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Neil E. Bogart (born Neil Scott Bogatz,[1] February 3, 1943 – May 8, 1982) was an American record executive. He is perhaps best remembered as the founder of Casablanca Records (which later became Casablanca Record and Filmworks).[2][3]

Life and career


Bogart was born in New York City and grew up in the Glenwood Houses, the housing projects in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn. He was a singer in the 1960s, using the name Neil Scott, prior to running the Michigan offices of Cameo-Parkway Records.[4] After Cameo-Parkway was shut down by the government for stock fraud in 1968,[5] Bogart became an executive at Buddah Records. He is credited with being a key player in the rise of bubblegum pop music during his time working at Cameo-Parkway and Buddha.

He started Casablanca in 1973 when he first signed Kiss and later became identified with the rise of disco by promoting the careers of acts such as Donna Summer and the Village People (the Casablanca roster also contained rock acts such as The Godz, T.Rex, Fanny, and The Hudson Brothers, but the label became best known for its disco product). The label was also known for tapping into the funk market with the signing of George Clinton's Parliament in 1974.

Shortly before his death, he founded Boardwalk Records and jumped on the new wave bandwagon, as disco was in decline. Joan Jett and Harry Chapin were among his last signings.[6][7]

Death


Bogart died of cancer and lymphoma at age 39. He was interred at Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California.

Legacy


His widow, Joyce Bogart-Trabulus, teamed with songwriter Carole Bayer Sager and founded the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund (now the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program) in 1984.[8] That same year, the fund established its laboratories at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.[9] The fund was a division of The T.J. Martell Foundation until the mid 2000s.[10]

  • The Kiss album Creatures of the Night is dedicated to Bogart's memory (the dedication is found on the back cover[11] of the original vinyl release of the album, near the bottom [Casablanca Records NBLP-7270]. The dedication is also found on the CD release on the inside of the insert, where the credits are located [Casablanca Records/Mercury 314-532-391-2]. The dedication simply states: "Neil Bogart 1943-1982").
  • Donna Summer's self-titled album from 1982 is also dedicated to Bogart's memory, and the liner notes contain one of his favorite sayings, "Why head for the mountaintop when you're reaching for the sky?"
  • Village People's 1982 album Fox on the Box was also dedicated to Bogart's memory.
  • Going Platinum, a book about Bogart, was due to be published in November 2014. It is written by his nephew Brett Ermilio and published by Globe Pequot Press.

Personal life


Bogart's widow is Joyce Bogart-Trabulus.[8]

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