Rush News

Donna Halper Reminisces About Discovering Rush

In preparation of Rush's filming of their next concert video in Cleveland, Donna Halper reminisces about her role in "discovering" Rush.
After Donna Halper gave 'Working Man' a spin on WMMS, Rush's career took off: "'As soon as I dropped the needle on 'Working Man,' I knew this was a perfect record for Cleveland,' she said. 'It was a working-class town...I remember a city where Republic Steel would literally light the sky on fire at night with pollution.' Phones at the radio station were lighting up, too, with requests for Rush. The buzz soon led to a record deal for the band, which singled out Halper for special thanks in the liner notes of its self-titled debut album...Halper, 64, left Cleveland in 1975 to become director of artists and repertoire at Mercury Records in New York City.  She hasn't returned here since then - until now. With a special invitation from Rush, Halper is planning to catch tonight's show at The Q." -, April 15, 2011
The Girl Who Loved Rush: Donna Halper: "On the occasion of the band's show at The Q—which will be filmed for later DVD release—The Cleveland Sound chatted with a longtime Rush confidante who has North Coast connections that go way back...'Moon Records, yes. Oh, God—the ugliest cover [laughs]. Oye, oye. It was red. I still have the thing—I never parted with it. People ask me all the time, 'Would you sell it?' I'm like, no! Absolutely not. If you look online there's a few pictures of me holding that cover. If you friend me on Facebook you can see it. You'll see me with a couple other fans, and I'm holding the original Rush cover. So yeah, it came in your basic plain brown envelope from a friend of mine—Bob Roper. The bottom line is, I was never expecting to receive it. I didn't know who the band was. And Roper—who I'm still in touch with now and then—was the record promoter of A&M in Canada. That's the label that was co-owned by Herb Alpert, who has had many hits for many years. And they passed on it. But Roper heard something and thought it was a good record, and I had a reputation for both playing new artists as music director, and also for playing Canadian artists. I'd played a number of Canadian artists over the years; I could give you names but I don't know if they'd mean anything to your audience. But he figured I'd be receptive to hearing another Canadian band. It wasn't just out of the blue he sent this record. He figured I would be a good person to send it to. Not like, wow, I'm so marvelous, but I'd already made a lot of friends with people in the Canadian music history. So I got it, and I listened, and I was like, 'My God—you're right!' And the rest, as they say, is history." -, April 6, 2011 
The Rush Fan Film Project Interviews Donna Halper: "Late in 2010, Donna took some time from writing her most recent book on the history of Boston radio (which has since been released) as well as her dissertation and graciously invited us to her home outside of Boston to discuss that little Canadian band. She’s an amazing storyteller and I would highly recommend going to see her speak if she’s ever in your town. We trimmed our discussion down to under 20 minutes, though it easily could have been over an hour." -, April 6, 2011

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