Thursday, October 6, 2016

Insights From An Extraordinary Life . . .

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) has named legendary live entertainment promoter and producerLarry Magid as the fourth honoree in its Dreamers and Doers Speakers Series, an annual program celebrating extraordinary entrepreneurs who have achieved remarkable success in their fields. 

Magid will share personal insights into his illustrious six-decade career in the entertainment industry, one that has included the promotion or production of more than 16,000 performances, dozens of Broadway shows, massive fundraising concerts, and more. He will be interviewed live at the Museum by WHYY's arts and culture reporter Peter Crimmins on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 7 – 8 pm. The talk will be preceded by a light reception at 6 pm.

“To come to the National Museum of American Jewish History during the Bill Graham exhibit is special to me,” said Larry Magid. “Bill and I were great friends and worked together on many projects. This will be a great time to discuss how the new music industry was born and Bill and my role in it.”

Ivy Barsky, the Museum's CEO and Gwen Goodman Director, notes, "We are thrilled to honor Larry Magid's accomplishments as a trailblazer in the music industry. His breadth of work and entrepreneurial drive make him an excellent choice for our Dreamers and Doers series. His story embodies the aspiration, imagination, and hard work that are central to so many of the stories we tell at the Museum every day."

Larry Magid has revolutionized the live entertainment industry through his groundbreaking work as a concert and tour promoter, Tony Award-winning producer, and head of Larry Magid Entertainment Group. A Philadelphia native, Magid's career began on the street corners of West Philadelphia, booking acts for college venues and nightclubs in the 1960s while studying at Temple University. He then spent three years in New York City working at one of the world’s largest talent agencies, General Artists Agency. 

In 1968, Magid opened the Electric Factory concert venue in Philadelphia with the Spivak brothers (Herb, Jerry, and Allen), growing it into a world famous venue. He later cofounded the concert promotion firm, Electric Factory Concerts. Other iconic Philadelphia venues that thrived under Magid’s expertise include The Spectrum, Tower Theater, TLA, and Bijou CafĂ©. He launched and/or promoted the careers of some of the most iconic performers in the music industry, including Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, Tina Turner, and Billy Joel, and was one of the driving forces behind 1985’s Live Aid and 2005’s Live 8 fundraising concerts. 

He has been involved with over two dozen Broadway shows, producing Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,You Can't Take It with You, and Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays which won him two Tony Awards, as well as national and international tours for Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Robin Williams, Kristin Chenoweth, Earth Wind & Fire, Grover Washington Jr., and The Allman Brothers. He is currently producing the world tour of Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman, and he promoted two sold-out Bruce Springsteen shows at Citizen’s Bank Park last month.

Magid is an avid supporter of community causes, especially music education. In 2001, Magid and his wife, Mickey, started a foundation to benefit and assist students of Bryant Elementary School, the elementary school he attended in West Philadelphia. He is also active in youth-oriented charities and animal rights groups, with programs including The Utley Foundation, The Vetri Foundation, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand. He has been formally lauded for his exceptional work, receiving both local and national awards from three governors, five mayors, the White House, the U.S. Senate and City Council, as well as numerous industry awards.

In an onstage conversation at NMAJH on October 19, Magid will talk about working with an incredible roster of globally celebrated artists and musicians. He will offer an introspective look at the intersections of Jewish identity, rock & roll, and show business in his own life, and how growing up as a second-generation American instilled in him the drive and entrepreneurial spirit to pursue his passion and leave his mark on entertainment history. Magid’s talk is presented in conjunction with the Museum’s special exhibition, Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution (September 16, 2016 – January 16, 2017).

About the Dreamers and Doers Speaker Series

The Museum's annual Dreamers and Doers Speaker Series features individuals across industries who have achieved success in their field and who embody an entrepreneurial and uniquely American spirit. Their personal stories are characterized by the values of those explored in the Museum every day: courage and imagination, aspiration and hard work, leadership and service. Previous Dreamers and Doers include renowned shoe designer, Stuart Weitzman; the most senior female executive with Major League Baseball, Kim Ng; and psychosexual therapy pioneer and cultural icon, Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer. This series has been anonymously endowed by a friend of the Museum and admirer of all Dreamers and Doers.

Tickets available at for $18 ($15 Members) and include both the light reception (6 – 7 pm) and the interview (7 – 8 pm).

Media sponsorship provided by WHYY.

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