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    Perry, Richard

    Conductor, music-video director, percussionist and producer who emigrated to L.A. from New York in 1967 and found his niche at Warner Bros., where he worked on a string of successful albums for the likes of Fats Domino, Ella Fitzgerald, and Tiny Tim.  A year later, Richard conducted at Tim's concert at Royal Albert Hall.  A CD of the concert is available on the Rhino label.  He is also credited with signing the first all-girl rock band, Fanny, whom he considered the female equivalent of The Beatles, in the late '60s.  In 2003, a boxed set, First Time in a Long Time: the Reprise Recordings, was released, again courtesy of Rhino.  Richard quit Warner in the early '70s, but it certainly didn't hamper his career.  He went on to produce Stoney End for Barbra Streisand, and dotted the charts with #1 records, eclipsing any other producer's record in the '70s.  These included "Nobody Does It Better" and "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon, "Photograph" and "You're Sixteen" for Ringo Starr, and "When I Need You" and "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" for Leo Sayer.  This last recording won two Grammys in 1977.  A year later, Richard had the money and the street cred to start Planet Records, which became a haven for The Pointer Sisters, with whom Richard formed a lucrative partnership, producing a prodigious amount of hit records in a very short amount of time, including "Automatic", "Dare Me", "Fire", "He's So Shy", "I'm So Excited", "Jump (For My Love)", "Neutron Dance", "Slow Hand", and "Should I Do It?"  Richard also directed the accompanying videos, which helped the Sisters garner a Best Black Video Group award in 1984 and 1985, courtesy of the American Music Awards.  Richard scored a monster hit in 1984 with "To All The Girls I've Loved Before", a duet sung by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson, winning Record of the Year at the Academy of Country Music awards.  A year later, he produced DeBarge's "Rhythm of the Night", his sixth top-ten hit in the span of a year.  At various times throughout 1985, Richard produced songs that topped the Country, Dance, Pop and Urban charts.  In the late '80s, Richard embarked on a massive project entitled Rock, Rhythm and Blues, drawing together an incredible amount of talent, including El DeBarge, Rick James, Elton John, Chaka Khan, Manhattan Transfer, Christine McVie, The Pointer Sisters, and Randy Travis, for covers of '50s rock classics.  Travis's cover of "It's Just a Matter of Time", the old Brook Benton hit, went to #1 on the country charts and was nominated for a Grammy award.  Richard continued forming new creative partnerships in the '90s, most notably with Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, and The Temptations.  He produced "The Motown Song" in 1991, with Rod Stewart on lead vocals, in tandem with The Temptations.  In 1993, he produced My World for Ray Charles, which included a remake of Leon Russell's "A Song For You":  It became Charles' first top-ten chart entry in more than twenty-five years, and won Best R&B Male Vocal Performance at the 1994 Grammys.  In the mid-'90s, Richard turned to the past again, producing an album of standards for The Temptations, For Lovers Only, which put an R&B spin on songs such as "Night and Day":  It was used in the movie What Women Want.  Richard continued the trend with Rod Stewart's The Great American Songbook in 2002 and its sequel in 2003, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200.  The two albums have gone platinum several times over.  Richard employed the formula again with Carly Simon on 2005's Moonlight Serenade, debuting at #7 on the Top 200 and becoming Simon's first album to climb that high in over twenty-five years.  In 2007, he worked on a similar project, Some Enchanted Evening, employing the vocal talents of Art Garfunkel.  Other artists and groups with whom Richard has worked include Captain Beefheart, Burton Cummings, Neil Diamond, George Harrison, John Lennon, The Manhattan Transfer, Johnny Mathis, Paul McCartney, Harry Nilsson, Jeffrey Osbourne, Martha Reeves, Diana Ross, Ringo Starr, Donna Summer, and Tina Turner.  Richard has produced a top-ten album in every decade from the 1960's to the present.  In 2006, he was the subject of a four-part radio programme on BBC2.  BBC has also produced a TV documentary to commemorate his illustrious career.

     

    Frank Sinatra recordings

    That's What God Looks Like To Me (Stan Irvin/Lan O'Kun)

    Reprise RPS 49233 (XNY2101S) (US 45)

     

    Theme from "New York, New York" (Fred Ebb/John Kander)

    Reprise RPS49233 (XNY 2103 S) (US 45)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Perry
    2. http://www.metalmaidens.com/fanny.htm
    3. http://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Time-Long-Reprise-Recordings/dp/B0000DJYPI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1201448585&sr=1-1

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    5.                              He appears here in a documentary by Harry Nilsson about making an album....

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