NEW YORK (AP) - Ahmet Ertegun, who helped define American music as the founder of Atlantic Records, a label that popularized the gritty R&B of Ray Charles, the classic soul of Aretha Franklin and the British rock of the Rolling Stones, has died, his spokesman said. He was 83.
Many already have an idea how old I am. But for those that don't, I am about to put any uncertainty that may remain, to rest. You see, I am an avid rock and roller, to this very day. I like most any kind of music (with the exception of metal and rap), but rock and roll of any style or genre, is purely my favorite.
Not only did this man's record label carry the Stones, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin, but here are few others, as well:
Led Zeppelin - The band that has influenced more alternative bands than you can shake a grunge at. Bands like Soundgarden are heavy on the early-Zeppelinesque riffs, found in their first three albums.
Genesis - These guys had some staying power, well into the 80s and early 90s. They had two lead-singers that became quite popular in solo careers. Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins (who was also on Atlantic).
Stone Temple Pilots - Popular and very creative band whose lead singer got strung out on heroin. Many of their influences were from Led Zep, as well. Despite the misfortunes placed on it by this guy, Interstate Love Song still gets my rock and roll spirit flying.
Matchbox Twenty - This band was probably the best band to come out of the 90s. Their style is unique, creative, and their musci is very versatile. The CD Yourself or Someone like You was a masterpiece with the song, Real World, as one my all time favorite songs and one of the absolutely best set of lyrics, I have ever heard.
Jet - An Aussie band that really kicks. You cannot be a rock and roll fan and not like Jet. They have a classy but raw style that will get your foot tapping and put a smile on your face, when you hear them. Their song, Are You Gonna Be My Girl, is exceptionally good.
These are just a few of my favorites that were at one time or another on Atlantic records. There are certainly many more, maybe even a few that you might like. But the man that pioneered all of this, is now gone. The record industry has truly lost a great one here. Our thoughts and prayer go out to the family.