The mid 1980s/A & M Records

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It was Frank Andrick, who I had met at KFJC, that brought me into A & M Records. Frank had a gifted way with people; everyone felt Frank was their friend from the moment they met him, and I was no different. I worked for Frank and we went on the road, as he had an 8 state region as West Coast Director of Special Projects. For me, this was a golden time, including my first ever tour with a band, Australia's Hoodoo Gurus. It didn't hurt that they were worth telling everyone about, and that happened to be our job.  
My time there remains a cascade of memories of the great people I met: Jim Cowan, Tracy Terada, Charlie Clendenon, Suzi Racho, Fuzzy Swing, Jon Klein, Kirk Bonin, Joanne Heidrick, Patrice Catanio, Jason Blaine, Larry Trent, Tony Rivera, Barbara Williamson, Lee Erickson, Eve Stein, and two others that became great mentors-Iris Dillon and Cynthia Carter. 
The music was equally fantastic.
A & M, in addition to their own talent, distributed Word, IRS, and Windham Hill. R.E.M., the 77s, Al Green, Roger Hodgson, Tommy Shaw, Joe Jackson, Feargal Sharkey, OMD, Squeeze, Atlantic Starr, Bryan Adams, Janet Jackson, Simple Minds, Amy Grant, Sting, Y & T, and a host of others were among the records we did our best to make people pay attention -and lend their ears -to. In most cases, I think those people would say the time they invested in listening was time well spent.
Though I enjoyed so much of the music I was working on, my time at A & M seems best defined by those records that can place all of us in the era by merely mentioning them. Bryan Adam's "Reckless" certainly qualifies. It seems as if the entire LP ended up being released as singles, and so I worked it for just about  the entire two years I was there. "Run to You" was the debut single, and we followed with 5 more.
R.E.M. grew in stature, and "Reckoning" was the album that to me remains essential beyond any other music the group made. Marti Jones' debut album "Unsophisticated Time" was irresistable, and to this day remains a sad failure on the part of those of us who worked it- we were unable to get it to the massive audience it deserved.

 

Another debut was the not unknown Sting, whose first single "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" was seen by some as a clarification of his views -- if not a direct apology -- after writing and bringing to ubiquitous popularity the stalker anthem of the century, "Every Breath You Take". He was no slouch in the singles department, and we brought quite a few to radio from "Dream of the Blue Turtles'".

 

My efforts at A & M rekindled my relationship with Stan Kent, whom I had brought up to KFJC as a guest on my radio show to talk about his work on the space program. I soon headed in a new direction...