Legendary engineer Al Schmitt was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 13. On-hand for the ceremony were (l-r): producer Don Was, Schmitt and musician Joe Walsh. Photos: Steve Harvey
Hollywood, CA (August 14, 2015)—The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored recording engineer, mixer and producer Al Schmitt with a star on the Walk of Fame, outside the Capitol Records tower where he works, on August 13, 2015.
“We hereby declare this Al Schmitt Day,” said Leron Gubler, president/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, presenting Schmitt with a resolution signed by the members of the City Council and the Mayor of Los Angeles. Schmitt is the first recording engineer to be presented with a star, said Gubler.
Music producer and musician Don Was, president of Blue Note Records, introduced Schmitt. “He’s not there to leave his thumbprint on the artist’s forehead; he’s there to quietly bring out the warmth and the intimacy of their performance. That’s a very noble mission,” said Was. “And let there be no mistake about it, it takes a beautiful cat to consistently make such beautiful records. I can think of no other figure in the entire music business who is as loved and respected as Al Schmitt.”
Musician Joe Walsh also spoke: “Elvis, for a while, sold the most records of anybody. For a while the Eagles did, then Michael Jackson took over. U2 claims they’ve sold the most records of anybody. Nope. Twenty-four Grammys, 150 gold and platinum albums—Al Schmitt has sold more records than anybody.”
“When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, something like this was beyond my wildest dreams,” said Schmitt, before acknowledging a few people. “I want to thank Tommy LiPuma for 45 years of just great music. What a career we’ve had together.”
Schmitt also thanked Paula Salvatore, manager of Capitol Studios, Capitol Records executive Maureen Schultz, and “Art Kelm, for keeping the studio running. He runs a tight ship.”
Admitting that he was “kind of a juvenile delinquent in my mid-thirties and forties,” Schmitt also thanked his family, especially his wife, Lisa.
Also in attendance were fellow Walk of Famer Dave Koz, musician Orianthi, singer Brenda Russell and musician Richie Sambora. Natalie Cole and Paul McCartney sent telegrams of congratulations.