Interview With Richie “Starmaker” Becker

Richie Stanley Becker is the man with a plan who did not take no for an answer. As clichés as it sounds, one would smile and understand that his story fits the description perfectly. His perseverance led to groundbreaking music, developed new genres, and paved the way for many artists. Not many people in the industry hold the title, “Star-maker” as Richie Becker does.

This is his story:

“It all started at a record shop in New York called “The Colony Record Shop” after the shows closed at night all of the stars would come into the shop. I went to work there because all of the famous people were there. These two songwriters came to the shop. They always liked what I shared with them. One day they came over to me and said, “We like you, we think you’re going to be a success some day.” They recommended me to Johnny Marks. Johnny Marks wrote the songs “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” (To name a few). I sent all of the Disc Jockeys these albums in NYC. When the job was over, he recommended me at 19 y/o to Shapiro & Bernstein Music Publishers. I promoted their songs and scores for motion pictures, many of the songs ended up in films like “Guns of Navarone” (1961) and “Walk on the Wild Side” (1962).

I was sent to go on the road and my first stop was Nashville, Tennessee, the Country Western Capital. While I was in Nashville I contacted a disc jockey named, Noel Ball who was the Dick Clark of Nashville. When he met me, he said, “I am looking for a guy just like you to start a publishing company, you look like a real hustler.” I went to business with Ball while I worked for Shapiro & Bernstein Music Publishers. I felt becoming a partner and working with somebody I could make more money and there were more opportunities than just being a worker. Noel was the head of A&R for the Southern Division of Dot Records. I knew I was getting in business with the right people and took my chances.” Said Richie.

Richie and Noel Ball had two gentlemen; Rick Hall and Tom Stafford come into the office with a record. “We listened to the record and we said, ‘We think this is a hit record.’ We found out everyone in the business turned this record down. Not only did we like the song so much, we loved the artist. The name of the song was, “You Better Move On” and the Artist was Arthur Alexander. Noel Ball got Dot Records to put the record out. Ball got them a royalty deal with Dot Records. I bought half of the publishing from Stafford and bought half of the management for Arthur Alexander. At the time I was still with Shapiro & Bernstein Music Publishers and went on the road to promote my stuff with their stuff. I got the record to play everywhere. When I came back, the general manager of Shapiro & Bernstein Music Publishers came into the office and fired me. Then, I got in touch with Dick Clark and got Arthur Alexander on Band Stand. The record became a huge success and “You Better Move On” was the first hit recorded and started the Muscle Shoals Sound.

During that time I needed someone to handle the foreign publishing rights in Europe for, “You Better Move On.” I was not equipped to do it myself. I took the record and played it for Mike Stewart in NYC who later became the president of United Artists Music. He heard the record and said it was a smash. He sent it to his representative in England who was Noel Rogers.  Noel Rogers got the Rolling Stones to cover Arthur Alexander’s “You Better Move On.” It was their debut EP and was what got them their first record album. It went to #1 in Europe and became a Gold record in America. In the interim, Arthur Alexander recorded another song called, ‘Anna Go to Him.’ It went to #10 in R&B. I needed someone to handle the rights in Europe for me so I went back to my old employees, that fired me  (Shapiro & Bernstein) and said, ‘Let bygones be bygones and be friends. I want you to hear this record by Arthur Alexander, “Anna Go to Him” They loved it. I asked for us to be 50/50 partners and they agreed. They gave me an office, this time with a secretary and they sent the record to a man named Cyril Shane. Cyril Shane landed The Beatles on “Anna Go to Him”. It was on their first album, Please, Please Me. “Anna Go to Him,” was the first song they covered on that album. The album went to #1 in the UK. It was on the charts for 30 weeks at #1. Last year, it made the Guinness World Book of Records for being at the top for 30 weeks.

I got a call from my banker that there was a minister and top gospel singer songwriter in Newark who is in financial trouble and might lose his home. I met with Alex Bradford and got the bank to help him keep his home and we became business partners. He wrote a musical with additional music by Micki Grant called, “Your Arms Too Short to Box with God.” Vinnette Carroll was a director and through her connections we spoke with Gian-Carlo Menotti who started a festival called, The Festival of Two Worlds. He liked the show so much Menotti got the Italian Government to commission this show in Spoleto, Italy. The show went to Italy and became a huge success. The top music critic of all time, Clive Barnes wrote a terrific review and said the show should come to Broadway. We got ahold of all the big producers on Broadway and they all turned the show down.

A woman named Frankie Hewitt (husband Don Hewitt from 60 Minutes) was the artistic director of the Fords Theater in Washington DC. She said she would like to see the show. She came up to NYC to see segments of the show. She was moved and wanted the show in the Fords Theater. Through her efforts, the show made history because it was the first time she got the board of the Fords Theater to sponsor the show. They had the world premiere there and remained for 7 months at the Fords Theater. Then she put the show on the road — everywhere it went it sold out. We then brought it to Broadway with all unknown people. Dolores Hall won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.

We discovered a girl and opened the show again with Jennifer Holliday. Through my show, she became the star of Dream Girls. After that, we opened the show again with Al Green (Recent 2014 Kennedy Center Honoree) and Patti Labelle. These shows sold out even in 1982 on its third Broadway opening since 1976 at the Alvin Theater (Renamed the Neil Simon Theater). No other musical revival opened on Broadway as many times as it did in such a short period of time. Revivals usually happen every 15-20 years. Due to demand, it just kept coming back. This show made people into stars. Teddy Pendergrass made his stage debut in this show as the preacher in 1996 with Stephanie Mills and BeBe Winans at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia. Teddy made his comeback and they added a song called “Truly Blessed.” That is now the name of his biography. The show was brought back to Newark, NJ with stars like Cissy Houston (Whitney Houston’s Mother) & Melba Moore. Vinnette Carroll and the late Jerry Moore were responsible for casting many of these stars into our show. My story goes on, because as we speak we are in talks of a revival. I have many side projects taking place. I am excited to share my journey with you.

Written By
More from Contributor

Love vs. Money

Let us get this out of the way early. This piece isn’t...
Read More


  • 以低能量的1064-Q激光反覆掃於皮膚表面,逐步改善皮膚色素問題。 治療時產生的熱能能促進膠原蛋白的再生,回復肌膚彈性。 使用7mm平行光光頭,使輸出的激光更溫和及均勻。功效: 去除紋身 美白及去除面毛 令整體膚色更白更均勻 減淡及去除荷爾蒙斑或反黑 增加皮膚膠原蛋白,改善皮膚彈性 減淡深層色斑 : 黃褐斑,荷爾蒙斑,蝴蝶斑 以低能量的1064-QS激光反覆掃於皮膚表面,逐步改善皮膚色素問題 使用8-10mm平行光光頭,使輸出的激光 更溫和及均勻 1. 激光能透進皮膚深層 2. 激光被黑色素吸收 3. 產生熱能將黑色素體分解 4. 被呑噬細胞吸收及排出體外

  • 「妹妹」私處有異味?有可能是因為這4個原因 Marie Claire (HK) Edition 許多女生都曾經試過私處有異味,尤其夏天的時候特別嚴重。其實「妹妹」有氣味是正常的,但假若氣味太重,而且揮之不去,就需要正視問題。台北長庚醫院劉瑞德主任表示能夠引起陰道異味的原因有很多,在這裡總括出最常

  • Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • I used to be more than happy to search out this net-site.I wished to thanks to your time for this glorious learn!! I definitely enjoying each little little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

  • I used to be recommended this website by means of my cousin. I am no longer sure whether this submit is written via him as no one else know such unique approximately my problem. You are incredible! Thank you!

  • Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks a lot!

  • Normally I don’t learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.

  • hello there and thank you for your information – I have certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this site, as I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective exciting content. Make sure you update this again very soon..

  • Can I just say what a reduction to seek out someone who truly knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know how one can carry an issue to mild and make it important. Extra folks need to read this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant imagine youre not more standard since you undoubtedly have the gift.

  • I’m commenting to let you know of the exceptional discovery our child obtained visiting the blog. She mastered a wide variety of issues, most notably how it is like to possess an ideal helping nature to have many people with ease comprehend selected grueling matters. You really surpassed readers’ desires. Many thanks for displaying those productive, healthy, edifying and also unique thoughts on this topic to Kate.

  • Together with almost everything which seems to be developing throughout this subject material, all your perspectives happen to be quite exciting. Nevertheless, I appologize, but I can not subscribe to your whole suggestion, all be it exhilarating none the less. It seems to everybody that your remarks are not entirely validated and in fact you are generally yourself not even completely confident of the point. In any event I did appreciate examining it.

  • You could certainly see your expertise within the work you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  • Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  • Wow, superb blog format! How lengthy have you been running a blog for? you make running a blog glance easy. The full glance of your website is wonderful, let alone the content material!

  • Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  • Attractive part of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to say that I get actually enjoyed account your weblog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing for your augment and even I success you get admission to persistently quickly.

  • Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and excellent style and design.

  • Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a applicable deal. I were a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright transparent concept

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.