episode 15: George Gilbert – From Record Store Clerk to Regional Radio Promoter

Syracuse University’s WAER-FM, with a history of on-air personalities including the young Lou Reed and sportscaster Bob Costas, was one of the few college radio stations in the country reporting their playlists to Billboard Magazine in the early seventies. As such, music director George Gilbert became a key target of promotions departments at every record label, big and small. After graduation, George used his network of industry contacts to procure the newly-created position of Radio Promoter of Southern New England at Elektra/Asylum Records.

Listen to part one of George Gilbert’s two part interview as he discusses the advent of the AOR format, learning to use leverage to convince disc jockeys to play albums, and rising to become one of the top radio promoters in the Northeast. Exclusively on Between the Liner Notes.

episode 14: Jerry Rubino - Record Promoter & Radio Programmer

Jerry Rubino is a radio man who has seen the broadcast industry from every angle. Landing his first job on commercial radio at New York’s WPLJ, then moving to producing/hosting shows for Z-100 & WLIR (two of the largest rock stations in the nation’s largest radio market), he then went to Bar/None Records where he learned the promotion side. Moving to indie giants Rough Trade, Chrysalis, and Radioactive Records, Rubino experienced the alt-rock explosion from the inside, seeing how the industry reacted.

Listen to this exclusive interview as Jerry tells about hanging out with the Ramones, promoting Live’s first album, getting in on the ground floor of satellite radio, and the state of radio today. Only on Between the Liner Notes.

episode 13: The Founders of Rap Genius

Tom Lehman (left) Mahbod Moghadam (center)   Ilan Zechory (right)

Tom Lehman (left) Mahbod Moghadam (center)
Ilan Zechory (right)

One October night in 2009 Mahbod Moghadam, Tom Lehman, & Ilan Zechory found themselves deep in an analytical discussion about some verses by rapper Cam’ron. That night they brainstormed an idea to widen the conversation beyond the living room to the internet and created RapGenius.com, a unique website that allows users to annotate specific lines of lyrics with explanations, graphics and videos. 

Filling the void left by the swarm of inferior, pop-up ad-riddled lyric sites and creating a new model, Rap Genius surged in popularity and soon caught the eye of superangel venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, investors of Twitter. Discover how Rap Genius plans to use their fifteen million dollar underwriting to grow the company beyond rap lyrics to include other genres and disciplines such as art, poetry, law, religious studies, and politics —  turning Rap Genius into the world’s primary repository for information and the net’s most heavily trafficked website. They’ve got 99 problems but lack of ambition ain’t one. Listen to the exclusive interview, only on Between the Liner Notes.

episode 11: Mantis Evar

From his humble beginnings of working in the mailroom of Capitol Records to hanging with Willie Nelson in the back of his tour bus, Mantis Evar’s career in the music industry could be a movie script. Hear Mantis describe how his knowledge and love of music, musicians, studio gear, and marketing took him from the mail room to co-founding the innovative online musician’s community Indaba Music.

Evar tells of singing songs with Kenny Loggins and Arif Mardin in the Blue Note offices, of how leaving an anonymous note on label head Bruce Lundvall’s chair turned the company around, of introducing Willie Nelson to a then new and unknown artist named Norah Jones, and much more. Exclusively on Between the Liner Notes.

episode 10: Stephen O’ Regan – Balcony TV

In 2006, on a rare sunny day in Dublin IrelandBalconyTV co-founder Stephen O’ Regan and his flatmates cleaned off their under-used balcony to begin staging live music performances there, sharing them via their website. The clips went viral and soon emails arrived from all around the world with requests to produce balcony performance videos in their home cities.

6 years, 7,600 videos, and over 30 million views later BalconyTV has spread to 35 cities across the globe, with artists ranging from Mumford & Sons to regional phenomena-gone-platinum like Dublin’s The Script. Listen to this exclusive interview as Stephen O’ Regan tells the story of how BalconyTV itself became a phenomenon, and what he sees for its future. Only on Between the Liner Notes.