Posted by themusicsover on April 13, 2013
Vincent Montana Jr.
February 12, 1928 – April 13, 2013
Vincent Montana was an American percussionist and band leader who is best remembered as the founder of popular ’70s disco group, the Salsoul Orchestra. He was also a member of another disco standout band, MFSB. Both groups, which counted members of each within their folds, released some of the era’s most recognized hits. MFSB was assembled as the house band for Philadephia’s legendary Sigma Sounds Studios affording Montana the opportunity to play on hits by the O’Jays, the Stylistics, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and many more. With Salsoul Orchestra, he recorded such disco hits as “Tangerine,” “Salsoul Hustle,” and “Nice ‘N’ Naasty.” The vast list of others that Montana either played with or produced includes Frankie Avalon , Dusty Springfield, the Delfonics, Johnny Mathis, the Jackson 5, La Belle, and more recently, the Pet Shop Boys. Vincent Montana was 85 when he passed away on April 13, 2013.
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Posted in Disco, Musician, Producer, R&B | Tagged: Dusty Springfield, Frankie Avalon, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Johnny Mathis, La Belle, MFSB, Pet Shop Boys, Salsoul Orchestra, The Delfonics, The Jackson 5, The O'Jays, The Stylistics, Vincent Montana Jr. | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on April 7, 2013
January 1, 1952 – April 7, 2013
Andy Johns was an English record producer and engineer whose resume reads like an encyclopedia of rock. Still in his teens, Johns hit the ground running working as Eddie Kramer‘s second engineer on recordings by the likes of Jimi Hendrix. Over the next four decades, Johns left his mark on such iconic albums as Led Zeppelin‘s IV, Physical Graffiti, and Houses Of The Holy; the Rolling Stones‘ Sticky Fingers, Exile On Main St., and Goat’s Head Soup; Free‘s Highway; and Television’s Marquee Moon. He also produced or engineered albums for Van Halen, Humble Pie, Ron Wood, L.A. Guns, Cinderella, Chickenfoot, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Steve Miller, Mott The Hoople, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, and many more. Albums on which he worked have reportedly sold more than 160 million copies in all. He was the younger brother of the equally impressive producer and engineer, Glyn Johns. Andy Johns was 61 when he died on April 7, 2013. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums and Brett Ortone at Go Aloha Entertainment for the assist.
Posted in Engineer, Producer, Rock | Tagged: Andy Johns, Chickentfoot, Cinderella, Eddie Kramer, Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, Free, Glyn Johns, Humble Pie, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, Joni Mitchell, L.A. Guns, Led Zeppelin, Mott The Hoople, Ron Wood, Steve Miller, Television, the Rolling Stones, Van Halen | 2 Comments »
Posted by themusicsover on March 30, 2013
January 5, 1941 – March 30, 2013
Phil Ramone was a successful record producer who, over a career that spanned some five decades, was awarded 15 Grammys, one Emmy, and countless other accolades. A child prodigy born in South Africa, Ramone, was playing the violin at age three, and performing for Queen Elizabeth II before he hit his teens. During the ’40s, he moved to the United States where he attended The Julliard School before becoming a U.S. citizen in 1953. In 1959, Ramone opened his own studio, A & R Recording and quickly built a name for himself due to his use of the latest technologies. Artists he went to produce landmark albums with include Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones, Chicago and Barbra Streisand. And albums he produced for Ray Charles, Billy Joel, and Paul Simon each went on to earn Album Of The Year awards at the Grammys. Ramone also recorded Marilyn Monroe‘s notorious rendition of “Happy Birthday To You” to President John F. Kennedy. He was also considered one of the industry’s top innovators. In 1982, his digitally recorded version of Billy Joel’s 52nd Street became the first album to be released on compact disc in Japan. He was also largely responsible for Surround Sound for movies. Phil Ramone was 72 when he passed away on March 30, 2013. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.
Posted in Musician, Producer | Tagged: Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Chicago, Frank Sinatra, John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Simon, Phil Ramone, Queen Elizabeth II, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on March 1, 2013
September 12, 1933 – March 1, 2013
Jewel Akens was an American singer who is best remembered for his 1965 hit, “The Birds and the Bees” which is often included in so-called one-hit-wonder lists. Born in Houston, Texas, initially recorded with doo-wop groups, the Medallions and the Four Dots. After going solo, Akens recorded “The Birds and the Bees” for Era Records. The single ultimately reached #3 on the Billboard charts, #3 on the Australian charts, and #29 on the UK charts on its way to selling over one million copies. He released several more records – many with Eddie Cochran on guitar – but none achieved near the success brought on by “The Birds And The Bees.” Akens toured and later made special appearances throughout most of his life, even touring with the Monkees during the ’70s. Jewel Akens died from complications of a back surgery on March 1, 2013. He was 79.
Thanks to Henk de Bruin for the assist.
Posted in Producer, R&B, Singer | Tagged: Jewel Akens, The Four Dots, The Medallions, The Monkees | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on February 14, 2013
George “Shadow” Morton
September 3, 1940 – February 14, 2013
Shadow Morton was a much-respected record producer whose contributions to popular music include producing and writing hits for the Shangri-Las. He was particularly adept at composing songs loaded with teen melodrama that became staples of the era. His song-writing hits for the Shangri-Las include “Leader of the Pack,” “Give Him a Great Big Kiss,” and “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” which happens to be the first song he ever wrote. With just those four songs alone, it’s easy to argue that without Morton, the ’60s girl-group phenomenon might never have happened. In 1967, he produced “Society’s Child,” a hit for Janis Ian. He also is credited for discovering Vanilla Fudge and producing their first three albums, which included their hit, “You Keep Me Hanging On.” The production of Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is also given to Morton. During the ’70s, Morton worked with the New York Dolls, producing their second album, Too Much Too Soon. Shadow Morton died of cancer on February 14, 2013. He was 72.
Thanks to Harold Lepidus at Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.
Posted in Producer, Songwriter | Tagged: Iron Butterfly, New York Dolls, Shadow Morton, The Shangri-Las, Vanilla Fudge | Leave a Comment »