Russ Regan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Russ Regan (born Harold Rustigian; October 15, 1928 in Sanger, California[1] – May 27, 2018 in Palm Springs, California)[2] was an executive who was President of both UNI Records and 20th Century Records[citation needed] and was vice-president of A&R at Motown.[3]

Regan, along with more than two dozen other radio and music industry leaders, is a member of the nominating committee of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.[citation needed] He is one of only a few record executives in the world who has had a number one record in each of four decades (1960s-1990s).[citation needed]


He started his career in the 1950s as a composer and record producer. His first notable hit was a 1959 Christmas novelty song inspired by "The Chipmunk Song" titled "The Happy Reindeer" by Dancer, Prancer and Nervous (#34, pop) issued by Capitol Records.[4] In the early 1960s, Regan recorded "Joan of Love", backed with "Adults Only", which was released under the name Russ Regan.[citation needed] He also recorded "Calling All Cars" under the name Davy Summers for Warner Brothers with producer Sonny Bono.[citation needed] In the mid-1960s, he was drafted in to help form a musical direction for Warner Brothers' fledgling pop/soul music subsidiary, Loma Records.[citation needed]

Regan started in record promotion with Motown in the early years of the company.[citation needed] His first project there was the company's first Billboard Hot 100 number one record, "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes in 1961.[citation needed] He would go on to promote songs by the likes of The Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and Marvin Gaye.[citation needed] He suggested the name of The Beach Boys when a Los Angeles group called The Pendletones had just recorded a song called "Surfin'".[citation needed] He also helped Frank Sinatra record his #4 hit, "That's Life" in 1966.[citation needed] He struck a deal with Jimmy Miller Productions when Miller left The Rolling Stones which resulted in albums from B.B.King, Henry Gross, Bobby Whitlock, and others.[citation needed] Regan also signed Ambrosia and Harriet Schock to 20th Century Records.[citation needed]

Russ Regan played a major role in the careers of a number of recording artists as he headed up labels such as Uni, 20th Century & Polygram Records.[citation needed] Dozens of recording artists, including Elton John, Neil Diamond, Barry White, Olivia Newton-John and The Beach Boys had Regan to thank for opening the doors for their success.[5] One of his most surprising successes while at university was South African trumpeter Hugh Masakela's "Grazing In The Grass" in 1968, which sold over a million and reached the top spot in the Billboard pop chart.[citation needed]

While President of 20th Century Records, Regan was inspired from a dream to create the movie All This and World War II which saw Fox News Footage from WWII backed with various artists singing Beatles songs.[citation needed] The movie was never released on video, and remains in the vaults of 20th Century Fox.[citation needed] Regan also supervised the soundtracks for the movies Endless Love, Breakin', The Karate Kid, All The Right Moves, Love At First Bite, This Is Spinal Tap and A Chorus Line.[citation needed] Regan was also the Music Supervisor for four Academy Award winning songs from the films: The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Flashdance and Chariots of Fire.[citation needed]



External links[edit]