Phil Ramone

Phil Ramone

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

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.

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 Burt Bacharach, Laura Branigan, Karen Carpenter, Ray Charles, Peter Cincotti, Chicago, Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Elton John, 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, Peter Paul and Mary, and Melissa Errico.

Most recently, Ramone has worked with Anne Murray, who released an all-duets album in 2008 in the US, and with Shelby Lynne, whose album paying tribute to the late Dusty Springfield was released Jan. 29, 2008.

Beginning in March, Ramone will be producing the first full-album release by Montreal teen jazz artist Nikki Yanofsky, which is due to be released to coincide with the Montreal International Jazz festival in July 2008.

He is also credited with recording Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" to President John F. Kennedy.

Among the technical innovations he introduced at A&R are four-track recorders, 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.

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

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 remasterd version of the 1977 album, "The Stranger" by Ramone.


Ramone has won nine Grammy awards:
* 1965 - Best Engineered Recording (non classical), for "Getz/Gilberto"
* 1970 - Best Musical Show Album for producing "Promises, Promises"
* 1976 - Album of the Year for producing "Still Crazy After All These Years"
* 1979 - Record of the Year for producing "Just the Way You Are"
* 1980 - Album of the Year for producing "52nd Street"
* 1981 - Producer of the Year (non classical)
* 1984 - Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special, for "Flashdance"
* 1995 - Best Musical Show Album for producing "Passion"
* 2003 - Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, for producing "Playin' With My Friends: Bennett Sings The Blues"

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 is not related to the punk group The Ramones.

External links

* [ Phil Ramone online]
* [ Phil Ramone myspace]

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