Martin Erdman, the Australian record producer and sound engineer who worked on Peter Allen’s 1980 hit “I Still Call Australia Home” and served as house producer for Festival Records, has died at the age of 77.
Erdman got his start back in the mid-1950s, when he set-up a studio behind his parents’ record store in Rose Bay, Sydney. His break came after he founded Du Monde Records in 1969, a label that would yield a string of hit with Flake’s "Life Is Getting Better," King Fox’s "Unforgotten Dreams" and Harry Young & Sabbath's “The Wheat In The Field,” among others.
In 1973, Erdman became the house producer for Festival Records, where he cut an updated version of “The Lord's Prayer” by Sister Janet Mead. The song earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Inspirational Performance, a category that was ultimately won by Elvis Presley for “How Great Thou Art.”
Erdman works include the 1982 Australian cast album of "The Rocky Horror Show," Abigail’s “Je T’aime,” and “They’re Playing Our Song” by John Waters and Jackie Weaver. Perhaps his single most enduring work is "I Still Call Australia Home," which has been a favorite for ex-pat Aussies since its release more than three decades ago.
In recent years, Erdman established the Oz Songs Website to promote his earlier productions and new recordings. In 2002, he issued a four-CD retrospective of recordings from the Du Monde years, and in 2007 he released the rediscovered 1970 album recorded by Sydney group King Fox.
Erdman was also a key supporter of Support Act, the benevolent society for musicians and workers in the music industry.