Philip Ramone (born 5 January 1941 South Africa) is an American recording engineer, record producer, violinist, and composer, who, in 1958, co-founded A & R Recording, Inc., a recording studio at 112 West 48th Street, New York — above what then was Manny's Music. The success of that studio grew into several studios and a record producing company.
As a young child in South Africa, Ramone was a musical prodigy, beginning to play the violin at age three and performing for Queen Elizabeth II at age ten. In the late 1940s he trained as a classical violinist at The Juilliard School, where one of his classmates was Phil Woods. He became a naturalized citizen of the U.S.A. on December 14, 1953.
A & R Recording
In 1959, Ramone established an independent recording studio A & R Recording (the initials were derived from the last initials of Ramone and his then-business partner Jack Arnold). Later the partnership consisted of Brooks Arthur owning a half and Phil Ramone, Don Frey, and Arthur Downs Ward (1922–2002) owning the other half.
In the studio he quickly gained a reputation as a sound engineer and music producer, in particular for his use of innovative technology. Among those whose music he has produced are Clay Aiken, Burt Bacharach, Bono, Laura Branigan, Ray Charles, Karen Carpenter, Chicago, Peter Cincotti, Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Sheena Easton, Melissa Errico, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Patricia Kaas, B. B. King, Julian Lennon, Madonna, Barry Manilow, Richard Marx, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Liza Minnelli, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, Sinéad O'Connor, Fito Páez, Luciano Pavarotti, Peter Paul and Mary, Andre Previn, Diane Schuur, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, The Guess Who, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder. He is also credited with recording Marilyn Monroe's intoxicated version of "Happy Birthday to You" to President John F. Kennedy.
The technical innovations Ramone introduced include optical surround sound for movies, and digital recording techniques.
Compact disc pioneer
October 1, 2012, marked the thirtieth anniversary of the world's first commercially marketed compact disc. On that date in 1982, A & R Recording released a digital compact disc version of Billy Joel's 52nd Street in Japan, alongside Sony's CD player CDP-101.
Other Professional Activities
In addition to producing music, Ramone has numerous concert, film, Broadway and television productions to his credit that include “A Star is Born”, “August Rush”, “Beyond the Sea”, “Flashdance”, “Ghostbusters”, “Midnight Cowboy”, “On Her Majesty's Secret Service”, “Passion”, “Seussical”, “Simon and Garfunkel: The Concert In Central Park”, Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards, “The Score”, VH1/BBC “Party at the Palace: Queen’s Jubilee Concert”, and “The Good Thief”.
Ramone introduced optical surround sound for movies.
His book, Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music, written with Chuck Granata, was released on October 9, 2007.
Also in October 2007, Ramone produced a limited engagement performance of Richard Vetere's Be My Love: The Mario Lanza Story. The play was directed by Charles Messina and co-produced by Sonny Grosso. It premiered at The Tilles Center in Greenvale, NY.
On July 8, 2008 Columbia records released The Stranger 30th Anniversary, which features interviews with Ramone. This box set includes a remastered version of the 1977 Billy Joel album, The Stranger by Ramone.
In the summer of 2009, Ramone produced Gershwin Across America, a tribute album to the music of George and Ira Gershwin. The album features Jewel, Jason Mraz, Darius Rucker, and Paul Simon among others.
In 2011 Phil Ramone is working with George Michael, during his 2011 Symphonica Tour.
Ramone has been nominated for 33 Grammy awards, winning 14 awards and a technical Grammy for a lifetime of innovative contributions to the recording industry.
He also won an Emmy Award in 1973 as sound mixer for "Duke Ellington...We Love You Madly", a tribute to Duke Ellington broadcast on CBS.
Ramone has been awarded honorary degrees by Five Towns College, Berklee College of Music, and Skidmore College. He is also on the Berklee's Board of Trustees.
He was awarded a Fellowship by the Audio Engineering Society in 2007.
Phil is married to Karen Ichiuji-Ramone.
- Gene Lees, Meet Me at Jim & Andy's: Jazz Musicians and Their World, Oxford University Press (November 22, 1990) — Jim and Andy's was a beloved bar/diner downstairs from one of the A & R Studios (next to Manny's on 48th) and has many references to Phil Ramone. The bar had a direct line from A & R Studios and when the studio had a "no-show," Phil Ramone would often use the line to inquire whether a substitute musician was available.
|"Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" performed by The 5th Dimension (Billy Davis, Jr., Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Lamont McLemore, Ron Townson)|
produced by Bones Howe (1970)
|"Bridge over Troubled Water" performed by Simon & Garfunkel (Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon)|
produced by Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon & Roy Halee (1971)
|"It's Too Late" performed by Carole King|
produced by Lou Adler (1972)
|"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" performed by Roberta Flack|
produced by Joel Dorn (1973)
|"Killing Me Softly with His Song" performed by Roberta Flack|
produced by Joel Dorn (1974)
|"I Honestly Love You" performed by Olivia Newton-John|
produced by John Farrar (1975)
|"Love Will Keep Us Together" performed by Captain & Tennille (Daryl Dragon, Toni Tennille)|
produced by Daryl Dragon (1976)
|"This Masquerade" performed by George Benson|
produced by Tommy LiPuma (1977)
|"Hotel California" performed by The Eagles (Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Joe Walsh),|
produced by Bill Szymczyk (1978)
|"Just the Way You Are" performed by Billy Joel|
produced by Phil Ramone (1979)
|Saturday Night Fever:|
The Original Movie Sound Track
| · Bee Gees (Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb)|
· KC and the Sunshine Band (Harry Wayne Casey, Richard Finch, Fermin Goypisolo, Robert Johnson, Jerome Smith)
· Kool & the Gang (Robert "Kool" Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown, Larry Gittens, Robert Mickens, Otha Nash, Claydes Smith, Dennis Thomas, Rickey West)
· Ralph MacDonald
· Tavares (Butch Tavares, Chubby Tavares, Pooch Tavares, Ralph Tavares, Tiny Tavares)
· The Trammps (Jimmy Ellis, Robert Upchurch, Harold Wade, Stanley Wade, Earl Young)
· Walter Murphy
· Yvonne Elliman
|Albhy Galuten, Arif Mardin, Bee Gees, Bill Oakes, Bobby Martin, Broadway Eddie, David Shire, Freddie Perren, Harry Wayne Casey, K.G. Productions, Karl Richardson, Ralph MacDonald, Richard Finch, Ron Kersey, Thomas J. Valentino, William Salter|
*Engineers/Mixers hidden unless notable
|Supernatural||Santana (Rodney Holmes, Tony Lindsay, Karl Perazzo, Raul Rekow, Benny Rietveld, Carlos Santana, Chester Thompson)||engineered/mixed by Alvaro Villagra, Andy Grassi, Anton Pukshansky, Benny Faccone, Chris Theis, Commissioner Gordon, David Frazer, David Thoener, Glenn Kolotkin, Jeff Poe, Jim Gaines, Jim Scott, John Gamble, John Karpowich, John Seymour, Matty Spindel, Mike Couzzi, Steve Farrone, Steve Fontano, T-Ray, Tom Lord-Alge, Tony Prendatt & Warren Riker; produced by Alex Gonzales, Art Hodge, Charles Goodan, Clive Davis, Dante Ross, Dust Brothers, Fher Olvera, Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis, K. C. Porter, Lauryn Hill, Matt Serletic, Stephen M. Harris & Wyclef Jean|
|O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack||Alison Krauss & Union Station (Barry Bales, Ron Block, Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski), Chris Sharp, Chris Thomas King, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Harley Allen, John Hartford, Mike Compton, Norman Blake, Pat Enright, Peasall Sisters (Hannah Peasall, Leah Peasall, Sarah Peasall), Ralph Stanley, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, The Cox Family (Evelyn Cox, Sidney Cox, Suzanne Cox, Willard Cox), The Fairfield Four (Nathan Best, Isaac Freeman, Robert Hamlett, James Hill, Joseph Rice, Wilson Waters, Jr.), The Whites (Buck White, Cheryl White, Sharon White) & Tim Blake Nelson||engineered/mixed by Mike Piersante & Peter Kurland; master engineered by Gavin Lurssen; produced by T-Bone Burnett|
|Speakerboxxx/The Love Below||OutKast (André 3000, Big Boi)||engineered/mixed by Brian Paturalski, Chris Carmouche, Darrell Thorp, Dexter Simmons, John Frye, Kevin Davis, Matt Still, Moka Nagatani, Neal H. Pogue, Padraic Kernin, Pete Novak, Reggie Dozier, Robert Hannon, Terrence Cash & Vincent Alexander; master engineered by Bernie Grundman & Brian Gardner; produced by André 3000, Big Boi & Carl Mo|
|Genius Loves Company||Ray Charles and Various Artists||engineered/mixed by Al Schmitt, Ed Thacker, Joel W. Moss, John Harris, Mark Fleming, Pete Karam, Robert Fernandez, Seth Presant & Terry Howard; master engineered by Doug Sax & Robert Hadley; produced by Don Mizell, Herbert Waltl, John R. Burk, Phil Ramone & Terry Howard|
|How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb||U2 (Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge, Larry Mullen, Jr.)||engineered/mixed by Carl Glanville, Flood, Greg Collins, Jacknife Lee, Nellee Hooper, Simon Gogerly & Steve Lillywhite; master engineered by Arnie Acosta; produced by Brian Eno, Chris Thomas, Daniel Lanois, Flood, Jacknife Lee & Steve Lillywhite|
*Engineers/Mixers hidden unless notable