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Phil Ramone, June 2009

Phil Ramone is a violinist, composer, recording engineer, and record producer born in 1941 [1].



As a young child in South Africa, Ramone was a musical prodigy, beginning to play the violin at age three and performing for Queen Elizabeth II at age ten. In the late 1940s he trained as a classical violinist at The Juilliard School, where one of his classmates was Phil Woods.

A&R Recording

In 1959 he established an independent recording studio A&R Recording. There he quickly gained a reputation as a sound engineer and music producer, in particular for his use of innovative technology. Among those whose music he has produced are The Guess Who, Burt Bacharach, Laura Branigan, Karen Carpenter, Ray Charles, Peter Cincotti, Chicago, Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Elton John, Sheena Easton, Fito Páez, Quincy Jones, B. B. King, Diane Schuur, Julian Lennon, Madonna, Richard Marx, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Sinéad O'Connor, Luciano Pavarotti, Andre Previn, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Olivia Newton-John, Liza Minnelli, Barry Manilow, Clay Aiken, Patricia Kaas, Peter Paul and Mary, and Melissa Errico. He is also credited with recording Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" to President John F. Kennedy [2].

Among the technical innovations he introduced; optical surround sound for movies, and digital recording techniques. His studio was the first to release music commercially on compact disc; Billy Joel's 52nd Street was the first album to be broadly released on the medium.

His book, Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music, written with Chuck Granata, was released on October 9, 2007.

On July 8, 2008 Columbia records released The Stranger 30th Anniversary which features interviews with Ramone. This box set includes a remastered version of the 1977 Billy Joel album, The Stranger by Ramone.

Among the many albums Ramone has produced is Shelby Lynne's 2008 tribute to Dusty Springfield, Just a Little Lovin'.

Phil Ramone is currently (summer 2009) producing Gershwin Across America a tribute album to music of the George and Ira Gershwin. The album features Jason Mraz,Jewel, Darius Rucker, Paul Simon and many others.

Ramone is also putting the finishing touches on the first full-album release by Montreal teen jazz artist Nikki Yanofsky, which will be available in the spring of 2010.


Ramone has won 15 Grammy awards [1]

He also won an Emmy Award in 1973 as sound mixer for "Duke Ellington...We Love You Madly", a tribute to Duke Ellington broadcast on CBS.

Ramone has been awarded honorary degrees by Five Towns College and Berklee College of Music. He is also on the Berklee's Board of Trustees.

He was awarded a Fellowship by the Audio Engineering Society in 2007.

Ramone is not related to the punk group The Ramones.

See also

  • Gene Lees, Meet Me at Jim & Andy's: Jazz Musicians and Their World, Oxford University Press (November 22, 1990) — Jim and Andy's was a beloved bar/diner downstars from one of the A&R Studios (next to Manny's on 48th) and has many references to Phil Ramone. The bar had a direct line from A&R Studios and when a the studio had a "no-show," Phil Ramone would use the line to inquire whether a substitute musician was available.


External links



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