FUNK FOUNDATIONS #7 w/ George Cvetkovski // 09.12.20
Tribute to a pioneering figure in the RnB, soul, disco and funk music…that helped shape up the careers of many top acts.
His name is Mr. Cecil Holmes.
Born and raised in New York City… Started singing doo-wop in ‘52 for the bands, Cavaliers, Fi-Tones and Solitaires.
In the E60s, Cecil left performing and joined the business side of the recording industry. Barely in his 20s, he co-founded RMH Productions.
His personality was a natural fit for promotion and sales which proved to be right..
Throughout the 60’s he worked for Columbia and later as a Regional Manager for Mercury Records… promoting the artists Clyde McPhatter, Bobby Byrd, Dee Dee Warwick, and Mack Rice.
His next stop was Cameo-Parkway Records where he began a friendship with Neil Bogart.
In 1967 they moved to Buddah Records….whe he as a VP signed the Impressions, Edwin Hawkins Singers, the Five Stairsteps and Gladys Knight & the Pips.
Thru Buddah records, he also distributed Curtom, T-Neck, Hot Wax, and Sussex Records which had many big names in the black music genre.
While at Buddah Records, he produced 2 albums under the name “The Cecil Holmes Soulful Sounds,” in 1973.
The following year, Cecil relocated to LA to join Neil Bogart for his next venture, Casablanca Records. As one of the original founding partners, Cecil helped launch the label with albums by KISS and Parliament. He also worked closely with the Pips, the Sylvers, Hugh Masekela and he helped Donna Summer, Village People and other disco artists to worldwide success.
While working as VP od Casablnca, in 1975, Cecil premiered his own custom label…Chocolate City… named after Parliament’s album “Chocolate City”.
At Chocolate City he had biggest success with the band Cameo…and he also signed Brenda & the Tabulations, Vernon Burch, Randy Brown, Starpoint, 7th Wonder and Kevin Moore (later known as Keb’ Mo).
In 1980, Neil Bogart and Cecil Holmes sold Casablanca records to PolyGram.
After that, Cecil joined CBS Records as VP for both Columbia and Epic Records. He worked with top acts like Earth, Wind & Fire, Mtume, and Luther Vandross.
A few years later, Cecil and Larkin Arnold signed New Kids on the Block to Columbia Records…which brought him the biggest worldwide success.