Women’s History Month: Michele Caplinger, music maven

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Michele Caplinger.

It would be impossible for Michele Caplinger to exist without music.

As senior executive director of the Recording Academy, Atlanta Chapter, since 2000, Caplinger regularly works with some of the top names in the Atlanta music industry. Usher, Ludacris, Gregg Allman and Kristian Bush are just a handful of Atlanta members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences — the organization that oversees the Grammy Awards among myriad other events.

Caplinger, 58, stays busy targeting those who qualify to participate as voting members of the academy. Throughout the year, she also helps produce members-only events for professional development and networking.

A native of Edison, N.J., Caplinger moved to Atlanta in 1981 from New York, where she fronted the rock band Lipstick Stains.

The band was a staple at Atlanta’s famed 688 Club during the ’80s rock scene, where Lipstick Stains regularly convened with other Atlanta mainstays including Pylon, Swimming Pool Q’s and early incarnations of the Georgia Satellites, Collective Soul and the Black Crowes.

Caplinger lived the prototypical “business worker by day, rock star by night” lifestyle; she booked talent and provided publicity for nightclubs Velvet and Club Rio and also worked with renowned concert promoter and manager Charlie Brusco, handling national publicity for acts such as Fleetwood Mac, Styx and Bon Jovi.

In the ’90s, Caplinger opened her own boutique PR firm, Ray Gun Productions, which later changed to Broadcast, and maintained a hectic pace in the entertainment industry in addition to being a wife and mother. The Recording Academy recruited her in 1999.

Caplinger currently serves on the board of the Friends of Georgia Music, which produces the annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards Show. She is also a founding member and vice president of Georgia Music Partners, which promotes the music business and related music technology in Georgia.

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