Brian Epstein

(c. 1934—1967) popular music entrepreneur and retailer

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b. Brian Samuel Epstein, 19 September 1934, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, d. 27 August 1967, London, England. One of the most famous pop managers in music business history, Epstein began his working life in the family business as a provincial shopkeeper, overseeing the North End Road Music Stores (NEMS) in central Liverpool. His life took a new direction on Saturday 28 October 1961 when a customer requested a record entitled ‘My Bonnie’ by a group called the Beatles. When Epstein subsequently attended one of their gigs at the Cavern in Mathew Street he was drawn into the alien netherworld of leather-clad beat groups and, against the advice of his friends, became a pop manager. His early efforts at promoting the Beatles proved haphazard, but using his influence with record companies he secured a number of interviews with important A&R representatives. A slew of rejections followed, but Decca Records at least offered the Beatles an audition before finally turning them down. Epstein took his revenge by crediting the unfortunate Dick Rowe with the immortal words: ‘Groups of guitarists are on the way out’. Epstein’s tardiness in securing a record contract did not diminish his abilities in other areas.


From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.

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