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Archive for the ‘Producer’ Category

RIP, Jack Richardson (May 13, 2011) Canadian Record Producer

Posted by on May 13, 2011

Jack Richardson
July 23, 1929 – May 13, 2011

Jack Richardson was a respected Canadian record producer who was ultimately honored by having the Juno Awards’ Producer of the Year Award named  after him.  He was also an instructor at the most prestigious music schools in Canada.  While working for an ad agency in 1968, Richardson created a bottle-cap reimbursement campaign for the Canadian Coca-Cola company.   Those who purchased designated Cokes could collect the bottle caps and ultimately redeem them for a promotional album, A Wild Pair, which featured the Guess Who on one side and the Staccatos (later known as the Five Man Electrical Band) on the other.  The campaign was so successful that the album reportedly would have achieved gold status had it been an “official” release.   Richardson went on to produce several Guess Who albums and singles including their biggest hits, “These Eyes” and “American Woman.”   He also produced Bob Seger’s landmark album, Night Moves, as well has hit albums by the likes of Alice Cooper, Poco, Badfinger, and the Irish Rovers.  His son, Garth Richardson is an in-demand producer as well who has worked with Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and System Of A Down.  Jack Richardson was 81 when he passed away on May 13, 2011.

Thanks to Roch Parisien for the help

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RIP, John Carter (May 10, 2011) Respected Producer and A&R Man

Posted by on May 10, 2011

John Carter
June 14, 1945 – May 10, 2011

John Carter
was a successful producer, songwriter, A&R man, and artist manager who due to the respect he garnered, was commonly referred to as simply, Carter.  His earliest success came in 1967 when “Incense and Peppermints,” a song he co-wrote, became a hit for the Strawberry Alarm Clock.  He in fact also came up with the band’s name by putting together random words he found on the singles chart.  He was soon hired by Atlantic Records where he worked in promotion, and eventually went to work at Capitol Records where he produced numerous hit albums by the likes of Sammy Hagar, Bob Seger, the Steve Miller Band, Bob Welch, and the Motels, to name just a few.  In 1983, he made perhaps his biggest mark on pop music by A&Ring Tina Turner’s landmark album, Private Dancer, which sold over 20 million copies, collected numerous Grammy’s and made the singer relevant again.  In later years he held high positions at Chrysalis, A&M, Atlantic, and Island Records.  John Carter died of cancer on May 10, 2011.  He was 65.

Thanks to Bruce Kilgour for the help

Posted in Producer, Record Label, Rock, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

RIP, John Cossette (April 26, 2011) Grammy Telecast Producer

Posted by on April 26, 2011

John Cossette
February 22, 1957 – April 26, 2011

John Cossette is perhaps best remembered as a longtime producer of the Grammy television broadcast.  He carried on the tradition started by his father, Pierre Cossette, who produced the very first broadcast in 1971.   Cossette worked on the Grammy show for the better part of the past 20 years, most recently as executive producer.  He served in the same capacity for the Latin Grammys as well.   Outside of the award show, Cossette produced programming for BET as well as the Broadway, Chicago and London productions of Million Dollar Quartet, which is based on the historic 1956 meeting of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.  John Cossette was 54 when he passed away on April 26, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Craig Rosen of Number1Albums

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RIP, Huey Meaux (April 24, 2011) Controversial Record Producer

Posted by on April 24, 2011

Huey Meaux
March 10, 1929 – April 24, 2011

Huey Meaux, known to many in the music business as “The Crazy Cajun,” was a successful record producer and studio owner.  Before getting into the music business, Meaux worked as a barber.  He eventually opened SugarHill Studios in Houston, Texas where he discovered the young talents of Doug Sahm and Barbara Lynn.   He is also credited for re-launching Freddy Fender’s career during the mid ’90s.  As a producer, Meaux was responsible for such hits as “She’s About A Mover” for Sahm’s Sir Douglas Quintet,  “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” for Lynn, and “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” and “Wasted Days And Wasted Nights” for Fender.  In 1996, Meaux’s music career was derailed by various sex and drug charges for which he ultimately served 15 years in prison.  Huey Meaux was 82 when he passed away on April 24, 2011.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums

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RIP, Don Kirshner (January 17, 2011) Influential Producer, Publisher & Television Host

Posted by on January 17, 2011

Don Kirshner
April 17, 1934 -January 17, 2011

Don Kirshner was a music publisher, producer, songwriter-manager, and television host who rightfully earned the nickname, The Man With The Golden Ear.  His music career began during the ’50s when he and his partner, Al Nevins, launched Aldon Music, a publishing company that included such future superstar talent as Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and Neil Sedaka.   Kirshner also owned three successful record labels during the early part of his career.  In the early ’60s, the creators of a new NBC television program enlisted Kirshner to provide songs for that show.  The influential sit-com followed the fictional adventures of an up-and-coming band as it bounced from one loony situation to another while performing catchy pop songs along the way.  The show was called The Monkees, and Kirshner brought songs like “I’m A Believer,” “Last Train To Clarksville,” and several others that would become hits that help define the era.  He later helped create an animated version of that same concept with The Archies. Then in 1973, Kirshner became a television star in his own right with the launch of Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.  The late night show offered full live performances of songs by current rock stars, making it unique in a time where lip syncing on television was the norm.  For many rock music fans in a pre-MTV, pre-youtube era, it was THE only way to enjoy your favorite bands live.  Along with being executive producer, Kirshner introduced each act in a monotone manner that was later popularly parodied by Paul Shaffer on Saturday Night Live. The show’s premiere episode included the Rolling Stones and and the series continued at that pace hosting the likes of Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Rush, the Eagles, the Ramones, KISS, and Kansas.  It quickly became serious competition for other late night programs like The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.  The show ran until 1981.  Don Kirshner was 76 when he died of heart failure on January 17, 2011.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the help

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RIP, Bobby Robinson (January 7, 2011) Prolific R&B Producer & Harlem Record Store Owner

Posted by on January 7, 2011

Bobby Robinson
April 16, 1917 – January 7, 2011

Bobby Robinson was a pioneering R&B and later, hip-hop record producer, as well as a longtime record store owner.  He opened Bobby’s Record Shop in 1946, making it the first Black-owned business on Harlem’s famous 125th Street.  The store and cultural landmark remained open until he was forced to close in 2008 due to his landlord’s desire to raze and rebuild at that spot.  As a producer, Robinson had a hand in creating a string of R&B and hip-hop hits that stretched from the early ’50s through the mid ’80s.  The list of greats that he enjoyed success with includes Gladys Knight & The Pips, Lee Dorsey, The Shirelles, Elmore James, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Kool Moe Dee, and Doug E. Fresh.  Bobby Robinson was 93 when he passed away on January 7, 2010.

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RIP, Rudy Guess (December 31, 2010) Guitarist For Carole King

Posted by on December 31, 2010

Michael “Rudy” Guess
February 27, 1953 – December 31, 2010

Rudy Guess was a talented guitarist, producer, and composer who is perhaps best known as the longtime touring guitarist for Carole King. He also helped produce many of King’s studio recordings.  As a composer, Guess’ music has been featured on such television shows as Extreme Makeover, Law & Order, and The Practice.  Rudy Guess was 57 when he passed away on December 31, 2010.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks To Marc Luzzatto for the help

Posted in Musician, Producer, Singer | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

RIP, Norman “General” Johnson (October 13, 2010) Popular Soul Singer

Posted by on October 13, 2010

Norman Johnson
May 23, 1943 – October 13, 2010

Norman Johnson, known professionally as General Johnson, was as Grammy-winning songwriter, as well as a producer and the lead singer of popular late ’60s/early ’70s soul group, Chairmen of the Board.  Johnson was just 16 when he made his first recordings for the storied Atlantic Records.  In those early days he fronted his own group, the Humdingers, and shortly thereafter, the Showmen.  It was with the latter that Johnson first started cracking the R&B singles chart with such records as “39-21-40 Shape.”  After a short and less fruitful run as a solo artist, Johnson formed the Chairmen of the Board.   The year was 1967, and it was with that group that he went on to release such hits as “(You’ve Got Me) Dangling On a String,” “Pay the Piper,” and “Give Me Just a Little More Time,” which sold in excess of one million copies.  In 1970, Johnson won a Grammy as the songwriter of the mega hit “Patches” as recorded by Clarence CarterJerry Reed, Honey Cone, and Freda Payne also had hits with songs penned by Johnson.  As was the case with many R&B acts of the era, Johnson and Chairmen of the Board’s music fell out of favor with the general public.  But during the ’90s, the group reformed and found renewed success touring the vibrant Beach Music circuit along the coastal towns of Southeast United States.  Norman Johnson was 67 when he passed away on October 13, 2010.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Lellie Capwell for the help

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RIP, Ian Morris (October 7, 2010) Popular New Zealand Musician; Co-founded Th’Dudes

Posted by on October 7, 2010

Ian Morris
DOB Unknown – October 7, 2010

Ian Morris was a respected musician, songwriter and producer from New Zealand.  He is perhaps best remembered as the founding guitarist for early ’80s new wave band, Th’ Dudes.  Formed in the late ’70s while the band mates were in college, Th’ Dudes quickly built a sizable following thanks in part to their catchy pop sound that has been compared to the likes of Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello.  In 1979, the band were named New Zealand’s Group of the Year.  The band experienced a resurgence in popularity during the ’90s and again in the mid 2000s, prompting them to reunite and tour from time to time.  Outside of Th’ Dudes, Morris earned his living by writing commercial jingles and producing others.  He also successfully recorded under the moniker, Tex Pistol.  On October 7, 2010, 53-year-old Ian Morris died suddenly and unexpectedly.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Died On This Date (September 4, 1995) Chuck Greenberg / Shawdofax

Posted by on September 4, 2010

Chuck Greenberg
March 25, 1950 – September 4, 1995

Chuck Greenberg was a musician, producer and composer who is best remembered as the leader of Shadowfax, a Grammy-winning band that is generally thought of as “New Age.”  Greenberg launched his music career during the ’70s and was soon was tapped to perform in the Bee Gees’ back-up band on one of their U.S. tours.  He soon moved to Los Angeles where he formed Shadowfax.  The band built a loyal fanbase thanks to it’s ability to marry elements of rock, world, jazz and folk music.  They would become one of the few New Age bands to cross over to a pop audience.  The band traveled the world playing to adoring fans until Septembe 4, 1995 when Chuck Greenberg died unexpectedly of a heart attack.  He was 44.

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