Gil Friesen

Gil Friesen (March 19, 1937 December 13, 2012) was an American music and film executive known for being chairman of A&M Records from 1977 until its sale for $500 million in 1990, co-founder of the Classic Sports Cable Network and executive producer of The Breakfast Club in 1985.


Born into a musical family in Pasadena, CA, Friesen was a student at UCLA when he began his show-business career in the mail room at Capitol Records[1] in California and later became a senior member of Kapp Records.[2] He served as a promoter to Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, The Carpenters, The Police and to Janet Jackson.[3][4][5][6]

He also produced the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, which was released after he died and went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. The film also won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Music Film, with the award being presented to the featured artists as well as the production crew.[7]

Friesen died of leukemia on December 13, 2012.


  1. Vitello, Paul (23 December 2012). "Gil Friesen, 75, Record Executive Who Also Struck Gold in Films". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  2. "Gil Friesen, the 'ampersand' in A&M Records was 75". LA Observed. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  3. "Legendary A&M Records Exec Gil Friesen Dies at 75". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  4. "Legendary A&M Records President Gil Friesen Dead at 75". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  5. "Gil Friesen, Influential Music Mogul, Dead at 75". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  6. "Gil Friesen dies at 75; longtime president of A&M recording label". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  7. "Grammys 2015: And the Winners Are…". Billboard. February 8, 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
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