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Sad News: Pat Baird, RIP


Raspbernie

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Patricia J. Baird, a well-known music business executive, media relations professional and journalist, died after a long fight with cancer yesterday, Aug. 21, in New York. At the time of her death, she was Assistant Vice President, Corporate Relations for Broadcast Music Inc. She was 59.

In a career spanning more than 35 years, Ms. Baird had become a well-known and respected journalist and editor in the music industry, befriended by dozens of noted authors, artists, music producers and executives.

She began her career as a publicist for prominent music producer Jimmy Ienner, helping to launch the careers of emerging talent such as Isaac Hayes, Donny Hathaway, Three Dog Night, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Grand Funk Railroad. In 1974 she joined industry trade publication Record World as Assistant Editor where she authored an influential column devoted to music publishing, and developed a broad network of contacts among executives in the publishing industry. In 1981 she became East Coast Professional Manager at Arista/Interworld Music Publishing Group, with responsibility for signing writers and managing the company’s New York office. Later, as head of her own media relations consultancy, she represented artists and projects associated with Atlantic Records, Elektra Records and MTV Networks. In 1984 she was hired by RCA Records where she was Director of National Publicity, working with artists including Lou Reed, the Eurythmics, Diana Ross, Starship, John Denver and Hall & Oates.

She joined BMI in 1987, heading up its Media Relations department, and was promoted to Assistant Vice President in 1993. She built a national media relations team for BMI with staff in New York, Nashville and Los Angeles. She also served as Senior Editor of BMI’s MusicWorld® magazine, the largest circulation magazine for music professionals in the United States. As a writer, reviewer and journalist, she made frequent contributions to music publications and was a sought-after music industry collaborator for television producers and authors, contributing to biographies of Johnny Ace, Tim and Jeff Buckley, and Brian Wilson, among others. She was the awards coordinator for the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Awards and a frequent consultant for the BBC.

Over the years, she served as Media Chair on the committees for major music industry charitable organizations, including the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, the City of Hope, the T.J. Martell Foundation, and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. She served as a governor of the New York chapter of the Recording Academy, and was a member of the Country Music Association, Gospel Music Association, Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Television Academy.

The family plans a private interment ceremony and has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations in her honor be made to the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and Aids Research. A celebration in her memory for her family and her many friends and colleagues in the industry is being planned for early fall in Manhattan.

The T.J. Martell Foundation may be reached at 212-833-5444.

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Pat worked very closely with Jimmy Ienner and was heavily involved in promoting Raspberries' first LP. You can see a photo of Pat with the band on page 82 of Eric Carmen: Marathon Man. Over the decades, Pat remained a fan and was in the audience for one of the reunion shows in New York City.

Bernie

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For those at the New York BBKings show, I heard yesterday that Pat Baird was the lady seated next to Ken Jennings at the show. She must have been very ill, but it was wonderful that she could be there to see the boys play New York again. That must have been a thrill for her.

Although I didn't get to meet her, I am glad that I got to see this terrific lady.

--Darlene

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was reading, again, Bernie Hogya and Ken Sharp's "Marathon Man" book, and there's a lovely picture of Pat with the band on page 82. Her memories of the band related in that book are pretty cool, too, but one memory stands out when she recalls of Jimmy Ienner's brother, Donnie:

"...Don Ienner, now also a major music mogul, and I being chased by dozens of hysterical teenage girls through the backstage halls of a Passaic, New Jersey theatre because they were intent on getting a piece of anyone who had anything to do with Raspberries..."

Now that's a cool memory and I wish a film existed of that. I'd love to read Don Ienner's memories of that, too.

R. I. P., Pat.

Don smile

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