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GENE RUMSEY,
1953-2021

Gene Rumsey, a longtime music-industry executive whose sales and marketing successes include The Beatles1, Ray CharlesGenius Loves Company and the Now That’s What I Call Music! brand, died of cancer on New Year’s Day in Westlake Village. He was 67.

After ascending to branch manager for Capitol-EMI Distribution in New York, Rumsey, who started in retail at Wee Three Records in Philadelphia, held multiple executive titles at EMI from the 1990s into the early 2000s. He was prominent in opening new distribution channels such as Amazon and Starbucks, while his marketing/sales successes extended to Frank Sinatra’s Duets and Garth BrooksGreatest Hits.

Norman Lear hired Rumsey to join Concord Music Group in 2003; while there he was GM and COO, Chief Marketing Officer and President of Prestige Records. Paul McCartney was signed to the Hear Music label (a partnership between Concord and Starbucks) during Rumsey's tenure. Hear also produced Charles' Grammy-winning album. 

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