LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Legendary agent Dick Alen has announced that he's retiring from his post as Senior Vice President of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, effective immediately. Alen has been with WME for 39 years in their Personal Appearance Department, including a five-year stint as the head of WMA's Music Department.
Alen will continue to serve as a consultant for WME as well as advising Aretha Franklin and Chuck Berry.
Among the artists that Alen signed to WME were Aretha Franklin, Little Richard and Chuck Berry who has been a client of Alen's for well over fifty years. He also brought Jose Carreras, Julio Iglesias, Tom Jones and Juanes to the agency and has represented Cheech & Chong, Rod Stewart, Barry White and Enrique Iglesias.
Dick Alen's career began in 1952 when he worked at Shaw Artists and handled R&B and Jazz acts including Fats Domino, Ray Charles, The Clovers and The Orioles amongst others. He was a pioneer in bringing R&B acts to television – many for the first time. Alen went on to book personal appearances for many of these same artists. Following several years at Shaw, he worked for Woody Herman as road manager and in his management office.
In 1958, Alen worked at Universal Attractions who at the time represented James Brown, Dinah Washington, Hank Ballard and The Midnighters. In the early 60's, Alen, along with Jack Bart, purchased Universal and became the signing agent for Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, Johnny Taylor and many other top R&B performers of that era. While at Universal, Alen lead the charge in bringing many R&B and Jazz acts to Europe to perform. In the early 60's he consented to allowing a new English band called The Rolling Stones to open for Chuck Berry and another up and coming band called The Beatles to open up for Little Richard.
After a brief stint at CMA, Alen joined what was then called the William Morris Agency in 1971 in their Beverly Hills office. He went on to become the worldwide Head of The Music Department and held the title of Senior Vice President for several years. He helped open the agency's London office and took an active role in moving WME into the country field. Some of the artists Alen brought into the agency were Charlie Rich, Hank Williams, Jr. and The Oakridge Boys. He was also a signing agent for Sandi Patty, which put WMA into the Christian Music field.
"I have been fortunate to have had an extraordinary front row seat during my 60 years in entertainment. I've had the privilege of representing the greatest performers of the music world and to be part of several historic moments during the course of my career," commented Alen. "It's been a wonderful journey, I look forward to the next chapter." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers