Co-founder of Mercury Records dies at 90

July 3, 2006 at 11:16 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter

PALM SPRINGS, Calif., July 3 (UPI) -- Irvin Green, who co-founded Mercury Records and helped launch black recording artists through a jukebox network, has died in Palm Springs, Calif.

He was 90.

Green helped start Mercury in 1944, making it into a major record label by formulating a novel distribution strategy, the Palm Springs Desert Sun said. While the major record companies used network radio, Green promoted jazz, R&B and country western songs through a jukebox network.

He was able to get music played nationally that had previously been known only locally, the Desert Sun reported.

Green built and promoted a "black sound" by backing such greats as Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and the Platters. Mercury helped Louis Armstong get his first No. 1 hit with "Hello Dolly."

Green died of natural causes Saturday morning at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

He is survived by his wife, Pamela.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories