"We were selling quality and we were selling MCA. We not only had quality, we had the best writers, the best directors, and the best producers."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, Berle Adams (1917-2009) talks about his early career in the music industry as a band booker, working with artists such as Louis Jordan, and then as a founding executive at Mercury Records. He describes in detail his work as a talent agent in MCA's television department. He talks about working with MCA heads Jules Stein and Lew Wasserman, and describes MCA's rise to dominance in the entertainment industry. He speaks of MCA's famous "uniform" for executives, and its methods for signing top-level clients. Adams explains the process of packaging clients with television shows and his technique in structuring a deal. He recalls many of the programs he represented, including The Jack Benny Program, This Is Your Life, The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, and The Colgate Comedy Hour. He speaks about his career after his acrimonious departure from MCA, creating a sports department at the William Morris Agency, and later distributing the Emmy Awards show internationally. Henry Colman conducted the interview on November 13, 2003 in Beverly Hills, CA.