Passing Notes(6)

Phil Walden, the colorful promoter who launched the careers of such artists as Otis Redding, the Allman Brothers, and Kenny Chesney, passed away April 23, at the age of 66, following a long battle with lung cancer. Walden started his first artist management company in 1959, while still a student at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

One of his first clients was the then-unknown Redding, whom Walden met at a local talent contest. The two developed a close personal and highly successful professional relationship that lasted until Redding’s death in 1967. In 1969, with the help of Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler, Walden founded Capricorn Records, which he turned into the force in ’70s Southern rock by signing acts such as the Allmans, the Charlie Daniels Band, Elvin Bishop, and the Marshall Tucker Band. Capricorn ended in bankruptcy in the late ’70s, but Walden moved to Nashville, and revived the imprint in 1995—the year he signed Chesney. In 2000, Walden sold the Capricorn label, and started Velocette records, which is now run by his daughter Amantha. Walden is also survived by his wife Peggy, his son Philip Jr., and four grandchildren.

Ian Nelson, guitarist Bill Nelson’s beloved kid brother, died in his sleep on April 23, at 50 years old. Ian played sax and clarinet on many of his famous sibling’s projects, and joined him in Red Noise, Bill’s futuristic post-Be Bop Deluxe band.