Ken Goldstein is an Emmy Award winning television writer and director, Golden Apple awarded educational filmmaker and accomplished network documentarian (A&E, History Channel, Discovery Networks, BBC, etc). Under the stage name "Jack Dempsey" he is also a successful singer, songwriter, composer and touring musician who recorded his first album at Capitol Records with founding members of Keith Richard’s X-Pensive Winos. He is currently the lead singer for the American rock band THE LA HUSTLE, which he co-founded in 2016 with Daniel Thomson of The Calling. Ken is a published author and investigative journalist whose articles and photographs have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The New York New Times, The Los Angeles Times, Billboard Magazine; Ken has been seen as an on-air reporter and commentator for networks like NBC, ABC and Fox Television.
Goldstein began his creative career as a street musician on Maxwell Street in the late 1970s in Chicago’s South Side. By the mid-1980s he was training for the London Ballet in England and busking outside the High Street Kensington tube station. In 1991, after six months as a production manager for Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios in Chicago, Ken was hired to be an executive creative assistant for legendary director John Hughes (Home Alone, Breakfast Club). During his tenure at Hughes Entertainment he worked on films like Home Alone 2, Curly Sue, Baby’s Day Out and Drillbit Taylor. Ken wrote songs with John, who remained a treasured mentor till his untimely death in 2009.
Immediately after leaving Hughes Entertainment, Ken launched his production company, now called Six Shooter LA. Originally a creator of educational videos, his company, which he still operates today, has produced films, commercials, music videos, industrial and educational videos and documentaries for international television and cable networks; record labels; educational distributors, government agencies and charitable organizations and public and private companies.
A graduate of Syracuse University, he currently resides in the hills above Hollywood in Los Angeles, California.
After graduating Syracuse University Ken returned to Chicago to pursue a career in special effects. At that time the city was ripe with feature film shoots, television series and commercials. He immediately landed a job as a practical special effects artist for a series of Kraft commercials and then a campaign for Tylenol where he became an local industry legend when he sliced a grape and filled it with mustard; tossed it into a slingshot and fired away at a stunt car window to simulate bugs hitting a windshield. Six months after graduating college, he was awarded a position in the feature film department of Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios. A year later he became a creative assistant to legendary director, John Hughes (Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Home Alone). It was at Hughes’ promoting that Ken launched his own production/marketing company. The company quickly built a reputation globally as a producer of educational films and teaching materials as well as television specials and advocacy videos. It also offered complete marketing and branding packages.
In 1993, at the end of filming a children’s film for PBS entitled, There’s No Such Thing as a Chanukah Bush, which took home three regional Emmy Awards, he relocated to Portland, Oregon and began producing and directing for a variety of local companies including Nike, Adidas, Wieden+Kennedy and the legendary stop-motion animation house, Will Vinton Studios. A year later he began writing, directing, producing and editing network specials for A&E Television. In the years that followed he created films for networks around the world from the History Channel to the BBC; TF-1 in France to Globo in Brazil. After a string of successful network television specials and documentaries, and after receiving top honors at festivals around the world for his work in educational programing, in 1998 Ken landed a unique opportunity to write and direct a series of investigative documentary films through Rhino Records and Warner Brothers. The films included the Barry Levinson produced, UFOs, JFK & ELVIS: The Movie; Playground After Midnight (which aired on BET); and the last filmed appearance of George Plimpton in the feature documentary The Grecian Urn.
A series of television specials and pilots came next, including a travel adventure/cooking show called Guerrilla Gourmet that Ken photographed and directed on location with the Kuna Indian tribe in the San Blas Island Chains of Panama and Columbia.
In the early 2000s he began accepting offers to create marketing and branding campaigns outside of film production, as well as live event creation and productions for companies like Microsoft and Playstation. He produced events at festivals like Coachella in California and VooDoo Fest in Louisiana. And in 2003 he accepted the challenge of turning a unique event space/restaurant/theater into an iconic Hollywood hotspot. The venue was Cinespace which, among its many contributions to pop culture, launched and co-developed Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak universe.
After Cinespace, Ken was offered the chance to rebrand the global clothing and lifestyle company Von Dutch Originals. During his tenure at Von Dutch, he created an artist in residency program that grew into an international support system called Planet illogical. Pi was involved with a series of high profile occurrences in the mid 2000s including the Obama Hope Campaign; the Paul McCartney 2009 tour; the launch of the feature documentary about The Who; and hundreds of other unique and celebrated projects.
He left Planet illogica six months after helping create the international OneZ trend in apparel, to tour on behalf of his first book, 2011's The Way of the Nerd: Practical Advice for Impractical People. And a year later, he recorded his first full album under his stage name, Jack Dempsey.
Though the years that followed saw him putting more of his focus on to his music and book projects, he continued building the marketing end of his company. Among the highlights of that period was Gamma Labs, Snake & Mongoose, Badcock Apparel and Thistle Hill Organic Wine in Australia.
During the early 1990s he also became an on-air reporter for Fox News and NBC News; an overnight talk show host for WLS Radio out of Chicago; a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and a cub reporter and photographer for the New Times Newspapers.
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Special thanks to the wonderful artists who have contributed
photographs to this site including Tony Butler, Bryan Olinger,
Henry Diltz, Valentina Socci and Eric Berman.