Michael Terry, Former Major Label Marketing Executive, Dies at 52

Michael Terry, a former marketing executive with three of the major record companies, died after a long battle with colon cancer in White Plains, Md., on Nov. 27. He was 52. A memorial will be held for him this Saturday, Jan. 16, in New York City.

Terry's career on the label side of the music business began in 1991, when he took a full time job with now defunct CEMA Distribution (EMI's distribution company) as a field marketing rep based in Chicago, eventually was promoted to the head of national urban retail at CEMA's headquarters in California.

Through a career that lasted nearly 25 years, Terry's jobs also included serving as national sales director for the V2 label; vp of marketing for urban music at BMG Distribution; and director of college and lifestyle marketing at Universal Music Group Distribution. 

"Michael was an incredible member of the BMG executive strike force and was instrumental in marketing many of our huge successes," former BMG executive Tom O'Flynn recalls. "He always had time to give you advice or help and was a great team player. He was quite the world citizen, with friends on three continents. I will miss his positive attitude and outlook on life."

After attending school at Old Dominion University and George Mason University, Terry began his career in the music industry working for the Rose Records retail chain in Chicago. "Michael spent his early 20s at  the Federal Aviation Administration, but it was his love of music that led him to a part-time job at Rose Records in Chicago," says long time friend and former record industry sales executive Saul Shaprio, who added that along the way Terry also attended attended NYU.

Terry is survived by his mother, brother, and dozens of nieces, nephews and friends. His friends have set up a GoFundMe campaign and donations can be made here, with funding going directly to his family.

The memorial this Saturday will be at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street, New York, NY 10023, beginning at 4 PM. The memorial will also be lived streamed and can be accessed via Ustream, clicking on watch and doing a search for Celebrate Life Michael Terry Memorial.