Ahmet Ertegun isn’t a household name — let alone easy to say, but if you’re a music fan, you’ve probably benefitted from his life’s legacy. Despite being the son of the first Republic of Turkey ambassador to the US, Ahmet channeled his love of Blues and Jazz to found Atlantic records. Not up on your labels? Well Atlantic was responsible for signing an incredible list of artists including Ray Charles, Sonny and Cher, Eric Clapton, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. The Last Sultan: The Life and Times of Ahmet Ertegun ($19) chronicles Ahmet’s wild transformation from a scrappy indie record label entrepreneur, to an A-list playboy with a penchant for custom Louis Vuitton luggage and Gulfstreams, at the helm of a multinational corporation. Naturally, like any good rock ‘n’ roll story, plenty of top-notch guest stars weave in and out, both of the expected (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards), and unexpected variety (Henry Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld). The backroom details of the music industry revealed in this book will also entertain, if not utterly overwhelm, anyone intrigued for a peek at the grease behind pop culture. Mark Zuckerburg’s nascent story of passion-fueled achievement dabbled with poor decision making is certainly compelling, but Ahmet’s script lives on another level.
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