In The News

Record producer Phil Ramone passes away

Record producer Phil Ramone passes away

THE record producer Phil Ramone has passed away. He was 79.

Mr. Ramone was regarded as a legend within the music business but was relatively unknown by the general public.

During his long career he had worked with virtually every big star. His great skills as a recording engineer, coupled with his willingness to embrace advances in technology were to cement his reputation.

Born in South Africa but brought up in New York, the young Ramone had developed a keen interest in Jazz but he chose to study classical music at the Juillard School. However, jazz and pop were to win out and by the late 1950s he and a partner had opened a studio, A&R Recording, based in Manhattan.

Quincy Jones and John Coltrane were among the first people to record at A&R. By 1964, Mr. Ramone had won the first of his 14 Grammy Awards — for his work on the bossa nova classic Getz/Gilberto [Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto].

The other Grammy Awards he received included one for the soundtrack of the movie Flashdance (1983) and two for the soundtrack of the Broadway musical Promises, Promises. His fourteenth Grammy came in 2012 for his work on Tony Bennett’s album Duets II (see below).

Among the hundreds of recordings that he worked on over his career were Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks (1975), Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), Barbra Streisand’s Everygreen (1976) and Frank Sinatra’s Duets (1993). He also recorded the famous party at Madison Square Garden in 1962 at which Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday to President Kennedy.

Mr. Ramone is survived by his wife Karen and his three sons.

To view footage taken during the recording of Tony Bennett’s album Duets II, which features Andrea Bocelli, click here.

To see an excerpt from an interview recorded with Mr. Ramone, click here.

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