Frank Ursoleo, Longtime BMG Exec & Iconoclassic Records Founder, Dies at 65
At Iconoclassic, Ursoleo reissued albums by Laura Nyro, The Guess Who, The Jeff Beck Group and more.
Frank Ursoleo, a former sales and marketing executive who held numerous label and distribution positions in the BMG network of companies before becoming the president of his own company Iconoclassic Records, died unexpectedly in his Cape Cod, Mass. home on May 5. He was 65.
“Frank’s passion and knowledge, developed through decades of deep listening, found its fullest expression at Iconoclassic Records,” according to a tribute from Iconoclassic Records president Jeremy Holiday, who joined the label in 2021. “Here, he reissued Laura Nyro’s mid and late career work, to bust the myth that she peaked early.”
Ursoleo, who graduated from Boston College, began his music industry career working at the Strawberries music chain. According to his LinkedIn profile, Ursoleo went on to be a sales representative for A&M and then RCA Records — both distributed by BMG — before joining BMG Distribution in 1990 to become the marketing manager for the company’s Boston branch. In 1998 he switched back to the label side — but still within the BMG umbrella, to become senior director of national sales for Buddah Records.
In 2007-2008, Ursoleo, who was known as a devout family man to his colleagues, started Iconoclassic Records, a reissue label specializing in rock, pop and R&B music from the 1960s to the 1980s, including releases from The Guess Who, The Jeff Beck Group, Canned Heat, B.T. Express, the Ohio Players, The Isley Brothers and others.
“Frank Ursoleo had a rock and roll heart,” Holliday continued in his tribute. “Our continued work is in dedication and celebration of Frank’s life and legacy, just as Frank dedicated his work to celebrating the lives and legacies of the giants that he most admired.”
Ursoleo is survived by his daughter Jenna and her husband Nicholas Ensko, granddaughters Savannah and Liliana Ensko, sister Lisa and her husband Jonathan Eddy, niece Amanda Eddy, nephew Zachary Eddy, his former wife Gina (Primmer) Ursoleo, his mother-in-law Doris Primmer and countless other cousins, grandnieces, grandnephews and friends, according to his obituary on the Chiampa Funeral Home website.