Albert Grossman

(1926 – 1986)

Albert Grossman was an American talent manager who is most famous for representing Bob Dylan between the years 1962 and 1970. A shrewd and aggressive businessman, Grossman foresaw the 1960s Folk revival, and smelled opportunity. He co-founded the Newport Folk Festival in 1959, famously saying at the time, "The American public is like Sleeping Beauty, waiting to be kissed awake by the prince of Folk music."

Over the years, Grossman represented many of the most prominent names in the folk and rock worlds, notably John Lee Hooker, Odetta, Todd Rundgren, The Band, Gordon Lightfoot, Peter, Paul and Mary, Electric Flag and Janis Joplin.

Grossman's tough business tactics at times earned him unfavorable comparisons to Elvis Presley manager Colonel Tom Parker. Dylan extricated himself from his contract with Grossman in 1970 after discovering that Grossman had helped himself to 50 percent of Dylan's publishing rights. Despite some controversy, he was an acknowledged genius negotiator and fiercely protective of his clients. With what Dylan called "his enormous presence" and a voice "like the booming of war drums," Goldman intimidated nearly every record exec he came in contact with, creating an environment where his acts were the highest paid and the best treated.

Grossman died of a heart attack while en route to London to sign with an unknown British act. He was 59.

Related Lessons

Folk Music, Rock and Roll Attitude

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, General Music

How did Bob Dylan’s early experiences with Folk and Rock and Roll music influence his songwriting?