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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Mo Ostin, the executive who signed figures like Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, Van Halen, Green Day and Prince, has died

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Today it was reported that on Sunday Mo Ostin died, one of the great executives of the recording industry, who signed contracts with legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, Van Halen, Green Day, Prince, Eric Clapton and Joni Mitchell. He worked as a top executive at Warner-Reprise Records for more than three decades.

His death was confirmed by the co-presidents of Warner Records, CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck and COO Tom Corson, who wrote on their social networks that the legendary figure of the musical world died in his sleep, due to natural causes.

Mo Ostin

Mo Ostin

a corporate career

Born in New York in 1927, Morris Meyer Ostrofsky began his career in 1953, after studying economics at UCLA, when he got a job at Verve Records working in the Finance Department.

Seven years later, after a failed attempt to buy Verve, legendary singer Frank Sinatra launched his own label, Reprise, and hired Ostin to run it. In 1963, Reprise was purchased by Warner Bros.

Mo Ostin with Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr..

Mo Ostin with Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr..

Ostin quickly made a name for himself at Warner Bros., signing The Kinks in 1964 and Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1967. In 1970 he was promoted to president of Warner-Reprise and two years later, he would be named president/CEO, a position he held until his departure from the company in 1994.

A year later, he joined DreamWorks Records, where he remained for nearly a decade, before returning to Warner Bros. Records as a Consultant in 2006.

Under Ostin’s supervision, Warner Bros. signed some of the biggest bands and solo artists in musiclike Fleetwood Mac, Van Halen, The Who, Van Morrison, Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Steely Dan, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

Mo Ostin, along with Paul Simon, Neil Young and Lorne Michaels, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2003. Photo: AP

Mo Ostin, along with Paul Simon, Neil Young and Lorne Michaels, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2003. Photo: AP

In the ’90s he signed the Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM and Green Day. Such was his importance that Ostin was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 by Neil Young, Paul Simon and the creator of Saturday night LiveLorne Michaels.

words of their peers

“Mo was one of the greatest record labels of all time and one of the main architects of the modern music business. For Mo, helping artists bring their vision to life was always first and foremost,” said CEOs Bay-Shuck and Corson.

“He was one of the seminal figures in the evolution of Warner Music Group, in the 1960s, he led Warner/Reprise Records into a golden age of revolutionary art that changed culture. During his next three decades on the label, he remained a tireless champion of creative freedom, both because of the talent he cultivated and the people who worked for him.

Mo Ostin with Joni Mitchell.

Mo Ostin with Joni Mitchell.

“Mo lived an extraordinary life doing what he loved, and he will be sorely missed throughout the industry he helped create, and by the countless artists and colleagues he inspired to be their best selves.”

There were also many posts and memories of artists on their networks, such as Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Clive Davis.

Both Ostin’s wife, Evelyn, and two of his sons, Randy and Kenny, predeceased him. Only his son Michael survives him.

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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com

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