Steve Steve again

June 8, 2011

Obituary of Steve Charles Popovich

In memoriam of Steve Charles Popovich, (1942-2011)

Steve Charles Popovich, 68, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., passed away June 8, 2011, at his residence.

He was born July 6, 1942, in Nemacolin, Pa. He was a resident of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and past resident of Eastlake, Willowick, Willoughby and Willoughby Hills.

Mr. Popovich received many awards including two-time National Promotion Man of the Year 1972-1973 Billboard Magazine, 1st Time Clive Davis Award of Promotion Excellence, six Grammy nominations (winner of two) for label and/or co-producer, and first Polka Grammy Award Winner with Frank Yankovic.

In 1962 he began working in the warehouse at Columbia Records in Cleveland in inventory control, sales and promotion until 1969, when he became an assistant to the director of promotion, Ron Alexenburg.

In 1972 to 1974, he became the youngest vice president of CBS and first vice president of promotions at Columbia Records, and then from 1974 to 1976 he was the vice president of A&R Records. In 1977 he founded and became president of Cleveland International Records, which is most famous for Meatloaf's ""Bat Out of Hell"" album, which has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. He was instrumental in the success of many, including Boston, The Byrds, The Jackson 5, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Cash, Frank Yankovic, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Santana and many more.

He was also known at helping and fighting for the underdog musicians and artists.

He was always a Clevelander at heart and internationally promoted Cleveland and its people with his many connections, including ""Cleveland Rocks."" Steve was a loving, generous and caring man. He was known for his larger than life personality and always put other people first. He was very family orientated and everyone was family to him.

""He could walk into a room and make you feel tired."" Ian Hunter.

Survivors are his daughter, Pamela Marie Popovich; son, Steve (Brittany) Popovich Jr.; two grandsons, Stephen and Tanner Popovich; sister, Barbara (Dominic) Lemmo; nieces, Dawn (Mark) Bottger, Dina (Scott) Simpson, Danielle (Erik) Petkovic; and nephew, Dominic (Jessica) Lemmo Jr.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Steve and Zora (Razum) Popovich. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday, June 13, 2011, at Saint John of The Cross, 140 Richmond Road, Euclid.

Friends may call from 1 to 4 and from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Monreal Funeral Home, 35400 Curtis Blvd., Eastlake. Burial will be in Western Reserve Memorial Gardens in Chester Township.

Contributions can be made to Stephen C. Popovich Memorial Fund c/o US Bank, 2504 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro, TN 37128.

Published in News-Herald from June 11 to June 12, 2011

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