On June 26th, Cleveland concert promoter Myron “Mike” Belkin Sr. passed away.
A source with Live Nation, the company that took over Belkin Productions, the company launched by Mike and his brother, Jules, confirmed the 83-year-old’s death. Michael Belkin Jr. said that his father’s death was a result of complications of his fight with Alzheimer’s disease.
Jeannie Emser, a one-time Plain Dealer reporter who went on to become a marketing director for Belkin Productions and currently is in marketing at Playhouse Square, was deeply affected by the news.
“I first met Mike and Jules as a PD reporter, doing phone interviews/reviews for acts presented by their newly formed promoter business,’’ Emser wrote in an email. “Later, as their marketing director, an exciting time unfolded: our first World Series of Rock concert; first rock concert (Elton John) at the new [Richfield] Coliseum; and sundry concerts like Bruce Springsteen and Kiss at the yet-to-be-restored Allen Theatre. Those were concerts that helped save Playhouse Square from the wrecking ball.''
She added: “Despite the stresses of the entertainment industry and the acts Mike managed, rarely did you see him in a bad mood; he always made it a point to be a friend to the artists, not merely as a promoter, to make it personal.’’
Anthony Salvin Hall also died on the 26th of June. The 91-year-old had a prolific career: He was a music business executive, columnist, producer and DJ.
In 1954, the Briton started working as an A&R man for Decca Records. During the late 1950s and 1960s, he presented pop music programes on Radio Luxembourg. He also contributed to Record Mirror.
Upon leaving Decca, the young man formed the UK's first independent promotion company, Tony Hall Enterprises, which was responsible for promoting acts including Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, and Black Sabbath. In the 1980s and 1990s, he moved into management. In later years, Tony wrote for Jazzwise magazine.
Udiscovermusic.com points out that Hall also played a part in the career development of the young Elton John. DJM Records plugger Steve Brown went to see Tony to talk about potential collaborators. It was the experienced executive who suggested they contact both Gus Dudgeon and Paul Buckmaster . . . which they did to huge and lasting effect.