Irving Green

Irving B. Green, and Irvin ( his birth name ) or short Irv called Rip, ( born February 6, 1916 in Brooklyn, † July 1, 2006 in Palm Springs, California ) was an American record producer, founder and president of Mercury Records.


Green came from a poor background. He grew up on the West Side of Chicago and studied for two years at St. John's University before the Great Depression forced him to cancel the course. Initially, he worked in his father's painting, then in a company that manufactured hydraulic presses and metal punched. Since these were also used in the plate production, he decided to self- publish shellac records. In 1945 he founded from small beginnings Mercury Records in Chicago, along with Berle Adams ( 1917-2009 ) and Arthur Talmadge. In addition to pop them published early jazz. Because of their limited resources as independent label they sat for promotion rather than on radio broadcasts as the big record labels, to be first taken out in the repertoire of jukeboxes. They also pressed into the Second World War, was rationed as shellac, their plates in plastic, which also had the advantage that it did not break (as opposed to shellac ). Among the successful musicians in his time at Mercury included Patti Page (Tennessee Waltz ), Frankie Laine, Vic Damone, The Platters ( Only You, The Great Pretender ), Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs ( Foggy Mountain Breakdown ), Brook Benton, Lesley Gore ( It's my party ) and The Four Seasons in Jazz Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn and others.

He was one of those dedicated to the lifting of the ban of the American Federation of Music attended by live musicians appearances on television in 1948. Soon after, he persuaded Ed Sullivan, in his TV show as blues and jazz musicians to present (in particular stood with Mercury under contract ) and made so with that colored musicians from these areas appeared on television live. As Nat King Cole with his show had 1957 problems with the audience he cared for an appearance by Frankie Laine in the show without pay, which is perhaps one of the first joint appearances by a colored and white singer on TV.

Green played a pioneering role in 1964 when he Quincy Jones ( of around 1955 as an arranger for Dinah Washington first came to Mercury ) as the first African American made ​​to Deputy Director and thus brought into the leadership of a major labels. Jones was employed by the label since 1955, and had previously been made ​​in 1961 by Green for A & R in the New York branch.

In his record company he was known for that he, unlike other major record labels to artists about let the copyright to their compositions and texts - he was only interested in the record releases and not on the rights to compositions or note publications.

In 1962 he sold his record company to Philips, but guided them until 1967. Afterwards he went into the real estate business, first in Iran, where he 18,000 homes in southern Iran built with his partner Bill Levitt, until he was expelled after the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 ( and his company nationalized ), and then in Palm Springs, California ( Landau Development ). It is located in Cathedral City, buried ( California).

In 1952 he was a founder of the Recording Industry Association of America. For his contributions to the elimination of racial barriers in the music industry, he was inducted in 2006 in the Gold Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Region Pacific Southwest ).

He was married and had two daughters.