Friday, 29 August 2014

The Man Who Impacted The King of Pop (Part2)

Recording Engineer Extraordinaire over Four Decades

A career that has impacted Jazz, Pop,Blue, R&B and Soul to the Signature Sound of Michael Jackson.

Curtis Mayfield produced "The Monkey Time" with 
Bruce Swedien as sound engineer on the classic hit recording.
Bruce was also involved in the recording process of many classic soul recordings that emerged from Chicago when that particular genre began to explode on the local and international stage. He had a keen understanding of how soul music should be expressed in terms of sound. One of his early recording sessions behind the board was with a young up-and-coming soul genius by the name of Curtis Mayfield, one of the key architects of the Chicago Soul Sound. At these sessions were key individuals such as the legendary arranger and producer Johnny Pate, who was responsible for the majority of Curtis Mayfield’s classic hit records over a fifteen year period and played a significant part in the success of Major Lance, whose second Okeh Records recording, “The Monkey Time”, sold over one million copies. It was written and produced by Mayfield and engineered by Swedien.

Four Seasons. The group first four million selling 
records were sound engineered by Bruce Swedien.
Swedien’s first major success was engineering Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons’ gold record “Big Girls Don’t Cry” on VeeJay Records, which stayed at number one on the Billboard R&B and  Soul Singles Chart and also  three weeks at  number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Pop Chart for five weeks in 1962.

When Bruce was sound engineering recording projects for VeeJay Records at Universal Recording Studios, Calvin Carter was the label’s A&R man and principal producer. Although Calvin was the main producer at the label, he conducted each recording session with a collective approach, involving arrangers, background singers and studio musicians, to obtain the best results. With the support of Bruce and fellow colleagues, Calvin developed a tremendous feeling for outstanding vocal harmonies and how to achieve the sounds he wanted. The band worked with him to get the best sound, with particular input from Lefty Bates on guitar and Red Holloway, as designated tenor saxophonist and joint arranger.

                                   Researched and compiled by               
                                   Mr K Tomlin Music Historian                   
                                  ©RCM Music/Signaturesoundsonline2013-2014

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About Me

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Old Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom
Kevin Tomlin has over 34 years of teaching experience in Jamaica, England and America, including 15 years teaching music history of black origin and visual art in South Florida, U.S.A., through Arts in Education. Tomlin created special training programmes and workshops for music teachers in South Florida schools, using music history as the foundation, to build exciting programmes of study and support materials for education professionals. Since 2000, he’s taught music history, geography, religious education, history, visual arts and performing arts at schools in Hertfordshire and Essex, at both primary and secondary levels. He conducts research and provides consultancy services for multi-media organisations, schools, recording artists, cultural and faith-based groups and entertainment professionals.

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