Promotion executive John Fagot died Tuesday at the age of 78 following complications from a stroke. Fagot was a beloved executive who worked for Columbia, Capitol and Hollywood Records over the course of his more than 40 years in the industry.
“John was the consummate record man, beloved by everyone in the industry. But he was so much more than that; he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to so many,” Capitol Records said in a statement provided to Billboard. “He played an important role in establishing the legacy of Capitol Records and his contributions will endure. As sad as we are today, thinking of John can’t help but make us smile. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. John will be missed.”
Fagot got his start in the industry in the 1970s working in the mailroom for CBS Records in Atlanta. His career then took him to the role of promotion manager for Columbia Records, serving Atlanta, Dallas and the Carolinas. By 1984, Fagot became Columbia’s national director of singles promotion before being promoted to vp promotion two years later. Capitol hired Fagot in 1987 to take on a similar role at the label. In 1995, Fagot moved from senior vp promotion at Capitol to the same role at Hollywood Records.
In a 1990 interview with music and radio trade publication The Network 40, when asked what makes a great promotion person, Fagot said, “You have to love music, and you have to love the music you’re working. But the most important thing is the willingness to work. You have to be very dedicated and willing to put in a lot of time and effort.”
In the 2000s, Fagot began working for trade publication Radio & Records as senior director of digital initiatives. He also served as a consultant for peer-to-peer monitoring service Webspins.
Survivors include his wife Lucy, children Mary and Chris and two grandchildren.