Even in the lofty stratosphere of serial hit-makers, few producers have a career that spans not only A-list musicians but show business icons. And, it’s all too rare for them to get the chance to sit down and talk shop with a few hundred of their colleagues. At the recent GRAMMY® SoundTables: Behind The Glass event with Phil Ramone, the multiple GRAMMY-winning producer whose clients have ranged from pop icons to iconic politicians, stopped at Shure Incorporated for a chat with Chicago-area producers and engineers.
At the event, co-sponsored by The Recording Academy® Chicago Chapter and the Producers & Engineers Wing®, Ramone shared studio experiences, personal stories, and industry insights. The conversation proved that a producer’s work extends beyond music, running the gamut from psychology to logistics.
From the challenges of working with various talents on Frank Sinatra’s Duets sessions, to dealing with city officials during Simon and Garfunkel’s concert in New York’s Central Park, Ramone related personal stories about working with music icons like Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, and Phil Spector, plus not one but two United States Presidents (Kennedy and Obama). In addition, he spoke about the creative and financial challenges that producers and engineers face today regarding digital formats and new distribution models for music.
“This was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had, personally and professionally, in my 20-plus years working at Shure,” said Mark Brunner, Senior Director of Global Brand Management, who moderated the discussion. “The sheer breadth and depth of Phil’s impact on the music industry – artistically and technically – is simply stunning. It was inspiring as well as educational to have him here.”
“This was a wonderful event, and the S.N. Shure Theater is an amazing venue,” said Maureen Droney, Senior Executive Director of The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing. “It was a real pleasure to give producers and engineers this kind of forum to talk about their craft.”