Brad McCuen

Date: 1975 January 27
Length: 227 min.
Call Number: OH104


Music executive. Born May 17, 1921. Sales and production executive for RCA Records, 1948-1969. In 1969 he left RCA to head Mega Records and oversaw the release of the label’s biggest record, Sammi Smith’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” Later served as Director of Country Music for SESAC. Longtime Country Music Foundation board member.

Interview Summary

1975 January 27
(3 hours, 47 minutes)
Music industry executive Brad McCuen recalls experiences during his years with RCA. Discussion includes diversification at RCA; experiences during his years in Chicago; the March of Dimes Train promotion; his move for RCA to New York; Jim Reeves’s signing by RCA; his early production work; the record market, including RCA’s sacred music; experiences working as an A&R man; an assessment of the Nashville music community; the development of Columbia as a major label; RCA’s struggles in the record market; memories of RCA executive Steve Sholes; the importance of Nashville to RCA and Chet Atkins’s role; the growing popularity of long-playing albums (LPs); comments on early record labels including Decca; Sholes’s signing Elvis Presley to RCA; discussion of the practice of placing the same producers over country music and rhythm & blues; and memories of Eli Oberstein.