Nik Venet

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Born: Nikolas Kostantinos Venetoulis on Dec. 3, 1936, in Baltimore.

Died: January 1998, Los Angeles.

Worked as a teenage songwriter in New York's Brill Building along with Bobby Darin and Carole King.

Aged 19 he moved to Los Angeles and worked with Lord Buckley before becoming a producer and talent scout with Capitol Records.

In 1962 he recorded the Beach Boys after their independently produced "Surfin'" single had been a minor local hit.

He would sign many acts to Capitol including The Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt who had a hit with "Different Drum" written by Mike Nesmith and John Stewart; the latter would write "Daydream Believer" for The Monkees.

He commisioned Zappa's Lumpy Gravy for Capitol but due to contractual problems it would eventually be released by MGM.

By the early 1970's Venet was helping to set up United Artists Records.