Tom Cossie

RCA Exec and Hit Making Record Producer/Promoter for Chic and the Silencers

Tom Cossie is the record promoter who launched the multi-million selling records of the band Chic.  The AllMusic Guide calls Chic “disco’s greatest band”.  Rising from a record store job in Homestead Cossie became the National Promotions Manager for RCA Records.  Building up a national network of contacts he went into record production and independent promotions.  Over his career he produced and promoted the music of David Werner, the Silencers, Chansor, Modern Man, Klass, X-15, the Exotic Birds, and the Day of the Dead movie sound track.

 Tom Cossie, a native of Homestead,Pa., began his music career as a sales clerk at Chuck’s Record Shop in Homestead, Pa.  Amassing a large record collection, he became a DJ spinning records at dances and on WESA radio in Charleroi.  After graduating from MunHall High, he became a regional field promotions representative for RCA records.  Within four years he quickly rose to become RCA’s National Album Promotions Manager and then RCA’s National Promotions Manager.  In 1971 at age 26 he was living in New York, the chief of a promotions staff of 100.  While at RCA he developed a national network of music industry contacts as he promoted the music of Henry Mancini, David Bowie, and Lou Reed.  Leaving RCA he returned to Pittsburgh to start his own record label. When his label was unsuccessful he returned to New York taking was job with the struggling Buddah 4 label. 

At Buddah Cossie heard the demo tape by the disco band Chic, that was engineered by a young Bob Clearmountain.  Buddah along with several other labels passed on the tape.  Disco was a new genre just beginning to emerge in disco clubs. The labels had little interest this unproven new dance music.  But Cossie strongly believing that song “Dance, Dance, Dance” would be a major hit, decided to leave Buddah to promote Chic.  He made a call to fellow record promoter Mark Kreiner, who he had met a at radio conference.  Kreiner, from Los Angeles, had recently been fired from his job promoting disco records for Ariala records.  Kreiner flew to New York to form a partnership with Cossie and they invested $7,000 to purchase the Chic master tapes.  They released “Dance, Dance, Dance” as a twelve inch single in 1977.  Using a network of disco club DJs, disco radio stations, and retail stores they promoted the record.  The song exploded in the clubs generating strong sales.  Cossie and Kreide shopped the single again to the labels convincing Atlantic Records to sign Chic to a five year contract.  “Dance, Dance, Dance” peaked at number six on the Billboard charts selling 3 million units.  Atlantic followed up with Chic’s self-title first album and the single “Everybody Dance” in 1978.  The ‘Chic’  album  sold 1.5 million albums. As executive producers Cossie and Kreiner received a gold record.  In 1978 Chic released the album C'est Chic.  "Le Freak," the first single was an instant smash hit, staying at number one for five weeks.  Selling over four-million copies it was the biggest-selling single in Atlantic's history.  The C'est Chic album, that number 1 in R&B and number 4 overall, went platinum.  By 1980 Chic’s sales of 30 million singles and 10 million albums generated $20 million in revenue.

With his success Cossie continued to produce and promote new artists.  Working with engineer Bob Clearmountain he produced and promoted David Werner’s 1979 self-titled Epic Records release.  In 1979 Cossie also worked with Clearmountain to record the Silencers first album at the Power Station in New York and signed them to his CBS affiliate label precision records.  He also worked with the band X-15 in the period.  In the 1980’s Cossie founded Saturn records releasing albums by the new wave band the Exotic Birds(1983 and 1984), Klass (1986), and Modern Man with Sputzy (1985 and 1986).  Trent Reznor played keyboards and sang vocals on the Exotic Birds releases.  Cossie also released the soundtrack for the George Romero’s movie “Day of the Dead”.on the Saturn label.

Chic - Dance, Dance, Dance