The Inside Story of the Great Recordings
Publication Year: 2014
Includes original interviews with producers Chet Atkins, Pete Anderson, Jimmy Bowen, Bobby Braddock, Harold Bradley, Tony Brown, Blake Chancey, Jack Clement, Scott Hendricks, Bob Johnston, Jerry Kennedy, Blake Mevis, Ken Nelson, Jim Ed Norman, Allen Reynolds, Jim Rooney, James Stroud, Paul Worley, and Reggie Young, among others.
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
Title Page, Series Page, Funding, Copyright Page, Dedication
List of Illustrations
One of my iPods holds the fifty-something recorded interviews that, excerpted, compose this book. These interviews form an oral history of country record production that is actually oral—actually audible. I conducted all of them. I spoke with every single person featured in this book (spoke with all but one by telephone). I recorded and transcribed every word they said....
Cowboy Jack Clement knew a thing or two about record production. He made the first recordings of Jerry Lee Lewis, while his boss, Sun Records’ Sam Phillips, was away at a music-industry event. Here’s something Clement told me:...
Ocerture: What is a Record Producer?
1. Cutting Tracks: Capturing the Performance, 1927–1949
Very soon after 1877, the invention that Edison called a phonograph articulated in such a way as to serve the interests of corporate capital; which is to say, technologies for recording and reproducing sound worked to the distinct advantage of newly formed record companies— not musicians. Entertainment companies, in the guise of their designees, artists and repertoire (A&R) men, managed musical production by controlling all facets of preproduction....
Interlude: The Producer as Director
2. Taping Tracks: Creating the Performance, 1950–1966
At first, in the early ’50s, magnetic tape was used as simply a new medium to do an old job: to capture musical performances. But a quick look at the recordings discussed in this chapter suggests an ensuing paradigm shift. Tape—mono, three-, and four-track— enabled the emergence of the record producer as a fully formed, recognizable figure. He distinguishes himself, less by what he captures...
Interlude: Studio Matters
3. Multitracking: Constructing the Performance, 1967–1991
Multitracking means that sound can be edited not just horizontally, with one piece of tape joined to another, but vertically, with the tracks stacked or layered. Notable record albums of the mid-’ 60s were effects of experiments in multitracking that used four-track tape recorders:...
Interlude: The Writer as Producer—An Interview with Bobby Braddock
Best known as a legendary songwriter, Braddock has seen at least one of his songs top Billboard’s country chart every decade for the last fifty years. Among his compositions are “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (George Jones),“D-I-V-O-R-C-E” (Tammy Wynette), “Time Marches On” (Tracy Lawrence), and “I Wanna Talk about Me” (Toby Keith). He worked as producer on Blake Shelton’s first five albums....
4. Encoding Tracks: Compositing the Performance, 1992–Present
The most interesting feature of the digital-recording paradigm—announced by the 1992 introduction of ADAT (“Alesis Digital Audio Tape”) and by the subsequent adoption of DAW s (“digital audio workstations”)— is music-industry resistance to any implication of the technology deemed radical. For example, available technology (my laptop...
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