Jerry Weintraub, who had success both in music and film, died on Monday after suffering a heart attack. He was 77.
Weintraub, who was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx, cut his professional teeth working in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency. He eventually moved to the TV arm of MCA where he was taken under the wing of Lew Wasserman.
In 1960, Lew started his own management company with Bernie Brillstein and Marty Kummer. It was there that he formed the group the Doodletown Pipers and became manager for acts like Joey Bishop, the Four Seasons and Jane Morgan, who would become his wife.
In 1970, Weintraub signed John Denver and went about re-promoting the song Take Me Home, Country Roads which had previously been released with little success. The song was the start of a long term relationship for the two which included numerous hits and Weintraub promoting Denver as a television personality.
Weintraub’s company also promoted shows for such luminaries as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, the Carpenters, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond and the Moody Blues. Among his many television projects for artists were:
Frank Sinatra: The Main Event (1974)
An Evening With John Denver (1975)
Rock Mountain Christmas (1975)
Neil Diamond: Love at the Greek (1977)
Neil Diamond: I’m Glad You’re Here With Me Tonight (1977)
The Carpenters: Music Music Music (1980)
By the mid-70’s, Weintraub was branching out into films which led to a much publicized breakup with Denver although they would later work together again on TV specials. His long list of films that he either produced or executive produced includes Nashville, Oh God!, Diner, The Karate Kid, Pure Country, Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen and Behind the Candelabra. His current projects included the remakes of Westworld and Tarzan.
Weintraub is survived by his wife, Jane, a son, Michael, from an earlier marriage, and three adopted daughters with Morgan.
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