Nola Blue, Inc. is owned and operated by Sallie Bengtson, a music aficionado with a heart full of blues. Sallie has a degree in Business Administration and Management from Albright College and more than 25 years of business experience in various administrative, management and ownership roles. The opportunity to combine her business skills with her enthusiasm and passion for music is a dream come true, and shines through in all of her efforts.
"I'm passionate about sharing the music we love and supporting the musicians who make it." -Sallie Bengtson
NOLA BLUE, INC. didn’t begin as a music business. Like many things in life the path to today’s reality was far from straight. Although I began work in the "baby business" (a fanchisee of the Gymboree Play & Music Corporation), apparently my heart knew my true destiny when I named my company after my two true loves: New Orleans and blues music. Fast forward to a major crossroads in my life; some might call it a midlife crisis. Things fell apart for me both personally and professionally - all at the same time - but out of those dark days emerged a beautiful story that is still unfolding. And speaking of stories, what is known today as a record label actually began as a book publisher!
It has been a joy and a privilege to know Benny Turner for the last 20 years. His life story is one of significance and interest from various perspectives, and I had always thought he should write a book. In 2014, it suddenly made sense for me to facilitate that process. It was an incredible window into an incredible life, and it inspired my motivation to preserve and share Benny’s musical story as well as his life story. I learned that he had a project well underway that just needed a final boost to complete. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I dove in with both feet and tried to learn the music business.
Today, I’m still trying, and I’m still learning! I'm also still wildly passionate about sharing the music I love and supporting the musicians who make it. After releasing "Journey" in 2014 on Benny’s 75th birthday and watching that process unfold, I was hooked! Something was born in me that had been dormant probably since my college marketing classes: combining the music I love with the business skills and instincts I’ve learned both in and out of the classroom turned out to be both rewarding and successful.
Passion and drive aren't enough without the right support system, and when it comes to my team, I'm thrilled to be partners with the best in the business, Ms. Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon. Her work on Benny's second and all following projects was a game-changer, and it didn't take either of us very long to realize that we had a lot to offer as a team. Adding additional label artists and supporting them via consistent, targeted marketing and social media efforts has proven fruitful. Introducing Blue Heart Records, a brand new distribution option for enterprising artists who wish to maintain ownership and control of their music has been the next logical step.
At Nola Blue, our artists aren't just a commodity. They're valued members of a creative, diligent and genuine family that is inspired and driven to support each other. Sometimes it's a GOOD thing to have the blues! Nola Blue and its affiliate relationships continues to evolve purposefully and beautifully. Where are we headed next? Join our mailing list and follow us on social media for all the updates!
"You are like the music business fairy godmother of things I hate to deal with!"
- Leslie Letven Bixler (Miss Bix)