Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ahmet Ertegun, together with his brother Nesuhi, producer Tom Dowd, Jerry Wexler and others created the Atlantic Records in the late 1940s as an independent record company that became a jazz and pop empire in the 1960s.
Their first success came in rhythm and blues, with such artists as Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, The Clovers, The Drifters, and Ray Charles. Regarding Ray Charles, Ahmet Ertegun is quoted as saying "First time I saw Ray I told him, 'You are the f---ing end, you know.' "
They brought a jazz sensibility (and many jazz artists) into R&B and participated in turning the genre from a minority interest into a major part of the musical scene. Ahmet Ertegun wrote a number of classic blues songs, including "Chains of Love" and "Sweet Sixteen" under the pseudonym A. Nugetre (Ertegun backwards).
During the 1960s, Ahmet heard Led Zeppelin's demo and knew they would be a smash hit after hearing the first few songs. He quickly signed them.
Many independent record executives, like the Erteguns, were from immigrant backgrounds, including the Bihari brothers and the Chess brothers.
Although their primary musical interest was jazz (both brothers promoted jazz concerts, founded jazz record companies and organized jazz bands), through artists like Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Hank Crawford , they were also open to more modern popular styles and worked with such famous artists as Sonny and Cher.
See: Turkish music
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