Cooper (pictured inset) was sales manager and then marketing director at the label in the 1980s, before launching Circa Records with Ashley Newton. The two went on to run Virgin in the UK and the US.
Blackwell (pictured, main), who triggered arguably the most decisive switch in Cooper’s nascent career, moving him from sales to marketing, said: “Ray was a larger-than-life character who enjoyed and lived life to the max. He was a man who put his heart and soul into everything he did… an incredibly hard worker – he really inspired his team to go out and do their best.
“Ray was a true team leader, people were very loyal to him, he was loved by folks who worked for him and everyone else in the company.”
“He was a true team leader, people were very loyal to him, he was loved by folks who worked for him and everyone else in the company. He was head of sales and marketing at Island Records during an exciting period in the ’80s and when you walked through the ‘War Room’ at the office in London you were sure to hear Ray energizing all the troops.
“What a very sad loss.”
In December, Cooper’s life was celebrated with memorial services in both London and Los Angeles (Cooper’s home for the last 21 years of his life), attended by a wealth of industry luminaries, including Blackwell, Newton, Simon Fuller, Paul Conroy, Paul McGuiness and Phil Quartararo.
Details of the memorials and of Cooper’s life can be found here.
[Pic: Chris Blackwell at Ray Cooper’s London memorial. Picture: Dean Fardell/raycooper.info]Music Business Worldwide