- Jan 05, 1934
- Mar 30, 2013
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Philip Ramone (born Philip Rabinowitz, January 5, 1934 – March 30, 2013) was a South African-born American recording engineer, record producer, violinist and composer, who in 1958 co-founded A & R Recording, Inc., a recording studio with business partner Jack Arnold at 112 West 48th Street, New York, upstairs from the famous musicians’ watering hole, Jim & Andy’s, and several doors east of Manny’s Music. The success of the original A&R Recording allowed it to expand into several studios and a record production company. He was described by Billboard as “legendary”, and the BBC as a “CD pioneer”. […]
In 1959, Ramone established an independent recording studio A & R Recording with Chief Engineer Bill Schwartau, father of internet security expert, Winn Schwartau, ned the studio consisted of Brooks Arthur owning half while Ramone, Donald Frey and Arthur Downs Ward (1922–2002) owned the other fifty percent.
In the studio he quickly gained a reputation as a good sound engineer and music producer, in particular for his use of innovative technology. Among the performers whose music Ramone produced are Burt Bacharach, the Band, Bono, Laura Branigan, Ray Charles, Karen Carpenter, Chicago, Peter Cincotti, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Sheena Easton, Melissa Errico, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, the Guess Who, Heatwave, Billy Joel, Debbie Gibson, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Patricia Kaas, B.B. King, Julian Lennon, Shelby Lynne, Madonna, Barry Manilow, Richard Marx, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Liza Minnelli, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, Sinéad O’Connor, Fito Páez, Luciano Pavarotti (including the Pavarotti and Friends Charity Concerts in Modena, Italy), Peter, Paul and Mary, June Pointer, André Previn, Jennifer Rush, Diane Schuur, Jon Secada, Michael Sembello, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Phoebe Snow, Dusty Springfield, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder and Nikki Yanofsky. He is also credited with having recorded Marilyn Monroe’s intoxicating version of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy.
In 1972, management of A & R included Robert Gerics (general manager and studio manager), Nick Diminno (studio manager), and Irving Joel (chief engineer). The studios were located at 799 7th Avenue and 322 West 48th Street.
His early work in producing and engineering was with jazz artists, working on John Coltrane records and acting as engineer for the landmark Getz/Gilberto album in 1964, for which he won his first Grammy. He transitioned during the 1960s to working with folk-rock, pop-rock, and R&B acts such as Peter, Paul and Mary, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan, first primarily as an engineer, and later as a producer. He won his first production Grammy for his work on 1975’s Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon. He produced Billy Joel’s 1977 album The Stranger and began a fruitful collaboration with Joel producing a string of hit albums throughout the rest of the 1970s and 1980s. In 1993, he produced Duets, Frank Sinatra’s comeback album, a commercial hit that peaked at #2 on the Billboard Album Chart. During the rest of the 1990s, Ramone moved from production work to his primary role as an industry executive, serving as chairman of The Recording Academy, though he would still be involved in some studio work including several Broadway cast recordings, as well as helping produce, with Quincy Jones, the televised A Tribute to Brian Wilson in 2001. […]
Phil was a great friend of mine for many years. We first worked together when I recorded ‘Another Day’ in New York at A & R Studios. He was a very sweet man who combined this with expert knowledge of both engineering and production. I’ll always remember him as a great friend that I knew, loved and admired over the many years that we worked and played together.Paul McCartney, from paulmccartney.com, April 1, 2013
Last updated on September 16, 2019