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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:51 am
by Con Murphy
Charlie wrote:The more I think about Mitchell, the better the idea seems - time to draw up a shortlist of seven tracks and put them up against the other candidates. He did Suzanne Vega, of course, and I think Marc Ribot too. Did he do any Tom Waits?

Don't think so, although he appears as a musician on his albums quite often. As he does also with Elvis Costello, and he produced Elvis' Mighty Like A Rose, not the greatest work by either of them (although Couldn't Call It Unexpected No 4 is a good track).

He did the Randy Newman Songbook though.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:57 am
by RobHall
There's a bio for Mitchell froom at his website:

I don't think he's worked with Tom Waits or Marc Ribot as producer. A quick Google shows that he and Ribot formed part of the band backing Tom Waits on "Hey Ho (The Dwarfs's Marching Song)" on Hal Wilner's "Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films". (I have this album and it is great.)

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 7:35 pm
by Paul
Rick Rubin deserves consideration; the early years of def jam records and the late artistic renaissance of Johnny Cash are two of the great stories of postwar poular music, and the diversity between the two musics would prove a fascinating story.

Don Was too; he's produced all sorts of major league acts over the years, and it would give Charlie a chance to play Khaled on Radio 2, as well as giving an opportunity of playing those great - but little heard nowadays - Was Not Was records again.

Roll call of producers and A&R men

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:41 am
by Charlie
Keeping score of your suggestions (but I'm leaving jazz out of this, it's beyond my reach)

* asterisked names have been dealt with on Radio 2 too recently to justify doing them again so soon


New York:
John Hammond (36-73, Billie Holiday, Aretha, Bob Dylan)
Milt Gabler (43-58, Louis Jordan, Billie Holiday, Bill Haley)
*Ahmet Ertegun (48 onwards, with Jerry Wexler 53-58, Joe Turner, Ray Charles, Ruth Brown)
*Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller (LA, 54-56 - Coasters; NY, 58-63, Drifters)

*Sam Phillips (Elvis, Jerry Lee, etc)

Willie Dixon (54-66, Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley)

Clovis, New Mexico:
Norman Petty (53-58, Buddy Holly)

Pheonix, Arizona:
Lee Hazlewood (56-58, Duane Eddy; LA, 58-65 - Nancy Sinatra)

Lou Adler (Sam Cooke Mamas & Papas, Carole King)
*Phil Spector (Ronettes, Crystals, Righteous Brothers)

New York:
Bert Berns (Isley Bros, Solomon Burke, Drifters, Erma Franklin, Van Morrison)
Tom Wilson (Dylan, Velvets, Mothers)
*Jerry Wexler (Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett)

New Orleans:
Allen Toussaint (Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey, Meters, Labelle)

*Motown - Berry Gordy, Holland-Dozier Holland, Smokey Robinson, Norman Whitfield

Nashville -
Chet Atkins
Billy Sherrill

Memphis -
*Steve Cropper/Booker T, Hayes & Porter (Stax)
*Willie Mitchell (O.V.Wright, Al Green, Denise LaSalle, Ann Peebles)

Muscle Shoals
Rick Hall

T-Bone Burnette (Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Los Lobos, Elvis Costello (King of America album), Wallflowers, Gillian Welch, O Brother soundtrack)

Quincy Jones (Lesley Gore!, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson)

Arthur Baker
Rick Rubin (from Def Jam to Johnny Cash)

Dr Dre
lots of good hip hop

No particular location:
Don Was (Bonne Raitt, Was Not Was, Khaled)
Mitchell Froom/Tchad Blake (Los Lobos, Crowded House, Richard Thompson, Suzanne Vega)
Daniel Lanois (Dylan, Emmy Lou, Willie Nelson, Neville Brothers)
Timbaland - Missy Elliott, Bubba Sparxxx - don't think I can find six or seven different artists



Americans in London:
Shel Talmy (Who, Kinks)
Tony Visconti (T Rex, Bowie)
Jimmy Miller (Spencer Davis, Stones, Primal Scream)
Joe Boyd (Witchseason Productions - Fairports, Richard & Linda T, Nick Drake, etc), also Kate & Anna, Maria Muldaur, Deliverance soundtrack

Dave Robinson, A&R at Stiff (Ian Dury, Madness, etc)

Brian Eno (Roxy M, Talking Heads, Bowie, U2)


Coxson Dodd
Duke Reid
Lesley Kong (Maytals, Desmond Dekker
Lee Perry (Wailers, Junior Murvin)


rest of world
Jumbo Van Renen (A&R man, Virgin Frontline, Island/Mango; founder Earthworks)
Ibraham Sylla (Orchestre Baobab, Les Quatre Etpoiles, Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare)
Ben Mandelson - (A&R, producer, Globestyle; producer, Salamat, Chango Spasiuk, Shiyani Ngcobo)
Nick Gold (Ali Farka Toure, Buena Vista Social Club, Oumou Sangare)

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:56 pm
by RobHall

Further thoughts:

Lucy Duran, an award-winnng producer!

Harry Smith - his Anthology of American Folk Music (surely he can be said to have "produced" it in some sense?) was certainly influential.

Alan Lomax - ditto. Maybe not a producer per se, but his field recordings were - and continue to be - extremely influential. (Just ask Shirley Collins!)

I suggested Sid Nathan at King earlier; maybe I should have suggested Ralph Bass. Whatever, between them they produced hits by Little Willie John, James Brown, Wynonie Harris, Hank Ballard... they even recorded the original "Honky Tonk"!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:15 pm
by NormanD
RobHall wrote:Harry Smith - his Anthology of American Folk Music ... was certainly influential.
I'll second that one, though he was - legally if not ethically speaking - a bootlegger. He also did some studio production for albums by Allen Ginsberg and The Fugs (although his actual role may have just involved screaming & shouting and throwing things around).

Al Kooper has quite a good body of work as writer, arranger, producer, talent-spotter and musician over the past 40+ years, and he worked in the UK for a while. Maybe more influential than, say, T-Bone Burnett / Froom?


PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:42 pm
by RobHall
Al Kooper - good call Norman.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:25 pm
by Martin_Edney
I'd suggest Martin Hannet whose genius created Factory Records sound out of nothing, and perhaps Ivo Watts-Russell at 4AD who ploughed his own furrow. Oh, and what about Keith Hudson, or for that matter The Mad Professor. The list could go on forever...

Invisible Visonaries A&R MEN & Producers!!!!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:26 pm
by Outerglobe Debbie Golt
This is a welcome series with some interesting subjects - however it's brief shocks me! Tho it shouldn't. A&R MEN MEN MEN!!!!!! Whilst it's a fact that the industry is heavily male dominated with A&R MEN and Male producers with women mostly in international, press and sales making real what the men dream up - there ARE women in all secotrs. On the production side Anabel Rodrigues who makes big contributions springs to mind. True I will have to think a bit re A&R Women - but it shouldn't be an automatic genre with a male gender specific noma!!! is a good sarting point fo rany women reading this who want to keep up t odate with issues on women in music!

Re: Invisible Visonaries A&R MEN & Producers!!!!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:47 pm
by Charlie
debbie golt outerglobe wrote:This is a welcome series with some interesting subjects - however it's brief shocks me! Tho it shouldn't. A&R MEN MEN MEN!!!!!! True I will have to think a bit re A&R Women - but it shouldn't be an automatic genre with a male gender specific noma!!!

I didn't use the term without thinking about it. The unfortunate truth is, there have been so few significant women producers and A&R women, the term A&R men remains valid.

I did feature Lucy Duran as a (very good) producer in a previous series on world music producers for the World Service, and Lucy was a vital collaborator on several of Joe Boyd's best world music productions.

In pop music, Olive Leiber remains virtually the only woman to have produced a number of hits (by Paula Abdul).

Women are well established as song-writers, carrying on from Carole King, Ellie Greenwiich and Cynthia Weil in New York the early '60s, to the point where Diane Warren is probably pop music's prolific song writer of the past decade and more.

And over the past thirty years, there have been more important female singers than men in pop music.

But the only signifcant female A&R women I know of are Carol Wilson and Sylvia Rhone.

Carol was head of Virgin Music Publishing in the 1970s (signing Sting, among others) and then ran the short-lived Dindisc label (Martha & the Muffins). Where is she now?

Sylvia was head of Elektra and East West Records in New York for about ten years, an impressive achievement, unique among major label A&R staff in the US as far as I know.

Until there are substantially more than these very exceptional A&R women, the term A&R men continues to be valid, however regrettable that may be.