Making Records

Grammy week is as good a time as any to read legendary record producer Phil Ramone’s new book called Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music. (This year’s 50th Annual Grammy Awards Show was the best I’ve ever seen, by the way. And I’m old enough to have seen all of them.)

Phil Ramone has produced just about "everybody." By everybody I mean Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Bono, Neil Diamond, Peter, Paul & Mary, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Chicago and on and on.

There’s some pretty good "behind the glass" recording session stories in the book about the above artists and others, but also some interesting stuff about the record-making business.  For example, at Phil Ramone’s studio each vocalist has his or her own microphone which is used by that artist alone and then locked away until the next session.  The reason is interested.  As Mr. Ramone explains it "when a vocalist sings into a microphone, the fine misting from their saliva coats the inside of the capsule, making it in essence their own personal instrument.  If you send that microphone out to be cleaned, it will never sound exactly the same again." Who knew?

8 Responses

  1. remrafdn

    Did we watch the same Grammys? Other than 30 seconds of Little Richard it was a total loss. American Graffiti’s John Milner had it right. Music’s been going to Hell since Buddy Holly died. Go back to Hank Sr. and Lovesick Blues, the Weavers and Goodnight, Irene,and Johnny Cash’s Cry, Cry, Cry, the Elvis of 1954-55, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and George Thorogood.

  2. Terry Dullum

    remrafdn… I don’t know if we were watching the same Grammy show. There were many highlights… Alicia Keyes singing with Frank Sinatra. Beyonce with Tina Turner. Kid Rock singing with Keeley Smith, even. It was very appropriate for the 50th anniversary. It WAS the best Grammy show I can remember seeing. Music did not die with Buddy Holly.

  3. Charlie

    …and I had to be in a funk with the flu bug!

    Thanks for the tip on the book, btw, Terry. I’ll also put away any thoughts of securing your microphone anytime soon.

  4. Anon

    Phil Ramone produced Shelby Lynne’s new record, Just a Little Lovin’. It’s a masterpiece. All Dusty Springfield covers. Awesome!!!

  5. Anon

    Terry, go snag “I Only Want To Be With You” and “The Look Of Love” off of iTunes. You won’t regret it. I’d be interested in your comments. You seem like the romantic who would like the stuff.

  6. Terry Dullum

    “Dusty in Memphis” is one of my favorite albums–one that I would be taking with me to a desert island. So, I’ll be checking out Ms. Lynne’s, too. No one’s ever accused me of being overly romantic, though.

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