Al Coury presents John Lennon with RIAA Gold Record Award for the album "Walls & Bridges" Record Plant, NY 1974
|Albert Eli Coury|
|Born||October 21, 1934|
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||August 8, 2013 (aged 78)|
Thousand Oaks, California, U.S.
|Vice-president of Capitol Records, Co-founder and President of RSO Records, General Manager Head Of Promotion Geffen Records|
|The Beatles, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Glen Campbell, Bob Seger, Linda Ronstadt|
Albert Eli "Al" Coury (October 21, 1934 - August 8, 2013) was a Lebanese-American music record executive during the 1970s, vice-president of American record label Capitol Records and co-founder of RSO Records, who had helped to develop the careers of such artists as The Beatles, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Glen Campbell, Bob Seger, Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith, Don Henley, Cher and Linda Ronstadt.
In 1957, he joined Capitol Records as a promotion man in New England and rose to the position of a vice-president of marketing, sales and promotion. Time magazine called him "The Man Who Sells the Sizzle."
Coury was important to several solo Beatles releases in the 1970s, particularly Paul McCartney's 1973 album Band On The Run and John Lennon's 1974 album Walls and Bridges, both of which reached the top of the charts and yielded #1 singles. It was Coury who persuaded McCartney to include the successful single "Helen Wheels" on the US version of Band On The Run (because it was last-minute, the lyrics to the song were not included on the lyric sheet). He then chose the song "Jet" as the second single, which helped make the album the most successful of McCartney's solo efforts.
The following year, Lennon invited Coury to "work his magic" promoting Lennon's Walls and Bridges album. It was Coury who chose the first single, "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night", which became Lennon's first #1 solo hit (and the only one in his lifetime). Coury was also instrumental in the long-awaited release of Lennon's 1975 album Rock 'n' Roll, bartering with producer Phil Spector to retrieve the master tapes from their abandoned 1973 recording sessions.
Coury's last signing to Capitol Records was the group Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, made up of former Monkees Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, and songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, who had written several Monkees hits.
He then left Capitol to become co-founder and president of RSO Records, with Robert Stigwood. At RSO, Coury marketed such hits as the Saturday Night Fever and Grease soundtrack albums, and Eric Clapton's Slowhand. Coury worked extensively with the Bee Gees, RSO's flagship group.
In 1980, Coury created a new record label, Network Records. One of the label's initial successes was the soundtrack to the movie Flashdance. The song "What a Feeling" won a Grammy Award and an Oscar for Song of the Year in 1984. Another was Del Shannon's Drop Down And Get Me album produced by Tom Petty and featuring the hit single "Sea Of Love."
In 1985, Network Records merged with Geffen Records, and Coury became Geffen's general manager, launching hit records for Guns & Roses, Aerosmith, Peter Gabriel and Don Henley. He retired from the record business in 1994. He died at the age of 78 on August 8, 2013, in Thousand Oaks, California, from complications of a stroke.
Coury was married to Mary Ann Coury, who was his biggest supporter and they raised two children, Kacy and Albert Coury, Jr.