Santa Monica, CA (May 19, 2006)–The Florida Chapter of The Recording Academy honored seven-time Grammy winning producer/engineer Roger Nichols on April 17, 2006. Nichols is the producer of hits for the late John Denver and the engineer behind the board for records by Steely Dan, Rickie Lee Jones, Donald Fagen, and dozens of others.
Shown (l-r): Recording Academy president Neil Portnow; Al Di Meola; and honoree Roger Nichols at The Recording Academy Honors 2006, presented by the Florida Chapter of The Recording Academy on April 17, 2006. (Photo courtesy of The Recording Academy. Photographed by: Rick Diamond/WireImage.com (c)2006)At The Recording Academy Honors 2006 gala event, Nichols was joined by co-honorees the Backstreet Boys, Ednita Nazario and Iggy Pop in an evening that celebrated great music makers and innovators. Nichols, a member of The Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing (P&E Wing) Advisory Council, was celebrated for his visionary work that helped make digital recording a standard in the industry, including his invention of the sampling drum machine Wendell Jr., as well as his ongoing work as a mastering engineer, digital archivist and music restoration expert.
“Roger Nichols’ talent is legendary,” observed P&E Wing executive director Maureen Droney. “He’s long been recognized by his peers as a recording industry visionary and we’re proud to see him honored by many of the people whose lives have been directly touched by his work.”
Roger Nichols (Photo courtesy of The Recording Academy. Photographed by: Rick Diamond/WireImage.com (c)2006)Commemorating the moment with Nichols were his wife, Connie, and their two daughters. The evening began with a silent auction followed by dinner and the awards presentation, which included performances by the Backstreet Boys, Ednita Nazario and Iggy Pop, who performed backed by rockers Sum 41. There was also a special acoustic performance by Al Di Meola, whose work has often been recorded by Nichols and who was joined by Ron Deutschendorf, brother of John Denver, in a touching introduction to Nichols’ appearance onstage.
Nichols’ career was portrayed in a brief film highlighting key moments in his career. As the engineer for the perfectionist duo Steely Dan, Nichols, a former nuclear engineer-turned-recording engineer, was one of the first to use the 3M 32-track digital tape deck to make hit records. As an engineer, producer and mastering specialist, he boosted the careers of dozens of artists, including Joe Cocker, John Denver (with whom Nichols recorded seven albums), Gloria Estefan, Al Jarreau, Mark Knopfler and Frank Sinatra.
Nichols worked on a series of records with Steely Dan that earned him several Grammy Awards for Best Engineered Recording–Non-Classical and the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year (Steely Dan’s Two Against Nature in 2000). He also received Grammy nominations for his work with Donald Fagen, Rickie Lee Jones, Reba McEntire and Natalie Cole. Nichols continues to serve the professional audio community on the Board of Governors for the Florida Chapter of The Recording Academy, remains active with P&E Wing events, and lectures to master classes at Berklee College of Music, the Musician’s Institute, the Recording Workshop, production school Full Sail, the Vancouver Film School, and the University of Miami. Nichols is also currently the digital audio consultant for the Library of Congress’ new Culpepper Archiving Facility.
Commenting on the success of the evening, senior executive director of The Recording Academy’s Florida Chapter Neil Crilly stated, “Roger has been an integral part of the Florida Chapter Board for many years and has given a great deal back to both the Chapter and the P&E Wing. It was fantastic that the Board chose to recognize both this service and his stellar technical accomplishments this year at our Recording Academy Honors event.”
Formerly known as the Florida Heroes Awards, this gala supports the Florida Chapter’s ongoing advocacy, education and professional development programs, along with the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund–an effort established to aid those Gulf Coast area music community residents affected by 2005’s devastating storms.
National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.