Richard "Dick" Griffey: Music Industry Kingpin (2014)
Richard Gilbert "Dick" Griffey (November 16, 1938 – September 24, 2010) was an American record producer and music promoter who founded SOLAR Records.
After briefly attending Tennessee State University, Dick Griffey enlisted in the United States Navy at age 17.
After moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s, Griffey became part-owner in a nightclub, which led to his role as talent coordinator on Soul Train where he would partner with the show's creator, Don Cornelius, to establish Soul Train Records in 1975.
Griffey formed his own label, SOLAR Records (an acronym for Sound of Los Angeles Records) in 1977, which became the "Motown of the 80's" with Griffey being heralded as "Kingpin of Soul Promoters".
Staunchly independent, Griffey regularly urged young black producers and songwriters to start their own businesses with the most notable being Antonio Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, who would go on to form LaFace Records and Marion "Suge" Knight whose Death Row Records label (which was initially housed in the SOLAR Records building), would go on to generate $750 million.