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Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built
Atlantic Records The House That Ahmet Built
Actors: Ahmet Ertegun, Bette Midler, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton
Director: Susan Steinberg
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2007

Atlantic Records: The House that Ahmet Built follows Ertegun's remarkable career and its impact on the evolution of the world's most popular musical genre while offering an insider's look at the recording industry. Feat...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ahmet Ertegun, Bette Midler, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton
Director: Susan Steinberg
Creators: Ed Marritz, Susan Steinberg, Pamela Scott Arnold, Natalie Reuss, Phil Carson, Susan Lacy
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Clapton, Eric, Genesis, Collins, Phil, Classic Rock
Studio: Rhino / Wea
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/12/2007
Original Release Date: 05/02/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 05/02/2007
Release Year: 2007
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese

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Movie Reviews

For once, something to watch on TV
Bobby C. | Connecticut, USA | 05/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this entire 2-hour show on New York's PBS station last night and it was great. You can feel Ahmet's passion for music as he relates his childhood experiences in Turkey, his passion for America ("the land of cowboys, dancing girls and jazz") and explains the formation of Atlantic Records.

Rather than become a diplomat or a "civil servant like my father" (Ahmet's father was the Turkish ambassador to the U.S.), Ahmet and his brother created America's most important record company. The story of Atlantic Records is as much about racial integration and artistic integrity as it as about music.

It's also great to hear the musicians' side of the story. The very recent footage of conversations between Ahmet and Robert Plant, Ray Charles, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Bette Midler really shows the respect and admiration all these great artists had for him.

Finally, this is an entertaining show, featuring some great laugh-out-loud moments. My favorite is when Ahmet tells of how, as a 12-year old, he hailed a cab in mid-town Manhattan and said to the driver "Take me to Harlem." All he wanted to do was hear some jazz and within a few minutes, he found himself at the Plantation Club and later, at a rent party rubbing elbows with musicians and dancing girls.

Having grown up listening to Atlantic artists like Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Crosby, Stills & Nash, etc., I found this show absolutely fascinating."
Great program - read his excellent book too
T. Scarillo | Studio City, CA | 05/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This program is enormously entertaining, with tons of great footage of the artists, interviews, and hilarious anecdotes. I worked at Atlantic for several years and can attest that this documentary delivers an informative survey of the man and the label (though i could argue about certain artist omissions), which produced so much great music covering every genre. If you're a serious pop/rock/R&B/jazz fan, you really owe it to yourself to see this, and if you want to learn more about Mr. Ertegun and Atlantic, i HIGHLY recommend the book he wrote several years ago, "What'd I Say", which has hundreds of stunning photos and commentary from him and the others (artists and executives) who made it all happen at Atlantic (the book is pricey, but totally worth the money - product link is below)

What'd I Say: The Atlantic Story"
If you've loved music over the last 30-50 years, this is a m
Nagronsky | Skagit Valley, Wa USA | 05/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I just got done being transfixed by this program on American Masters on PBS. Ahmet Ertegun's life was incredibly full, full of joy and music for many years. From the "race" records of the 40's to the British Invasion to Woodstock to Kid Rock, the fingers of Ahmet Ertegun and his brother were on the pulse of popular music on both sides of the Atlantic. I enjoyed this show so much I've pre-ordered two copies."
Mixed feelings
the professor | Paterson, New Jersey United States | 07/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This was a great documentary, but it is only part of the story. I met Ahmet back in 1976 when he was helping Mic Jagger form his own label and they were recording my friend, bluesman Luther Allison. I recently saw Ahmet again at the Jazz Musuem of Harlem promoting the music he loved best, jazz. Even in his last years ,he never stopped tirelessly pushing jazz and black music in general. He was always headed to somewhere to try to keep the music and the legacy alive.
I say part of the real story, because I know many of the artists that were with Atlantic and most were unhappy about the way they were treated there. Ruth Brown, who helped build Atlantic, had to secure work as a domestic to survive... whereas Mic Jagger has never looked back.
This documentary is only deals with the Ready for Prime Time story of what Atlantic did. There were decisions that affected a lot of people involved with Atlantic, that were unfavorable to them. Why do you think Ray Charles left? As you watch the movie , you have to read between the lines.
Ahmet confronted racism, but sometimes he was also a part of it. The needs of the business often overshadowed what he knew was right. Still what he did was invaluable to music , as we know it in America.
He says in the film that there are only two types of music in America, 'there is black music and then there are those who imitate black music'... a very profound, sad and true statement that most do not want to recognize or accept.
So this movie is one slice of the story. Out of the light of the cameras , you will hear a much different one.. as I have.
It is still worth having because it is a major part the history of music in this country. I also pre-ordered a copy and now I can enjoy it whenever I like. I can use it to educate kids that are too young to remember it as I did. I grew up with Atlantic. One of my first 45-rpm records was Aretha singing "Respect". But I had heard the Alantic artists all thru my childhood.
Ahmet Artegun is an American hero. He gave the world music that we still enjoy today. The music he recorded has influenced every artist since the label was created. This film should be viewed by any serious student of American music or of American history. The music reflected the times and the changes in our culture. It shows the good and the bad, if you read between the lines.
Who will take up the cause now that Ahmet is gone? Who will fight to see that Americans greatest and only art form, black music, is not forgotten. Maybe some teen watching this film will be the next restless soul and try to seek justice for those who are often forgotten.
The world will never be able to repay the debt it has to Ahmet for what he has done to enrich the lives of all of us. He triumphed not because of America, but in spite of it."