Amos Heilicher, 90, pop music hitmaker

  • Article by: JON BREAM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 4, 2011 - 6:36 PM

The godfather of the Minnesota record business helped launch local acts like the Trashmen into stardom.

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mwchase_kenyOct. 13, 08 6:10 AM

Amos Heilicher was a giant of the MN Music industry. He helped launch the career of many famous MN musicians. As an example, Bobby Vee recorded his first 45 on SOMA records (Suzy Baby) in 1959 before he broke out on Liberty Records. One need only to review books like Tom Tourville's "Minnesota Rocked!! The 1960's" to see the number of young musicians that recorded on Amos Heilicher's SOMA label. Thanks, Amos, for providing the capital to launch many of the MN artists recording careers. Your memory lives on in your philanthropy and in the millions of SOMA records you produced. MN Mike Chase

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KodegardOct. 13, 08 7:40 AM

A giant in the music industry, Amos was never too big to talk to the man on the street. A cheerful fixture at Crossroads Deli in his final years, he dearly missed his beloved wife and brother.

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ben710Oct. 16, 08 1:24 PM

One Saturday afternoon in 1967, I was working at the Musicland at Knollwood Plaza when a pair of middle-aged gentlemen came in. I walked over to enquire if I could help them, but they smiled and demurred. After they left, my tough as nails boss, recently returned from the battlefields of Vietnam, said to me, "Do you have any idea who they were?" I didn't. They were Amos and Danny Heilicher, already legends to anyone interested in the music business. I'm glad I didn't know...I felt so indebted to them for a very cool job and an even cooler sountrack to my adolescence. I would have been rendered speechless.

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kgerbilMay. 22, 09 5:07 PM

Even though I only met Amos once and met Ira only a few times, I worked for J L March/Pickwick for over ten years, starting in 1972, at the age of 18. During my tenure I was fortunate to work for Merril Kirsch, Michael Hartmann, Tom Prenevost, and then John Farr when we both transferred to northern California. Amos's company provided a welcome home to me for over ten years, and a great education in business, and the confidence "in the future" to start my own business in the Packaging and Publishing industry, working with company's like Hooked on Phonics, Walt Disney home video, and HBO to name a few. I am thankful to a man I only met once, for his vision and for being there. I wander if he, his brother and Ira know how many lives they touched. I will always think of my time at Pickwick fondly and feel very fortunate to have found their company as a young man. I send my condolences to Amos's family. Jeff Herman Sterlingllc1@yahoo.com

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