R.I.P., Godfather of Soul

By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  December 27, 2006

Needless to say, the next time there is a celebration of an obscure American president at a cozy East Side intellectual nook, you’d be a fool to miss it.

The tastiest omelet
Your superior correspondents were rather taken aback by the lack of coverage in the mainstream media following the December 14 death of Ahmet Ertegun (or, as Otis Redding, one of the many great musicians discovered, signed, or cultivated by Ertegun, called him, “Omelet”). After all, Ahmet was a giant of 20th-century music and his Atlantic Records label was, perhaps, the greatest and most influential independent record company of all time.

Ertegun unleashed the genius of Ray Charles on the mainstream public. He and partner Jerry Wexler also knew what to do with Aretha Franklin after Columbia put out a couple of LPs in which Aretha sang light jazz and standards. The son of a Turkish ambassador, Ertegun turned his back on an establishment career to hang out at black nightclubs to dig the music. The rest of the world lucked out as a result.

Respect also to Joseph Barbera, who recently died, at age 95. He had teamed with William Hanna to create a number of cartoon icons, such as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and the Flintstones. No average bear, Barbera helped create series such as Scooby-Doo. All Phillipe & Jorge can say is, “Rut-ro.” Or should that be, “Sorry, Boo-boo”?

Email the authors
Phillipe & Jorge: p&j@phx.com

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