ATLANTA, Georgia (CelebrityAccess) — Legendary concert promoter, Alex Cooley, died Tuesday at 74. Cooley began his career in his 20s with the Atlanta International Pop Festival in 1969 and it endures in the shows at Eddie’s Attic, the Decatur club that Cooley owned.
The Atlanta International Pop Festival, which Cooley helped produce, brought ’60s icons Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, the Staple Singers and others to the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton in July 1969, a year after Cooley presented the Grateful Dead at a free concert in Piedmont Park. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“We did it for the love of the music, we honestly did,” Cooley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1997 while speaking about the pop festival. “We made $6,000, and, believe it or not, we felt kind of guilty about making money on it.”
Cooley later opened Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom in the Grand Ballroom of the Georgian Terrance Hotel at 663 Peachtree Street NE, where he showcased such acts as Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen.
Later Cooley booked talent at the Great Southeast Music Hall at Lindbergh Plaza in Atlanta. The club was notable for being the first U.S. venue to book the Sex Pistols.
Cooley promoted thousands of shows across the country, launched Music Midtown in Atlanta and, according to his friend and business partner Peter Conlon, was instrumental establishing Atlanta's Chastain Park Ampitheater. He was inducted in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1987, and awarded a Grammy HEROES Award in 2004. He served on the Board of Governors for the Georgia Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences.
Cooley died while visiting Ponde Vedra Beach in Florida, Conlon said.
For more on the Atlanta based concert promoter refer to CelebrityAccess’ own Industry Profile by Larry LeBlanc here