By: AnnMarie Scaramuzzino
For those who may have missed it, sad news came this weekend with the announcement of the passing of Phil Ramone.
The renowned producer died on Saturday morning at a New York hospital. In an announcement to the Associated Press (via Spinner), Ramone’s son Matthew stated that events followed his father’s hospitalization in late February for an aortic aneurysm, though his exact cause of death has not been specified.
With five decades in the music industry, 14 Grammys under his belt, and a history filled with working with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Ray Charles, among others, to say Phil Ramone was influential in his work would be an understatement.
Ramone, who was born in South Africa, raised in Brooklyn and a graduate of Julliard, was also co-founder of A & R Recording and an accredited engineer. He was even behind the soundboard when Marilyn Monroe famously sang “Happy Birthday” to JFK.
The personal and professional relationships Ramone built with the artists he worked with through the years were unprecedented, so much in fact that he named two of his sons, Simon and William, after his good friends Paul Simon and Billy Joel.
Ramone was also a big advocate for the digital movement, and was responsible for the first CD to ever be pressed: Billy Joel’s 52nd Street. In more recent years, Ramone was a contributing blogger to the Huffington Post with singer/songwriter Danielle Evin, posting under the name “Dog Ears Music.”
Phil Ramone is survived by his three sons and his wife Karen. He was 79 years old.
For more on the life and career of one of the greatest producers of our time, head to PhilRamone.com.