One of the pioneers of of rock and roll’s most prolific era, Phil Carson, former Senior Vice President at Atlantic Records and current President of Phil Carson Associates, is responsible for signing and managing some of music’s most influential bands while establishing an enduring career that continues to innovate the business today. Carson played an integral role in shaping the trailblazing careers of such icons as AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Twisted Sister, Yes, Motorhead and Foreigner.
Getting his start as a successful recording and touring musician, notably alongside Dusty Springfield, Carson was quickly drawn to the business side of music, initially working for the Swedish record label that was the first home to Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. That relationship eventually resulted in ABBA signing to Atlantic Records for America and Canada.
From 1968-1985, Carson was Senior Vice President at Atlantic and a major contributor at the label in the development of its trio of ground breaking English bands -- Led Zeppelin, Yes, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. He personally signed such multi-platinum artists as AC/DC, Twisted Sister, and Gary Numan to Atlantic, brought Phil Collins to WEA, America to Warner Brothers, and co-produced the multi-platinum Honeydrippers CD with Robert Plant and Ahmet Ertegun. He was also responsible for bringing Virgin Records to the United States by signing a deal with Richard Branson, giving Atlantic distribution rights to the Virgin label for many years. The first release under that agreement was the multi-platinum “Tubular Bells,” an epic piece of music that became the soundtrack of The Exorcist.
As President of the music division of JVC, Carson developed the classic rock-oriented Victory Music label. He earned a Grammy nomination for the acclaimed “Muddy Water Blues” album from Paul Rodgers and scored chart positions with new albums by David Bowie, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes.
From joining Led Zeppelin in concert to jam on bass guitar, and saving AC/DC from Atlantic’s chopping block following their “Dirty Deeds” release in 1976, to orchestrating the launch of Robert Plant’s solo career and masterminding the return of Foreigner to renewed chart and touring succsess, Carson’s career has become the stuff of legend.
Currently Carson is the President of Phil Carson Associates, a management and music company whose client list has included Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, Yes, Foreigner, Motorhead, Bad Company, The Who (for sponsorship marketing) Twisted Sister, Jason Bonham, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, ASIA, and Rolling Stone, Ronnie Wood.
Other projects include “Good Rockin’ Tonight – The Legacy of Sun Records”, a PBS TV documentary and soundtrack album that he produced with Ahmet Ertegun. The Billboard chart soundtrack CD features newly recorded tracks from such luminaries as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, Tom Petty, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow. His latest film is the American Masters documentary on Ahmet Ertegun and Atlantic Records, ‘The House That Ahmet Built”. In 2007, he set up and directed the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund board that organized the London concert reunion and final performance of Led Zeppelin.