Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Labelobit: Miriam Bienstock

Miriam Bienstock, one of the co-founders of Atlantic Records, has died.

In the early days of the label, Ahmet Ertegun scouted talent; Bienstock's then-husband Herb Abramson looked after the recording. Miriam did everything else, as the New York Times explains:

“I must tell you, Miriam was an important person in keeping discipline at Atlantic Records, and keeping everything on the up-and-up,” Mr. Ertegun, who died in 2006, said in an interview with Billboard magazine in 1997. “She ran the office, and none of us was inclined to run the office. She is unheralded, unrecognized, but if we hadn’t had her in those developing years, the company would have folded. She also had very good taste in music.”
Bienstock sold out of Atlantic in 1964; before the label was absorbed by Warners. Before this, she'd divorced Herb and remarried Freddy Bienstock. Post-Atlantic, she turned her attention to theatre and investing.

Miriam Bienstock was 92; she died March 21st in Manhattan.