Veteran Music Row marketing executive Jeff Walker died suddenly Monday night at age 65. Walker was a native of Australia who moved to Nashville four decades ago and shortly afterward launched what is now AristoMedia Group, a holding company for various publicity, promotion and distribution services. Beyond that, he had been, among other things, a member of the board of Country Radio Broadcasters for 35 consecutive years.
MusicRow has more on his passing as well as a comment thread with more than 150 tributes.
The statements as we get them on the passing of civic leader Francis Guess:
From Mayor Karl Dean:
“Francis Guess played an important role in bringing communities together across Nashville. He was a dedicated public servant whose accomplishments included helping to get Tennessee to become one of the first states to observe the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. Later he served on Metro’s Convention Center Authority and many other boards and commissions. He was a friend whose advice I sought and treasured. And he had a great sense of humor and never took himself too seriously. With Anne, I extend our deepest condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
From Megan Barry:
"Francis Guess served our country and served our community with honor and distinction.
"Mr. Guess made numerous contributions to the betterment of our society. From his work on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, to his 30 years on the Tennessee Commission on Human Rights, to his efforts locally in supporting Tennessee State University and the North Nashville community as a whole.
"His work and contributions will be felt by many for decades to come. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time."
From Bill Freeman:
"Nashville lost a true leader and friend today with the passing of Francis Guess. Francis was a pillar in the business community, a champion for civil rights and a dedicated philanthropist who gave so much to the communities and causes closest to his heart. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to the Guess family."
Accountant and music business manager Gary Haber passed away in Los Angeles late Monday from cancer at age 68. Sarah Skates at MusicRow.com has a look back at the career of a man who managed Carrie Underwood and Peter Frampton, among others, while doing business in Nashville since 1990. Over at The Hollywood Reporter, local songwriter and critic Holly Gleason also has an homage.
Carrie Underwood, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lyle Lovett, Peter Frampton and Joe Cocker were among the celebrities who trusted the New York-born CPA with their money – and often their lives. When an artist would find themselves in difficult straits due to over-spending, the ravages of the life or the wages of an industry not always stacked to the artist’s best interests, Haber would find ways to make ends meet until the equilibrium could be sorted.
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