Ertegun circa 1960
Atlantic Records logo from its inception in 1947 to 1966 (it was still used on 7" single releases), used again from 1979 to 1981 and 2004 to 2015.
The Ertegun family in 1942
Atlantic logo used from 1966 to 2005. It was revived in 2015.
Atlantic Records logo from its inception in 1947 to 1966 (it was still used on 7" single releases), used again from 1979 to 1981 and 2004 to 2015.
"Weird Al" Yankovic edits Atlantic Records' Wikipedia page to read "YOU SUCK!" in the music video for the song "White & Nerdy"
Ahmet (left) with his brother Nesuhi, around 1960

Atlantic Recording Corporation (simply known as Atlantic Records) is an American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson.

- Atlantic Records

Ertegun was the co-founder and president of Atlantic Records.

- Ahmet Ertegun

18 related topics

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Louis Jordan in New York City, c. undefined July 1946

Rhythm and blues

Genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s.

Genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s.

Louis Jordan in New York City, c. undefined July 1946
The habanera rhythm shown as tresillo (lower notes) with the backbeat (upper note)
Fats Domino in 1956
Piano excerpt from the rumba boogie "Mardi Gras in New Orleans" (1949) by Professor Longhair. 2–3 claves are written above for rhythmic reference.
3–2 clave written in two measures in cut-time
Tresillo answered by the backbeat, the essence of clave in African American music
Bo Diddley's "Bo Diddley beat" is a clave-based motif.
Ray Charles in 1971
Ruth Brown was known as the "Queen of R&B"
Della Reese
Sam Cooke
Eric Burdon & the Animals (1964)

Many of these hit records were issued on new independent record labels, such as Savoy (founded 1942), King (founded 1943), Imperial (founded 1945), Specialty (founded 1946), Chess (founded 1947), and Atlantic (founded 1948).

Ahmet Ertegun, producer for Atlantic Records, is reported to have said that "Afro-Cuban rhythms added color and excitement to the basic drive of R&B."

Turner performing, 1973

Big Joe Turner

American blues shouter from Kansas City, Missouri.

American blues shouter from Kansas City, Missouri.

Turner performing, 1973
Turner performing in the 1955 film Rock 'n' Roll Revue

In 1951, while performing with the Count Basie Orchestra at Harlem's Apollo Theater as a replacement for Jimmy Rushing, he was spotted by Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun, who contracted him to their new recording company, Atlantic Records.

Jerry Wexler

Music journalist who turned music producer, and was a major influence on American popular music from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Music journalist who turned music producer, and was a major influence on American popular music from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Wexler became a partner in Atlantic Records in 1953.

With Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun, he built Atlantic Records into a major force in the recording industry.

Charles in the 1960s

Ray Charles

American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer.

American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer.

Charles in the 1960s
Charles in 1968
Charles in 1971
Charles meeting with President Richard Nixon, 1972 (photo by Oliver F. Atkins)
Charles at the 2003 Montreal International Jazz Festival, one of his last public performances
Quincy Jones worked with Ray Charles.
Star honoring Charles on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6777 Hollywood Boulevard
Statue by Andy Davis in Ray Charles Plaza in Albany, Georgia

Charles pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic Records.

After signing with Swing Time Records, Charles recorded two more R&B hits under the name Ray Charles: "Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand" (1951), which reached No. 5, and "Kissa Me Baby" (1952), which reached No. 8. Swing Time folded the following year, and Ahmet Ertegun signed Charles to Atlantic.

Abramson and his wife, Miriam Bienstock, c. 1947

Herb Abramson

Abramson and his wife, Miriam Bienstock, c. 1947

Herbert C. Abramson (November 16, 1916 – November 9, 1999) was an American record executive, record producer, and co-founder of Atlantic Records.

Abramson and his wife Miriam were close friends with jazz fan Ahmet Ertegun, who recognized Abramson's talent.

Rhythm and Blues Foundation

Independent American nonprofit organization dedicated to the historical and cultural preservation of rhythm and blues music.

Independent American nonprofit organization dedicated to the historical and cultural preservation of rhythm and blues music.

The idea for the foundation came in 1987 during discussions about royalties with entertainer Ruth Brown, entertainment attorney Howell Begle, and Ahmet Ertegun, the head of Atlantic Records.

Nesuhi Ertegun

Nesuhi Ertegun (Turkish spelling: Nesuhi Ertegün; November 26, 1917 – July 15, 1989) was a Turkish-American record producer and executive of Atlantic Records and WEA International.

Born in Istanbul in the Ottoman Empire, Nesuhi and his family, including his younger brother Ahmet, moved to Washington, D.C., in 1935 with their father Munir Ertegun, who was appointed the Turkish Ambassador to the United States that year.

Brown in 1955

Ruth Brown

American singer-songwriter and actress, sometimes known as the "Queen of R&B".

American singer-songwriter and actress, sometimes known as the "Queen of R&B".

Brown in 1955
Ruth Brown performs at the Mambo Club in Wichita, Kansas, 1957
Ruth Brown in 1996

She was noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as "So Long", "Teardrops from My Eyes" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean".

Willis Conover, the future Voice of America disc jockey, caught her act with Duke Ellington and recommended her to Atlantic Records bosses Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson.

Turner performing, 1973

National Records

Record label that was started in New York City by Albert Green in 1945 and lasted until early 1951.

Record label that was started in New York City by Albert Green in 1945 and lasted until early 1951.

Turner performing, 1973

Abramson went to Jubilee and then co-founded Atlantic with Ahmet Ertegun.

Darin in 1959

Bobby Darin

American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist musician, and actor.

American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist musician, and actor.

Darin in 1959
"Deadeye" and Darin in a 1965 Red Skelton Show skit
Dean Martin Presents: The Bobby Darin Amusement Company, L-R: Dick Smothers, Tom Smothers, and Bobby Darin as the Marx Brothers (1972)

Darin left Decca to sign with Atlantic Records' Atco subsidiary, where he wrote and arranged music for himself and others.

Guided by Atlantic's star-maker Ahmet Ertegun, Darin's career finally took off in 1958 when he recorded "Splish Splash".