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Marcie Allen's Music Industry Influences

In her interview on yesterday’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, Marcie Allen described some of the individuals who have been most influential to her over the course of her career.

1. Hoss Allen, Marcie Allen’s grandfather.

Hoss Allen was an influential DJ that introduced artists such as Chuck Berry, James Brown and Fats Domino to a large radio audience via WLAC AM in Nashville in the 1950s. In a 1992 interview, Hoss Allen described how “When we started (playing rhythm and blues records), we proved that R&B could be commercial… we also initiated a new sound to white kids who probably never would have heard it if it had not been for the power of WLAC.”

In her interview, Marcie Allen says that her grandfather’s advice to her was valuable as she began her career in music, and that he has told her how “To be successful in the music industry you need to be a bit of a chameleon—you need to adapt, and you need to find a niche.”

 Allen also discussed women in the music industry, and described “two women who have been mentors to me from the beginning of my career”:

2. Cara Lewis, agent at Creative Artists Agency, who represents Eminem, Kanye West, Ne-Yo, T.I., the Roots and Lupe Fiasco.

3. Marsha Vlasic, President of Artist Group International, who represents artists including Band of Horses, Ben Folds, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Muse, Neil Young, and The Strokes.

Of Lewis and Vlasic, Allen says that “Both of them have been there for me whenever I’ve needed them, over the past twenty years, and I’ve felt very blessed to have them a part of my life.”

Allen also cited the importance of:

4. Dave Williams, the CEO of Cellar Door Concerts in Washington, D.C. (deceased as of 1997)

Allen describes how Williams was “The very first person that gave me a shot in the music industry… I just owe so much to him.”

5. Howard Appelbaum, President at Nielson Entertainment.

“A friend, a client, as well as a mentor, and has been there for me… He has really has helped me in business decisions and advising me. It’s so valuable, the insight that he gives me, from his years of experience in the music industry. And also as an entrepreneur, because he previously owned record stores.”


About the author, David Shriner-Cahn

David is the podcast host and community builder behind Smashing the Plateau, an online platform offering resources, accountability, and camaraderie to high-performing professionals who are making the leap from the corporate career track to entrepreneurial business ownership.

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