Joe Summers, Record Executive, Dies, Tommy Shaw Pays Tribute
According to Billboard, the news was broken by Summers' son, Jeremy, who posted the following statement on his Facebook page. "Last night we sat for hours at my dad's side playing his favorite music of our lives: the Temptations, Chris Connor, Marvin Gaye, and lots of Frank Sinatra. My Mom, his wife of 56 years and my Aunt Pat (his sister) sat in low light and told great stories of his wit, his childhood, his love, and the legacy he leaves. We laughed. I think he was loving that moment in the room, and it brought him the peace, and comfort to take the next step. He passed first thing this morning."
Summers, a native of Detroit, began his career at Capitol and worked in sales at Decca and Motown. In 1972, he moved to A&M Canada was named its general manager/vice-president within six years. Summers became president in 1990 and retired shortly after being named chairman seven years later. During his time at A&M, he developed a close friendship with Styx's Tommy Shaw, who expressed fond memories of working with Summers upon hearing of his death.
"Oh man, Joe Summers was the greatest, the most personable record executive I ever had the pleasure of working with," Shaw said in a statement. "I think of Joe and I smile and laugh at the good times we had putting Styx on the map in Canada. Through the years whenever we'd run into each other it was always with big smiles, hugs and sincere how are you's. He was one of a kind and he'll always have a special place in my heart."
The rest of Jeremy's message gave a greater insight into his father's philosophy. "My father lived, every day, right to the end exactly how he wanted. He was self-made from a poor childhood in Detroit, becoming Chairman of the Board in Canada. He loved Big: and if you were lucky enough to be in that circle of love, you felt it around you like a force field. He leaves an impact on many industry leaders, on music, and his many, many friends. We should all be so lucky to have lived as he did. His final days were filled with family, friends, music and love, just as his life was. Everyone who knew him will miss him. Joe Summers 1940 – 2015."
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