John D. Sansone, 50, of Nashville, Tenn., a former Buffalo-area music booking agent who went on to become a major talent agent in Nashville, died Saturday (Sept. 27, 1997) in his home after a 17-month battle with cancer.
Born in Buffalo, he attended Hutchinson Central-Technical High School and was a graduate of Kensington High School and the University at Buffalo.
Sansone began booking bands for nightclubs and parties while he was a student at UB. While he was pledging a fraternity, the brothers ordered him to hire a band for a dance. It was such a success that other fraternities came to him for bookings.
After graduating from UB in 1969, he took a position as an elementary teacher in Buffalo schools but left after two years to devote full time to J.R. Productions, a company he founded in 1968 with his brother, Frank, for booking bands into nightclubs.
J.R. Productions became one of the leading booking agencies in Western New York during the 1970s and expanded to serve nightclubs in 22 states.
Sansone moved to Nashville in 1983 to become co-owner and director of operations for Limeliters International, which he helped develop into the largest agency providing live entertainment to hotels and casinos throughout the nation.
In 1989, he founded World Wide Entertainment, which employed 70 mobile disc jockeys in 30 states. He started another entertainment agency, John Sansone and Associates, in 1995.
He was a member of the Country Music Association and the International Entertainment Buyers Association and was active in the Nashville Association of Talent Directors. He also was a member of the board of directors of the International Theatrical Agents Association.
Survivors include his wife, the former Susan Sercu; his mother, Florence of Buffalo; and his brother, Frank of Lancaster.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Henry's Catholic Church, Nashville. A memorial service will be held in the Buffalo area at a later date.