Gary Stewart, Veteran of Rhino Data and Apple Music, Dies at 62

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UPDATED: Gary Stewart, a veteran of Rhino Data and Apple Music and a extensively identified determine on the Los Angeles rock scene for greater than 40 years, has died, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s workplace confirmed to Selection. He was 62. The Santa Monica Police Division confirmed that he died by suicide.

A Los Angeles native, Stewart labored behind the counter from the mid-‘70s at Rhino Data’ retailer on Westwood Boulevard, a music hub not not like the one depicted within the ebook and movie “Excessive Constancy.” He was an archetypal “document retailer man” who cherished little greater than “turning individuals on” to music or movies that he thought they might love. That high quality remained with Stewart till the top of his life.

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Stewart quickly moved to Rhino’s fast-growing document firm, the place he was one of many first individuals employed by founders Harold Bronson and Richard Foos, and in the end rose to the place of Senior VP of A&R for Rhino Leisure. Throughout his tenure on the label, Rhino, which was in the end bought by Warner Music, turned probably the most outstanding reissue label within the U.S. Stewart was a key pressure behind the corporate’s cross-licensed boxed units; he additionally oversaw Rhino’s reissue marketing campaign dedicated to Elvis Costello. He spearheaded Rhino’s transfer into up to date music, signing such acts as singer-songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill.

Stewart was additionally deeply concerned in Rhino’s charity efforts — the corporate required workers to dedicate a day or two to neighborhood service yearly — and in recent times labored carefully with the Group Coalition and was chairman of the Liberty Hill Basis. Through the years he was additionally concerned with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economic system and served on the board of the Social Enterprise Community, a nonprofit group of socially accountable enterprise leaders. His intensive charity work earned him a tribute from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who referred to as him “a real champion of justice, a mannequin of modesty, and most of all, our expensive buddy. L.A. is healthier off for every little thing he did.” 

Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, government producers of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” mentioned in a press release to Selection: “We’re deeply saddened by the demise of our buddy Gary Stewart. His generosity and enthusiasms had been infectious.  He was a tireless warrior for social causes and fought injustice on daily basis of his life. He was a magic genie with a trunk filled with CD’s and a love of music that was unparalleled. He produced our ‘Gilmore’ soundtrack with as a lot vitality and devotion as if it was ‘The White Album,’ and can proceed to be an affect on the sounds of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.’ He was one of the best of one of the best.”

Present Rhino President Mark Pinkus mentioned: “Gary Stewart was a fantastic man and an expensive buddy. He was actually the architect and guiding spirit of Rhino. He outlined what it meant to be a catalog label… not just for Rhino, however for the complete music business. His ardour for music and meticulous curation nonetheless present the template for a way we method our releases to at the present time. He was not solely the inventive spine of Rhino, however he additionally set the usual for our social consciousness and was a frontrunner in the neighborhood whose influence will likely be felt for many years to return. When you’ve got ever loved a uncommon demo or b-side that you simply by no means knew existed, or marveled at holding a wonderful boxed set from considered one of your favourite artists, then you definately owe a debt of gratitude to Gary Stewart. Relaxation in peace my buddy.”

In recent times Stewart labored two separate stints at Apple Music, the place he utilized his voluminous musical data to catalog curation for iTunes. Apple Music’s David Dorn, his buddy and longtime colleague, mentioned in a press release to Selection, “I had the great fortune of working with Gary Stewart twice in my profession: the primary time on the nice Rhino Data, and extra just lately at iTunes and Apple Music. Gary was a splendidly advanced one that wore his coronary heart on his sleeve. He was good, humorous, difficult, and passionate. He was an extremely beneficiant one that actually cared about making a distinction in every little thing he did, whether or not that was in his work in music, or his work in the neighborhood. I’ll miss him as a buddy and colleague.”

In 2014, with former Rhino label colleague David Gorman, Stewart inaugurated the music and popular culture site Trunkworthy, which took its title from Stewart’s penchant for holding his automotive trunk crammed with CDs and movies that he would give to his pals to share his enthusiasm for them.

A bachelor, Stewart was famend for his beneficiant spirit — pals recall him shopping for dozens of tickets to Sparks live shows and the annual Wild Honey advantages for autism analysis and giving them away as a result of he thought individuals ought to see these exhibits. His “Losers’ Christmas” events — which started within the early ‘80s as a seasonal get-together for his pals in his small house on Christmas Day — turned over the course of greater than 30 years a big occasion in his Santa Monica yard that drew a crowd of musicians, document enterprise executives and different pals. He would maintain court docket in his open storage, sometimes leaving to seize a CD or DVD boxed set as a present for a visitor.

He’s survived by his brother Mark.

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