Neil Bogart

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Neil Bogart (born February 3, 1943 as Neil E. Bogatz in Brooklyn , New York City , † May 8, 1982 in Los Angeles ) was an American manager and record company boss . He was the founder of the label Casablanca Records and founded after he left there the Boardwalk Entertainment Corporation , in which Joan Jett in 1981 I Love Rock 'n Roll published. The Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program is named after him.


Bogart grew up as the son of postal worker Abraham Bogatz and his wife Ruth in the Glenwood Houses, an urban settlement project in Brooklyn , New York . He attended the High School of the Performing Arts in New York, which later became known through the film Fame . He married Elizabeth Weiss in 1965, with whom he had three children (Jill, Timothy Scott and Bradley) and whom he divorced in 1974. Timothy Scott Bogart is a producer ( Love & Sex ), screenwriter and director.

In 1973 he met Joyce Biawitz, who produced the TV show Flipside with Bill Aucoin , of which Bogart was a guest on May 19, 1973. They moved in together in 1975 and married on May 28, 1976. On January 23, 1978, their son Evan "Kidd" Bogart was born, who is now a well-known and award-winning songwriter. a. for Beyoncé ( Halo ), Rihanna ( SOS ) and Leona Lewis ( Happy ) is.

In 1976 he founded the Casablanca ArtWorks art gallery .

Bogart was a member of the Board of Governors of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center , and he and his wife Joyce were involved in the Betty Ford Cancer Center. He died on May 8, 1982 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 39 of lymph gland cancer , which was not diagnosed until late 1981, and was buried on May 11, 1982 in Hillside Memorial Park, Los Angeles. A kidney had already been removed in the summer of 1981, but his illness was kept secret until he was admitted to hospital in April 1982.

His widow Joyce founded the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund together with Carole Bayer Sager in 1984 , which is now called The Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program and is part of the TJ Martell Foundation. In addition to them, Bogart's son from his first marriage, Timothy Bogart, is a member of the Foundation's Board of Directors .


In the 1960s, Neil Bogart appeared under the name Neil Scott as a singer and released an album and several singles on Portrait Records, of which the song Bobby was a small hit in the United States in June 1961 . Scott's single One Piece Bathing Suit was later re-released, this time by 20th Century Fox Records and under the stage name Wayne Roberts. In April 1967 the last single (I Don't Stand) a Ghost of a Chance With You came out on the label Cameo / Parkway Records, where Bogart worked until that year. Cameo / Parkway was closed by the US authorities in 1968 after the operators were proven to have fraudulent shares.

Bogart had already used the name Wayne Roberts in 1964 when he had a (clothed) appearance in the erotic film Sin in the Suburbs by director Joseph W. Sarno . It appears again in 1970, this time in connection with the erotic film The Affairs of Aphrodite , in which Wayne Roberts plays Antiochus.


In 1965 Bogart was employed by an employment agency that Cashbox Magazine , a direct competitor of Billboard Magazine , wanted to post a job posting. Instead of processing the ad, Bogart applied for the post himself and was hired. He quickly worked his way up to becoming Assistant National Promotion Director at MGM Records , then National Promotion Director, Vice President and Sales Director for Cameo-Parkway Records. In 1967, at the age of 24, he took over the management of Buddah Records as general manager and achieved the dubious title "Bubblegum King of America" ​​because he signed groups like Ohio Express and 1910 Fruitgum Company and led them to success. By 1973 Bogart had risen to the label's president.

Bogart's success as a manager can be measured quite easily: On all four labels he headed, he achieved number one hits with some of his artists: Cameo-Parkway released 96 Tears by Question Mark & ​​the Mysterians in 1966 , reached on Buddah Records he first place with Green Tambourine by the Lemon Pipers (1968), as well as with Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight & the Pips (1973), at Casablanca Donna Summer achieved top prices with four singles ( Mac Arthur Park , 1978; Bad Girls , No. More Tears and Hot Stuff , all 1979) and two albums ( Live And More , 1978 and Bad Girls 1979), and in 1980 Do That to me One More Time by Captain and Tennille and Funky Town by Lipps, Inc. , which also appeared there were listed in first place. His last and greatest success was then I Love Rock'n Roll by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts with Boardwalk Records; the title held the top spot on the US charts for seven weeks.

Casablanca Records

In 1973 Bogart founded the Casablanca Records label, which was initially financially supported by Warner Bros. Records . Since Warner Bros. held the rights to the film Casablanca , there were no legal problems using the name for the label, which was originally to be called "Emerald". Bogart signed the group Kiss on November 1, 1973 as the first artist of his new company, but in the course of the 1970s the label focused more and more on disco , drawing Donna Summer , Village People , Cher and Parliament . Even though rock acts such as T. Rex and Angel continued to belong to the label, Casablanca became the largest and most successful disco label in the USA in the course of the 1970s.

Bogart made a name for himself primarily through the style in which he promoted his artists: regardless of losses and regardless of the quality of his product, he invested according to his motto, why only climb a mountain when you can reach for the stars? Huge amounts of money in advertising for his artists. So on February 18, 1974, a gigantic party was celebrated to introduce his label, at which Kiss also performed. When hiring new artists, Bogart relied entirely on his own taste - whatever he liked personally, he took under contract.

At Casablanca, it was common for records to be shipped in far higher numbers than the number of orders - which, for example, in the case of Casablanca's first major album, Here's Johnny… Magic Moments From the Tonight Show , meant that Bogart pressed 1,000,000 copies and had it delivered, but actually only 500,000 albums were sold. The word hype seemed to have been invented for him, but he countered:

“Hype. What a marvelous, misused word. If you hype something and it succeeds, you're a genius, it wasn't hype; if you hype it and it fails, then it's just a hype. "

"Hype. What a fabulous misused word. If you overestimate something and it succeeds, you are a genius and it wasn't hype; if you overestimate it and it fails, then it's just hype. "

Together with the sum that Bogart raised to take over Warner Bros. shares in Casablanca, he owed $ 2,500,000 after that disaster until Kiss' album Alive! sold 2.5 million copies and released Love To Love You Baby by Donna Summer, who had recently received a contract from Bogart after hearing a demo tape from her .

In January 1980, Donna Summer, who had sold more than 20 million albums with Casablanca, sued Bogart and Casablanca, demanding the termination of their contract and ten million dollars. On February 8 of the same year, Bogart left his label, of which he had previously sold large stakes in PolyGram , and gave the rest to PolyGram for an estimated 30 to 40 million dollars. However, he retained his stake in the Casablanca real estate and on February 23, 1980, he published a full-page advertisement in Billboard magazine with the text: To my Casablanca family and friends, this is you, children. See you in the sequel ... soon. With love, appreciation and wishes for happiness: Neil . The ad featured a drawing of Humphrey Bogart walking away from a camera. In addition, he wrote a letter to his former employees, in which he emphasized: I am still your landlord! which referred to the fact that he continued to own the company's real estate.

Boardwalk Entertainment

At the end of February 1980, Bogart founded a new company, Boardwalk Entertainment Corporation , and hired many former Casablanca employees. Boardwalk artists included Ringo Starr , Night Ranger , and Joan Jett , who gave the label its only # 1 hit in 1981: I Love Rock'N Roll . The title stayed at number one on the US charts for seven weeks. Boardwalk was successful from the end of 1981 and achieved several top 40 hits with its artists, but in terms of business conduct it was not at all comparable to Casablanca. The label released a total of 88 records (singles and albums) until its bankruptcy in 1983.


  • In the 1980 film Can't Stop the Music , a pseudo-biography of the Village People, the group is signed by record boss Steve Waits (played by Paul Sands), who owns the record company Marrakesch Records. As the name of the record company in the film suggests, the character of Steve Waits is loosely based on Neil Bogart.
  • The film itself received the Golden Raspberry in 1980 in the categories "Worst Film" and "Worst Screenplay"; he was nominated in five other categories.
  • Bogart's sons Timothy and Bradley appear in the film but are not named in the credits.
  • The rock group Kiss dedicated their album Creatures of the Night in 1982 to Neil Bogart.
  • Bogart's ex-wife Elizabeth later married Charlie Guber, the brother of Bogart's friend and business partner Peter Guber .
  • Timothy and Evan Bogart founded the "Boardwalk Entertainment Group." This production company was to shoot the film Spinning Gold from late 2012 , which should trace the career of Neil Bogart. Justin Timberlake was won over for the production and the lead role . This plan has not yet been implemented.

Discography Neil Scott

  • Go Bohemian / Oh Genie ; Clown Records CL-3011 (USA, 1959/60)
  • Bobby / I Haven't Found It With Another ; Portrait P-102 (USA, 1961)
  • It Happened All Over Again / My Confession ; Portrait P-106 (USA, 1961/2)
  • Tomboy / Run To Me ; Comet / Ember C-2151 (USA, 1962)
  • One Piece Bathing Suit / Little Girl ; Herald H-581 (USA, 1963) / 20th Century Fox 45-644 (USA, year unknown)
  • Neil Scott: Neil "Bobby" Scott's Greatest Hits ; Portrait Records
  • (I Don't Stand) a Ghost of a Chance With You / Let Me Think It Over ; Cameo / Parkway C-476 (USA, 1967)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Going Platinum - KISS, Donna Summer, and how Neil Bogart Built Casablanca Records, Brett Emilio & Josh Levine, Lyons Press 2014, ISBN 978-0-7627-9133-0
  2. Kiss and Make-Up ; Gene Simmons; 2001 Crown Publishers
  3. IMDB entry for Timothy Scott Bogart
  4. ^ A b c d e Post-Kiss, the Village People and Donna Summer, Neil & Joyce Bogart Redo Their Own Lives . People Magazine. May 20, 1980. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  5. ^ Wedding date : And Party Every Day - The Inside Story of Casablanca Records , page 141
  6. Neil Bogart's death mourned By Industry ; Sam Sutherland, Billboard Magazine, May 22, 1982
  7. ^ Neil Bogart Discography . The Kissfaq. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  8. entry on Wayne Roberts
  9. a b c d And Party Every Day - The Inside Story of Casablanca Records ; Larry Harris, Curt Gooch, and Jeff Suhs; Backbeat Books, 2009
  10. ^ The Neil Bogart Touch Lit Charts Throughout Career ; Paul Green, Billboard Magazine, May 22, 1982
  11. ^ Loose Talk: The Book of Quotes from the Pages of Rolling Stone Magazine, 1990.
  12. Information on
  13. "Justin Timberlake To Portray Neil Bogart in Feature Biopic Of late record executive" ;, accessed September 27, 2011


  • And Party Every Day - The Inside Story of Casablanca Records by Larry Harris, Curt Gooch and Jeff Suhs; Backbeat Books (Imprint of Hal Leonard), 2009; ISBN 978-0-87930-982-4
  • Going Platinum: KISS, Donna Summer, and How Neil Bogart Built Casablanca Records by Brett Ermilio and Josh Levine, Lions Press, 2014; ISBN 978-0-76279-133-0

Web links