New York, NY (April 1, 2013)—Accomplished record producer and engineer Phil Ramone died Saturday in Manhattan. He was 79. According to AP reports, Ramone died of complications from pneumonia after his surgery last month for an aortic aneurism.
Social media has been saturated with tributes to Ramone over the Easter weekend, praising his musical ear, his technical prowess, his giving nature and gracious disposition. He is mourned as an audio industry treasure, a friend to many and an inspiration and role model to many more. Throughout his 50-year career in the music industry, Ramone worked with many a who’s who of musicians (often being influential in establishing their careers) including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand. He was nominated for 33 Grammy Awards and won 14, including “Producer of the Year” in 1980, and three “Album of the Year” in 1976 for Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years,” in 1980 for Billy Joel’s “52nd Street” and in 2005 for Ray Charles’ “Genius Loves Company.”
Ramone also won a Technical Grammy for his lifetime of innovative contributions to the recording industry.
Ramone was active in many industry organizations, serving as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), Co-Chairman of the Producers and Engineers Wing, and as a former Trustee of the MusiCares Foundation, producing their annual pre-Grammy tribute. An Audio Engineering Society member since 1961, Ramone was honored by the AES with both a Fellowship and a subsequent Gold Medal Award honoring his contributions to the advancement of audio technology and its application.
He was also an advocate for music education programs including serving on the boards of the National Mentoring Partnership and the Berklee College of Music. He was a Trustee of the National Academy of Popular Music and the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress. He is also a founding member of META (The Music & Engineering Technology Alliance).