Phil Ramone was deferential to a fault. He liked to say it was the artist, not the producer, whose name appeared on the front of the album. That’s why you won’t find mention of Ramone on the covers of CDs by Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Burt Bacharach and many, many others.
Bob Ludwig, Al Schmitt and Frank Filipetti -- three colleagues of Phil Ramone, the legendary producer who passed away Saturday morning -- remember his love of music, his pursuit of excellence, his sense of humor, his soothing presence, and his uncanny ability to stay calm and rise above the drama in even the most chaotic sessions. "He was one of a kind," Schmitt said.
Legendary producer Phil Ramone -- who helmed classic albums by Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Carly Simon and many others -- died this morning in New York. In a special issue honoring Ramone in 1996, Billboard published a lengthy, fascinating Q&A where the producer talked about a private meeting with John F. Kennedy; working with Sinatra, Simon, Streisand, Joel, and many others; the time one of his productions knocked another out of the no. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983; and much more.