No cash, more gum: Jay Krugman shares his story of success with the UNH campus

Emma O'Dell

Music producer Jay Krugman steps onto the campus of University of New Haven to tell the music industry students the story of his life Monday, March 9.

Jay Krugman is the brother of Murray Krugman, a music professor at the University of New Haven. Maury teaches Production, Promotion and Distribution, and invited his brother to talk to the students. Following a lecture, Krugman held a question and answer session.

Everyone on campus was welcome, but the event was mainly for the music students to attend and learn how to further their careers. Krugman also helped to provide an incite into the world of music that he has been involved in for years.

Before Jay Krugman talked, his brother introduced him by telling a story about their childhood. Their father had given them bubble gum; Murray ate all of his within that day, but Jay had sold his to the kid down the street. That night, they got a knock on the door and their father answered it. Coming back to get Jay from the dinner table, their father told Jay he must give back the money. Jay, being five at the time, said “no cash, more gum,” and from then on, Murray knew his brother would do great things.

Jay Krugman started out at Harper College in Illinois as anthropology major. It wasn’t until Woodstock of 1969 when he was sitting on the field looking around at the thousands of people that had bought tickets that realized there was a lot of money in the music business.

At first, he was a cab driver for three months after college; from there he worked in the tape library organizing music for $3 an hour and went on interviews for three years. After that, he went into production at Record Planet in New York as a recording engineer for eight years. Following that, he went on to become the product manger at Columbia Records, where he was head of marketing from 1989 to 1996.

“The day after the first day, it’s all on you,” Krugman stated.

In 2004, he left BMI in California and moved back to New York. Krugman decided to become an independent marketing consultant. Because he an independent marketing agent, he told the students that they must know three things: “What’s the product? Who’s the audience? And how do you reach them?”

During the talk, he had the students engage in conversation and ask any questions they wanted because he has worked with such big names like Tony Bennett, New Kids on the Block, and Rolling Stones. His back and forth banter with his brother made the students laugh with them and feel more open.

One question asked by a student was what he thought was the most challenging moment in his career. Krugman answered by saying “relationships are everything, to make a name for yourself and to make connections.” He then pointed to his brother, “[I] had this guy, who was a legendary rock producer at the time, and that helped.” This made the students nod with agreement and admiration.

When asked what would be the most important thing he would want these students to take away from his visit, Krugman responded with, “I hope some students in this room will hear what I have to say and it helps them find their musical path.”

“It was interesting to see what my professor’s brother had to say,” said Nicole Pierce, a music industry major.

“I hadn’t realized how successful he had been in the music industry before the presentation.”

Jay Krugman inspired and opened the eyes of many prospective students.