*(LOS ANGELES)— The Singleton Entertainment Corp, led by former Urban Music President of MCA Records Ernie Singleton, is proud to announce that civil rights activist and media personality Rev. Al Sharpton will present its Legacy Award to the family of the late Jules “Julie” Rifkind during its #Salute2014 tribute on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at LA Live’s Target Terrace, located at 800 W. Olympic Blvd above the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles.
The event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m., and hosted by actor Vincent Ward, whose credits include “The Walking Dead,” “The Starter Wife” and “Everybody Hates Chris.”
A native of Brooklyn, Rifkind was the founder of Spring Records, created in the 1960s in New York City, and considered one of the most important soul labels during of the 1970s. As a Jewish man, repping Black artists during the Civil Rights Movement, Rifkin saw the inequalities of the Jim Crow laws and its effect on his business. Back then, he was so impressed with a young preacher, named Al Sharpton, that he gave him an office at his record label. Together, Rifkind and Sharpton would advocate for equal treatment of urban artists and music executives – both on and off the road. Today, Sharpton is the founder of the National Action Network and host of the nightly show, “Politics Nation” on MSNBC as well as the nationally-syndicated radio show, “Keeping It Real With Al Sharpton.” Sharpton is also the author of “The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership.”
Rifkind began his career as head of radio promotion at MGM Records,a predominantly pop and country label. After another stint as general manager at BANG Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, Rifkind decided to form his own record label — Spring Records through Polygram — with his older brother Roy and Bill Spitalsky. At Spring Records, Rifkind signed artists such as Joe Simon, Millie Jackson, James Brown and the Fatback Band. The record label also created a management division, repping entertainers and recording artists like comic genius Flip Wilson, the Shirelles and soul singer Tommy Hunt of the Flamingos. Interestingly, Rifkind gave Russell Simmons his first production deal when he signed Jimmy Spicer, who released the single “Dollar Dollar Bill Y’all.” Not surprising, he passed on his love of urban music to his sons, Steve and Jonathan Rifkind, partners of Loud Records with RCA.
In recognition of June as Black Music Month,Singleton Entertainment presents #Salute2014 to salute music and entertainment executives who work relentlessly behind the scenes, playing critical roles in the success of recording artists’ careers as well as the entire urban production landscape. For the past six years, Singleton Entertainment presented the Toast to Urban Executives; however, that event is now being produced by another organizer not affiliated with the Singleton Entertainment.
“As someone who’s worked behind the scenes, supporting some of the biggest stars in the music business, many times your hard work goes unnoticed,” says Singleton, president and CEO of Singleton Entertainment. “There is so much that goes into the success of an artist or production and most people only reference the finished product. I want to spotlight and celebrate these executives who make it all happen. Success would be impossible without their contributions.”
In addition to Rifkind, #Salute2014 will pay special tribute to the late Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter/composer Curtis Mayfield with a Timeless Music Awardand online media executive Ron Bloom of BiteSized Entertainment with an Urban Entertainment Innovators Award.
Other #Salute2014 honorees include:
- Karen Civil – celebrity blogger of KarenCivil.com and online marketing coordinator for Young Money Records.
- Angela Dean – celebrity fashion designer and founder of DeanZign.
- Greg “Mack Attack” Mack – radio pioneer at KDAY-FM, and now disc jockey at KTWV-FM, 94.7 the Wave.
- Joie Manda – president of Urban Music at Interscope, Geffen, & A&M.
- Groovey Lew – celebrity stylist who’s known as the “King of Fashion” in the hip hop world.
Wyllisa R. Bennett, publicist du jour