The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Publicists and Promoters

Wednesday, February 16, 2005: Bob Merlis

Interviewed by Warren Zanes

Bob Merlis is a music industry veteran whose name had been synonymous with Warner Bros. Records. For almost thirty years, he served in various publicity-related positions and, ultimately as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Communications. Upon departing Warner Bros. in 2001, he started his own public relations and consulting business. M.f.h. (Merlis for hire) clients have included John Mellencamp, ABKCO Music and Records (the Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, Animals and Cameo-Parkway catalogs), Etta James, ZZ Top, Percy Sledge, Experience Hendrix, Lili Haydn, Del Castillo, Tommy Boy Music (Slow Train Soul), Mediaport Entertainment, John Fogerty, the Shout! Factory, Last Amanda, Los Super Seven, MCA Nashville (Patsy Cline), The Bridge School (Neil and Pegi Young), Consulate of Sweden/Polar Music Prize, Major Songs (Carl Sigman music publishing catalog), Paramount Pictures (School of Rock) and others.    

Merlis is co-founder of Memphis International Records, the label that he formed with David Less in 2001.  Memphis International releases have included albums by Alvin Youngblood Hart, Carla Thomas, Harmonica Frank Floyd, The Red Stick Ramblers, Louise Hoffsten, Earl Thomas and others.  
Merlis is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and sits on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation. He is the co-author of Heart & Soul: A Celebration of Black Music Style, 1930 to 1975, a nominee for the Ralph J. Gleason Award as Best Music Book of 1998.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006: Sid Bernstein

Interviewed by Warren Zanes

Known as the man who brought the Beatles to America, Sid Bernstein is one of the 20th Century’s most influential music promoters whose unique talent of identifying and showcasing great performers is legendary.  Bernstein is best known as the first promoter to book the Beatles for a U.S. concert (Carnegie Hall performance on February 12, 1964) and has been a key player in the careers of such notables as Judy Garland, Tony Bennett and Peter Allen, as well as the Beatles.

In October 2005, Boerum Hill Productions memorialized Bernstein’s contribution to music in the critically acclaimed documentary “Sid Bernstein Presents.”  Turner Broadcasting will be releasing the ultimate tribute – a TNT movie detailing the story of Sid Bernstein's meteoric rise to stardom later in 2006.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007: Kevin Lyman

Presented in conjunction with the Rock Hall’s exhibit Warped: 12 Years of Music, Mayhem and More

Interviewed by Jim Henke

Kevin Lyman is best known as the producer and creator of the Vans Warped Tour – the longest-running music and extreme sports festival tour in the world today. Now in its 10th year, the tour reaches more than 500,000 kids each summer, and has spawned a host of imitators. With Warped Tour, Lyman has pioneered the successful integration of corporate sponsors with the “extreme” lifestyle, creating a blueprint for sponsorship integration that is widely duplicated in the marketplace today. Lyman and his company, 4Fini, Inc., have created numerous other successful tour productions, including The Watcha Tour, Down From the Mountain Tour, Sprite Liquid Mix Tour and The Great High Mountain Tour.

Lyman is also known as a music industry authority on multiple corporate branding projects, acting as a consultant, production supervisor and branding guru to help companies maintain valuable street-level credibility that endears their products to the younger market. In addition to running his production company, Lyman is part-owner of Side One Dummy Records, an independent record label which has an impressive and diverse roster including the Irish band Flogging Molly, punk icons Suicidal Tendencies, current alternative radio darlings Go Betty Go and swing favorites Royal Crown Review.

Recently, Kevin introduced his newest brainstorm to the world: the Taste Of Chaos tour.  Now in its third year, the tour plays in 19 countries and features some of the biggest names in the hardcore/screamo genre today.

This event was sponsored by Monster Energy Drink.