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Episode 16:

Season 3 – Jeff Criden

Released: July 1, 2023

About This Episode:

Former Record Theatre Clerk/Buyer/Assistant Manager and Warner Brothers Records promoter, Jeff Criden, joined Rockabilly Greg “In the Flamingo Lounge” on Thursday, May 11, 2023 to talk about his career working in the music business.

“When I saw the Beatles perform on Ed Sullivan that February night in 1964 as a 7-year-old, sports & music did a head on collision. I started collecting music then saving my milk money & allowance that let me buy any record I could get my little mitts on.

I would keep collecting all through my life as a music junkie. All of a sudden at 20 years old a giant record store on Main & Lafayette was being put together. I had an in there and was hired to work in a record store! How fun! I worked at Record Theatre as a clerk, buyer, Assistant manager and running the wholesale end of the store. After 5 1/2 years, an opening at Warner Brothers Records opened up in the region. I went after that like it was my dream job. For 25 years, from 1982-2007, I worked for this cherished label doing promotion & marketing.

I worked with the best music people and minds in the industry during that time and learned so much. We worked with the greatest artists on the planet. It was truly a who’s who that was in my bag going to radio to get airplay for the artists I represented.

From the first time Bonnie Raitt gave me a hug and a kiss and welcomed me to the label. I got to work records by legends like The Who, George Harrison, Aerosmith, Peter Gabriel, Donna Summer, Elton John, Steve Winwood, Van Halen (all 3 singers), The Pretenders, Echo & the Bunnymen, Dire Straits, Prince, Madonna, Bee Gees, Brian Wilson, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Don Henley, John Fogerty, The Time, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Ice-T, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Dave Davies, Cher, Los Lobos, Linkin Park, Emmy Lou Harris, Hank Williams Jr., Traveling Wilburys, ZZ Top, XTC, R.E.M., B 52s, Lou Reed, Josh Groben, Michael Bublé, Joni Mitchell, Faith Hill, k.d. lang, Paula Cole and oh yeah, this band from Buffalo called Goo Goo Dolls! So many more to mention too…

I loved this job. Helping to make hits for our artists and breaking ground on newer developing artists. It was great being at the beginning of both Prince’s & Madonna’s careers. They wound up being 2 of the 3 biggest artists of the 80’s along with Michael Jackson. It was very special to me being at the forefront of our native sons.

I became friends with John & Robby (from the Goo Goo Dolls) in 1990 and then we started working the “Hold Me Up” album followed by “Superstar Car Wash”. More stories developed with “A Boy Named Goo” & “Dizzy Up the Girl”. I was so proud to be part of that. They both remain friends to this day.

Music remains part of me daily. I still post things about music & still trade a top 10 list (20 if there’s enough) with friends at the end of each year.”

From a May 6, 2023 posting on Facebook: “One of the best albums I had the honor of working during my years at warner Brothers Records. Loved working this record and the 2nd album, “Volume 3″….I changed my name to Jefferson Wilbury while working both these albums. This one was so special.”
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