johntunc

Worked with the great record promotion man Tunc Erim at Atlantic Records in 1972.

(The above picture was taken by the legendary music biz photographer PoPsie.

I was very young when I took the job, a green 25 years old. I worked for Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, and in a way for Tunc. It was only a year but the year was so crowded with crazy days and legendary people, it seemed much longer.

Many years have passed but it is still a vivid time for me.

Sorry to read Tunc passed in 2012.

Atlantic issued this biography:

Born in Turkey, Tunc became a basketball star in his native country, and carried the Turkish flag into Helsinki Stadium during the summer Olympics ceremonies in 1952. In 1966, he decided to begin a new life in the United States. As fate would have it, while aboard the ship crossing the Atlantic, Tunc met fellow Turk and noted Atlantic Records producer Arif Mardin, who invited him to a party that weekend in New York. At the party, Tunc saw an elderly woman sitting alone, and asked her to dance. While she politely declined his invitation, she asked him to sit with her and tell her why he decided to move from Istanbul to New York. The woman was Hayrunnisa Ertegun, the mother of Atlantic founder Ahmet Ertegun and his brother, fellow Atlantic executive Nesuhi.

The next day, Ahmet’s mother called her son to say that she had met an extraordinary young man and asked if he and his brother could meet him and help him out. When Tunc arrived at the legendary Atlantic Studios at 1841 Broadway, the Rascals were in the waiting room singing “A Beautiful Morning.” Tunc was offered a job as tape librarian for $68 a week, and the rest, as they say, is rock and roll history.

Tunc advanced from tape librarian to assistant to Arif Mardin before being named Studio Manager. He had a natural love and affinity for musicians, who loved him equally in return. He lived for the music and he understood the creative temperament, qualities that served him very well when he was made Director of Artist Relations in 1972. In 1974, he moved to the company’s Promotion Department as National Special Projects and Album Coordinator, where he developed invaluable relationships with the burgeoning rock radio community. In 1977, he became National Pop Album Promotion Coordinator, before being upped to Vice President of National Album Promotion in 1979.

In 1982, Tunc took over Artist Development responsibilities at Atlantic, and in 1989 he became a Senior Vice President of the company. It was while in that post that Tunc suffered a brain aneurysm in 1994.

Ever self-effacing, Tunc played a pivotal, yet often unheralded role in the careers of countless artists and in the development of the modern music industry. Among his many accomplishments, he was an “unsung hero” in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum being built in Cleveland. Tunc knew Cleveland as a true rock and roll mecca and championed the city to Hall of Fame co-founder Ahmet Ertegun. Cleveland ended up on the short list, and eventually won the prize.

Tunc was a true mentor, friend, and confidant to countless artists and colleagues through his three decades in the music world, among them Led Zeppelin, Bette Midler, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Genesis, Tori Amos, and many, many other performers and executives. His irresistible charm, wise counsel, and sense of humor endeared him to everyone he met, and he will be deeply missed by all those whose lives he touched so deeply.

#TBT: ME AND THE GREAT TUNC ERIM, Atlantic Records, 1972

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