Koppelman plays host to the stars in Roslyn Harbor

Koppelman plays host to the stars in Roslyn Harbor

Barbara Streisand, Willie Nelson, Martha Stewart and the Beastie Boys may not share much in common. But they’ve all visited the home of Roslyn Harbor music producer Charles Koppelman, who was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame last Thursday. 
“Kanye West was in Roslyn playing music for my kids and me,” he said.  
A businessman and artist who has worn many hats, from making music with Diana Ross to briefly replacing Steve Madden as head of his shoe company, Koppelman said he “felt great” about the Hall of Fame induction. 
“Long Island has been good to me and my family,” he added. 
Koppelman was born in Brooklyn but moved to Long Island when he was one year old. 
His music career began in 1960 when his band the Ivy Three put out a top-10 hit called “Yogi.”
What cemented Koppelman’s place in the industry, however, was his knack for recognizing and producing hit songs. 
“I realized I had this uncanny ability to understand what a song would be and what a hit record would be,” he said. 
Koppelman’s daughter, Jennifer Hutt, described his knack as “a great ear for talent, for music and for a hook.”
In 1975, he partnered with real estate developer Sam LeFrak and attorney Martin Bandier to form The Entertainment Company, which “independently administered and promoted song catalogs and signed artists directly to their company,” according to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.  
Soon after, in 1977, he moved to Roslyn Harbor, where he has lived ever since. 
Hutt said she remembered when, in the 1970s and ’80s, neighbors thought Barbara Streisand lived at her family’s home because Streisand spent so much time there. 
“They worked so closely that it was all in our house,” Hutt said. “The way somebody has a family business my dad’s business was intertwined with all of us.”
The Entertainment Company became SBK Entertainment World Inc. in 1986, soon after which it bought the 250,000 titles owned by CBS Songs
for $125 million. “It was the highest price ever paid for a music publishing catalog,” the Hall of Fame said.
The list of performers Koppelman worked with is a who’s who of music that includes names as disparate as Dolly Parton, Vanilla Ice and Lionel Ritchie. 
While studying abroad in Paris in 1990, Hutt received a recording of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” from her father. “He said this is going to be a monster hit,” she recalled. 
In 1997, Koppelman planned to retire from the music industry, Newsday reported. Soon after he temporarily replaced both Martha Stewart and Steve Madden as the head of their respective companies while they served prison terms. 
“I brought Martha Stewart to Peter Luger,” he said of dining with the celebrity at the steak house in Great Neck. 
Koppelman couldn’t resist returning to the music industry, which he did in 1997 with the founding of C.A.K. Entertainment, where he is the chief executive officer and chairman. Its clients have included Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez and Nikki Minaj. 
Hutt attended law school and practiced as an attorney, but has joined the entertainment industry as a radio host on Sirius XM. 
What appealed to her about the type of work she saw from her father growing up? 
“When fiercely talented individuals have work ethic really cool things can happen,” she said

By Max Zhan

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