b. England. Kruger has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the music and entertainment industry. Under his management, the Kruger Organisation (TKO) grew from its ownership of the Flamingo Club, one of the most prominent early 50s London jazz clubs, to an international entertainment corporation with interests in film, video, music publishing, recording and concerts, spanning musical genres from classical to country, blues, pop and jazz. In that time Kruger has amassed an impressive list of musical firsts. He established Ember Records, the UK’s first independent label, produced Tony Crombie And The Rockets, the first British rock ‘n’ roll group to make the UK charts, and co-produced Rock You Sinners, the first English rock ‘n’ roll film. His involvement in the music industry began in the 50s. During this time he was employed selling Batman and Superman serials for Columbia Pictures, while playing piano by night for various pick-up bands. Finally he formed his own band, Sonny Kruger And The Music Makers. His business career began when he sensed that London’s thriving jazz scene required a more ‘upmarket’ venue. Hence, he established the Flamingo club, where artists such as Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan made their British debuts. Kruger then formed his own talent and management agencies in the late 50s. The new decade saw him introduce Glen Campbell to the UK market for the first time, and he also organized his first tour in the territory. The Flamingo club, meanwhile, continued to prove its popularity with all manner of musicians, offering period entertainment that included such stellar acts as Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Yes, the Moody Blues and Genesis. As well as opening the door to European tours by Marvin Gaye, Kruger also invited Gladys Knight And The Pips to perform before they had made their name in the USA. This paved the way for tours by Barry White, the Jacksons, Temptations, Supremes, Isaac Hayes and black country star Charlie Pride. His involvement with country music increased throughout the 70s and 80s. This period saw him working with Johnny Cash, Nanci Griffiths, Kris Kristofferson and Tammy Wynette, as well as the promotion of festivals including the Country Music Festival in Peterborough. TKO went public in the USA in 1986, the expansion including the purchase of music publishing companies (Full Armor Music and Whole Armor Music, two Nashville Christian concerns), adding film and video properties to its film library and launching a marketing campaign to raise the company profile and awareness of its product. TKO has also continued to promote tours, including dance and theatre productions (Bolshoi and Kirov ballets, Rudolph Nureyev, Placido Domingo, Harlem Globe Trotters) plus a backbone of musical works (Chuck Berry, Julio Iglesias). Among many other awards, Kruger has subsequently been made an Honorary Citizen of the State of Tennessee by the Governor for services to country music, and received a similar honour from the governor of Kansas. He is a member of the Academy Of Motion Pictures and Arts and Sciences, and the Performing Rights Society.
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