Several hundred friends, family, and former associates attended a Lake Ontario shoreline community hall gathering in Whitby, ON yesterday afternoon to celebrate the Canadian music biz lion's life and times. The retired PolyGram Canada Chair, and Gerry Lacoursiere's longtime partner at A&M Records, left a legacy that lives beyond his death on May 28th at age 75.
Among those attending the often times humorous proceedings were the presidents from all three major labels (Randy Lennox, Shane Carter and — former A&M alumnus — Steve Kane), broadcasters including Pat Holiday, Rob Farina, John Donabie, and Chuck McCoy, and one-time rack-jobber king-pin Leonard Kennedy. Additionally, retired presidents Deane Cameron, Denise Donlon (now writing her life and times) and Ross Reynolds - from EMI, Sony and Universal Music respecively - came to pay their respects.
Out of towners flew in from far and wide, including daughter Michelle (Summers-Henderson) from Nashville; son Jeremy, from LA; from Miami, songwriter-turned-music professor John Redmond; and Detroit boyhood friend Jette Sipos conjured up images of Joe as a kid with brains, brawn, and ambition.
Of course, longtime business partner Gerry and wife Gaye were there, along with former 'team' A&M members: (CARAS CEO) Allan Reid, Bill Ott, Gary Hubbard, Doug Chappell, Randy Wells, Ann Forbes, Bob Roper, Jean Marie-Heimrath, and Joe's longstanding Rock of Gibraltar in the office — Alice Barrett.
From his extended family (and from those whose names I missed in attendance), a bear hug to widow Gloria and the entire Summers' family. Joe was quite the guy, and it was quite the gathering — not even torrential rain dampened the spirits of the many who came to celebrate the man, and recall how he reached out and touched us all at some time in life.