Canadian Retired Professional Ice Hockey Goaltender Tom Draper, Black Music Industry Pioneer, Expires at 79

Canadian Retired Professional Ice Hockey Goaltender Tom Draper, Black Music Industry Pioneer, Expires at 79

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Tom Draper, whose ownership at RCA and Warner Bros. Records assisted lay the association for today’s black music industry, expired Oct. 25 in Atlanta following a brief breakdown. Draper was 79 years old. A commemorative service is being held on Nov. 1 at H.M. Patterson & Sons in Sandy Springs in Georgia.

Pat Shields, a comrade in the multimedia production firm Black Dot and a previous VP of marketing at Warner Bros., recollected Draper as “a gentleman, a diplomatic warrior, a shrewd marketing executive, and a kind soul. The music industry owes him a debt of honor.”

If we talk about his early life he born and grown in Detroit, Draper went to the University of Detroit, where he got a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He was peddling dryers, televisions, washers, and refrigerators for RCA Appliances next door Taylor, Michigan when he met Harvey Cooper in 1970. That meeting showed serendipitously.

Cooper who is a fellow Detroit resident and VP of development for RCA’s work division in New York—moved Draper into trades at the mark. Draper next segued into an advertisement for RCA’s lately placed black music business and was afterward developed to VP of A&R.

Draper leave RCA in 1975 to follow Warner Bros. Records as VP of selling and advertising. Throughout his 12-year consignment, he revived the tag to become a preeminent force in black music with a program that covered Prince, the Staple Singers, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Ashford & Simpson Larry Graham and, Bootsy Collins, amid others.

Running to Time Warner as a VP in 1987, after Draper retired in Panama City, Florida before relocating to Atlanta. His industry career is recorded in the Tom Draper Collection 1970-1998, which can be found within Indiana University’s Archives of African American Music & Culture in Bloomington, Indiana.

An honorable part of Alpha Phi Alpha fellowship, Draper also upheld many philanthropic causes adding the Children’s Defense Fund and the Institute for Black Parenting. If we talk about his family, he is endured by his nephews Clifton Edward Draper and O. Southard, nieces Tiffany Gunter and Lynette Southard, grandniece Sidney J. Demings and grandnephews Miles Demings, Ryan Gunter and Malcolm C. Demings.

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