I first met Gary back in 1991 when he was in his late-20's and a part of the D'Bora management team who flew over from the US to the UK to support her "Dream About You" single on Smash Records out of Chicago being released on the Polydor Urban label in the UK where the single was #1 in the National dance charts. D'Bora performed a PA at the Prestatyn Soul Weekender and Gary was her road-manager. Over the years we met many times at Gary's management company, run with Joey, in New York's Manhattan, the neighboring borough to Gary's Brooklyn home town. He was New York all the way through.
In 1996, Jules and my label, Manifesto Records in the UK signed Gary's artist-producer Todd Terry, spawning 3 Top 10 UK Hit singles. Manifesto was the UK's dance label of the year 1996 & 1997 with the help of those hits. Throughout my career and personally, Gary has always been very supportive, especially with Kings Of Spins.
To say that everybody in the dance world knew Gary is putting it mildly. He traveled everywhere and extensively throughout Europe crafting relationships and hit records for his artists including Todd Terry with whom Gary enjoyed some major hit records that still resonate today as pure classics of the dance music world. Successes such as Everything But The Girl's "Missing" Todd's amazing remix, the Todd Terry ft Martha Wash & Jocelyn Brown "Keep On Jumping" and Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" where Gary turned the then Warner UK Chairman, Rob Dickins CBE, onto dance music.
I last met with Gary at the Petit Ermitage Hotel in West Hollywood, 8 weeks ago, by the rooftop pool and bar where we enjoyed a catch up on life and music with Gary's exuberant effervescent nature in full flow as always. We laughed about the changes these last 30 years and he was excited about a Big new project he had working. Too soon his next meeting arrived (Gary loved a meeting :) we said our goodbyes wished each other well and said we'd meet again in a few weeks time. As I was walking to the elevator the Sales Director of the Hotel, Troy, gave me his card saying any friend of Gary was always welcome to visit the Hotel's exclusive rooftop bar, keep the card and just show it whenever I wanted to enjoy an evening there. That magnanimous spirit from Troy was part of the Gary Salzman personal magic that he brought out in people.
To hear yesterday morning, via an early telephone call from Aadil, that this terrible COVID19 virus had taken Gary knocked me off my feet. One of dance music's legends has gone and way way too early. As the famous saying goes "it takes a village to raise a child" the same sentiment applies to the dance music world, 'it took a global village to raise dance music' and Gary Salzman loved and breathed it for over 30 years. He was a Big one-off personality whose smile and enthusiasm was always a welcome addition to our lives, events, gigs and fun.
Some of Gary's major music moments are below. If you have room on your show please play one or two and give him a send-off message on the air. He'd smile at that. Thank you (I can't believe I'm writing this tonight. Take real care everybody) - Rest In Peace Big man, you'll be remembered fondly by so many. Ed.
D'Bora - Dream About You (Maurice Joshua's Classic Mix 1A - 118 Club Classic
Todd Terry ft Martha Wash & Jocelyn Brown - Keep On Jumping (Club Mix 5A - 124 Club Classic
EBTG - Missing (Todd Terry Original Remix - 8A - 126 Club Classic
Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time (Todd Terry TNT Vocal Mix 1A - 129 Club Dance
Rama Duke - Do You Want My Love - 12A - 125 Big Room House
INViDA & Alicia Madison - Back To You (2B - 80bpm (2020 Electro Pop)
Ennio Morricone - Once Upon a Time in America (for Gary on your journey buddy)