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Steve Barri
Director of A&R

With a proven record as a hit-making songwriter and producer, Steve Barri is well suited to serve as Director of A&R for Gold Circle Entertainment. Over the past thirty years he has earned stellar credits in all genres of contemporary music-including music for television and film.

Although he originally wanted to be a sports announcer or DJ, Barri's musical career started as a teenager when, as an amateur songwriter, he submitted several songs to Screen Gems, a publishing company run by Lou Adler. Barri was hired and teamed up with a writing partner (Phil Sloan) and, when Adler left to start Dunhill Records, he brought the pair along as songwriters. The first hit they wrote was Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction." However, a remarkable aspect of that experience was the discovery of a group McGuire brought in to sing backup vocals: The Mamas & the Papas. As a result of hearing them, Adler decided to take them under his wing and left Barri and Sloan to complete McGuire's record. Two years later, upon Adler's departure from Dunhill, Barri, at age 22, was named Vice President of A&R.

Barri was involved in signing several successful acts for the company, including Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, Steely Dan, Smith, Jim Croce, The James Gang (with Joe Walsh), Jimmy Buffett, The Grass Roots, Rufus (featuring Chaka Khan), Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, Cashman & West and others. The company's success led to ABC's purchase of Dunhill, with Barri given the task of running the entire A&R Department. During his tenure, Barri was personally involved in the writing/production of hit songs and albums for many of the acts he signed, as well as hits for Johnny Rivers ("Secret Agent Man"), Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods, Tommy Roe, Mama Cass Elliott, The Four Tops, The Turtles, Herman's Hermits, Bobby "Blue" Bland, B.B. King and others.

Barri stayed with ABC/Dunhill until 1976, when he left to join the A&R staff at Warner Bros. Records where, as part of that department, he was involved with signing such acts as Prince, Christopher Cross, Van Halen, Ricki Lee Jones and Dire Straits. He also produced gold albums and #1 singles for John Sebastian ("Welcome Back Kotter"), Pratt & McClain ("Theme from 'Happy Days'") and Alan O'Day ("Undercover Angel"), as well as the theme package for the television show "Entertainment Tonight." In 1982, Barri left Warner Bros. to rejoin his former ABC/Dunhill boss, Jay Lasker, who had become President of Motown Records. Always a Motown fan, Barri jumped at the opportunity to work with the legendary Motown artists. As VP of A&R, Barri initiated the repackaging of the label's catalog, creating the Greatest Hits and Command Performance series. He also oversaw multi-platinum albums by Lionel Ritchie, The Commodores and Rick James; signed The Mary Jane Girls; and acted as advisor on "The Big Chill" and "The Flamingo Kid" soundtrack albums, among other credits.

Barri remained with Motown until 1986, when he became involved with a number of independent projects and served as a consultant for Capitol Records (working with Dave Koz and Tracie Spencer, and co-producing their respective gold albums). In 1990, Barri was offered a position at Left Bank Management and worked with such artists as Meat Loaf, Richard Marx, Stephanie Mills, Joey Lawrence and The Cranberries. He also produced The Triplets top-ten album and single, as well as several other top-ten albums for a range of artists.

In 1996, JVC Records had been formed and was looking for an A&R person to take the company into the smooth jazz/NAC format. Barri joined JVC and was involved with Paul Hardcastle's "Cover to Cover" and Chieli Minucci's "Dreams," both which reached #1 on the NAC charts.

Early in 1998, Barri had heard about Gold Circle Entertainment/Samson Music, which was interested in building a singer/songwriter-oriented repertoire. With Barri's experience in the genre, it seemed like a natural fit. By joining Gold Circle, Barri brings proven expertise in building a successful adult-oriented artist roster. As a songwriter, he is confident in his ability to find hits or work with people to develop hit songs. His ultimate goal is to make certain that quality material is teamed with quality talent in order to generate hit music.

 

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