New York (May 15, 2007)–Author, engineer, teacher and audio renaissance man John Eargle died last week at the age of 76.
John Eargle Respected as one of the world’s top experts in audio engineering, Eargle’s accomplishments were many: he won a Grammy award for best engineered album ( Classical for Dvorák: Requiem, Op. 89; Sym. No. 9, Op. 95 “From the New World”), Classical, in 2001, and was nominated numerous other times as well. He also received a Scientific and Technical Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well. Additionally, Eargle was a national president of the AES, was awarded a Bronze medal from the organization, and recorded and/or produced 275 albums and CDs over the course of a long and varied career that found him working for RCA Records, Delos, Mercury Records, Altec Lansing, Klipsch, and others.
However, Eargle spent 31 years working with and for JBL, which he joined in 1976 as a consultant, soon taking on a full-time position as Vice President of Product Development before returning to a consulting role in the early 1980s with the title Senior Director, Product Development and Application, the position he held for the rest of his life. Much of the company’s corporate history was developed and preserved by Eargle, who documented it for his book, The JBL Story: 60 Years of Audio Innovation.
Dr. Sidney Harman, founder and executive chairman of Harman International Industries, the parent company of JBL, remarked, “The industry lost a giant with the passing of John Eargle, but we at JBL and Harman International lost a beloved and revered member of our family. John Eargle cannot be replaced, but his life, his vision, and his many contributions to our industry can and will be memorialized in concrete ways by our company.”
The JBL book was only one of his tomes, however, as he authored a slew of efforts that have taught and inspired a generation of audio professionals; they include The Handbook of Recording Engineering; The Microphone Book; The Handbook of Sound System Design; Electroacoustical Reference Data; Music, Sound and Technology and The Loudspeaker Handbook. He also wrote and co-authored numerous professional articles and papers for audio professional journals. Additionally, he was a senior member of the IEEE, a member of the ASA, SMPTE, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
During his career, Eargle recorded classical artists such as Carol Rosenberger, Bella Davidovitch, John Browning, Arleen Auger, Janos Starker, Richard Rodney Bennett, and Garrick Ohlsson, as well as dozens of orchestras and ensembles across the globe. Eargle also recorded a slew of jazz notables, including Joe Williams, Red Holloway, Ruth Brown, Clark Terry, Tommy Newsom, and Etta James.
Eargle received degrees in music from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan, as well as engineering degrees from the University of Texas and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He also pursued studies in acoustics with Dr. Cyril Harris at Columbia University.
John M Eargle Rememberence Blog