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Phil Ramone

Music Producer

Born: 5 January 1934
Died: 30 March 2013
Birthplace: South Africa
Best known as: The legendary music producer of Billy Joel's 52nd Street

Phil Ramone spent over five decades in the music business, producing records for some of the top acts in pop music, including Paul Simon and Billy Joel. He was born in South Africa, but raised in New York. After studying music at the Julliard School, Ramone went to work for J.A.C. Records, but just two years later he founded A&R Recording in 1958 and opened an office in Manhattan. He quickly became known as a talented producer who helped mold pop singers like Leslie Gore, as well as jazz players like John Coltrane and Quincy Jones. During his career, Ramone worked with some of the biggest names in the business: Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Elton John… the list goes on and on. He is especially famous for producing Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years and Billy Joel's 52nd Street, both of which won Grammys for album of the year (in 1976 and 1980, respectively). Ramone won a total of 14 Grammys during his career for engineering and producing, and one for lifetime achievement.

Extra credit:

When Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962, Phil Ramone ran the sound.

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