Mercury Records co-founder IRVING GREEN, who helped break racial barriers by promoting black artists SARAH VAUGHN, Dinah Washington and THE PLATTERS, has died. He was 90. According to his grandson, Green died on Saturday (01JULY06) at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, California, of natural causes. Green co-founded Mercury in 1945 and helped turn the independent company into a major label. Mercury recorded Louis Armstrong's first number one hit in 1964 with HELLO, DOLLY! and hits by other artists, including FRANKIE LAINE and Patti Page. Mercury became the first major label to employ an African-American executive when Green hired music legend Quincy Jones as vice president. After Mercury was sold to Polygram Records in the mid-1970s, Green turned to land development and building homes in Iran and Palm Springs.