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JJ Rocks exclusive interview: Major label legend: Joe Mansfield

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JJ Rocks article # 293: Exclusive interview with legendary major label executive and friend Joe Mansfield!

JOE MANSFIELD: Short bio before interview
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1962 Disc-Jockey and music director for KMAC/KISS FM in San Antonio, Texas
1968 Sales, promotion and marketing for CBS Records.
1969 Doubled sales for CBS Records and named Promotion Man of the Year
1977 Vice President of Merchandising at CBS New York
Worked with CBS Artists; Boston, Michael Jackson, Charlie Daniels Band and Meatloaf
Named Vice President of Marketing for Columbia Records guiding the
careers of Chicago, Billy Joel, Journey, Willie Nelson, Barbara
Streisand, Neil Diamond, Kenny Loggins, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen,
Toto, Aerosmith, Loverboy, Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd
1978, 1979, 1980, 1981 Columbia named "Label of the Year" as a result of his efforts
Vice President of Contemporary Music for RCA Records in New York
Entire roster, which included Diana Ross, Rick Springfield, Jefferson
Starship, Eurythmics, Kenny Rogers and Hall & Oats gained
multi-platinum status under his guidance
Vice President of Sales & V.P. of Marketing at CEMA Distribution in Los Angeles
Went to work for Capitol Records-Los Angeles, successfully marketing
Heart, Bob Seger, Poison, Corey Hart, Pet Shop Boys, Bonnie Raitt,
Queensrych, among many others
Launched Garth Brooks and Mr. Mansfield's marketing plan resulted in
Garth selling 100 million units in less than 10 years (and many more
since then). Garth Brooks / Mansfield total unit sales is over 130
million units; a marketing feat never matched by anyone.

1992 started marketing company, Mansfield-Martinovich & Associates
1996 CEO and Co-President of Asylum Records-Nashville guiding the
careers of Emmylou Harris, Bryan White, Lila McCann and Kevin Sharp
Mr. Mansfield is the current Marketing Consultant to Garth Brooks.
Recently Brooks came out of retirement and Mansfield & Brooks have
again hit the top 20 charts and sold gold and platinum in 2005
He has been awarded over 100 gold and multi-platinum records so far for his expertise.

Joe is now in charge again of not only the sales and marketing of latest
(2015) Garth Brooks CD, but also Garth's 100 million dollar contact with
Sony (Sony's only music project at this time).

"I've seen and heard a lot of great guitar players during my 46 years in
the music world and I believe that guitarist JJ Rocks in St. Croix,
Virgin Islands is certainly in the Top 10. I have known him for over 30
years and have heard him perform live in concert, both public and
private, and he never ceases to amaze me. He makes the guitar talk."  - Joe Mansfield


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Here is the interview -

JJ: What was your first musical job?

JM: I was a disc jockey in college for years. I played country music and
hated it. The first two weeks I hated it and then I liked it. I never
heard it before.

JJ: How did you go from being a DJ to being in the record company business?

JM: CBS radio station. CBS Records. I just moved over. Different division.

JJ: How many record companies have you worked for and what were your positions?

JM: CBS for 17 years, vice president of marketing, RCA for 3 years, vice
president of contemporary music, Capitol records, vice president of
marketing for 5 years in Hollywood and two years here (Nashville), and
then 2 years as CEO at Electra/ Asylum. I was always a vice president,
president, or CEO.

JJ: Did you have a favorite company that you worked for?

JM: CBS

JJ: What was one of your most famous encounters with a famous artist?

JM: Bob Dylan. He was the first artist that I ever worked with in '65.
He came to do a show in Austin Texas. I told him that I had a lot of
people that wanted to interview him and he said "I don't do that". And I
said "come on". I had a suit and tie on. Then he says "If you find an
old garage that has the walk down oil pit, I'll do it there from the
bottom of the pit". He thought that he blew me off. So I found one, went
back and got him, got the TV stations, radio and press there. He liked
me! In fact I was the only record guy that he ever liked. He hated the
record people because they're all suits. I was a suit, but you know, he
liked me. And he had some hang arounder with him who is probably now
the worlds most famous photographer "Annie Leibovitz", she was there.
She's done a ton of work for famous people.

JJ: How did you become the man behind all the sales of the Garth Brooks records?

JM: I did the marketing. Marketing runs companies. People don't realize
that. If you don't market, you don't sell. It's real simple.

JJ: Was Garth with Capitol when you were here in Nashville?

JM: He came out in April of '89 with a record. I was still in Hollywood.
We sold 300 thousand. I moved here in April of '90 and in 3 months I
had it platinum.

JJ: What kind of person is Garth Brooks?

JM: Great guy. He is what you see. He's just a terrific guy. Good dad,
good husband. He's just a great person. He takes care of his friends and
he's very loyal to people that are loyal to him. He's a great guy.

JJ: What are some of the future plans for Garth Brooks? Is he going to record or tour?

JM: He won't tell me. I don't know. I said "I want a new studio album and I want a world tour. Let's go!"

JJ: He doesnt know yet?

JM: He said he was retired until his kids are in college. And they are
16, 14, and 12. So, that's like six years from now. But hopefully he'll
change his mind and go soon.

JJ: What do you think of St. Croix?

JM: I love St. Croix! I went down there for years and years 4 times a
year through the 70's and up until Sam died (His great friend Sam
Marmaduke). And he's been dead 12 years I think, and that was the last
time I was there. But I love St. Croix. I don't think that I can live
there full time. I don't think that I can live on any island full time.
But I enjoyed it, I love that island. I know it really well.

JJ: Earlier you said that you used to drive a lot and go down many of our roads.

JM: I've done every road down there. The first couple of years I rented
those motor scooter things. I went out to point Udall and over those
damn rocks. I tore the thing up and fell down on it.

JJ: What do you think of the work that Dorothy and I have done with The Spotlight Zone?

JM: I think it's fabulous! You must be putting in hours and hours every week!
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I consider this to be one my best interviews ever!
 
JJ Rocks - The Spotlight Zone