Fourteen time Grammy winning record producer Phil Ramone passed away in New York today, March 30th, 2013. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed. Ramone was 72 years old (though I have seen two sources cite his age as 79, not sure where that is coming from as his year of birth is given as 1941). A brief list of artists Ramone worked with includes Burt Bacharach, Bono, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder. CNN has more information and celebrity remembrances in a nice obit at This Link. RIP, Phil!
Stevie Wonder turns 59 years old today, having been born on May 13th, in 1950. Not many people know that Stevie, in addition to being an amazing singer/songwriter/keyboardist, is also a fantastic drummer who played the drum parts on most of his recordings. Among the modern drumming greats who count Wonder among their chief influences is Gene Hoglan, best known for his work with Meldrum, Deathklok and Strapping Young Lad. Happy Birthday, Stevie!