June 9, 2011

I first met Steve Popovich when he would come up to visit VP Mel Bly at Warner Brothers music and it was always a special occasion. I looked forward to listening to his new releases, knowing it was just a matter of time before they would be chart toppers. When he played me the album “Bat Out Of Hell” by Meatloaf, I knew I was privy to something extraordinary. It was the first time I listened to an album as if I were listening to a single, and the spectacular sales proved that I wasn’t alone in feeling that way.

I didn’t know Steve well…but here are some people who did.

Steve was not only one of the greatest promotion men that ever lived, but he was also a man of his word.  Steve genuinely loved music.  Because of Steve, Benny Mardones’ (well before “Into The Night” fame) remake of “Please Say You Want Me” (yes, the Schoolboys) which I produced, got signed to Epic and he promoted the hell out of it and got it onto the charts.

Then Steve fought for me in one of the biggest blood baths of all time between major labels, the clash of the Bangkok’s…Robey, which was my record I produced on Silver Blue/Epic versus Murray Head, RCA.-triple bonuses were flying all over the place.

But my fondest business memory of working with Steve, was during the era of Engelbert Humperdinck when Steve went against the tide and took my recording of “After The Lovin'” to the top of almost every chart, pop, country, and AC.

Steve was one of a kind and will be hugely missed.”

Joel Diamond

“Steve and I started at CBS in Cleveland. He had a passion for music that was even larger than he was. When he believed in something he made it happen whether it was local or on a national level. I remember when Steve was in a local band (he played bass) and he wanted to put out a record. Steve somehow got in contact with a big time producer in Nashville. The producer came to Cleveland with one of his new artists to hear the group and work out an arrangement with the group. While the record wasn’t a national hit as he hoped, but the record was made. The producer was Bill Justis (Google his name) and the artist was Dolly Parton. Steve personality would always light up a room. I’m going to miss him. I would bump into Steve at conventions or when he would come to L.A. My sincerest condolences to his family: Steve Jr., Pamela, a sister and former band mates, Randy Brown, Ray Miller and Denny.”

Doc Remer

“He was such a nice man Artie and how I remember it – when they ousted Clive at CBS, they got rid of anyone who was pro Clive. Now I know his bio doesn’t read that way, but that’s what I remember. He and his promo team were unstoppable and really at the top of their game when he left (or was asked to leave – the changing of the guard was not nice at CBS). He floundered for a while until he started Cleveland Records and then he was signing Polka Bands at first – hey, am I crazy remembering it so? Anyway, like Clive always said, talent is like a ping pong ball, it always floats to the surface.”

Love, Carla Lockhart

Steve Popovich was big, loud and opinionated and loved music, all kinds of music and loved the music business. He could be a great friend and formidable enemy. He knew how to take an artist from “raw talent” to record, to press, promote, market and sell that artist and their product all over the world…and he could do it singlehandedly….He loved the history of the music business and spent hours many an evening speaking to, asking questions of and reliving the industry past with my late ex-father-in-law Al Gallico….He knew how to define, discover and “pick” talent……an art that appears to have been lost in the music industry we observe today ! Steve Popovich was one of the Last Of The Greats of our industry….R.I.P.”

Stephen – Craig Aristei



 Steve Popovich may you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

top phto l-r Randy Jackson, Boz Scaggs, Michael Jackson, and Steve Popovich

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne

EXTRA! EXTRA! YOU CAN BUY MY BOOK ,“I DID IT FOR A SONG” AT AMAZON or Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords




  1. carol ross-durborow Says:

    we lost one of the great record guys in the business!……what more can one say…..carol ross-durborow

  2. My sympathies to Steve’s family and obviously many friends.
    Steve’s name is so familiar to me, out of 1000s of people I have met through the many years I spent in the music business; that I am pretty confident that I must have met him. I am sorry that I cannot remember personally doing so, however, from everything that has been written about him, I have to say that I regret not knowing him well.
    I shall be thinking of his family and his friends and am sad for their loss.

  3. Stephanie Says:

    I love After the Lovin! I didnt know he was responsible for this. My sympathies to his family and thank you for letting us know Artie!

  4. Cammie Gonzalez Says:

    I had the honor of getting to know Steve helping him w/his publishing/record company in Cleveland. Never met a nicer more genuine guy who was truly a man of integrity in a time where that’s rare to fond amongst most music collegues. He will truly be missed for the music history lessons & for the passion & drive to find new talent. Peace be with Steve Jr. & family, for whom he loved very much.

  5. John Harrold Says:

    It looks like Boz Scaggs is in that photo, although I know that he isn’t.

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