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Troy Carter

Music manager Troy Carter was born on November 14, 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was raised in West Philadelphia, where he attended Huey Elementary and Sayre Middle School. In 1990, at the age of seventeen, Carter dropped out of West Philadelphia High School in pursuit of a career in the music industry.

Carter first worked for Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment. He then joined Bad Boy Entertainment in 1995, where he worked with musical artists such as Notorious B.I.G. In 1999, Carter met and began to manage rapper Eve Jeffers. He subsequently co-founded his own management company called Erving Wonder, where he managed rap acts like Floetry and Nelly. In 2004, Erving Wonder was acquired by the Sanctuary Group.

In 2007, Carter was asked to manage Lady Gaga. That same year, he founded Coalition Media Group. In 2010, he established Coalition Media Group’s management division Atom Factory, where he serves as chairman and chief executive officer. Since then, Carter has managed the careers of numerous recording artists such as John Legend, Greyson Chance, Mindless Behavior, Priyanka Chopra, Lindsey Stirling, the Ceremonies, and John Mayer.

In 2011, he co-founded The Backplane, a Silicon Valley-based startup branding company. In 2012, he created A \ IDEA, a product development and branding agency, as well as AF Square, an angel fund and technology consultancy with investments in over sixty startup companies including Spotify, Warby Parker, Songza, Dropbox, Fab, and Uber. In addition, Carter has established a beverage company called POPwater.

Carter has served as an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow and sits on the boards of The Grammy Foundation, the T.J. Martell Foundation, the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council and The Buckley School.

Troy Carter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.244

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/09/2014

Last Name

Carter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lemar

Occupation
Schools

Samuel B. Huey School

William L. Sayre High School

West Philadelphia High School

First Name

Troy

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

CAR31

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

You Can’t Fall Off The Floor.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/14/1972

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chinese

Short Description

Music manager Troy Carter (1972 - ) was the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Atom Factory, Inc. He managed the careers of numerous recording artists including Lady Gaga, John Legend and John Mayer.

Employment

Overbrook Entertainment

Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group

Erving Wonder

Coalition Media Group

Eve Jeffries (recording artist)

Atom Factory

Lady Gaga (recording artist)

The Backplane

AF Square

A \ IDEA

POPwater

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Troy Carter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Troy Carter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Troy Carter describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Troy Carter remembers his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Troy Carter describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Troy Carter talks about his father's research into his family lineage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Troy Carter remembers his parents' divorce

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Troy Carter describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Troy Carter describes his early home life

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Troy Carter talks about his early interests

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Troy Carter describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Troy Carter describes his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Troy Carter talks about his father's incarceration, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Troy Carter talks about his father's incarceration, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Troy Carter talks about his father's accomplishments

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Troy Carter recalls his challenges during his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Troy Carter talks about the crack cocaine epidemic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Troy Carter remembers Lawrence Goodman

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Troy Carter recalls his early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Troy Carter remembers getting into trouble as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Troy Carter recalls his mother's efforts to reform him and his brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Troy Carter talks about his hip hop group, 2 Too Many

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Troy Carter talks about working with Will Smith and James Lassiter

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Troy Carter recalls the breakup of 2 Too Many

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Troy Carter remembers working with James Lassiter at Overbrook Entertainment in Beverly Hills, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Troy Carter reflects upon his time with James Lassiter

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Troy Carter remembers living in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Troy Carter talks about the mentorship of James Lassiter, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Troy Carter talks about the mentorship of James Lassiter, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Troy Carter recalls meeting P. Diddy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Troy Carter talks about his experiences as a concert organizer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Troy Carter remembers Kenny Gamble

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Troy Carter remembers the death of The Notorious B.I.G.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Troy Carter recalls managing Eve

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Troy Carter talks about his experiences as Eve's manager

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Troy Carter recalls selling Erving Wonder Entertainment to Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Troy Carter describes his experiences working for Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Troy Carter recalls reacquiring his company from Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Troy Carter talks about his professional setbacks in the mid-2000s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Troy Carter remembers meeting Lady Gaga

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Troy Carter talks about his initial experiences as Lady Gaga's manager

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Troy Carter recalls using social media to market Lady Gaga

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Troy Carter talks about Lady Gaga's early tours

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Troy Carter describes Lady Gaga's sudden popularity

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Troy Carter talks about his working relationship with Lady Gaga

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Troy Carter reflects upon his success with Lady Gaga

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Troy Carter remembers his favorite Lady Gaga performance

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Troy Carter describes the logistics of Lady Gaga's international tours

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Troy Carter talks about celebrities' use of social media

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Troy Carter talks about the corporate structure of Atom Factory, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Troy Carter describes his clientele

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Troy Carter talks about his clients' philanthropic work

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Troy Carter describes his experiences as a technology investor

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Troy Carter describes the diversification of the Atom Factory, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Troy Carter talks about his technology company investments

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Troy Carter talks about the social media platform Backplane

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Troy Carter talks about ending his professional relationship with Lady Gaga

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Troy Carter talks about the importance of mentorship

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Troy Carter talks about his mentors

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Troy Carter reflects upon his connection to Reginald F. Lewis

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Troy Carter reflects upon the legacy of his generation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Troy Carter describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Troy Carter talks about his family

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
Troy Carter recalls meeting P. Diddy
Troy Carter reflects upon his connection to Reginald F. Lewis
Transcript
How do you get to Bad Boy [Bad Boy Records] at that time?$$I was doing--I was promoting these shows in Philly [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] and you know I, I--the hip hop shows in Philly, nobody--none, none of the big promoters would touch the hip hop shows in Philly and you couldn't get them insured. They were really, really tough to get insurance for just because it would be violence and you know things like that would happen so nobody didn't want to touch it. So--and I loved the music and I would go and I would get money from guys in my neighborhood to go out and, and bring these acts from New York [New York] in to do these concerts. And--$$Would you get the place for it to be held?$$Yes, I would go, I would find the hall or the nightclub and you know, and you know, we would pay a rental fee and we would pay the acts you know a few thousand bucks [dollars] or whatever. And what I didn't know is you know those acts would turn out to be you know, Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G. [Biggie Smalls; The Notorious B.I.G.], Jay-Z, Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown, so a lot of those acts you know we were the first promoters to bring them to Philly. And one of the concerts that I had, I was bringing Notorious B.I.G. to the, to the Penn, to University of Penn's campus [University of Pennsylvania] at the Civic Center [Philadelphia Convention Hall and Civic Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] and one of his first concerts in Philly, I--one of the kids who was working on the show runs to the back and he said he you know, "B.I.G.'s not here yet. He's scheduled to be on stage in fifteen minutes. We got to call the manager." So, I called up the manager and you know I said, "Where the hell is B.I.G.? Where is he?" He said, "We're shooting this video right now in New York but you know we're going to still try to make it down in time." You know New York's two hours away from Philly. And, and they came two hours late, the show was over. And the guy who ran the music label was this guy named Puff, P. Diddy [Sean Combs] and he told the manager, Mark Pitts, he said, "You know what, let's give this guy his money back and let's give him another, another show. Let's go all hang out." So, we had this, we were having this after party at a club called Fever downtown [Club Fever, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], and I was asking Puff, I said, "You know what, what, what do you do? Like tell, tell me about what you do?" So, you know he's telling me you know, "I run, da, da, da, da, da, da." I said, "I want to come work for you." He said, "Your first job is to get me that girl behind the bar," (laughter) and I went up to the bar and I told the girl, I said, "Hey, this guy is--," you know. So, I made the, I made the introduction. Probably three or four weeks later I was, I was joining the internship program at Bad Boy Entertainment.$$So, where was Bad Boy located at that point?$$In New York City.$$No, but I mean what, what building?$$This--we were on 19th [Street] and 5th [Avenue] at the time.$So, you know a few weeks ago--and this was like my, it was, it was mind blowing. Because you know I read, I read the, I read you know Reginald Lewis' biography ['Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire,' Reginald F. Lewis and Blair S. Walker] you know when I--in, in '95 [1995], '96 [1996], some- somewhere like when it first came out. And no, it was before that, maybe '93 [1993], and it blew my mind. I read this book probably fifteen, twenty times, over and over. And I always would think about this guy, what would he do? Like you know it just really, it was incredible. So, last year I spoke at this MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts] conference and I was coming off stage and this girl [Christina Lewis Halpern] walks over to me and she said, "You know I'm starting this foundation around black kids that code. I would love to talk to you about it." So, I said, "I'm in." I said, "Anything around computer science with young black kids I'm, I'm in." So, you know we, we're talking about it. So, a guy walks over and he has his lanyard on and she says, "Oh this is such and such. He, he, he worked with my father." And then I looked and it said the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation [New York, New York] and I said, "Your dad was Reginald Lewis [Reginald F. Lewis]?" She said, "Yes." I said "Look," I said, "I got chills." I said, "You have no idea the impact your dad has had on my life." I said, "I'm here on--today because of him. Like you have no idea." So, I'm getting excited, I'm talking to her about it. So, over the last year I helped her with it. Three weeks ago she had this thing at her house. And, and it was at her place, their, their place in the Hamptons [New York] and it was the launch of this, of the, the foundation that they launched, All Star Code. And me and my wife [Rebecca Carter] flew in and at the airport is this you know astute black gentleman at the airport and he says, "Mr. Carter [HistoryMaker Troy Carter], we've been waiting for you. The, you know, thank you for coming, dah, dah, dah." And I'm not, and I'm you know so he walks us to this car and it's a 1988 Bentley and we get in and he turns around and he says, "This was Mr. Lewis' car. And it, and you're sitting where Mr. Lewis used to sit." This--the guy was his but- was his butler and driver. So, now it's like--I was you know in the car, I was speechless because I never could have imagined sitting in his seat, going to his house and spending that time with his family, I never could have imagined being there. And so, you know, we stayed the night at the house and the next morning when we, when we were leaving Loida [Loida Nicolas Lewis] walked over to me and she said, "It's time for you to write your book." And I said, "Well you know I thought about it. I don't know if I, you know, if I want to do it, you know, I don't, you know I don't know if it, if it's time." And she said, "I'm telling you," she said, "you know my--," she's like my--, "I had to do my husband's book after he died." She said, "It's time for you to write your book." She said, "I'm going to introduce you to Blair [Blair S. Walker] who wrote my husband's book." This is how the world comes full circle. Monday she introduces, she sends out an email with, to Blair and Blair responds, "I've been looking for you." He said, "I've called your office. I've tried to get in touch with you. I've been wanting to write this book about you, you know because this is the next generation of what Reginald left behind, this is, this is for that next generation behind Reginald," because Reginald was about Wall Street and you know and leverage buyouts and that sort of thing. And to be able to talk to young black kids about technology and thinking--you know. So, and so now Blair and I are getting ready to start on, embark on this project.$$Thanks to Loida.$$Yep.

Bunnie Jackson-Ransom

Bunnie Jackson-Ransom was born on November 16, 1940 in Louisburg, North Carolina to Burnell James Hayes and Elizabeth Day Hayes. She attended North Carolina College in Durham, North Carolina, graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. degree in business and a minor in education. Jackson-Ransom then received her M.S. degree in business from North Carolina Central University School of Business and Economics in 1969.

Jackson-Ransom was hired as an instructor of business and supervisor of secretarial services at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She then joined Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Inc., where she was a contract specialist, program coordinator, director of planning and program development during her five-year tenure. In 1965, she met and married Maynard Jackson, who went on to become the first black mayor of Atlanta in 1973; Jackson-Ransom and Jackson divorced in 1976.

In 1975, Jackson-Ransom founded firstClass, Inc., a company specializing in marketing, community affairs, communications and public relations. With firstClass, Inc., she has worked with many clients including The National Conference of Black Mayors, Waste Management, Inc. and the Burger King Corporation. Jackson-Ransom is responsible for designing and implementing many on-going community action projects for her clients, working to include the goals of the urban community that benefit and enhance the lives of the least fortunate. In 1978, Jackson-Ransom worked with Bernadette Carey, publicity director of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, on a line of black cosmetics. She would later marry Raymond Ransom, a bass player for the musical group, Brick. From 1979 to 1983, Jackson-Ransom was owner and operator of Airport Amusement Concessions at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta. She also managed the careers of several performing artists between 1978 and 1988 when she served as Chief Administrative Officer of a conglomerate company under the umbrella of Atlanta Artists. For Atlanta Artists Management, Jackson-Ransom served as president. She managed multi-million dollar record sales, toured the world with performances and promotions, negotiated production deals for her artists (which included CAMEO and Larry Blackmon, The SOS Band and Cashflow) and carried her artists to gold and platinum record status. She also served as an instructor at Georgia State University teaching a course called “Artist Representation” from 1981 to 1990 and in 1995.

Jackson-Ransom is a member of the Atlanta League of Women Voters (organizer of the Cascade Heights Branch), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Executive Committee member of the Atlanta branch of the NAACP, the Azalea Chapter of The Links, Inc., the Metropolitan Atlanta Coalition of 100 Black Women and the National Council of Negro Women. Her awards include Outstanding Young Women in America (1970-1980). Jackson-Ransom has been listed in Who’s Who in American Women, Who’s Who in Georgia and Who’s Who in Black America from 1981 to the present. She was listed in Dollars and Sense Magazine as one of “America’s Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women” in 1985. She was also listed among Atlanta’s “Top 100 Women of Influence” by the Atlanta Business League from 1997 to 2005 and received a community service award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in January of 2008.

Jackson-Ransom is the proud mother of four (Beth Jackson Hodges, Brooke Jackson Edmond, Rae Yvonne Ransom and Maynard H. Jackson, III), grandmother of five (Isabella Daisy Jackson, Luke Benjamin Jackson, Hayes Jackson Edmond, Brooke Lee Irene Edmond and Cassandra Elizabeth Edmond) and is an active member of Cascade United Methodist Church.

Jackson-Ransom was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.113

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/27/2007 |and| 7/13/2010

Last Name

Jackson-Ransom

Maker Category
Schools

Franklin Country Training School

North Carolina College

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Bunnie

Birth City, State, Country

Louisburg

HM ID

JAC24

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Adults, seniors, women's groups.

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Adults, seniors, women's groups.

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any City

Favorite Quote

Say What You Mean And Mean What You Say.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/16/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Marketing entrepreneur and music manager Bunnie Jackson-Ransom (1940 - ) owned and operated Atlanta's Airport Amusement Concessions and managed the musical groups, The SOS Band and Cameo.

Employment

firstClass, Inc.

Bennett College

Economic Opportunity Atlanta

Georgia State University

The North Carolina Fund

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bunnie Jackson-Ransom's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her community in Louisburg, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers harvesting tobacco

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her relationships with her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the Franklin County Training School in North Carolina, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes the South Main Street Baptist Church in Louisburg, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the Franklin County Training School in North Carolina, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls the television programs and music of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls the teachers at the Franklin County Training School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls North Carolina Central University at Durham in North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls her marriage to Donald Burke

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers returning to school after her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls her work at the James E. Shepard Memorial Foundation, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers earning her M.B.A. degree

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls teaching at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls her introduction to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers her move to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers Julian Bond

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work at Economic Opportunity Atlanta, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work at Economic Opportunity Atlanta, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes the planning department of Economic Opportunity Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes Maynard Jackson's political career, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes Maynard Jackson's political career, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls Maynard Jackson's election to Atlanta vice-mayor

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls her volunteer work in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers Maynard Jackson's first mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work with formerly incarcerated women, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work with formerly incarcerated women, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about representing artist Ernie Barnes

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers founding firstClass, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls becoming the sole owner of firstClass, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes the development of her clientele at firstClass, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers her celebrity clients at firstClass, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her divorce from Maynard Jackson

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers meeting Ray Ransom

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work in the music industry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her marriage to Ray Ransom

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her community engagement at firstClass, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her organizational affiliations, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her organizational affiliations, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes the Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her board memberships

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her retirement

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Bunnie Jackson-Ransom's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls joining the sit-in movement in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the sit-ins in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls meeting Reverend Jesse L. Jackson

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her marriage to Maynard Jackson

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the events of 1968

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls Maynard Jackson's U.S. Senate campaign

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls Maynard Jackson's vice mayoralty of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the law firm of Jackson, Patterson, and Parks

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work in the entertainment industry

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom reflects upon the death of Michael Jackson

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers Lena Horne

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her marriage to Ray Ransom

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers managing The S.O.S. Band and Cameo

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls leaving the entertainment industry

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls developing her corporate clientele

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her venture into public transit advertisement

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers her venture into airport hospitality

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her daughter, Rae Ransom

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her grandchildren

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her book, 'Getting the Word Out'

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her plans for the future

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom narrates her photographs

DASession

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DAStory

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DATitle
Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers harvesting tobacco
Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the sit-ins in Durham, North Carolina
Transcript
Then, during the summer, in another area of, of property that my father [Burnell Hayes] owned, he would plant tobacco and cotton, and during the summer, he would harvest the cotton and the tobacco. And he would get people to go out and pick cotton and, and, and pull tobacco, where you would pull it from the bottom of the stalks. As the stalks would grow, you'd pull the tobacco out, off, and get them cured. And there would be thick worms, oh, and the worms would frighten me, obviously. But my mother [Elizabeth Day Hayes]--this is a story--my mother had some white leather glove, and my father wanted me to work with him in the summertime. So I discovered that working in, in the tobacco part would keep me out of the sun because there was a big shade tree, and they would wrap the tobacco. In other words, they would harvest the tobacco, bring it to this particular area in a manmade tobacco truck, which they pulled. And the peo- and the people, the workers would take the tobacco leaves out of the truck, and wrap them around a stick. You call that wrapping tobacco, so I discovered that if I wrapped the tobacco around the stick, getting it ready to put it in the barn, so it would cure, that I could do that in the shade, rather than in the sun, where they were really pulling it. So I got my mother's white leather gloves, put them on, because when you handle tobacco, there was sticky stuff that would get all over your hands. It would turn your hands black. It, it would coat your hands. So, I'd gotten my mother's white leather gloves (laughter), put them on, and wrapped tobacco (laughter). Obviously, my mother was furious. She never had another pair of black leather, black, I'm sorry, white--$$White--$$--white leather gloves because I ruined them wrapping tobacco. But I remember her telling me, "Sug, you know, you should not have done that." But my mother was very loving and very kind. She didn't spank me. I wonder why--I would have spanked me (laughter).$Well, what happened during the sit-in, when you went in to sit-in, tell me what ha- what transpired while you were there.$$We were coached on why we were going, and we were coached on what not to do, you know.$$What were some of the things you were taught, or told to do or not do (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) We were told not to get angry. We were told not to talk back. We were told to just sit-in, be calm, be quiet primarily, and be pleasant, not to be rude, and to behave (laughter). And so, we did that. Now, you know, there were a lot of us, so we were, we were typical eighteen year olds, seventeen year olds. I was seventeen at the time, and I think I was just as concerned about who I was sitting next to, as I was about why I was sitting there, because that was what was on our minds. And they took Mr. McKissick [Floyd McKissick], and somebody whose name was--he was president of our student body, and his name will come to me, but he was also a, a student leader who galvanized us together and, and sent us there.$$When you say a lot of students, was it a hundred?$$Fifty.$$Fifty?$$Um-hm.$$Okay. And the police came in. Tell me what happened after the sit-in (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) The police came in, and herded us all out, and we were told to, to move, and we were told, oh, we were told to, to be still when we were asked to move. We knew that we were going to be asked to leave. And we were told to just sit there. So we sat there, and then we were told that we were going to be arrested if we didn't leave. And we continued to sit, and so we were, we were all asked to leave, and we walked outside of the store. And then, there was the vehicle there to put us in the back of a van, and take us to the jail. Well, that never happened. That's when the negotiations must have happened because we were all told to go back to the campus.$$And the outcome of the sit-in? Did they do any good?$$Oh, well ob- yes, it (laughter), it, it did, but at that point, we didn't go--I did not go back to sit-in again. Once again, I, I had a child [Elizabeth Jackson Hodges]. My oldest daughter was born, and so I had some different responsibilities that led me to go to class, and I had jobs and so forth. So, I didn't never go back to sit-in. My experience was that one time.$$Okay. So, and tell me what year your daughter was born.$$She was born in '59 [1959].$$All right. So, the next--$$This was in February, February or March of '60 [1960] when we were sitting in.

John Levy

Renowned music manager John Levy was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on April 11, 1912. His mother was a midwife and nurse and his father was an engine stoker on the railroad. At the age of six, the Levy family moved to Chicago, and as he went through school, a teacher encouraged him to find a stable job at the post office.

Levy, however, had dreams of music, and by 1944 he was in New York playing bass for the Stuff Smith Trio at the Onyx Club. Over the next few years, Levy played with a number of other jazz notables, including Ben Webster, Errol Garner and Milt Jackson, as well as with Billie Holiday at her comeback performance at Carnegie Hall in 1948. In 1949, Levy joined the George Shearing Quartet, and as they toured the country he took on the role of road manager. In 1951, he put performing aside and became a full-time manager for the group, becoming the first African American to work as a personal manager in the pop and jazz music industry. Over the ensuing years, he represented a number of other jazz stars, including Nat and Cannonball Adderley, Nancy Wilson, Ramsey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, Roberta Flack and Wes Montgomery to name just a few.

Levy is still active as a manager after more than fifty years in the business. He has also recently written a book on his experiences in the record industry entitled Men, Women and Girl Singers: My Life as a Musician Turned Talent Manager. Former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley honored him by proclaiming a John Levy Day, and in 1997 he was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame.

Levy passed away on January 20, 2012 at the age of 99.

Accession Number

A2004.197

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/7/2004

Last Name

Levy

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Frances E. Willard Elementary School

Hyde Park Academy High School

Englewood High School

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

John J. Pershing West Middle School

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

LEV01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/11/1912

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Red), Rice

Death Date

1/20/2012

Short Description

Music manager John Levy (1912 - 2012 ) is renowned for his work as a manager with clients including Cannonball and Nat Adderley, Nancy Wilson, Ramsey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, Roberta Flack, and Wes Montgomery. Levy also played bass for the George Shearing Quartet and the Stuff Smith Trio.

Employment

Delete

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Levy interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Levy's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Levy talks about his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Levy talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Levy discusses differences between his mother and father's upbringings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Levy remembers his mother's professional life

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Levy recalls childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Levy shares childhood experiences in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Levy describes attending Mardi Gras

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Levy remembers living in Chicago as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Levy remembers peddlers in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Levy recalls Chicago's 1919 race riot

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Levy talks about his childhood lifestyle

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Levy discusses gang activity during grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Levy tells of his early musical endeavors

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Levy shares memories of grade school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Levy talks about his relationship with religion

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Levy explains his relocation from Chicago to New Orleans

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - John Levy remembers his high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - John Levy discusses life during the Great Depression

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Levy discusses Chicago gangsters during the 1930s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Levy recalls jobs he held after high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Levy recalls playing with Stuff Smith and other musicians

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Levy remembers managing George Shearing

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Levy names other talent he managed

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Levy talks about differences in pay between the music business and show business

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Levy explains struggles of singer Dakota Staton, part I

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Levy explains struggles of singer Dakota Staton, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Levy shares his thoughts on the working relationship between talent and manager

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Levy explains his ethical code in representing talent

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Levy states reasons for not getting involved in the hip-hop music industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Levy talks about Nancy Wilson's public image

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Levy discusses common fears that black entertainers have regarding management

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Levy talks about his relationship with Arsenio Hall

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John Levy describes Nancy Wilson's successes

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Levy talks about Nancy Wilson's commitment to family life

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Levy explains his participation in the 'Soul to Soul' concert

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Levy discusses his photography hobby

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Levy discusses Letta Mbulu's career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Levy shares his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Levy talks about his family life and marriages

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Levy looks back on his image in the music business

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Levy considers his legacy

Fred Jones

Fred Jones, Jr., has devoted his life to entertaining others. Born January 2, 1948, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Lula and Freddie, Jones was the fourth of five children. He attended public schools in Memphis and then went on to earn his B.A. in 1971 from the University of Memphis.

While at the University of Memphis, Jones worked for Union Planters Bank as an internal auditor and assistant branch manager. Following graduation, however, Jones moved into the entertainment industry, working as a tour manager for Isaac Hayes until 1975. Jones then went on to do independent promotions, managing and producing events, for many in the entertainment industry. In 1984, Jones founded Summitt Management Corporation, where he currently serves as president.

During his career, Jones has created numerous entertainment promotions, including the Southern Heritage Classic Music and Football Weekend and the Southern Heritage Classic 2 Basketball Weekend, featuring ever-popular competitions among historically black colleges and universities. He also created the world-renowned Memphis Blues Festival. Jones has also brought Memphis some of its largest concerts and has taken concerts to African American audiences across the country.

Jones has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years, including the 2002 Award of Excellence from the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund; the 2002 African American Male Image Award for Business from Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity; the 2000 Outstanding Community Sales Award from the Sales and Marketing Executives of Memphis; and the 1996 Black Business of the Year Award from the Memphis Black Business Association. He is active in a number of civic organizations, including as a lifetime member with the NAACP, a member of Leadership Memphis, and as President of the Southern Heritage Foundation.

Jones and his wife, Carolyn, live in Memphis. They have six children.

Accession Number

A2003.144

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/26/2003

Last Name

Jones

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

University of Memphis

Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Fred

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

JON06

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Favorite Quote

You Can't Use Yesterday's Ball Scores In Today's Ball Game.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

1/2/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti

Short Description

Event management chief executive, entertainment promoter, and music manager Fred Jones (1948 - ) founded Summitt Entertainment. Prior to that, he was the tour manager for Isaac Hayes and the Isley Brothers.

Employment

Summitt Management Corporation

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Fred Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Fred Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Fred Jones describes his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Fred Jones talks about his family's history of sharecropping and migration

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Fred Jones talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Fred Jones talks about his respect for his father and his father's generation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Fred Jones talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Fred Jones talks about his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Fred Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Fred Jones talks about how his childhood neighborhood has changed

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Fred Jones talks about his childhood and teachers from his grade school years

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Fred Jones talks about his childhood dream of becoming an accountant

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Fred Jones talks about playing sports in high school and meeting Olympians Wilma Rudolph and Bob Hayes

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Fred Jones talks about joining his junior high honors society and learning to play music

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Fred Jones talks about the plane crash that killed four members of the Bar-Kays and Otis Redding

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Fred Jones talks about his decision to attend Memphis State College in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Fred Jones talks about the Vietnam War draft and his first job

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Fred Jones talks about how he got a job at Union Planters Bank in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Fred Jones talks about his reaction to the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Fred Jones talks about the racial climate in Memphis, Tennessee after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Fred Jones talks about graduating from the Memphis State College in 1971 and working for HistoryMaker Isaac Hayes

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Fred Jones talks about changes in the recording industry

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Fred Jones describes his responsibilities working for HistoryMaker Isaac Hayes

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Fred Jones talks about becoming an entertainment promoter

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Fred Jones talks about the first Southern Heritage Classic in 1990

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Fred Jones tells stories about working with artists like Count Basie, Bill Cosby, and John Davidson.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Fred Jones talks about demands from artists he worked with as an entertainment producer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Fred Jones talks about his personal and professional relationship with the Isley Brothers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Fred Jones talks about filing for bankruptcy and rebuilding his business

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Fred Jones talks about creating the Southern Heritage Classic

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Fred Jones talks about events during the Southern Heritage Classic and a rewarding experience

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Fred Jones talks about the black community in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Fred Jones talks about the Memphis Grizzlies and explains why Memphis, Tennessee did not get an NFL franchise

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Fred Jones talks about his role in securing the Memphis Grizzlies

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Fred Jones talks about the Memphis Grizzlies and what he hopes the team does for the City of Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Fred Jones talks about his hopes for the black community and for his future

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Fred Jones reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Fred Jones talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATape

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DATitle
Fred Jones talks about graduating from the Memphis State College in 1971 and working for HistoryMaker Isaac Hayes
Fred Jones talks about his personal and professional relationship with the Isley Brothers
Transcript
Now, now, so, so you worked at Planters Bank [Union Planters Bank, Nashville Tennessee] and you, you went to school [Memphis State College, later University of Memphis, Memphis Tennessee] at the same time?$$Yeah, I was going to school at night. And I did that all the way until the, the summer of '71 [1971]. Along the way I met, you know, [HM] Isaac Hayes, David Porter, the group The Soul Children, Jim Stewart, Al Bell, Otis Redding would come in there, Mack Rice who wrote 'Respect Yourself' and 'Cheaper to Keep Her.' You know it got to be [unclear] all these people.$$I didn't realize the same person wrote 'Respect Yourself' and 'Cheaper to Keep Her.'$$Yeah, yeah, Mike Rice, Cadillac assembly line. He's a character, yeah. Bonnie Mack Rice from Clarksdale, Mississippi, lives in Detroit [Michigan]. And he--but I was, I was still going to school, you know and I went nonstop from the time that you know that I, that I started back in, in the--in May of '68 [1968] until I, you know, I got to the summer of '71 [1971] and I didn't--I couldn't take the--the couple of classes that I needed to finish at night. And I didn't want to wait until the summer, so I took off during the summer from the job to go--to finish. And when I came back to talk to the bank, you know about what was gonna happen. You know, I graduated from college now and what was gonna happen at the bank. I remember the guy made a call to somebody and said well you know Fred Jones is here and you know, what we gone do with him? I'm, you know I'm sitting there listening to him and got off the phone and he said well, we don't know what we gone do with you. In the meantime, Isaac Hayes offered me a job working for him. Say he needed, you know, his 'Shaft' was just breaking, breaking big and they finna go on the road and they needed somebody who, who could handle money.$$'Shaft' was breaking real big.$$Yeah.$$It was the biggest thing in the--$$Yeah, so actually the biggest thing in the world. And said, you know we want you to--you know, we gone go out on a tour and we want you to, you know, somebody who can count money. Obviously with my experiencing in banking and--so my first day on the job, I was on a plane going to LA [Los Angeles]. And they say the rest is history, you know. And, and I left the bank and went with Isaac and that was my real--although I had done some things for the Soul Children on the weekends. But that was the real, the real big thing for me, going with Isaac and learning how to do manifests and count tickets and all those kinds of things, how they worked.$$Okay so your, your responsibilities were primarily counting responsibilities.$$Well here again, I've always liked numbers. So you, you'll probably hear this kind of a, a central theme through my whole career. You know, you know my job was to pick up the money and account for it. You know if it was, was spent somewhere, then you just make sure that you get the, the receipts and you account for--I, if I picked up 15,000 dollars then the money might go wherever it was, you know it was to go, but at the end of the day I needed to have you know, if it was less than 15,000, I have that, you know and an accounting of it, you know. Which was a thing that you, you know that you kind of learn going on that you got to, you got to make this money, but you also have to account for it, especially the expenses. So you know for income tax purposes and all that.$Tell us about the Southern Heritage Classic. How did you get the idea for that and when did you start?$$Well let, let me make--let me say one thing here. I don't wanna let that go. One of the other groups that I've gotten really close to over the years was the Isley Brothers. And it's, it's strangely how that happened. They were gonna go out on a tour in the late '70s [1970s], can't think of the exact year. And think it was '77 [1977], '78 [1978], I can't--one of the years. And a guy named James O. Thomas [ph.] who I knew from working with [HM] Isaac [Hayes], was working with them. And they had tried some promoters and things didn't work out. He said well I know this guy who can--I know he can get it done. So he called me up and said you know, we want, you know they want you, to consider you to do this tour. Really? I don't have no money. I ain't have money to take the trip to New York. They gon' take care of that. They just want somebody to take care of it. So that started a relationship that I still have with the, with the family from, from, you know from that point. And it kind of showed me a side of what, what can be done in this business 'cause they were one of the first groups that--they were doing their own shows, writing their own music, playing their own music, had their own business. And I remember we doing the, the tours--the times that I--when I first started it, they were financing it. I did everything else. Only thing they did was sing. Where, where the arena they played, how much the ticket prices were, where they stayed, all of those kind of things were taken care of. All they had, had--what time do we go on stage? And, and we took care of that. And that was a tremendous relationship that I still have with the, with them right now, with Ronald [Isley] and Ernie [Isley] and they're the two ones that are still in the band now. But Kelly [O'Kelly Isley, Jr.] who's the older brother, who kind of--everything kind of flowed through Kelly in terms of the business and what have you. And he was telling me one time, he say you know people don't realize about the entertainment business, how emotional it is. You're on a tremendous high, and tremendous low. And you know that's kind of tough to take. You got a record that you put a lot of things in and goes to number one, then you have one that, that could flop. Fortunate for them, once they start, you know, started churning out hit records with, with the younger brothers, you know and, and Chris [Jasper], you know, the brother-in-law, man it was--they had a tremendous run. And I was right, right there for the, right there for that.$$Yeah, one of the few groups that they had a hit almost every year for the last thirty years.$$It's tremendous. You know then you hear the stories about the time when they went to Motown, or hear the story about the (unclear), you know, how they--nobody would that take that record and they took they last money and, and, and produced it themselves, one of the biggest records in their history. You know just, you know they were--at the time I was, when I was with them, it was like when I was with [HM] Isaac [Hayes], I was right in the forefront of what was going on with, with music. And you know not people--not that many people get that opportunity to, to be where the action is. When I was with Isaac, Isaac had the number one record in the world. I mean all the Vegas [Las Vegas, Nevada] shows was doing the theme from 'Shaft.' We went to Europe, worked with Burt Bacharach. We--one of the first artist that sold you know, a million records--equivalent of a million records in Canada, you know. It was tremendous. The Isley Brothers came along with 'Fight the Power' and all that stuff. Man, you right there in the middle of it and doing their own shows and doing you know, national tours and that kind of thing. It was tremendous. So, you know that was, you know I--being close to that, you know that family and that group for a long time.