A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has varying roles during the recording process, they may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements. A producer may also: Select session musicians to play rhythm section accompaniment parts or solos Co-write Propose changes to the song arrangements Coach the singers and musicians in the studioThe producer supervises the entire process from preproduction, through to the sound recording and mixing stages, and, in some cases, all the way to the audio mastering stage; the producer may perform these roles themselves, or help select the engineer, provide suggestions to the engineer. The producer may pay session musicians and engineers and ensure that the entire project is completed within the record label's budget.
A record producer or music producer has a broad role in overseeing and managing the recording and production of a band or performer's music. A producer has many roles that may include, but are not limited to, gathering ideas for the project, composing the music for the project, selecting songs or session musicians, proposing changes to the song arrangements, coaching the artist and musicians in the studio, controlling the recording sessions, supervising the entire process through audio mixing and, in some cases, to the audio mastering stage. Producers often take on a wider entrepreneurial role, with responsibility for the budget, schedules and negotiations. Writer Chris Deville explains it, "Sometimes a producer functions like a creative consultant — someone who helps a band achieve a certain aesthetic, or who comes up with the perfect violin part to complement the vocal melody, or who insists that a chorus should be a bridge. Other times a producer will build a complete piece of music from the ground up and present the finished product to a vocalist, like Metro Boomin supplying Future with readymade beats or Jack Antonoff letting Taylor Swift add lyrics and melody to an otherwise-finished “Out Of The Woods.”The artist of an album may not be a record producer or music producer for his/her album.
While both contribute creatively, the official credit of "record producer" may depend on the record contract. Christina Aguilera, for example, did not receive record producer credits until many albums into her career. In the 2010s, the producer role is sometimes divided among up to three different individuals: executive producer, vocal producer and music producer. An executive producer oversees project finances, a vocal producers oversees the vocal production, a music producer oversees the creative process of recording and mixings; the music producer is often a competent arranger, musician or songwriter who can bring fresh ideas to a project. As well as making any songwriting and arrangement adjustments, the producer selects and/or collaborates with the mixing engineer, who takes the raw recorded tracks and edits and modifies them with hardware and software tools to create a stereo or surround sound "mix" of all the individual voices sounds and instruments, in turn given further adjustment by a mastering engineer for the various distribution media.
The producer oversees the recording engineer who concentrates on the technical aspects of recording. Noted producer Phil Ek described his role as "the person who creatively guides or directs the process of making a record", like a director would a movie. Indeed, in Bollywood music, the designation is music director; the music producer's job is to create and mold a piece of music. The scope of responsibility may be one or two songs or an artist's entire album – in which case the producer will develop an overall vision for the album and how the various songs may interrelate. At the beginning of record industry, the producer role was technically limited to record, in one shot, artists performing live; the immediate predecessors to record producers were the artists and repertoire executives of the late 1920s and 1930s who oversaw the "pop" product and led session orchestras. That was the case of Ben Selvin at Columbia Records, Nathaniel Shilkret at Victor Records and Bob Haring at Brunswick Records.
By the end of the 1930s, the first professional recording studios not owned by the major companies were established separating the roles of A&R man and producer, although it wouldn't be until the late 1940s when the term "producer" became used in the industry. The role of producers changed progressively over the 1960s due to technology; the development of multitrack recording caused a major change in the recording process. Before multitracking, all the elements of a song had to be performed simultaneously. All of these singers and musicians had to be assembled in a large studio where the performance was recorded. With multitrack recording, the "bed tracks" (rhythm section accompaniment parts such as the bassline and rhythm guitar could be recorded first, the vocals and solos could be added using as many "takes" as necessary, it was no longer necessary to get all the players in the studio at the same time. A pop band could record their backing tracks one week, a horn section could be brought in a week to add horn shots and punches, a string section could be brought in a week after that.
Multitrack recording had another pro
Nile Gregory Rodgers Jr. is an American record producer, musician, composer and guitarist. The co-founder of Chic, he has written and performed on records that have cumulatively sold more than 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide, he is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a three-time Grammy Award-winner, the chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Known for his "chucking" guitar style, Rolling Stone wrote in 2014 that "the full scope of Nile Rodgers' career is still hard to fathom."Formed as the Big Apple Band in 1970 with bassist Bernard Edwards, Chic released their self-titled debut album in 1977. It included the hit singles "Dance, Dance" and "Everybody Dance"; the 1978 album C'est Chic produced the hits "I Want Your Love" and "Le Freak", with the latter selling more than 7 million singles worldwide. The song "Good Times" from the 1979 album Risque was a number one single on the pop and soul charts, became one of the most-sampled songs of all time, "ushering in" hip-hop via The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight", inspiring Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust", anchoring the Daft Punk hit "Around the World".
With Edwards, Rodgers wrote and produced music for other artists, including the songs "He's the Greatest Dancer" and "We Are Family" for Sister Sledge and "I'm Coming Out" for Diana Ross. After Chic's 1983 breakup Rodgers produced "a string of the post-disco era's biggest albums and singles", including David Bowie's Let's Dance, "Original Sin" by INXS, Duran Duran's "The Reflex" and "Notorious", Madonna's Like a Virgin, he worked with artists including The B-52s, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, The Vaughan Brothers, Bryan Ferry, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, winning three Grammy Awards in 2014 for his work on their album Random Access Memories. Rodgers was born in New York City, on September 19, 1952, to Beverly Goodman, she became pregnant the first time she had sex, gave birth to Rodgers when she was 14. His biological father, Nile Rodgers Sr. – a traveling percussionist who specialized in Afro-Cuban beats – was present as Rodgers grew up. In 1959, Goodman married Bobby Glanzrock, who Rodgers described in his 2011 autobiography as a "beatnik PhD, whose observations had angles that would make Miles Davis contemplate his cool."
Richard Pryor, Thelonious Monk, Lenny Bruce visited their home in Greenwich Village. Glanzrock and Goodman were addicted to heroin, Rodgers began using drugs at 13. Before learning to play the guitar at 16, Rodgers played the clarinet; as a teenager, he played guitar with African, Latin and Boogaloo bands. He became a subsection leader of the Lower Manhattan branch of the New York Black Panther Party as a teenager. Rodgers met bassist Bernard Edwards in 1970 while working as a touring musician for the Sesame Street stage show. Together they formed The Big Apple Band, worked as back-up musicians for the vocal group New York City. New York City's one hit allowed them to tour extensively opening for The Jackson 5 on the American leg of their first world tour in 1973; the band dissolved after their second album failed to yield a hit, but Nile and Bernard joined forces with drummer Tony Thompson, worked and recorded as a funk rock band called The Boys, which played numerous gigs up and down the East Coast.
Although there was label interest, record companies passed on the band after discovering its members were black, believing that black rock artists would be too hard to promote. As the Big Apple Band and Edwards worked with Ashford & Simpson, Luther Vandross, many others. Since another New York artist, Walter Murphy, had a band called The Big Apple Band and Edwards were forced to change their band's name to avoid confusion. Thus, in 1977 the band was renamed as Chic. Inspired by Roxy Music, Chic developed a sound, a fusion of jazz and funk grooves with melodies and lyrics with a European influence. Between gigs, they recorded the song "Dance, Dance", with then-boss Luther Vandross on vocals. Released by Buddah Records, it was an instant hit when it was re-released by Atlantic in the summer of 1977. Atlantic picked up an album option with Rodgers and Edwards, who wrote more songs, Chic's self-titled debut was released in November; the band scored numerous top ten hits and helped propel disco to new levels of popularity, with "Le Freak", "I Want Your Love", "Everybody Dance", "Dance, Dance", "My Forbidden Lover", "Good Times" becoming club/pop/R&B standards.
"Le Freak" was Atlantic Records' only triple platinum selling single at the time, "Good Times" shot to No. 1 in August 1979 in spite of that year's "Disco Sucks" movement protesting that style of music. The success of Chic's first singles led Atlantic to offer Rodgers and Edwards the opportunity to produce any act on its roster, they chose Sister Sledge, whose 1979 album, We Are Family, peaked at No. 3 and remained on the charts well into 1980. The first two singles, "He's the Greatest Dancer" and the title cut "We Are Family" both reached No. 1 on the R&B chart, No. 6 and No. 2 on the Pop chart. In April 2018, "We Are Family"; the 1979 disco backlash derailed Chic, Edwards retreated from work, while Rodgers' drug use accelerated. Rodgers and Edwards delivered their final Atlantic album under contract, Believer, in 1982, they completed one of their last projects together in 1980, writing and producing the album Diana for Diana Ross, which yielded the hits "Upside Down" and "
Alfonso "Fonzi" Thornton is an American singer, songwriter/producer and vocal contractor. In a career spanning 40 years, Thornton has sung backing vocals for top artists across many genres of music, his vocal credits can be found on the recordings of Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, CHIC, Diana Ross, Garth Brooks, Ray Charles, Mariah Carey, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Robert Palmer, Patti Labelle, Al Jarreau, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Phoebe Snow and Bette Midler and many others. In 2008, Thornton joined the musical entourage of Aretha Franklin as backing vocalist and vocal contractor and continued to accompany her in concert, on recordings and TV until her death in 2018. Born in East Harlem, New York, in his early teens, Fonzi joined neighborhood vocal group, Shades of Jade and befriended a young Luther Vandross. Thornton and Vandross became soloists with Listen My Brother, the Apollo Theater’s 16 member artist development workshop and sang on camera during the second season of the children's show, Sesame Street.
Thornton gained a following on the NYC night club circuit with his band and self-titled vocal trio Fonzi. He and his group toured England with Candi Staton and The Stylistics appeared with heavyweight Joe Frazier in a Miller Lite commercial. In the late 1970s, approached by producers, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, Thornton joined the CHIC Organization as male vocalist on six albums and national concert tours, he can be heard on many of CHIC's original recordings including "Good Times" and "My Forbidden Lover" from their 1979 Risqué. Thornton appeared as the soloist on "You Can't Do It Alone" on CHIC's 1980 Real People album. After CHIC disbanded in the early 1980s, Rodgers and Edwards continued to use the distinct backing vocals of Thornton on chart topping productions for artists like Diana Ross, David Bowie, The Power Station and Robert Palmer. In 2010, Nile Rodgers included remixes of "I Work For A Living" and "I'll Change My Game" on the CHIC box set, Savoir Faire, released in France on Warner Bros.
Most Thornton provided backing vocals on CHIC's 2015 release "I'll Be There". From 1980 through 1982, Thornton rejoined his childhood friend, Luther Vandross, as a backup singer for his first two national tours. Besides singing on all of Vandross’ gold and platinum recordings, Thornton served as vocal contractor for every album, appeared on numerous TV shows, sat in on the singer's concerts and co-wrote songs on Luther's final four albums. Crossing musical boundaries, in 1982 Thornton sang solo backing vocals on Roxy Music’s Avalon album and their world tour that followed, he performed with Bryan Ferry on several solo albums, on Saturday Night Live in 1987 and in 1985, at Live Aid. In 2007, Thornton reunited with Ferry on the Late Show with David Letterman for US debut of his CD Dylanesque, in 2011 joined Ferry on his first U. S. tour in 15 years. In 2014, Thornton again joined Ferry. In the spring of 1983, RCA Records released Thornton's debut urban soul-pop album The Leader featuring the lead single "Beverly", which reached number 43 on Billboard's R&B chart.
Thornton's second solo album, titled Pumpin', was released in summer 1984 was representative of the dance/funk-rock vibe of the time. Both albums were re-released on UK Funkytown Grooves. Thornton performs at two events honoring life achievement in the arts – the Kennedy Center Honors and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he maintains his career as a session singer and appeared in concert with Aretha Franklin. In October 2014, Thornton appeared with Aretha on the David Letterman Show to a standing ovation for her performance of Adele's Rolling in the Deep. Most Thornton sang backup for Aretha's 2015 Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Carole King. Thornton rejoined Bryan Ferry in concert on his 2014-2015 "Avonmore Tour" throughout Europe and the UK, he continued with Ferry on the 2016 "Avonmore Tour with shows in Europe and North America. Chic Real People Risqué Roxy Music Avalon Heart Still Beating Bryan Ferry Boys and Girls Mamouna Avonmore Aretha Franklin Jump to It This Christmas, Aretha Aretha: A Woman Falling Out Of Love Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics Luther Vandross Never Too Much Give Me The Reason Dance with My Father Live Radio City Music Hall 2003 Solo albums The Leader Pumpin' Videos David Bowie: You've Been Around Colorized Aretha Franklin: Kennedy Center Honors 2015 Bryan Ferry: Love Is The Drug Nile Rodgers & Chic: Le Freak Fonzi Thornton at AllMusic Fonzi Thornton on IMDb Fonzi Thornton Discography Fonzi Thornton Funk and Soul Revue Fonzi Thornton DigitalJournal
A trumpet is a brass instrument used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpet-like instruments have been used as signaling devices in battle or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC. Trumpets are used in art music styles, for instance in orchestras, concert bands, jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music, they are played by blowing air through nearly-closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have been constructed of brass tubing bent twice into a rounded rectangular shape. There are many distinct types of trumpet, with the most common being pitched in B♭, having a tubing length of about 1.48 m. Early trumpets did not provide means to change the length of tubing, whereas modern instruments have three valves in order to change their pitch. There are eight combinations of three valves, making seven different tubing lengths, with the third valve sometimes used as an alternate fingering equivalent to the 1-2 combination.
Most trumpets have valves of the piston type. The use of rotary-valved trumpets is more common in orchestral settings, although this practice varies by country; each valve, when engaged, increases the length of lowering the pitch of the instrument. A musician who plays the trumpet is called trumpeter; the English word "trumpet" was first used in the late 14th century. The word came from Old French "trompette", a diminutive of trompe; the word "trump", meaning "trumpet," was first used in English in 1300. The word comes from Old French trompe "long, tube-like musical wind instrument", cognate with Provençal tromba, Italian tromba, all from a Germanic source, of imitative origin." The earliest trumpets date earlier. The bronze and silver trumpets from Tutankhamun's grave in Egypt, bronze lurs from Scandinavia, metal trumpets from China date back to this period. Trumpets from the Oxus civilization of Central Asia have decorated swellings in the middle, yet are made out of one sheet of metal, considered a technical wonder.
The Shofar, made from a ram horn and the Hatzotzeroth, made of metal, are both mentioned in the Bible. They were played in Solomon's Temple around 3000 years ago, they were said to be used to blow down the walls of Jericho. They are still used on certain religious days; the Salpinx was a straight trumpet 62 inches long, made of bronze. Salpinx contests were a part of the original Olympic Games; the Moche people of ancient Peru depicted trumpets in their art going back to AD 300. The earliest trumpets were signaling instruments used for military or religious purposes, rather than music in the modern sense. Improvements to instrument design and metal making in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance led to an increased usefulness of the trumpet as a musical instrument; the natural trumpets of this era consisted of a single coiled tube without valves and therefore could only produce the notes of a single overtone series. Changing keys required the player to change crooks of the instrument; the development of the upper, "clarino" register by specialist trumpeters—notably Cesare Bendinelli—would lend itself well to the Baroque era known as the "Golden Age of the natural trumpet."
During this period, a vast body of music was written for virtuoso trumpeters. The art was revived in the mid-20th century and natural trumpet playing is again a thriving art around the world. Many modern players in Germany and the UK who perform Baroque music use a version of the natural trumpet fitted with three or four vent holes to aid in correcting out-of-tune notes in the harmonic series; the melody-dominated homophony of the classical and romantic periods relegated the trumpet to a secondary role by most major composers owing to the limitations of the natural trumpet. Berlioz wrote in 1844: Notwithstanding the real loftiness and distinguished nature of its quality of tone, there are few instruments that have been more degraded. Down to Beethoven and Weber, every composer – not excepting Mozart – persisted in confining it to the unworthy function of filling up, or in causing it to sound two or three commonplace rhythmical formulae; the attempt to give the trumpet more chromatic freedom in its range saw the development of the keyed trumpet, but this was a unsuccessful venture due to the poor quality of its sound.
Although the impetus for a tubular valve began as early as 1793, it was not until 1818 that Friedrich Bluhmel and Heinrich Stölzel made a joint patent application for the box valve as manufactured by W. Schuster; the symphonies of Mozart, as late as Brahms, were still played on natural trumpets. Crooks and shanks as opposed to keys or valves were standard, notably in France, into the first part of the 20th century; as a consequence of this late development of the instrument's chromatic ability, the repertoire for the instrument is small compared to other instruments. The 20th century saw an explosion in the variety of music written for the trumpet; the trumpet is constructed of brass tubing bent twice into a rounded oblong shape. As with all brass instruments, sound is produced by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound into the mouthp
An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have focused on CD and MP3 formats; the audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s. An album may be recorded in a recording studio, in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places; the time frame for recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live" when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes. Recordings, including live, may contain sound effects, voice adjustments, etc..
With modern recording technology, musicians can be recorded in separate rooms or at separate times while listening to the other parts using headphones. Album covers and liner notes are used, sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, lyrics or librettos; the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums; when long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album. An album, in ancient Rome, was a board chalked or painted white, on which decrees and other public notices were inscribed in black, it was from this that in medieval and modern times album came to denote a book of blank pages in which verses, sketches and the like are collected. Which in turn led to the modern meaning of an album as a collection of audio recordings issued as a single item.
In the early nineteenth century "album" was used in the titles of some classical music sets, such as Schumann's Album for the Young Opus 68, a set of 43 short pieces. When 78rpm records came out, the popular 10-inch disc could only hold about three minutes of sound per side, so all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. Classical-music and spoken-word items were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, about 4–5 minutes per side. For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of the seventeen-minute Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, it ran for 8m 59s. Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen in 1908. German record company Odeon released the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky in 1909 on 4 double-sided discs in a specially designed package; this practice of issuing albums does not seem to have been taken up by other record companies for many years. By about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records.
These albums came in both 12-inch sizes. The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them. In the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album; the 12-inch LP record, or 33 1⁄3 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. A single LP record had the same or similar number of tunes as a typical album of 78s, it was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the "album". Apart from minor refinements and the important addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.
The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as Compact audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, digital albums, as they were introduced. As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some observers feel that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album. While an album may contain as many or as few tracks as required, in the United States, The Recording Academy's rules for Grammy Awards state that an album must comprise a minimum total playing time of 15 minutes with at least five distinct tracks or a minimum total playing time of 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement. In the United Kingdom, the criteria for the UK Albums Chart is that a recording counts as an "album" i
Atlantic Recording Corporation is an American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegün and Herb Abramson. Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing in jazz, R&B, soul by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and Dave, Ruth Brown and Otis Redding, its position was improved by its distribution deal with Stax. In 1967, Atlantic became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, now the Warner Music Group, expanded into rock and pop music with releases by Led Zeppelin and Yes. In 2004, Atlantic and its sister label. Craig Kallman is the chairman of Atlantic. Ahmet Ertegün served as founding chairman until his death on December 14, 2006, at age 83. In 1944, brothers Nesuhi and Ahmet Ertegun remained in the United States when their mother and sister returned to Turkey after the death of their father Munir Ertegun, Turkey's first ambassador to the U. S; the brothers were fans of jazz and rhythm & blues, amassing a collection of over 15,000 78 RPM records.
Ahmet ostensibly stayed in Washington to undertake post-graduate music studies at Georgetown University but immersed himself in the Washington music scene and entered the record business, enjoying a resurgence after wartime restrictions on the shellac used in manufacture. He convinced the family dentist, Dr. Vahdi Sabit, to invest $10,000 and hired Herb Abramson, a dentistry student. Abramson had worked as a part-time A&R manager/producer for the jazz label National Records, signing Big Joe Turner and Billy Eckstine, he had no interest in its most successful musicians. In September 1947, he sold his share in Jubilee to his partner, Jerry Blaine, invested $2,500 in Atlantic. Atlantic was run by Abramson and Ertegun. Abramson's wife Miriam ran the label's publishing company, Progressive Music, did most office duties until 1949 when Atlantic hired its first employee, bookkeeper Francine Wakschal, who remained with the label for the next 49 years. Miriam gained a reputation for toughness. Staff engineer Tom Dowd recalled, "Tokyo Rose was the kindest name some people had for her" and Doc Pomus described her as "an extraordinarily vitriolic woman".
When interviewed in 2009, she attributed her reputation to the company's chronic cash-flow shortage: "... most of the problems we had with artists were that they wanted advances, and, difficult for us... we were undercapitalized for a long time." The label's office in the Ritz Hotel in Manhattan proved too expensive, so they moved to a room in the Hotel Jefferson. In the early fifties, Atlantic moved from the Hotel Jefferson to offices at 301 West 54th St and to 356 West 56th St. Atlantic's first recordings were issued in late January 1948 and included "That Old Black Magic" by Tiny Grimes and "The Spider" by Joe Morris. In its early years, Atlantic concentrated on modern jazz although it released some country and western and spoken word recordings. Abramson produced "Magic Records", children's records with four grooves on each side, each groove containing a different story, so the story played would be determined by the groove in which the stylus happened to land. In late 1947, James Petrillo, head of the American Federation of Musicians, announced an indefinite ban on all recording activities by union musicians, this came into effect on January 1, 1948.
The union action forced Atlantic to use all its capital to cut and stockpile enough recordings to last through the ban, expected to continue for at least a year. Ertegun and Abramson spent much of the late 1940s and early 1950s scouring nightclubs in search of talent. Ertegun composed songs under the alias "A. Nugetre", including Big Joe Turner's hit "Chains of Love", recording them in booths in Times Square giving them to an arranger or session musician. Early releases included music by Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard, The Cardinals, The Clovers, Frank Culley, The Delta Rhythm Boys, Erroll Garner, Dizzy Gillespie, Tiny Grimes, Al Hibbler, Earl Hines, Johnny Hodges, Jackie & Roy, Lead Belly, Meade Lux Lewis, Professor Longhair, Shelly Manne, Howard McGhee, Mabel Mercer, James Moody, Joe Morris, Art Pepper, Django Reinhardt, Pete Rugolo, Pee Wee Russell, Bobby Short, Sylvia Syms, Billy Taylor, Sonny Terry, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Yancey, Sarah Vaughan, Mal Waldron, Mary Lou Williams. In early 1949, a New Orleans distributor phoned Ertegun to obtain Stick McGhee's "Drinking Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee", unavailable due to the closing of McGhee's previous label.
Ertegun knew Stick's younger brother Brownie McGhee, with whom Stick happened to be staying, so he contacted the McGhee brothers and re-recorded the song. When released in February 1949, it became Atlantic's first hit, selling 400,000 copies, reached No. 2 after spending six months on the Billboard R&B chart – although McGhee himself earned just $10 for the session. Atlantic's fortunes rose rapidly: recorded 187 songs were recorded in 1949, more than three times the amount from the previous two years, received overtures for a manufacturing and distribution deal with Columbia, which would pay Atlantic a 3% royalty on every copy sold. Ertegun asked about artists' royalties, which he paid, this surprised Columbia executives, who did not, the deal was scuttled. On the recommendation of broadcaster Willis Conover and Abramson visited Ruth Brown at the Crystal Caverns club in Washington and invited her to audition for Atlantic, she was injured in a car accident en route to New York City, but Atlantic supported her for nine months and signed her.