Every obituary I've read about Phil Ramone talks about the artists he worked with which is long and illustrious. Of course there is Billy Joel; Phil's first production with him was The Stranger. That album was the beginning of catapulting Joel into music legend status. Joel has always given Phil credit for his work. Phil was mainly engineering at that point in his career. The Stranger was one of many in his string of big time producer credits. Phil was behind the board for the famous duet records of Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. He has numerous Grammys.
Phil signed on to produce mini-king's first record. The band was schooled and influenced by the great 60's and 70's pop songs, so working with Phil was a dream come true. The band's founding member Michael LaMorte remembers working with Phil.
While he was completely comfortable in his own skin, he could sense any sort of discomfort that most artists tend to have - especially before making a record, and would remedy this by describing the studio, or a place you have only read about - in great detail just to let your mind wander, thus putting you at ease. Not many people have a gift like that. Sort of a soothing/descriptive way about Phil. I learned so much from him - I wish every artist could work with someone like Phil at some point in their career.
|Back Cover mini-king unreleased album|
Phil was upbeat and had fantastic stories to tell. He lived and breathed music and then shared it with us.
Related Note: I watched the documentary Family Band: The Cowsills Story on Showtime. Ironically their first big hit The Rain, The Park and Other Things was recorded at A and R studios in New York. Phil Ramone owned A and R Studios.