Bob Krasnow, former chairman of Elektra Records, founder of Blue Thumb Records, veteran executive and co-founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died last night (Dec. 11). He was born in 1935, though his exact age couldn't be confirmed as of press time.
Krasnow, former chairman of Elektra Records, is often hailed for bringing Elektra back to prominence after taking over as chairman in 1983. His first orders of business were far from easy: Firing over 200 employees and cutting the artist roster by nearly 90 percent, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Starting nearly from scratch, he then built Elektra -- via acts like Metallica, Anita Baker, Motley Crue, 10,000 Maniacs, The Cure, The Pixies, The Sugarcubes (featuring Bjork) and others -- into a powerhouse. He left the company in 1994. Considering his mainstream success, few people know what a role he played in the careers of artists like Ike and Tina Turner (at Loma Records in the 1960s),Captain Beefheart (at Buddah later in the 1960s), Buddy Guy, Hugh Masakela and Tyrannosaurus Rex (at Blue Thumb, which he co-founded in 1968), and Funkadelic (which he signed during a stint at Warner Bros. in the early 1970s).
In a statement to Billboard, Charles Koppelman, who signed Chapman to his production company and brought her to Elektra in the mid 1980s: "The first time I played Tracey Chapman in demo form, [Krasnow] got it instantly, and that's the reason I signed her to Elektra."