Knowledge Bank

news category created 23 July 2013 written by Mick Glossop

The origin of the term “record producer”?

The Rise and FallIt’s strange that those who work with artist and bands to record music are referred to as producers whereas contracts refer to record companies as producers. Perhaps this extract from Mick Brown’s biography of Phil Spector provides the source of the confusion (pp 57/58): “In 1955 Nesuhi Ertegun approached Leiber and Stoller with a proposition: Atlantic should buy out Spark (L&S’s label), and Leiber and Stoller move to New York and make records for Atlantic as independent writer-producers – an unheard-of arrangement in the record business at that time. Under the deal, Atlantic would pay for all the sessions and give the pair a 2 per cent royalty on sales. Crucially, Leiber and Stoller also insisted that they should receive a label credit as producers on all their work – another unprecedented move. Atlatic quibbled over the use of the word ‘producers’. ‘They wanted to call us directors,’ Leiber remembers. ‘They said they were the producers because they put up the money.’ But Leiber and Stoller prevailed.” – from “Tearing Down The Wall Of Sound” by Mick Brow