This is truly the end of an era…. We are saddened to pass along the news that legendary tipsheet publisher Bobby Poe, whose annual radio and record industry conventions were equally legendary, passed away Saturday, Jan. 22 of complications from a blood clot. He was 77 and had been battling throat cancer for the past two years. Poe’s son, Bobby Jr., posted the news on Facebook on Sunday. Poe, a.k.a. “The Poe Kat,” is best known and loved as the publisher of his iconic Pop Music Survey, an influential weekly music tipsheet that was sent to Top 40 radio stations and record labels. In an early (and massively fun) example of brand extension, Poe ran his annual namesake convention for 25 years until his retirement in 1996. Ask anyone over the age of 40, and chances are they have a favorite Bobby Poe convention story — like Jim Davenport‘s infamous toilet paper routine — or claim they can’t remember clearly.
Fellow promo pro Bob Catania of Right Way Music Group was a longtime friend of Poe and graciously shared his thoughts with RAMP: “Those of us who knew Bobby owe him so much,” he says. “In the era I was coming up in, Bobby took a lot of us under his wing and gave us all-important visibility through the Pop Music Survey and his Convention. Bobby helped groom a whole generation of promotion executives who played an important role in the industry,” says Catania. “Bobby felt that developing execs for the industry was just as important as developing artists and hit records. He was truly a great man and a great friend. My thoughts are with Bobby Jr., who has made sure his dad’s legacy lives on forever.” RAMP‘s own Steve Resnik was a rising promo guy when he attended one of the very first Poe Conventions: “I remember there was only one record-related meeting, just so that Bobby could call it a convention,” he recalls. “For the rest of the three days, it was golf and tennis tournaments with cash prizes. It was at the early Poe Conventions where I met guys like Jay Thomas, Scott Shannon and Charlie Minor, who became lifelong friends.” Bobby’s many friends and fans are invited to share their thoughts and stories on his Facebook wall. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Bobby’s name to the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program.
Editor’s Note: Phillip Rauls did not compose this obituary text but provided it to RARWRITER.com.
Phillip Rauls – One of the music industry’s most trusted insiders, Rauls’ four decades as an A&R executive for STAX and Atlantic Records produced, as a side benefit of being there at important stages in rock music history, a body of photographic work of the biggest names in rock music history. Mostly casual shots, these have been mined for several books. Phillip features his work and his beautifully written accounts at www.philliprauls.com and at his phillipraulsphotolog.blogspot.com, both well worth visiting.