In 1973, Larry Shultz also met and formed a business partnership with an older, brilliant, but sadly self-destructive, music promoter: Richard Aaron, who had a great ear for music and relationships with up-and-coming Music Talent. Richard knew everyone in the L.A. music scene, starting where it mattered: at the many recording studios used by the top artists of the day.
Richard was always able to secure studio recording time and help many artists get a record deal or get a song covered by an artist with a record contract. Unfortunately, while others made money off his work, Richard repeatedly failed to assert himself to secure his agreements in writing, and was routinely screwed out of commissions payable to him and me.
With Richard, I had the experience of meeting the top Music Company Presidents and A&R Executives of the times (including music industry legends Clive Davis, Walter Yetnikoff, David Geffen and Ahmet Ertegun and Bruce Lundvall.
STEVIE WONDER STUDIO-TIME AND 1974 CONCERT TOUR
In my 20s, I spent weeks at a time at the Record Plant and other recording studios with Stevie Wonder and his Engineer Robert Margouleff, who recorded Stevie’s masterpiece: Fulfullingness’ Final Finale).
In 1974, Richard and I convinced Stevie Wonder, through his attorney Johanan Vigoda (whom we lobbied for weeks at his “home” in the Continental Hyatt Hotel) to let us connect Stevie to the Artist Consultants concert promotion company: to produce Stevie’s 1974 Concert Tour promoting his masterpiece “Fulfillingness Final Finale”.
Ultimately, for political reasons, the Artist Consultants promoter team had to make a deal with Don Cornelius (of Soul Train fame) and Dick Griffey (of Solar Records fame) to promote Stevie’s Tour in urban markets. As a result of Richard’s and my efforts, Steve Wonder made a deal with those guys and received the then-highest concert tour guarantee every made: $1-million.
LIONEL RICHIE AND KENNY ROGERS STUDIO TIME
I spent every day, weeks at a time in the studio with Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers. I was in the studio when Lionel was recording the monster hit song Endless Love in 1980.
And I was there through Lionel’s entire production and mixing of the album he produced for Kenny Rogers: “Share Your Love” , which produced two number one singles including Kenny’s signature classic: “Through the Years”.
I was there, spending days and weeks at a time in the control room with Lionel Richie, trying to get him to commit time to write and produce with me a Broadway Musical.
But as usual, I was 2 years too early, because Lionel did not start his solo-career without the Commodores until 1982.
Written by Larry Shultz