Several years ago, back when Primedia still had a luxury box at Madison Square Garden, the ad staff took a number of Atlantic Records staffers to a concert. I tagged along as trained monkey slash editor you could lay your hands on. When it was my turn to play nice with these prospective advertisers, I began by saying what a monumental force in the music business Ahmet and brother Nesuhi (and Jerry Wexford) had built. That was met with blank stares all around. So I decided to name names: Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, buying the Stax/Volt catalog. Still more empty grins and light bulbs obviously not going on.
"Well, and then of course, there was the band that saved the label, Led Zeppelin"
To my utter amazement this group of twentysomething "label executives" still really didn't know what I was talking about. Just as I was about to explode and get insultingly incredulous, one very young woman, obviously promoted way beyond her experience or abilities piped up, "I’ve met Ahmet Ertegun!" Sighs of relief were breathed all around. She didn't know Plant and Page but she knew Ahmet.
Just as one legend dies another pair of legends–inwaiting appears on the scene. Congrats go out to Elvis Costello and Diana Krall on the birth of their twins: Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James.