A "prolific record producer and engineer who worked with some of the biggest music stars of the last 50 years, including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand, died on Saturday in Manhattan," reports The New York Times.
The producer was Phil Ramone, 79, and the Times story continues, "His death was confirmed by his son Matthew. He did not immediately give the cause, but Mr. Ramone was reported to have been admitted to a Manhattan hospital in late February for treatment of an aortic aneurysm."
In a statement about Ramone’s death, Billy Joel said, according to the Times story, "“I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band. He was the guy that no one ever, ever saw onstage. He was with me as long as any of the musicians I ever played with — longer than most. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him.”
The Times story adds, "He won 14 Grammy Awards, including producer of the year, nonclassical, in 1981, and three for album of the year, for Mr. Simon’s ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’ in 1976, Mr. Joel’s ’52nd Street’ in 1980, and Mr. Charles’s duets album, ‘Genius Loves Company,’ in 2005. He also produced music for television and film, winning an Emmy Award as the sound mixer for a 1973 special on CBS, ‘Duke Ellington … We Love You Madly.’ "
Ramone was born in South Africa and grew up in Brooklyn, the Times notes.
Writing of Ramone’s early career the Times says, "In 1958, he co-founded A & R Recording, a studio on West 48th Street in Manhattan, and built a reputation as a versatile engineer, working on pop fare like Lesley Gore as well as jazz by John Coltrane and Quincy Jones. He ran the sound when Marilyn Monroe cooed ‘Happy Birthday’ to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, and three years later won his first Grammy as the engineer on Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s landmark album ‘Getz/Gilberto,’ which featured the original version of the monster hit "The Girl From Ipanema.’ "
Some examples of Ramone’s work follows: