John Hey

John Hey

BMHOF Class of 2005

Buffalo-native John Hey was respected and well-liked music promoter who put in over 25 years in the music industry, touching the lives and careers of a remarkable array of artists, including Johnny Guitar Watson, Tom Petty, The Tragically Hip, The Stray Cats, The J. Geils Band, Richard Marx, David Bowie, Kenny Rogers and George Thorogood, just to name a few. During his long career, John rose through the ranks from local promotion rep to National Album Promotion Director at EMI America Records, and also served tenures as VIP of Rock Promotion at both MCA Records and Impact Records. While the description of this career sounds like one that most could only dream of during a long lifetime, it was only the beginning. When John succumbed to his battle with cancer at just 47 years old, a full-page article in Rolling Stone magazine featured excerpts from just a handful of the countless tributes that poured in over the phone lines and fax machines from the artists who held him in such high regard. When you hear the stories of John's passion relentless commitment to promoting the music that he loved, it is obvious that he will be missed by those who knew and loved him, as well as those who wish they had the chance to meet such a person. While many people may have never heard of John Hey and there is little written about him, the more you learn about the lives he touched, the more you are sure he will never be forgotten. As quoted in the Rolling Stone article, Bruce Moser of Could Be Wild said, "His belief in artists and their music quickly turned into airplay...just as Richard Marx, Little Steven, Peter Wolf, George Thorogood, Tom Petty, or the Tragically Hip just to list a few." An anecdote passed along by good friend Robbie Konikoff of Audio Magic, Tells the story of how John Hey got radio airplay for an, at the time, little-known band called "White Lion." Well, of course, he marched into the largest radio station he could find with, you guessed it, a real live, very large lion on a leash. Yes, they did play the song and it became a hit!

​​Back - 2005