The award-winning American radio personality Bobby Zarem who promoted musicians of the 1960s to the 70s before becoming of the first icons of the 1980s has died at the age of 84. Zarem was known to many as “Superflack”, the broadcaster who consistently discovered new stars in the music industry.
“Mr Zarem’s influence was profound. He set the standard for radio where talent is nurtured,” Fred Daisey, chairman of the Hall of Fame of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame stated. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says Zarem turned his garage studio in New York into the go-to place for anyone who wanted to be a music star, and many of his discoveries went on to become well-known names in the music industry. The Hall of Fame of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says Zarem would take on the underdog from the garage band to ensure that they got their break. In 1964, he discovered and discovered blues man Bukka White, a move that greatly helped him financially and paved the way for him to become a star in his own right, as well as teach many of the music industry’s biggest names how to work the music business.
Zarem is perhaps best known as the first popular radio presenter to break the talent of American rock singer David Bowie in 1966, who thanked Zarem in his award-winning song Fame. Bowie went on to become one of the most influential and popular musicians of all time. He even created what is referred to as “hitscore”, a style of music produced after he left touring and was in need of a fresh canvas for his new music. This musical move was largely inspired by Zarem, who would encourage Bowie to move on to different genres and singer types.
Perhaps the most famous face to take advantage of Zarem’s generosity was American artist Prince, who successfully convinced Zarem to let him produce some of his music in the 1980s, producing the hit single When Doves Cry and Donna Summer’s Summertime.