YouTube Cash rules everything around Fat Joe, Wiz Khalifa and Teyana Taylor in…
- Posted on Jun 9th 2011 11:00AM by Dan Reilly
A Pennsylvania native who moved to Cleveland in his teens, Popovich got his start in the music business by unloading trucks at a local Columbia Records warehouse during the '60s. By 1972, he had risen all the way to Vice President of promotions for CBS Records, a post given to him by Clive Davis. In the mid-'70s, Popovich and his A&R team at Epic signed such artists as Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent, Boston and, after they left Motown, the Jacksons.
In 1976, Popovich left CBS to form his own label, Cleveland International. It was there that he championed the career of Meat Loaf and his 'Bat Out of Hell' album, which had failed to attract interest from other labels. Popovich pushed the album relentlessly until it topped the charts. To date, it has gone platinum 14 times in the US.
"Every major label passed on 'Bat Out of Hell' before Cleveland International picked it up," Popovich said in 2002, according to the Plain Dealer. "It was the day and age of the wimpy-looking, Peter Frampton-types. Then here comes Meat Loaf, this huge guy with an amazing voice."
In addition to Meat Loaf, Popovich's label put out records by Ronnie Spector, Ian Hunter and Frank Yankovic, who won the first Grammy for best polka recording. In the mid-'80s, Popovich became the Senior Vice President of Polygram in Nashville, where he worked with Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson. He returned to Cleveland International in the '90s.
He is survived by his son, Steven Jr., daughter Pamela, sister Barb Lemmo and two grandchildren. Eastlake, Ohio's Monreal Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.