen doesn't like latent Black perceptions of Jewish exploitation surfacing in the rap world, writing: "'I want everybody to try and find this book!' rapper Ice Cube said at a 1991 press conference where he held up a copy of The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, a bogus piece of Nation of Islam scholarship." [KARLEN, N., 1994, p. 146] Karlen later applauds one rappers stand against "antisemitism, " saying: "Easy-E, former leader of the gangsta rap group N.W.A., made a courageous stand, going so far as to appear on a Jewish rap group's single entitled 'Niggaz and Jews (Some Say Kikes).' Easy-E was not long after lectured by Omar Bradley, the mayor of his hometown of Compton, California, with 'I won't name the specific racial group that's using you, brother, but they are destroying us and having lunch and a bar mitzvah at the same time." [KARLEN, N., 1994, p. 146]
And lastly for the music scene, the president and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America --- a lobbying group (with a staff of 72) for the big record companies -- is also Jewish, Hilary Rosen, who was described in 1997 by the Washington Post as "a powerful woman in an industry dominated by men. One of the most influential yet least known players in the U.S. entertainment behemoth." [WEEKS, p. C1] Rosen became the CEO when another Jewish executive, Jason Berman, stepped down from the position.
C. Delores Tucker, the founder of the National Political Congress of Black Women, has singled out Rosen's organization for special condemnation: "In terms of children, the RIAA is the most destructive lobbying force in America. It is incomprehensible that anyone with an ounce of concern for children would be demanding the promotion, distribution, and sale of gangsta/porno rap to children." [WEEKS, p. C1]
[Ya! Ya! Ya! The Beatles were surrounded by Jews, who ran the
Beatles show behind the scenes, from manager Brian Epstein on down. Here
is yet another Jewish leech on the 'Magical Mystery Tour.' And yes!
At least one of the Beatles was apparently "anti-Semitic!" Oh, dear! It is
everywhere! But which Beatle said the anti-Semitic slur? Which is the
moral criminal? I vote for John Lennon, who was always the quickest to
step on Sacred Cows. But here's Lesson #1: If a Jew writes a book, or a
book is reviewed by a Jew, there's probably going to be some kind of
exposure of "anti-Semitism," which is always raked from the cobwebs on
hands and knees with the requisite microscope.]
[Country singer Johnny Cash recently passed away, but what's the
Johnny Cash - Jewish connection? (Jews dominate the business side of
American music, and have been influential in Nashville for decades.
Businessman Paul Cohen was called by some "The King of Nashville.") Cash's
producer below is Rick Rubin, who made his name producing Black
"gangsta" rap albums. Rubin once said this about
primo-Jewish racist Meir Kahane: "I was a JDO [Jewish Defense
Organization] supporter. When I was at NYU I saw Meir Kahane speak
and he blew me away -- he was amazing ... After hearing him speak, I
wanted to pack my bags and go to Israel ... I called the JDO several
times, wanted to join, but they never returned my calls."
[Jews surrounded the Beatles throughout their career; here one
allegedly hustles George Harrison at his death bed. The consummate
exploitive predator? ]
[The Omnipresent Jew -- wherever there is money, power,
influence. Jews are even to be found everywhere throughout the
exploited Black community, wherever there are glints of fame, influence,
or money. How about Jewish Defense League member (whose mother was Jewish)
Michael Fitzpatrick's much-publicized influence in encouraging Malcolm X's
daughter's plans to assassinate Louis Farrakhan? (Fitzpatrick was Qubillah Shabazz's cocaine-addict boyfriend).
How about Jose
"Yosi" Medina's influence in Autumn Jackson's extortion plot to elicit
millions of dollars from African-American actor Bill Cosby? Once Medina
was in court and on trial for his role in the scheme, Medina's lawyer
announced that his client -- due to hitting his head in a bathtub accident
in 1983, "doesn't remember where he's from" but he remembers "always being
Jewish." [HAYS, p. 3] Diana Ross had a bad marriage to Robert Silberstein, understood to
help her solo career as a singer. Diahann Carroll's first two husbands were also Jewish: Monte Kay
(owner of the Birdland jazz nightclub), and Freddie Glusman, head of a Las
Vegas dress shop. The second marriage collapsed after Glusman regularly
beat her. On and
on ... ]
is set to lead BSO in new direction,
Jam, Lyor Cohen Guilty Of Fraud; Ja Rule Fights Patrick 'Dirty Dancing'
[Lyor Cohen spent years in his youth in Israel. His father is
[The Time$ They Are a-Changin'. Bob Dylan hid his real Jewish
name (Robert Zimmerman) and was built to power by the Jewish music
industry, lying his way from the start that he was another Oklahoma Woody
Guthrie, representing the common man. "Dylan" was always a "social
conscience" fraud: his first concern was always to get rich. His "social
conscience" is a dime deep. Like so many socialist Jews who became
millionaire capitalists, he represents the quintessential Jewish SELL-OUT.
We can expect him to be financing porno movies soon. It is fitting that he
ends his career hustling bras for a few more bucks to buy another jacuzzi
and tennis court.]
[Everywhere, the Zionist Thought Police:]
Ilkka Talvi to leave Seattle Symphony After 20 years as concertmaster,
the Beatles and a ‘blacklisted journalist’,
Power of Kabbalah : This Book Contains the Secrets of the Universe and the
Meaning of Our Lives,
The pilfered Christian holy term "Madonna," close to her natural
state, applied with gusto to sacred Jewish Mysticism: "Me Tarzan.
And here's the Jewish Road to Success? At Sire Records, an affiliate of Warners, Seymour Stein's artist
stable has included Madonna, Talking Heads, the Ramones, and many other
premiere talents. But in the beginning, "before long," says Christopher
Anderson, "[producer Mark] Kamins and
Madonna became lovers ... After a few days together, Madonna felt
comfortable enough to spring her tape on Kamins ... He had become friendly
with an up-and-coming artist and repertorie man at Warner's Sire label named Michael
Rosenblatt ... Rosenblatt took the tape to the mercurial [Seymour] Stein."
Madonna also got her start in movies in Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan.
[ANDERSON, 1991, p. 96-98, 121] Guy Oseary, born in Jerusalem, is "a
partner in Madonna's Maverick Records" and he wrote a book called
Jews Who Rock, about Jewish performers in the rock and roll world.
"I keep getting calls," he says, "And they say, 'Why wasn't I in your
book? I rock. And I'm Jewish.'" [BOUCHER, G., 4-17-01, p. 62; TAYLOR, L.,
12-27-00, p. F5] Oseary "as Maverick's chief talent finder has become one
of Madonna's most trusted confidants." [FURMAN, P., 6-17-98, p.
Guy Oseary, born in Jerusalem, is "a partner in Madonna's Maverick Records" and he wrote a book called Jews Who Rock, about Jewish performers in the rock and roll world. "I keep getting calls," he says, "And they say, 'Why wasn't I in your book? I rock. And I'm Jewish.'" [BOUCHER, G., 4-17-01, p. 62; TAYLOR, L., 12-27-00, p. F5] Oseary "as Maverick's chief talent finder has become one of Madonna's most trusted confidants." [FURMAN, P., 6-17-98, p. 12]
Manager Denies Wrong Doing,
From: The Beatles. Unauthorized. Good Times DVD [Section 12 in the DVD]. (Excecutive producers: Ken Cayre, Joe Cayre, Stan Cayre).
Reporter at Beatles press conference: "Gentlemen, the New York Times Magazine of Sunday July 3 (196-?) carried an article by Maureen Cleave [spelling?] in which she quoted the Beatles -- not by name -- as saying 'show business is an extension of the Jewish religion.' Would you mind amplifying that?
Off-camera Beatle (Paul McCartney?): Did she say that?
John Lennon: I said that to her as well. Uh ... No comment.
Off-camera Beatle (Paul McCartney?): Come on, John. Tell them what you meant.
John: You can read into it what you like. It's just a little old statement. It's not very serious, you know.