Industry Profile: Al Schmitt

— By Larry LeBlanc

This week in the Hot Seat: Al Schmitt, producer/engineer.

There are so many things that make the production of music magical.

Al Schmitt is one of them.

Los Angeles-based Schmitt, a 19-time Grammy Award-winning recording engineer and record producer, has been involved in creating some of the most memorable and sophisticated recordings of the contemporary pop era.

Over a dazzling five decade career, he has worked with such leading musical figures as Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, George Benson, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Steely Dan, Ray Charles, Connie Francis, Michael Bublé, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Duane Eddy, Al Jarreau, the Jefferson Airplane, and Quincy Jones.

The Schmitt-engineered version of Henry Mancini’s “Moon River,” co-written with Johnny Mercer, and its associated album won two Grammy Awards in 1961, as well as an Academy Award for Best Song with its appearance in the film “Breakfast at Tiffany's.”

The following year, Schmitt won his first Grammy for engineering Mancini’s “Hatari!” soundtrack.

Among his Grammy triumphs are wins in the engineering category for such albums as: George Benson's "Breezin,'” Steely Dan's "Aja," Toto's "Toto IV,” Natalie Cole's "Unforgettable,” and Diana Krall's "When I Look In Your Eyes." Additionally, he won a pair of Latin Grammy Awards for Luis Miguel's album “Amarte Es Un Placer” in 2000.

In 2006, Schmitt received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.

As a child living in Brooklyn in the late ‘40s, Schmitt would catch the subway on weekends to spend the day at his uncle Harry’s independent recording studio, Harry Smith Recording. Recording engineer Smith handled sessions for Decca-owned Brunswick Records including those with Bing Crosby, and the Andrew Sisters.

At 19, Schmitt began working at Apex Studios in New York. When Apex closed two years later, he went to work at Nola Studios for a year before receiving a call from ex-Apex engineer Tom Dowd to join him at Fulton Recording (which was later acquired by Fortune Pope, who also owned the Coastal Recording Studio).

At Fulton, Schmitt learned how to record big orchestras from master engineer Bob Doherty. Schmitt also worked on recordings by such jazz legends as Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Bob Brookmeyer and Jim Hall. Then Richard Bock, owner of the Pacific Jazz label in Los Angeles, coaxed him to move west in 1958.

At Radio Recorders in Hollywood, Schmitt continued to record for Bock, while learning more extensive recording techniques from such experienced engineers as Bones Howe and Thorne Nogar.

Soon after coming to Los Angeles, Schmitt got a break when Howe and producer Sy Rady had a falling out during sessions for Mancini’s “The Music From Peter Gunn.” Schmitt was tapped to engineer the last half of the album. He continued working with Mancini on numerous projects, including “Breakfast at Tiffany's,” “Music From Mr. Lucky,” and “Hatari!”

When RCA Victor opened its Hollywood studio in 1963, Schmitt was the first engineer hired. For the next three years, he worked on sessions--as either an engineer or producer--for Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, Billy Eckstine, Ann-Margret, Eddie Fisher, Cal Tjader, Al Hirt, Rosemary Clooney, Glen Yarborough, the Limelighters, and the Jefferson Airplane. As well, he worked on Hugo Montenegro’s hugely successful film and TV soundtracks.

In 1966, Schmitt left RCA to be an independent engineer/producer. Two weeks later, the Jefferson Airplane asked him produce their album “After Bathing at Baxter's.” Afterward, he continued producing the San Francisco band, including the albums “Crown of Creation,” “Bless Its Pointed Little Head,” and “Volunteers”. As well, he produced the debut album of the Airplane’s splinter project, Hot Tuna.

As an independent, Schmitt also produced Eddie Fisher, Glenn Yarborough, Jackson Browne, and Neil Young. In the mid-70's, he returned to engineering, as well as mixing.

Among his career highlights since have been his engineering of both Frank Sinatra “Duets” albums as well as Ray Charles' “Genius Loves Company”; and working behind the console with his long-time friend, producer Tommy LiPuma, for Diana Krall for over a decade.

How do you protect yours ears?

Well, I don’t mix very loud. When I go to the theater to see movies, my wife always has a set of ear plugs for me. I watch it. I take care of them.

Do you use headphones in the studio?

I never use headphones. Never.

You seem drawn to singers.

I like singers but I also like instrumentalists too. I’m just a music freak. I was a bebopper as a kid growing up. I am particularly fond of jazz, jazz instrumentalists and singers.

You seem busier than ever.

The older I get, the more business I get. I’m getting busier and busier. Last year, I had one of the best years ever.

What are you currently working on?

I am getting ready to do something with Ivan Lins. He’s a wonderful Brazilian songwriter and singer. I’m also getting ready to work with Dutch singer Trijntje Oosterhuis. She’s fantastic.

A decade ago, recording budgets were slashed, and a lot of production work shifted from professional rooms to home studios.

The only cut back I went through was companies cutting back on budgets, and they would try to cut my (producer’s) fee. The same with engineering fees. They tried to cut them down to the bone.

Producer and engineers have seen a shift in the split in their fees. Say you were getting $20,000 for engineering, and $10,000 for production. Labels try now to make the deal the other way around—$10,000 for engineering and $20,000 for producing, so they can recoup more for the production.

Absolutely. They aren’t stupid.

With the kind of work you do—big bands, horn and string sections—you need a bigger room. Do you also have a studio in the house?

I wouldn’t do that. Are you kidding? I would never get any sleep.

The process of going into a studio is a filtering process. Artists, arrangers, producers and engineers all prepare for the date.


Many singers in the ‘50s and ‘60s were performers who worked in nightclubs; and they learned their craft there. Singers like Rosemary Clooney, and Ella Fitzgerald had unbelievable microphone technique. I don’t think we have that today.

We don’t. Taylor Swift, the girl who just won Album of the Year (for “Fearless”), she’s a lovely young lady, and a reasonably good songwriter. But she’s not a good singer. Years ago, I don’t know if she would have been signed. When you can’t tune and paste (edit) and do all that, you wouldn’t have been able to make good records. The people signed in those days all could sing. They were all in tune. Nobody tuned Frank Sinatra, Nat Cole, Peggy Lee or any of the others (using technology)

Just listen to those Verve records with Ella Fitzgerald, recorded in the ‘50s.

(Engineer) Thorn Nogard did a couple of those at Radio Recorders (in Hollywood) and I was fortunate to be in the studio when some of those went down. You know that everything was done at once? The vocals were live. Everybody bounced off everybody else as it was going down. Today, with all of the overdubbing that goes on, you lose some of that (interaction between players).

Was working last year on Rod Stewart’s "Soulbook” like a glance in the past? He said you are the closest he’s going to get to Sam Cooke.

Rod is a lot of fun in the studio. Every time he sees me he wants to hug me. It was great doing some of those songs again. Steve Jordan, who produced a lot of the tracks, was an amazing guy to work with. (Producer/engineer) Niko Bolas was mixing in B, and I was mixing in C (at Capitol) because we had deadlines and we were trying to finish. We had so much fun. He would be so loud. I would call him on the phone, he’d pick it up, and I would say to him, “I can hear (the track) through the door; you need more bass.” And, he’d tease me about stuff. We had a great time. That album was wonderful to do.

You have worked with Diana Krall for more than a decade,

I’ve worked on every one of her records. She’s absolutely the best. She is one of my favorite people. She is so endearing, and caring about everybody. I love the way she plays piano. She’s a marvelous player. Her solos are just incredible. One of my all-time favorite records is the one we did of her, “Live in Paris” (2002). I love that record. The DVD is incredible.

How far back do you go with her producer (and Verve Group Chairman Emeritus) Tommy LiPuma?

Tommy and I have been together for so long. We met in 1961 in L.A. Then we hung out together, and became very close friends. Tommy is like a brother to me. I love working with him because with Tommy, it’s all about the music. There’s no personality bullshit going on or anything else going on. As a producer, he doesn’t stay in the control room. He sits out right in the middle of the musicians with earphones.

When you were recording full orchestras for Henry Mancini or Ray Charles dates, it was all recorded live to mono or 2 and 3--track. What you got on tape was it. Fix it in the mix was unheard of—there was no mix. Today, producers and engineers go to their basement and work on tracks forever with ProTools.

That’s what happens. I know guys that spend weeks just tweaking little stuff because they are mixing in a box. They go down to the basement in their little studio and spend time doing that. If I had a home studio, I’d be up at 3 a.m. I’d wake up thinking I had to do this or that and go down. I don’t want to do that.

You have said it was easier to record an orchestra of 65 players back then live to mono or 2 and 3--track than 8 players. Why?

It was harder to record 8 pieces than doing 65. The conductor with a big orchestra was balancing the orchestra in the room. If he wanted more strings or if the French horns were too loud, we’d tell him, and he would have (the players) soften in the room. So most of the balancing was done by the conductor, and we would just capture everything. We worked hand in hand with him so if we needed more celli (cellos) in one spot, he would bring it up or more flutes, whatever. It was always easier to do that. For me, anyway.

What is it like working with producer David Foster with 95 musicians all starting at the same time?

It’s unbelievable, the sound when that happens. When the sound comes out of the speakers, your jaw drops open. It is just amazing. Working with David is great too. He’s brilliant. I know him as a musician before anything else. He was a great player (as a session musician). He’s still a great player.

You and musical arranger/ orchestrator Claus Ogerman have worked together on Diana Krall’s recordings as well as those by George Benson, Michael Franks, and João Gilberto.

When you push the faders up on Claus Ogerman’s, he got the strings out there. If you don’t get goose bumps, you’re dead.

Well, he did arrangements for the Drifters’ "Save The Last Dance For Me" in 1960.

How about (Lesley Gore’s) “It’s My Party” (1963)? He did the arrangement on that with Quincy Jones who was the producer. Claus won a Grammy this year (for "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)" for the arrangements of (Krall’s)"Quiet Nights." Claus and Johnny Mandel are in a league of their own (as arrangers).

What makes a studio room sound great?

It is just the acoustics of the room. Some times it is a matter of luck how great a room turns out. I used to do things in New York at Webster Hall, and Columbia Records (30th Street Studio). What an incredible room that was. It was just magic. Everything there just sounded so rich. There were no things bouncing back to change the quality of the sound at all. It was just great

[In 1949, Columbia Records transformed an abandoned Armenian Greek Orthodox church, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, into one of the world's greatest recording studios, where Bob Dylan, Johnny Mathis, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, and Glenn Gould recorded some of their most memorable recordings.]

Capitol Studios in Hollywood is another storied recording facility.

When Diana (Krall) or anybody else walk down that hall to go to studio A or wherever, with all those pictures on either side of the wall of Frank Sinatra, Kelly Smith, Deane Martin and Nat Cole, they know they are walking into history. Whether it’s a singer or piano players or musicians of all types, there’s something that happens. I get the feeling too, and I have been working there forever on and off. Just when you walk down the hall, there’s just a vibe to it. There’s something magic there. It’s like these people are still around. We still have Sinatra’s microphone that he used, and Nat Cole’s piano. It’s amazing there.

[Capitol Studios, located in the famous Capitol Tower at 1750 North Vine St. in Hollywood, is one of the most famous recording studios in the world.

The 54-year-old facility--the oldest music recording studio on the West Coast--casts a long shadow in contemporary music history. Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, and Peggy Lee cut landmark recordings there. As did the Beach Boys, Gene Vincent, the Raspberries, Bonnie Raitt, Prince, Crowded House, Anne Murray, and Barbra Streisand.]

Anne Murray’s daughter Dawn told me she had the same experience walking down that hallway while working on her mother’s album “Duets: Friends & Legends” three years ago with you and Phil Ramone.

Isn’t she a good singer? Oh my! I hope something happens for her. What a nice lady. Anne was great and her daughter was just so sweet and nice. She has been working with (Nashville-based producer) George Massenburg.

You combined Natalie Cole's vocals with those of her late father, Nat 'King' Cole (recorded in 1952) for the 1991 duet "Unforgettable.'' Was that a difficult process matching it up? The original with Nat was recorded in 3 track.

It was three track but there was leakage. There was no isolation booth, but they put baffles up to isolate (the backing instruments) a bit. So there was leakage but we were able to get most of it out.

You mixed Robbie Williams’ 2001 album “Swing When You're Winning” which emulated that Sinatra/Martin/Cole ‘50s era. Any memories of the mixing session.

(British producer) George Martin would come and sit with me every day for an hour. He’d come in at 9 A.M., and I would be there setting up to mix. We’d sit and chat for an hour.

You also remixed tracks for Joni Mitchell’s 2005 compilation “Songs of A Prairie Girl.”

Her management company (Macklam/Feldman Management, which also handles Krall) brought me in. We would mix (a track), we’d make a ref (reference copy) for it, and she would go out to the car and listen. Then she’d come back in and she’d have, maybe, two minor changes. We’d make those changes, make another reference, and she’d go back out. What a talent.

You grew up in Brooklyn during the ‘40s when jazz and big bands were popular.

I bought my first 78 when I was 10 years old. I had a little windup phonograph. I went out and bought the Jimmie Lunceford record "White Heat" and the back side was "Jazznocracy." Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra’s was my favourite band. (The 1942 hit) “Blues In The Night.” Unbelievable stuff. I got to work with (Lunceford/Tommy Dorsey arranger) Sy Oliver too. That was a thrill.

Your uncle was the legendary Harry Smith who worked for Brunswick Records.

He was my father’s brother, and my godfather. My middle name is Harry. He worked for Brunswick for years. He had what I think was the first independent recording studio in New York City (Harry Smith Recording). I worked there (setting up chairs and things), and I got to meet all of these old timers like Bing Crosby, Orson Welles, and Art Tatum.

Bing Crosby saved MCA. He was so popular.

That’s right. He saved the record business for awhile there. He’s also the guy behind the introduction of tape recorder (in the United States). He was a big investor in Ampex. With (tape recorders) producers and engineers were able to do editing which was a big thing for Bing Crosby. It was amazing that they could now edit (performances). It was great.

[In 1947, Jack Mullin, who had discovered Magnetophon recorders with AC biasing in Germany at Radio Frankfurt near the end of the war, pitched the technology to the major Hollywood movie studios. When Bing Crosby heard a demonstration of Mullin's tape recorders, he saw the potential of the new technology and commissioned him to do a test recording of his radio show. After ABC agreed to allow Crosby to pre-record his shows on tape, Crosby appointed Mullin as his chief engineer. He also invested $50,000 in Ampex (then a small six-man business) so that the company could develop a commercial production model.

The company's first tape recorder, the Ampex Model 200, revolutionized the radio and recording industries. Guitarist Les Paul, a friend of Crosby's, received an early Ampex Model 200, and he modified the tape recorder by adding additional recording and playback heads, creating the world's first practical tape-based multi-track recording system.]

You went on to work with Tom Dowd at Apex Recording Studios in Manhattan.

I learned everything from my uncle and Tommy Dowd. First of all to be on time. I learned about how to set up; I learned microphone technique; how to use microphones, where to put them; everything, from them. The most important thing is that I learned. My uncle told me to think of the equipment as a delicate wrist watch, and to take care of it that way, and it will always take care of you. Tommy Dowd was the same. So I had two of the greatest mentors in the world. I was really blessed.

Did you know Tommy’s background of working on the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bomb?

Absolutely. Tommy and I were…I became like his kid brother. We became very close friends. I remember his first wife Jackie. You know what is so sad? At the end of his career, he was living in a little apartment in Miami. The guy had nothing. Nothing. I blame a big part of (what happened) on Atlantic Records in the sense that they didn’t take care of him. It was just terrible the way that he was treated. In the end, even though he made all of those great records, he was in debt. It was sad.

[After a lengthy battle with emphysema, producer/engineer Tom Dowd passed away in 2002. Dowd, who designed the first 8-track console for Atlantic Records because no commercial counterpart was available, worked at the label throughout the ‘50s & ’60, recording the Drifters, Clyde McPhatter, Joe Turner, Aretha Franklin and others. Among his post-Atlantic work were recordings by Lynard Skynard, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, and the Bee Gees.

In 2002, Dowd received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy Awards. Eric Clapton wrote in the program "There is a tribe of musicians, spread all over the world who have been fostered and nurtured by Tom Dowd. We know who we are, and we are proud of who we are, but most of all, we are proud of him. I am honored and privileged to be one of them." Dowd’s life is chronicled in the superb film “Tom Dowd & the Language of Music” which premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.]

In the ‘50s, few people got paid well in the recording industry. And it was all rights in with most contracts.

Well, artists were getting 5 percent and new artists getting signed were getting 2 and 3 percent. And there was no producer money. So the companies were making fortunes. Elvis Presley was making 5 percent when he was signed at RCA, and the producer was always an in-house producer so there were no other royalties going out. And then the label would charge him for breakage, and for promotional copies.

After three months at Apex Studios, you were able to work on basic demo records, voice and piano things. Is it true that one Saturday you had a session with Duke Ellington and his orchestra that you didn’t know about in advance? And in mono? And with Billy Strayhorn on piano?

That’s a day I will never forget as long as I Iive. That was an amazing time. Duke Ellington was such a wonderful man. He was so nice to me. I kept saying to him, “Mr. Ellington, I’m not qualified to do this.” He patted me on the leg, and he looked me in the eye and said, “It’s okay sonny, we are going to get through this.”

What did you think when the band arrived unannounced with all of equipment?

I didn’t know what to do. I was the only one there. The first thing that I did was to try to get to the phone to get hold of Tommy Dowd but I couldn’t reach him. I then tried to call my boss and I couldn’t reach him either. Tommy had bought me a little note book and I would do diagrams of all of the sessions that we would do, what microphones there were, and where to place them. So I had that book with me all of the time, and I used that.

You did some work for Atlantic Records while at Apex.

I did a lot of stuff for Atlantic. Whatever Tommy didn’t do, I did. They were doing everything at Apex. Tommy was their engineer. When he couldn’t do stuff, I was the guy. So I was doing dates with the Coasters and Clyde McPhatter. It was a great time. I was still in my teens.

When Apex closed, you then worked at Nola Studios?

For one year. Then Tommy called me and said there was an opening at the studio that he was at.

That was the Fulton Studio on W. 40th Street where Bob Doherty was an engineer?

Right. He was another mentor of mine. He taught me how to record large orchestras.

in the ‘50s, New York was the epicenter of jazz. At Fulton, you recorded Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker. In those days it wasn’t unusual having jazz tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet on a rock ‘n’ roll session.

Absolutely, I know. Jazz was huge. The East Coast jazz, in particular, where there was Bird (Charlie Parker), Miles (Davis), Bobby Brookmeyer and Jim Hall, was popular. It was just an incredible time. I went to Birdland all of the time.

In fact, when I was a kid, I used to go to Bop City before Birdland or the Royal Roost. You could get in there when you were 16. You paid a dollar. They had a roped off area where you could stand. I’d catch George Shearing with Marjorie Hines playing vibes and after that it would be Illinois Jacquet. There would be three shows. One artist right after another. It was pretty amazing.

Morris Levy co-owned Birdland with his brother Irving who was stabbed to death there.

There’s a great story about Moishe Levy. Joe Reisman, who was recording Jimmie Rogers, went in and asked for royalties on the Jimmie Rogers’ records. Joe told me this story, “Moishe looked me right in the eye, and said, ‘You want royalties? Go to England.’”

[Morris Levy, born Moishe Levy, founded Roulette Records and signed Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Buddy Knox, Jimmie Rodgers, and Joey Dee and the Starliters. In 1986, Levy was convicted on charges of extortion but died in 1990 before serving any time in prison. The HBO series “The Sopranos” featured the character of Herman 'Hesh' Rabkin, a mob-connected record mogul that has drawn comparisons to Levy.]

Nobody got royalties for sessions then.

I remember doing dates at Apex where the producer (Bobby Shad) would take a .32 automatic and put it on the producer’s desk. He would have a wad of money that he paid each musician with. At the end of the session, they all got paid $15 for three hours. But he had the gun right there too.

Was it Dick Bock, owner of the Pacific Jazz label, who brought you to Los Angeles in 1958?

Yes. He got me a job. He came to New York to work with me. I did a bunch of things for him, and one day-- I think we were doing “The Gerry Mulligan Songbook”—he said, “Why don’t you come to California? Then I wouldn’t have to come to New York and use you.” I jokingly said, “Get me a job out there, and I’ll come.” Three weeks later, he called me on the phone, and said he got me a job out there if I wanted it. So I flew out and talked to the guy, and they hired me (at Radio Recorders in Hollywood).

In Los Angeles, the top engineers at the time were Bones Howe and Thorne Nogar.

Thorne, Bones Howe and I all worked at Radio Recorders at the same time. Actually, Bones was doing Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn” album [“The Music From Peter Gunn” which stayed #1 on Billboard in 1959 for 10 weeks] with producer Sy Rady. Apparently, with Bones and Sy, something didn’t work right between the two of them. So I got asked to finish the record, and I did.

You won your first engineering Grammy Award for Henry Mancini’s “Hatari!” soundtrack which featured "Baby Elephant Walk."

The first time I got nominated for a Grammy was in 1961 for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with Mancini (along with engineering nomination for “Great Bands With Great Voices” by the Johnny Mann Singers). I lost out to Judy Garland’s “Judy at Carnegie Hall.” Everybody was telling me that I was going to win, but I lost. The following year “Hatari” was up (along with a nomination for Si Zentner and the Johnny Mann Singer’s “Great Bands With Great Voices”] and I didn’t think that I had a chance at all to win, and I won it. That was my first Grammy.

Henry Mancini’s achievements as a composer and orchestrator in film and TV are unparalleled.

He was a real down-to-earth guy. I loved him. He was a fun guy to work with and just good people. I just finished a record with Monica (Concord Record recording artist Monica Mancini, Henry’s daughter) that will be out in March. I think it’s her best album yet. It’s unbelievable. She’s a dear friend of ours. Her and my wife are very close.

Henry Mancini’s arrangements were great.

One of the things that made him so great was…in those days you would do a session from 8 to 11 at night. In those days, if you went one minute overtime, all of the musicians got paid a half-hour over time. There was always someone from the (musician’s) union to make sure of (being paid)

So we would get the final take (of a track) about two or three minutes before 11, and we’d say, “Okay, Hank. That’s it, man. It’s great. We’ve got it.” Hank would say, “No. I heard a little thing over here. We have to do it once more.” He would do one more (take) and all of the guys got a half hour over time. He did that on every session. It was his way of thanking the musicians. They loved him for that.

And there was fact that he was a brilliant melody writer, and arranger too.

Absolutely. Things like “Baby Elephant Walk” and “Hatari!” are incredible. When we did “Hatari!” he had brought back from Africa a lot of drums---the big shakers and a kalimba. Shelly Manne played kalimba on a on a couple of songs on “Hatari!” Hank was brilliant. He had great ideas, and he was very innovative. On his arrangements, he would use four trombones, 4 or 5 trumpets, 4 French horns, and 5 chaste flutes. It was just unbelievable.

Sy Rady and Dick Pierce started using you on many of their RCA sessions.

I became the RCA engineer on the west coast even though I was still working for Radio Recorders. Then, when RCA opened their studio at the NBC Building at Sunset and Vine, I was the first engineer that they hired. The head of engineering hired me, but I had all of these recommendations from Bob Yorke (RCA Victor division VP in charge of the commercial records department) and all of those guys. It was a no brainer that they hired me.

At RCA you worked on sessions with Eddie Fisher, Ann-Margret, Ray Charles and Betty Carter.

Sam Cooke, the Jefferson Airplane, Glen Yarborough, the Limelighters. The list just goes on and on.

Anything that came through the door. So you had to do everything?

Yep. But it was a fun time. After I had engineered there for a few years, I wanted to get into producing, Steve Sholes (then West Coast manager of RCA Victor) gave me the opportunity to go into production.

[In 1955, as head of RCA’s country division in Nashville, Sholes signed Elvis Presley. He also signed Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, the Browns, Hank Snow, and Jim Reeves to RCA.]

You worked with producers Hugo and Luigi (Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore) on Sam Cooke sessions, including for “Bring It On Home,” and Another Saturday Night.” You produced his 1965 hit “Shake”.

Oh yes, I was the engineer on a lot of that stuff like “Cupid,” and “Twistin’ The Night Away.” When Hugo and Luigi left RCA in 1964 (and then bought Avco/Embassy Records) RCA wanted to get a producer for Sam. He said, “I want Al.” That was really nice.

You were the engineer for his classic 1964 album “Sam Cooke Live at the Copa.”

I love that record. That’s also one of my favorite. Sam Cooke was one of my favorite people to work with. I loved that guy. When he was in the studio, he was amazing. We’d come in, the arrangements would be there, and we’d start to run it down. All of a sudden, he was telling the drummer what to play, what beat he wanted. He was changing horn lines. He was amazing.

How difficult was the Copa album to produce?

It wasn’t that difficult to do because the band had been rehearsed really well. We went up to the Catskills, and Sam showcased the show up there. It stiffed up there because there were all of these old Jewish people there; they had no idea about Sam Cooke at all. But the recording itself wasn’t that difficult to do. We recorded a few nights. The difficult thing was picking the right takes, and putting everything together so it was seamless.

You worked at RCA when the label studio system was in place. In the '70s and '80s, RCA and Capitol in Los Angeles struggled whether to continue to function as in-house facilities or try to attract other labels' clients.

Absolutely. After awhile, (the label executives) realized that it was good for their profit and loss to start letting people in. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, there no independent engineers. They all worked for studios or record labels.

You left RCA to be an independent engineer in 1966. You were one of the first independent engineers in Los Angeles.

I was doing Eddie Fisher in the afternoons from 2 to 5; and Jefferson Airplane from 8 to 4 in the morning. I called my boss Ernie Alschurer (division VP and executive producer of top A&R at RCA)—his claim to fame was that he was the engineer on Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.” I called him, and I said, “I can’t do this anymore. I am working until 4 or 5 in the morning. I go home and get a couple of hours sleep. I have to come in, do all of my budgets and get liner notes together, all of these things, and then do Eddie Fisher in the afternoon. You have to get someone who can do Eddie Fisher.” He said to me, “Well truck drivers do it.” He was talking about working 16 hours a day like truck drivers. I said to him, “Ernie, get yourself a couple of truck drivers. I quit. I sent in my resignation. I stayed two weeks and I left.

Then, Jefferson Airplane called me and asked if I’d like to produce them on an independent basis. They had been given to someone else at RCA, and they didn’t like them. They were happy with me. They were told they could hire anybody they wanted. I said sure.

You recorded four albums with them.

I liked them. Also at RCA my salary was $17,500 a year. I could get a (producer’s) bonus of $5,000 depending on how successful my records were. I made that (bonus) every year. So, in essence, I was making $22,500. The first independent record that I produced was the Jefferson Airplane’s “After Bathing At Baxter’s.” My first royalty cheque was $50,000 just for this one act. I was doing 10 and 11 acts for RCA for $22,500. So leaving was a no brainer.

Jefferson Airplane was quite a contrast to working with Eddie Fisher.

I learned something from each one of them. But I have to tell you they had a tank of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) in the studio. They came in with motorcycles. There was a lot of cocaine and marijuana around. They would write a song while we were in the studio, so, it would take forever to get anything done. The first album I did with them, “After Bathing At Baxter’s,” took 5 1/2 months to do. I had never been in the studio for more than two weeks on an album. To produce something that took that long was crazy.

When I was doing the Airplane, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and all the Byrds would come by. People would come, and hang out because (the sessions) got to be a festive kind of thing. That was another reason it took 5 1/2 months to do the album. There were a lot of social things going on. 

So that was the first time you received a percentage royalty on an album.

Two points. My upfront producer’s fee was $5,000 which was recoupable, But, I will tell you those early L.A. days were some great times in the record business. It was just exciting. I’d do Ike & Tina Turner in the morning from 9 to 12, and then they would get go off somewhere on tour. I did the Ikette’s 1962 hit “I’m Blue (The Gong-Gong Song.” You remember when doctors used to have little bags to visit people. Ike would have one of those, and it would be full of money. He paid everybody cash all of the time.

After years of producing you returned to mixing in 1970.

In 1970 Tommy asked me to mix Dave Mason’s “Alone Together” album. I hadn’t mixed anything in years. I didn’t think I could do it. I said, I would do it on one condition, “If it’s not working you have to tell me right away. If I don’t think it’s working, I will tell you.” Tommy said “Not a problem.” As I got into mixing the album, I realized how much I missed being an engineer. That (engineering) was why I got into the industry in the first place. I love capturing sound and mixing the music.

Why were you hesitant to mix again?

I couldn’t touch the board at RCA. The union was so strong. That’s why I was apprehensive. But once I got into it, the tracks sounded great. Tommy looked and me, and I looked at him and said, “This sounds pretty nice. We’re having a good time here.” And we did have a great time mixing the record. It’s a great sounding record. Bruce Botnick (engineered) the recording, and I mixed it. I love that record to this day.

You and Elliot Scheiner were among the first to remix in 5.1 surround sound for releases on the Super Audio CD format. Is surround easier to mix?

It may be a little easier. But when you are sitting in the “sweet spot,” and you hear the orchestra around you, it is just amazing. Elliot and I mix down to two-inch analog with an 8-track head. We use the 6 tracks and 5.1. It is just an amazing thing. We don’t do enough of it anymore. For awhile we were doing quite a bit. Musicians would come in and listen. They couldn’t believe how great things sound. The clarity of it all is amazing.

Do still mix down to analog on most recordings?

Not all of the time. I do mix down to analog some times. What I have been doing lately is mixing down to 192 (192 I/O audio interface). I have been very happy with it. I mix down to analog at 192. Then I go to (mastering engineer) Doug Sax and we listen and decide what we are going to use. Whether we’ll use the 192 or the tape.

Studio technology has evolved but with tape everything is there.

Yesterday, we were mixing back into ProTools--I was mixing to 192 on this Tascam (recorder)--and right in the middle of the mixing, and everything went away. My assistant Steve Genewick said that this was the second time this has happened to us in about three or four years. But it does happen. Thank god, we back up everything.

Larry LeBlanc was the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard from 1991-2007 and Canadian editor of Record World from 1970-89. He was also a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record. He has been quoted on music industry issues in hundreds of publications including Time, Forbes, the London Times and the New York Times.


Industry Profile Archives:
Mick The DJ, DJ/Enterpeneur 04/30/15
Jeremy Lascelles & Robin Millar, Blue Raincoat Chrysalis Group 12/01/17
Joanne Abbot Green, CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival 10/17/08
Lee Abrams, XM Satellite Radio 11/28/03
John Acquaviva, Fund Manager, DJ and Serial Entrepreneur 07/09/15
Jay Boy Adams, Roadhouse Transportation 05/04/07
Jamie Adler, Adler Entertainment Group 05/11/07
Gary Adler, National Association of Ticket Brokers 12/04/13
Rodney Afshari, Freeze Artist Management 03/01/02
JC Ahn, VU Entertainment 04/10/13
Steve Alaimo, Vision Records & Audio Vision Studios 05/26/06
Jaye Albright, Albright & O'Malley Consulting 07/19/10
Randy Alexander, Randex Communications 10/12/07
David Alexander, Sheer Publishing 07/21/16
Eva Alexiou-Reo, FATA Booking Agency 05/14/15
Marcie Allen, Mad Booking 12/14/00
Jeff Allen, Universal Attractions 08/16/02
Marcie Allen, MAC Presents 06/05/09
Marcie Allen Cardwell, MAC Presents 12/21/07
David Allgood, Bama Theatre 01/03/11
Patrick Allocco, AllGood Concerts 10/05/07
Michele Amar, French Embassy 05/26/16
Mike Amato, Rok Tours International 02/02/07
Jeff Apregan, Apregan Entertainment Group/Venue Coalition 09/30/15
Billy Atwell, AMP Studios 12/13/07
Bob Babisch, Milwaukee World Festivals Inc. 04/02/15
Tom Baggot, 05/02/03
Stephen Bailey, EPACC & Deleware Center For The Arts 02/06/04
Cary Baker, Conqueroo 05/11/11
Vince Bannon, Getty Images 07/05/11
Phil Barber, Barber & Associates 02/04/01
Camille Barbone, WineDark Records 12/09/05
Erin Barra, Musician/Producer/Educator 07/10/14
Ben Baruch, The Fox Theatre 09/27/08
Ben Baruch, By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess) 04/05/17
Paul Bassman, Ascend Insurance Brokerage 08/03/16
Adam Bauer, Fleming, Tamulevich & Associates 02/15/02
Ed Bazel, That's Entertainment International 10/05/01
Joachim Becker, ZOHO Music L.L.C. 01/12/07
Howard Becker, Comet Technologies 05/02/11
Mark Bego, Author 06/15/07
Jim Beloff, Flea Market Music 09/20/10
Richard Bengloff, The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) 09/12/13
Seth Berg, South Bay Music 01/30/09
Aimee Berger, 2 Generations SPA Music Management 09/24/04
David Berger, Future Beat 10/29/14
Barry Bergman, Music Managers Forum 03/14/03
Steve Bernstein, Relix LLC 09/30/05
Mark Berry, Attack Media Group 04/07/07
Scott Billington, Rounder Records 01/17/12
Jeffrey Bischoff, Cinder Block 03/24/06
Sat Bisla, A&R Worldwide/ Musexpo 03/29/10
Nina Blackwood, Sirius Satellite Radio 07/14/06
Adam Block, Legacy Recordings 11/07/13
P.J. Bloom, Neophonic, Inc. 01/24/11
Rishon Blumberg, Brick Wall Management 06/27/03
Justin Bolognino, Learned Evolution, and The Meta Agency 04/25/13
Steve "Chopper" Borges, Total Pro and Borse Techos 03/03/06
Les Borsai, Mediocre Management 01/30/04
Shane Bourbonnais, Live Nation Canada 03/21/08
Jeff Bowen, Sears Centre Arena 03/13/08
Rick Bowen, Mystic Music Experience 07/11/08
John Boyle, Sanctuary Music Group 03/19/04
Jeff & Todd Brabec, Writers/Attorneys 01/03/12
Bill Bragin, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 08/08/03
Joel Brandes, Avenue Management Group 11/02/08
Joe Brandmeier, Moving Pictures 03/15/02
Scooter Braun, SB Projects 12/13/10
Ron Brice, 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill 06/08/16
Billy Brill, Billy Alan Productions 11/11/05
Doug Brown, Talent Buyers Network 09/21/01
James Browne, Sweet Rhythm 11/01/02
Bob Brumley, Brumley Music Company 02/17/16
Tony Brummel, Victory Records 05/17/09
Charlie Brusco, TBA Entertainment Corporation 10/13/01
Del Bryant, BMI 05/18/07
Cortez Bryant, Bryant Management 12/06/10
Stephen Budd, Stephen Budd Management 07/13/17
Bruce Burch, University of Georgia Music Business Program 10/09/09
Deborah Burda, Kentucky Exposition Center 08/03/07
Patti Burgart, IEBA 06/07/02
Jordan Burger, The New Musiquarium 01/22/01
Ron Burman, Roadrunner Records 08/25/06
Suzanne Cadgene, Elmore 05/19/06
Karen Cadle, KGC Productions 03/12/04
Gary Calamar, KCRW 07/10/09
Charles Caldas, Merlin 07/05/10
Brian Camelio, ArtistShare 02/29/08
David Campbell, AEG Europe 08/02/10
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Entertainment Group 10/20/00
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Resort Casino 07/03/03
Tom Cantone, Mohegan Sun 08/30/09
Ashley Capps, A. C. Entertainment 05/21/04
Rio Caraeff, Vevo 07/12/11
Mike Carden, Eagle Rock Entertainment 08/16/11
Charles Carlini, Carlini Group 05/16/08
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 05/27/05
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 01/10/11
Troy Carter, Coalition Media Group 06/07/10
Daniel Catullo, Coming Home Studios 06/22/08
Raffi Cavoukian, Folk Singer/Children's Entertainer 05/11/16
Jeffrey Chabon, Chabon Entertainment Group 08/22/02
Mike Chadwick, Essential Music & Marketing 08/01/12
Rob Challice, Coda Music Agency 03/27/13
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 01/11/02
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 10/04/11
Lisa Cherniak, Artists Against Racism (AAR) 07/20/01
Bob Chiappardi, Concrete Marketing 06/13/03
Joel Chriss, Chriss & Co. 10/04/02
Michael Chugg, Michael Chugg Entertainment 09/14/01
Michael Chugg, Chugg Enterprises 10/02/09
Gary Churgin, Harry Fox Agency 09/13/10
Vinny Cinquemani, S.L. Feldman & Associates 12/13/12
Barry Coburn, Ten Ten Music Group 03/28/11
Matthew Cohen, Green Room Productions 10/19/01
Ted Cohen, TAG Strategic 01/10/13
Lisa Cohen, Associated Booking Corporation 02/10/06
Steve Cohen, Music + Art Management, Inc. 03/09/07
Dan Cohen, Music & Memory 01/12/17
Michael Cohl - Part 1, S2BN Entertainment 03/06/13
Michael Cohl - Part 2, S2BN Entertainment 03/13/13
Bryan Coleman, Union Entertainment Group 02/14/12
Mamie Coleman, Fox Broadcasting 07/05/12
Dennis Condon, Disneyland Resorts 07/13/01
Peter Conlon, Peter Conlon Presents 05/20/05
Tony Conway, Buddy Lee Attractions 10/06/00
Allen Cook, TOURtech 04/16/15
Tomas Cookman, Cookman International 09/05/03
Alex Cooley, Alex Cooley Presents 07/12/10
David Cooper, 10/31/03
Jay Cooper, Greenberg Traurig, LLP 05/23/11
Julie Coulter, Near North Insurance Groups 06/07/01
Amy Cox, Deep South Entertainment 02/09/07
Michael O. Crain, Crain Law Group, LLC 10/09/13
Charlie Cran, The Strawberry Music Festival 04/05/10
Jim Cressman, Invictus Entertainment Group 06/06/12
Russ Crupnick, MusicWatch, Inc. 07/23/15
Todd Culberhouse, Vision Management /Vision Records and Entertainment 09/05/08
Tony D'Amelio, Washington Speakers Bureau 04/21/06
Ruth Daniel, In Place of War 08/09/17
Ray Danniels, Standing Room Only Management, and the Anthem Entertainment Group 03/05/15
Ken Dashow, WAXQ-FM (l04.3 FM) - New York 09/08/06
Hal David, Lyricist 07/26/11
David Davidian, Independant Lighting Designer/Director 06/18/04
Anthony Davis, D&L Entertainment Services, Inc. 03/02/01
Chip Davis, American Gramaphone/Mannheim Steamroller 05/31/02
Mitch Davis, Tempest Entertainment 07/16/04
Jeff Dawson, Canadian Recording Services 06/08/08
Desiree Day, USO Celebrity Entertainment 08/10/01
Shauna de Cartier, Six Shooter Records/Six Shooter Management 10/23/13
Gene DeAnna, The Library of Congress 02/21/12
Vincent Degiorgio, Chapter 2 Productions 08/01/13
Tony DeLauro, DeLauro Management 12/23/04
Valerie Denn, Val Denn Agency 04/30/01
Val Denn, Val Denn Agency 03/06/14
Robert DePugh, Alligator Records 07/29/05
Tom Derr, Rock Ridge Music 10/29/04
Paul Dexter, Masterworks Lighting Design and Road Cases 12/10/04
Marty Diamond, Paradigm 01/22/10
Glenn Dicker, Redeye Distribution/Yep Roc Records 07/07/06
Barry Dickins, International Talent Booking Agency 06/06/13
Jim Digby, Event Safety Alliance 09/01/16
Mark Dinerstein, The Knitting Factory 11/17/06
Neill Dixon, Canadian Music Week 03/03/16
Thomas Dolby, Musician, academic, technologist, and author 11/09/16
Jasper Donat, Music Matters 2009/Branded 04/24/09
Jim Donio, National Association of Recording Merchandisers 04/22/11
Marc Dottore, M. Dottore Management 04/11/03
Tim Drake, The Roots Agency 12/12/08
Mike Dreese, Newbury Comics 11/23/11
Charles Driebe, Blind Ambition Management Ltd. 09/22/06
Jeremy Driesen, Ray Bloch Productions 09/07/01
Michael Drumm, Music Link Productions 07/18/08
Angie Dunn, Lucky Artist Booking 10/13/06
Jay Durgan, MEDIAmobz 11/09/11
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver's Division of Theatres & Arenas 08/02/02
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver’s Division of Theatres and Arenas 08/23/10
Paolo d’Alessandro, International Solutions 06/25/14
Ros Earls, 140dB Management 02/19/14
Art Edelstein, Festival Productions 12/01/02
Bruce Eisenberg, Audio Analysts 08/31/01
Martin Elbourne, The Glastonbury Festival 12/18/09
Michael Elder, Red Entertainment 03/17/06
Tod Elmore, Sixthman 11/24/06
Paul Emery, Clear Channel Entertainment 11/19/04
Arty Erk, Citrin Cooperman 04/27/16
Joe Escalante, Kung Fu Records 07/08/05
Colin Escott, Music Historian/Journalist 07/18/11
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 09/27/02
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 04/24/12
Mike Esterman, Esterman Entertainment 09/01/06
Jeff Eyrich, BePop Records 11/25/05
Bob Ezrin, Bigger Picture Group 05/24/09
Lisa Fancher, Frontier Records 08/09/10
Rick Farman, Superfly Productions 10/15/04
Ray Farrell, eMusic 06/09/06
Sam Feldman, S.L. Feldman & Associates 10/25/02
Bob Feldman, Red House Records 11/24/02
Charlie Feldman, BMI 08/26/05
Paul Fenn, Asgard Promotions 11/22/09
Debra "Fergy" Ferguson, TourDesign 08/01/03
Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry 09/11/09
David Fishof, David Fishof Presents 01/08/01
David Fishof, Rock 'N Roll Fantasy 10/05/08
David Fishof, Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp 02/28/12
Mike Flanagin, New England Country Music Festival 09/12/08
Joel Flatow, RIAA 12/13/11
Jim Fleming, Fleming Artists 03/20/10
Joe Fletcher, Joe Fletcher Presents 01/12/06
Jeff Fluhr, StubHub 10/06/06
Nancy Fly, The Nancy Fly Agency 04/02/04
Arthur Fogel, Live Nation 08/09/09
Martin Folkman, Independent Music Awards & Music Resource Group 08/11/06
Belle Forino, Fantasma Tours 03/18/05
Fletcher Foster, Universal Records South 07/31/09
Sam Foxman, Contemporary Productions 01/06/06
Todd Frank, 4Star Entertainment, LLC 01/24/03
Bob Frank, Koch Entertainment 01/09/09
Larry Frank, Frank Productions 01/17/11
Mike Fraser, Record Producer/Engineer 10/11/08
Carl Freed, Metropolitan Entertainment 06/22/01
Elizabeth Freund, Beautiful Day Media & Management 01/26/07
Harlan Frey, Roadrunner Records 07/11/03
Adam Friedman, Nederlander Concerts 06/22/07
Ted Gardner, Larrikin Management 04/25/03
Daniel Gélinas, Festival d’été de Québec 05/23/13
Marci Geller, Sonic Underground 08/15/08
Chris Gero, Yamaha Entertainment Group 10/26/16
Steve Gerstman, SGS 07/19/02
Sandra Gibson, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/09/04
Sandra L. Gibson, Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/16/09
Steve Gietka, Trump Properties 07/30/01
Steve Gietka, SMG Entertainment 03/19/14
Darren Gilmore, Watchdog Management 03/17/16
Daniel Glass, Glassnote Entertainment Group 10/16/14
Jake Gold, The Management Trust 04/13/01
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 09/07/07
Harris Goldberg, Concert Ideas 06/27/11
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 04/16/14
Martin Goldschmidt, Cooking Vinyl Group 09/29/16
Harvey Goldsmith, Harvey Goldsmith Productions 06/28/10
Michael Goldstein, RockPoP Gallery 11/09/07
Seth Goldstein, 09/20/11
Anna Paula Goncalves, CEO Global Brand Appeal 08/20/14
Arnie Goodman, Blue Storm Music 11/15/02
Wesley Goodman, Red Entertainment 09/16/05
Richard Goodstone, Superfly Productions 01/27/06
Christie Goodwin, Photographer 03/18/15
Rob Gordon, What Are Records? LTD 02/01/02
Steve Gordon, Entertainment Attorney 08/06/04
Yoav Goren, Immediate Music & Imperativa Records 06/10/14
Mike Gormley, L.A. Personal Development 11/10/06
Jonathan Gosselin, Gosselin Marketing & Promotions 07/02/04
Richard Gottehrer, The Orchard 04/10/09
Sean Goulding, The Agency Group London 09/12/12
Jerimaya Grabher, RPM Direct 09/26/03
Mary Granata, The Granata Agency 09/06/10
Kelly Graves, Providence Performing Arts Center/Professional Facilities Management 01/20/02
Stan Green, Stanley A. Green Lighting and Productions 12/12/03
Mark Green, Celebrity Talent Agency Inc. / Bergen Performing Arts Center 08/12/05
Jeffrey Green, Americana Music Association 03/10/06
Paul Green, The School of Rock 07/06/08
Benjy Grinberg, Rostrum Records 12/06/11
Brent Grulke, SXSW 03/06/09
Michael Gudinski, The Mushroom Group 10/29/15
Phil Guiliano, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. & OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/25/05
Steve Gumble, SBG Productions 06/16/06
Greg Hagglund, Vivelo! 05/07/04
Rodney Hall, FAME Music Group 11/06/09
Rob Hallett, Robomagic 02/05/15
Craig Hankenson, Producers, Inc 02/23/06
Kerry Hansen, Wynonna Incorporated 10/03/03
Eric Hanson, Ted Kurland Associates 12/20/02
Eric Hanson, Tree Lawn Artists 03/23/07
Rusty Harmon, MTM Music Management 12/06/07
Ali Harnell, Clear Channel Entertainment Nashville 08/15/03
Bob Harris, 02/06/09
Evan Harrison, Huka Entertainment 12/08/16
David Hart, The Agency Group 02/20/04
Laura Hassler, Musicians without Borders 12/02/15
Abe Hathot, Musician, composer, and music producer. 12/21/16
Steve Hecht, Piedmont Talent 08/29/12
Travis Hellyer, Mezzanine 09/02/05
Janie Hendrix, Experience Hendrix 02/01/10
Nona Hendryx, Rhythmbank Entertainment 06/02/06
Dan Herrington, Dualtone Records 07/25/03
Sara Hickman, Sleeveless/Stingray 06/30/06
Dan Hirsch, On Board Entertainment 04/04/03
Nick Hobbs, Charmenko 12/14/01
Carel Hoffman, Hilltop Live/Oppikoppi Productions 11/07/12
Ian Hogarth, Songkick 08/09/11
Gene Hollister, Rose Presents 04/08/01
Rusty Hooker, Rock Steady Management Agency 02/16/01
Jake Hooker, Hook Entertainment 05/10/02
Martin Hopewell, Primary Talent International 04/19/02
Tom Hoppa, TKO Booking Agency 09/29/06
Bobbie Horowitz, Times Square Group 01/04/02
Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages 11/01/11
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 10/27/00
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 01/22/14
Andi Howard, Peak Records and Andi Howard Entertainment 09/02/03
Barbara Hubbard, ACTS 09/12/03
Laurent Hubert, BMG US 11/12/15
Seth Hurwitz, I.M.P. 04/20/09
Ariel Hyatt, Author, and founder of Cyber PR 11/23/16
Mark Hyman, Ashley Talent International 11/09/01
Brett Hyman, Category 5 Entertainment 07/23/04
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 08/17/01
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 05/28/14
Doug Isaac, Super Bowl Concert Series Producer (EXI) 08/24/01
David Israelite, National Music Publishers' Association 11/29/08
Tom Jackson, Tom Jackson Productions 02/06/13
Jay Jacobs, Parc Landon 09/21/07
Larry Jacobson, World Audience 09/17/04
Audra Jaeger, The Management Trust 05/09/03
Ralph James, The Agency Group 01/31/11
Jeffrey Jampol, Jampol Artist Management 07/18/12
Jean Michel Jarre, International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) 06/19/13
Michael Jaworek, The Birchmere 05/08/09
Peter Jesperson, New West Records 11/03/06
John Jeter, The Handlebar 08/15/12
Mike Johnson, Groundrush Media 02/17/06
Andrea Johnson, ICM Partners 11/02/17
Mike Gormley & Jolene Pellant, Yes, Dear Entertainment 04/23/10
Susan Joseph, Justice Entertainment Group 02/21/11
Darren Julien, Julien's Auctions 10/25/10
Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson Guitars 09/28/10
Justin Kalifowitz, Downtown Publishing 04/20/17
Leonard Kalikow, Music Business Reference, Inc. 06/26/08
Craig Kallman, Atlantic Records 03/20/09
Steve Kane, Warner Music Canada 02/09/17
Danny Kapilian, Independent Producer 07/12/02
Mike Kappus, The Rosebud Agency 10/26/09
Andy Kaufman, Birdland 05/17/02
Wendy Kay, Mars Talent Agency 03/09/01
Lucas Keller, The Collective 03/22/11
Marty Kern, Clemson University 07/07/01
Carlos Keyes, Red Entertainment 10/08/04
Golnar Khosrowshahi, Reservoir Media Management 10/24/12
Martin Kierszenbaum, Interscope/Cherrytree Records 09/06/09
Barney Kilpatrick, Rattlesby Records 10/28/05
John Kinsner, The Walnut Room 03/28/08
Doug Kirby, LiveTourArtists 10/24/03
Steve Kirsner, Compaq Center 06/29/01
JoAnne Klabin, Sweet Relief 03/21/03
Andrew Klein, Revolution Marketing 11/05/04
Larry Klein, Producer, bassist, songwriter 03/13/12
Jack Kleinsinger, Highlights in Jazz 04/25/08
Ann Kline, Casa Kline 09/04/14
Brian Knaff, Talent Buyers Network 09/29/01
Kymberlee Knight, IEBA 11/16/00
Mike Kociela, 360 Productions 05/30/08
Stefan Kohlmeyer, Bach Technology 02/08/10
Lily Kohn, Microsoft Corporation 02/14/11
Tim Kolleth, Alligator Records 01/25/08
Al Kooper, Musician/songwriter/producer/author 02/06/14
Mitchell Koulouris, Digital Musicworks International, Inc. 02/11/05
Mark Krantz, John Schreiber Group 06/15/01
Jeff Krasno, Velour Music Group 11/19/07
Jeffrey Kruger, The Kruger Organisation 01/25/02
Harvey Kubernik, Author/historian/music journalist 08/20/15
Ted Kurland, Ted Kurland Associates 01/15/01
Jordan Kurland, Zeitgeist Artist Management 08/23/11
Carianne Laguna, Blackheart Records 03/07/08
Brady Lahr, Kufala Recordings 04/30/04
Ernie Lake, EL Records 01/19/07
Roks Lam, Wolfman Jack Entertainment 12/17/04
Anni Lam, Parc Landon 06/29/07
Gary Lane, CenterLane Attractions 10/14/05
Tom LaPenna, Lucky Man Productions 09/10/04
Camilo Lara, EMI Music Mexico/MIS 08/10/07
Gary Lashinsky, Lipizzaner Tours 05/13/05
Gregg Latterman, Aware Records 12/13/02
Tony Laurenson, Eat to the Beat 02/27/04
Emily Lazar, The Lodge 10/15/15
Bill Leabody, Leabody Systems 06/10/05
Peter Leak, 24-7 Worldwide Management 03/28/12
Steve Leeds, SR. VP/Promotion/Rock Formats at Virgin Records 07/26/02
Elliot Lefko, Goldenvoice 09/21/17
Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter 11/14/08
Carl Leighton-Pope, Leighton-Pope Organisation 07/05/09
Steve Lemon, Live 4 Live, Inc. 12/06/02
Randy Lennox, Universal Music Canada 06/24/15
Simma Levine, Disson Furst and Partners 11/10/00
Andy Levine, Sixthman 06/08/07
Rich Levy, Clear Channel Entertainment Properties 06/25/04
Eddie Levy, Chelsea Music Publishing 07/24/14
Myles Lewis, Denise Rich Songs 12/20/10
Adam Lewis, Planetary Group 01/20/16
Terry Lickona, Austin City Limits 03/14/11
Justine Liddelow, Stage and Screen Travel Services 08/31/11
Jim Lidestri, Border City Media 09/03/15
Larry Lieberman, 4EverWild 03/28/03
Eric Lilavois, Crown City Studios, and London Bridge Studio 12/10/14
Miriam Linna, Norton Records 05/18/17
Marc Lipkin, Alligator Records 03/05/05
Tommy LiPuma (Part 1), Verve Records 11/08/10
Tommy LiPuma (Part 2), Verve Records 11/15/10
Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud 10/04/10
Andy Lo Russo, The Singing Chef 12/16/05
Phil Lobel, Lobeline Communications 08/13/04
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 01/21/05
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 05/17/10
Julie Lokin, New Audiences 03/23/01
Dave Lory, Artemis Records 03/30/02
Max Loubiere, Tour Director 04/11/12
Mark Lourie, Skyline Music 03/08/02
Dave Lucas, Live-360 04/28/06
Joe Lucchese, EventJoe 02/23/07
Kevin Lyman, 4 fini 03/30/01
Kevin Lyman, Vans Warped Tour 05/23/12
Bubba Mac, 09/14/07
David Macias, Emergent Music Marketing 06/17/05
Kristen Madsen, Grammy Foundation and MusiCares 11/22/10
Larry Magid, Larry Magid Entertainment 05/04/10
Peter Malkin, PM Management 02/07/03
Toby Mamis, Alive Enterprises 02/12/01
Billy Mann, Green & Bloom | Topl1ne, Manncom 09/18/14
Tasea Margeolas, Multi Entertainment 06/23/06
Tony Margherita, dBpm Records 09/06/11
Bob Roux & Mark Campana, Live Nation 12/20/11
Lee Marshall, Magic Arts & Entertainment 09/13/02
Zach Martin, Radio Producer at New York's WAXQ-FM 08/30/02
Mario Martin, Gorgeous PR 04/27/07
Molly Martinez, Ticket Summit 2008 05/23/08
Paul Mascioli, Mascioli Entertainment 01/14/05
Michael Maska, Big Hassle 01/28/05
Ted Mason, Mi-5 Recordings 11/16/01
Steve Masur, Masur & Associates, LLC 11/21/03
Pam Matthews, The Ryman Auditorium 04/08/05
Terry McBride, Nettwerk Music Group 03/01/10
Michael McCarty, ole 06/20/11
Jim McDonald, McDonald Group 12/19/03
Virginia McEnerney, HeadCount 11/26/07
Doc McGhee, McGhee Entertainment 06/14/10
Camilla McGuinn, Tour Manager 08/24/07
Andy McLean, North By Northeast (NXNE) 04/01/05
Dennis McNally, Grateful Dead historian/publicist 09/06/02
Garry McQuinn, Back Row Productions 06/14/11
Ruthann McTyre, The Rita Benton Music Library; and president of the Music Library Association 08/31/10
Dick McVey, Musician's Referral Service 10/27/07
Katherine McVicker, Music Works International 01/08/15
John Meglen, Concerts West/AEG Live 02/21/13
Mark Meharry, Music Glue 05/28/15
Jorge Mejia, Sony/ATV Music Publishing 09/17/15
Dan Melnick, Festival Productions, Inc. 02/22/02
André Ménard, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 06/12/09
Bob Merlis, Merlis For Hire/Memphis International Records 01/16/04
Doug Merrick, Cumberland Talent Agency and Merrick Music Group 07/21/06
Louis Messina, The Messina Group 10/22/04
Louis Messina, The Messina Group/AEG Live 07/17/09
Louis Jay Meyers, North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance 03/30/07
Louis Jay Meyers, Folk Alliance International 01/23/09
Todd Miller, House Of Blues - New Orleans 11/14/03
Jeff Miller, Fantasma Productions 03/16/07
Ben Miller, Rock Ridge Music 11/02/07
J. B. Miller, Empire Entertainment 08/22/08
Richard Mills, S.L. Feldman 11/02/09
Marty Monson, Barbershop Harmony Society 07/07/16
Linda Moran, Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) 04/05/09
Jesse Morreale, Nobody In Particular Presents (NIPP) 09/20/02
Chuck Morris, Live Rocky Mountains 09/28/09
Mo Morrison, Independent production 05/24/02
Kevin Morrow, Steel Wool Entertainment 01/25/17
Nick Moss, Blue Bella Records 11/30/07
Jim Musselman, Appleseed Recordings 04/14/06
Natalia Nastaskin, United Talent Agency 04/13/16
Marc Nathan, Flagship Records 07/01/05
David Neilon, Rising Star Promotions 11/30/01
Don Neuen, Star Coaches Inc. 10/10/12
Dennis Newhall, DIG Music 10/07/05
John Nittolo, John Nittolo Productions 04/13/07
Ian Noble, Metropolitan Talent 05/23/03
Fabricio Nobre, A Construtora Música e Cultura 05/04/17
Josh Norek, JN Media, LLC 07/05/02
David Norman, Tour Manager 04/20/07
Mimi Northcott, Canadian Recording Services (CRS) 04/11/08
Bill Nowlin, Rounder Records 01/05/07
John Nugent, NY JAM Inc. 11/08/02
Andy Nulman, Just For Laughs 11/20/13
Sal Nunziato, NYCD 06/01/01
Bob O'Neal, Ryman Auditorium 06/28/02
Andrea Orbeck, Prehab Health and Fitness 03/15/10
Heather Orser, Toad's Place 01/29/01
Janet Oseroff, MultiMediaProperties 11/18/05
Marc Ostrow, Boosey & Hawkes 12/05/08
Riley O’Connor, Live Nation Canada 07/24/09
Jeremy Palmer, Buddy Lee Attractions 11/02/01
John Palmer, Megawave Records 08/31/07
Panos Panay, Sonicbids 12/23/05
Julien Paquin, Paquin Artists Agency 04/30/14
Graham Parker, WQXR-FM 11/26/14
Crispin Parry, British Underground 02/24/08
Donald Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 04/09/10
Donald S. Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 01/06/16
Bruce Patron, Overland Entertainment 07/28/06
Alexandra Patsavas, Chop Shop Music 09/27/11
Cheryl Pawelski, Omnivore Entertainment Group 09/26/13
Kerry Peace, Alligator Records 08/18/06
Eric Peltoniemi, Red House Records 12/14/09
Scott Perry, Sperry Media 03/11/05
Lawrence Peryer, Jr., 23 Omnimedia 11/07/08
John Peters, MassConcerts 06/07/11
Holger Petersen, Stony Plain Records 04/15/05
Jon Phillips, Silverback Professional Artist Mgmt/Controlled Substance Sound 08/29/08
Dave Pichilingi, Sound City 03/30/16
Vince Pileggi, Music Inc./Music Inc. Sounds 12/01/06
Eric Pirritt, Endit! Presents / The Fox Theatre 10/17/03
Neil Portnow, The Recording Academy 02/08/11
Louis Posen, Hopeless Records 04/04/11
Stephen Posen, Estate of Glenn Gould 01/23/13
Nadia Prescher, Madison House 06/20/03
Jeff Price, TuneCore 02/28/11
Tom Principato, Powerhouse Records 02/01/08
Roger Probert, Core Records 12/08/06
John "Grinder" Procaccini, JP Squared (JP2) 01/17/03
Mark Pucci, Independent Music Publicist 09/09/05
David Pullman, The Pullman Group 11/03/00
Rod Quinton, Saigon Sound System 04/18/11
Dolphus Ramseur, Ramseur Records 10/19/07
Jack Randall, Ted Kurland Associates 04/05/02
Jack Randall, The Kurland Agency 03/08/17
Debra Rathwell, AEG Live 05/03/13
Jeff Ravitz, Visual Terrain 02/08/08
Paul Reed, Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) 06/14/17
Rich Rees, M.P.I. Talent Agency 09/19/08
John Reese, Freeze Artist Management 08/01/08
Bill Reeves, WRIII, Inc. 10/20/06
Stephen Rehage, Rehage Entertainment 07/30/04
Lisa Reiss, Pearl Productions 08/17/07
Salaam Remi, Composer, producer, musician and label executive. 01/08/14
David Renzer, Universal Music Publishing Group 08/23/09
Alison Richard, Universal Orlando Resort 05/06/05
Kelli Richards, The All Access Group 02/07/12
Gary Richards, HARD Events 08/29/13
Sam Righi, Waterfront Entertainment Group 05/30/03
Jon Rinaldo, Joker Productions 01/02/04
Geary Rindels, Geary Rindels Enterprises, Inc. 12/05/03
Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI 01/18/08
Lisette Rioux, Island Def Jam Music Group 05/16/03
Dave Roberge, Everfine Records & Everfine Artist Management 12/03/04
Sandy Roberton, Worlds End Producer Management 02/20/09
Ty Roberts, Gracenote 01/31/12
Bill Rogers, BRE Presents 07/13/07
Ian Rogers, Topspin Media 06/01/10
Benji Rogers, PledgeMusic 12/19/13
Dave Rose, Deep South Entertainment 09/15/06
Eric Rosen, Ronald S. Bienstock & Associates 05/25/01
Stuart Ross, The Ross Group 02/23/01
David Ross, President IAAM; Director, Show Me Center 09/23/05
Jack Ross, APA Canada 09/07/17
Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall 02/28/03
Michael Rothschild, Landslide Records 04/29/05
Robert Rowland, Red Entertainment 06/13/08
Bill Royston, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival 03/07/03
John Rudolph, Bug Music 05/24/10
Elizabeth Rush, E.R.A. / Elizabeth Rush Agency 08/20/04
Aran Rush, Expo and Foro Imperial 02/16/07
Maurice Russell, Harry Fox Agency 10/21/05
Barron Ruth, Skyline Music 02/14/03
Andrea Sabata, Skyline Music 01/07/05
Numa Saisselin, Count Basie Theatre, Inc. 02/04/05
Ron Sakamoto, Gold & Gold Productions 01/16/10
David Salidor, dis Company 07/20/07
Shaw Saltzberg, S. L. Feldman and Associates 06/21/10
Bruce Allen & Sam Feldman, A&F Music 12/19/08
Mark Samuels, Basin Street Records 06/11/04
Jacqueline Saturn, Harvest Records 01/21/15
Tamara Saviano, American Roots Publishing 07/22/05
Tamara Saviano, Author, journalist, and producer 08/18/16
Michael Scafuto, Mountain High Entertainment 12/07/01
Steve Schankman, Contemporary Productions 12/21/01
Steve Scharf, Carlin America 10/11/02
John Scher, Metropolitan Talent 11/21/08
Al Schmitt, Producer/Engineer 02/13/10
Bobby Schneider, Tour Coordinator, Third Eye Blind 01/31/03
Jake Schneider, Madison House 04/02/14
Steven Schnur, EA Music Group 07/03/13
Elaine Schock, Shock Ink 02/19/10
Stacy Schott, Mad Booking and Events 08/22/03
Daylle Schwartz, Revenge Productions 08/19/05
Dean Sciarra, 11/26/04
Joel Selvin, Author and Journalist 08/07/14
Jay Sendyk, Sendyk, Leonard & Company, Inc. 05/03/02
Jonathan Shank, Red Light Management 12/13/17
Peter Shapiro, Ideal Entertainment 04/16/04
Peter Shapiro, Dayglo Ventures/Brooklyn Bowl 11/15/17
Seth Sheck, Access Pass & Design 01/03/03
Seth Sheck, ACCESS Event Solutions 06/22/16
Seth Shomes, The Agency Group 11/12/14
Jay Sieleman, The Blues Foundation 07/18/03
Anya Siglin, The Ark 03/05/10
Bill Silva, Bill Silva Entertainment 10/19/10
Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy Entertainment 03/06/12
Steve Simon, Clear Channel Communications 05/14/04
Ralph Simon, Live Earth 07/06/07
Ralph Simon, Mobilium 04/12/11
Michael Simon, The Harry Fox Agency 08/14/13
Ron Simpson, RCS Productions 01/11/08
John Simson, SoundExchange 07/15/05
Dion Singer, Warner Bros. 12/07/09
Gram Slaton, The Community Arts Center 02/25/05
Owen Sloane, Gladstone Michel Weisberg Willner & Sloane 10/11/10
Peter Smidt, Eurosonic Noorderslag & manager Buma Cultuur 07/17/13
Garrison Snell, Gyrosity Projects 02/23/17
Mike Snider, Paradigm Talent Agency Nashville 05/17/11
Andrew Snowhite, Musictoday 05/04/01
Bruce Solar, The Agency Group 05/14/14
Nikki Solgot, Circle Talent Agency 02/18/15
Michael Solomon, Brick Wall Management 05/25/07
Mark Sonder, Mark Sonder Productions 07/25/08
Steve Sonnier, UIC Pavilion at the University of Illinois, Chicago 09/03/04
Kathy Spanberger, peermusic 06/20/12
Carolyn Specht, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. and OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/26/04
David Spelman, New York Guitar Festival 10/01/04
Jason Spiewak, Rock Ridge Music 04/07/06
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 11/29/12
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 02/18/05
Jeremy Stephan, Ventures, LLC 04/23/04
Walter Stewart, Mars Talent Agency 02/21/03
Gail Stocker, Gail Stocker Presents 11/12/04
Jon Stoll, Fantasma Productions 10/13/00
Jesse Stoll, AEG 06/27/09
Henry Stone, Henry Stone Music 06/24/05
Jason Stone, Live Nation New York 03/31/06
Howard Stovall, Resource Entertainment Group 05/28/04
Cameron Strang, New West Records 10/18/02
Don Strasburg, AEG Live Rocky Mountains 02/27/09
Barbara Strauss, Sovereign Ventures 05/12/06
Richard Stumpf, Cherry Lane Publishing 08/07/06
Deb Suckling, SUGARRUSH Music 07/27/17
Patrick Sullivan, RightsFlow 10/25/11
Bernie Swain & Harry Rhodes, Jr., Washington Speakers Bureau 12/07/00
Dean Swett, Paramour Group 06/14/02
Jake Szufnarowski, Rocks Off 05/02/08
Marc Tanner, Chime Entertainment 12/22/06
Donald Tarlton, The Donald K Donald Group 04/12/02
Tess Taylor, Los Angeles Music Network 08/09/02
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Chris Taylor, Taylor 03/15/09
Peter Tempkins, DeWitt Stern Group 03/16/01
Peter Tempkins, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 03/27/09
Lisa Tenner, Tenner & Associates (EAT'M) 08/06/01
Jeremy Tepper, Diesel Only Records 10/10/03
Allan Tepper, Bicycle Music Company 09/28/07
Martin Terefe, Kensaltown Studios 05/31/11
Milun Tesovic, MetroLeap Media 10/18/09
Mandar Thakur, Times Music 08/06/15
Jerry Thompson, Promoter Line Inc. 03/05/04
Jose Tillan, MTV Networks Latin America 12/02/05
Jon Tiven, Hormone Studios 08/05/05
Adam Tobey, Concert Ideas 08/24/17
Rob Tonkin, Marketing Factory 12/17/15
John "J.T." Toomey, 25/8 Management 11/15/11
Livia Tortella, Warner Bros. Records 01/10/12
Phil Tripp, IMMEDIA! 01/19/06
Claudio Trotta, Barley Arts Promotion 11/26/01
Chris Tsakalakis, StubHub 01/11/10
Ben Turner, Graphite Media 05/10/10
Steve Vai, Favored Nations Entertainment 04/26/02
John Valentino, Fantasma Productions 04/18/03
John Valentino, AEG Live SE 11/01/10
Don Van Cleave, Coalition of Independent Music Stores 04/09/04
Casey Verbeck, Partners in Music 06/06/03
David "Boche" Viecelli, The Billions Corporation 04/18/10
Marsha Vlasic, Artist Group International 05/31/17
Mat Vlasic, Bravado 06/28/17
Ray Waddell, Billboard Magazine 08/27/04
Rob Waggener, Foundations Recovery Network 03/07/11
Jim Walczak, Racine Civic Centre 06/03/05
Jeff Walker, The AristoMedia Group 08/16/10
Carla Wallace, Big Yellow Dog Music 11/04/05
Russell Wallach, Live Nation Network 03/20/12
Steve Walter, The Cutting Room 10/24/08
Neil Warnock, The Agency Group 05/02/09
Diane Warren, Realsongs 08/14/09
Butch Waugh, RCA Label Group Nashville 01/10/03
Lauren Wayne, The State Theatre 05/09/12
Kirt Webster, Webster PR 02/03/16
Ken Weinstein, Big Hassle Media 04/22/05
Bruce Weinstein, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 02/15/08
Larry Weintraub, Fanscape 05/18/01
Pam Weiser, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 10/11/11
Kevin Welk, Welk Music Group 01/24/12
D-J Wendt, Dmand Management 05/09/08
Alison Wenham, Worldwide Independent Network 02/13/09
Bill Werde, Billboard 08/03/11
Joel Whitburn, Record Research 11/13/09
Judd White, Tour Manager/Accountant 02/13/04
Jeff White, In Ticketing 12/16/06
Adam White, Author 09/14/16
Lisa White, Pearl Street Warehouse 10/04/17
Adam Wilkes, AEG Live Asia 10/13/16
Fenton Williams, 04/04/08
Del Williams, Right Arm Entertainment 04/18/08
Bryan "Birdman" Williams, Cash Money Records 09/13/11
Paul Williams, ASCAP 10/19/11
J.P. Williams, Parallel Entertainment 10/03/12
Kurt Willms, Green Room Productions 09/20/03
Chris Wilson, Heartbeat Records 03/02/07
Tony Wilson, Factory Records/In The City 06/01/07
Tom Windish, The Windish Agency 07/26/10
John Wiseman, XL Touring Video 05/05/06
Thom Wolke, 02/08/02
Michael Wood, City Lights Entertainment 08/08/08
Keith Wortman, Blackbird Presents 03/22/17
Nigel Wright, Independant Record Producer 11/07/03
Dusty Wright, 07/27/07
Jeremiah “Ice” Younossi, A-List Talent 09/20/09
Gail Zappa, The Zappa Family Trust 10/02/14
Kevin 'Chief' Zaruk, Chief Music Management 06/10/15
Ron Zeelens, RAZco Visas 04/20/01
Rick Zeiler, Sidney Frank Importing Company 06/04/04
Danny Zelisko, Live Nation 06/19/09
Jason Zink, Emporium Presents 10/19/17
Hillary Zuckerberg, Brick Wall Management. 07/09/04
Steve Zuckerman, Global Entertainment and Media Summit 03/22/02
Paul Zullo, Muze 01/23/04
Nanette Zumwalt, Hired Power 02/03/06


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