LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Brooks Arthur, the Grammy-winning record producer, music supervisor, and engineer who worked with some of the biggest names in rock, died on Sunday. He was 86.
His passing was announced in an obituary posted to his website, but a cause of death was not disclosed.
As an aspiring singer, Arthur began his music career while still in high school, landing a job in the mail room of Decca Records and taking singing classes with hopes of going pro.
After graduation, he secured work as a songwriter, writing hits such as “At the Edge of Tears” for the legendary Tony Orlando.
He later moved into engineering, starting at Associated Studios where he worked on hits such as “What A Guy” by the Raindrops, and “My Boyfriend’s Back” by the Angels, amongst others.
Arthur went on to work with Phil Ramone at A&R Studios, where he contributed his engineering skills to records such as “Brown Eyed Girl” for Van Morrison, and “Sweet Caroline” for Neil Diamond.
In 1976, Arthur won his first Grammy for Janis Ian’s hit “At Seventeen”, the first of three he would win, with more than 20 nominations over the course of his career.
In the mid-70s, he launched his own Studio, First Century Sound, overseeing recording for Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, Evie Sands and his own band, Brooks Arthur Ensemble. He later launched 914 Studios where Bruce Springsteen recorded his debut studio album, “Greetings from Asbury Park.”
Other artists Arthur collaborated with during his long and storied career include Ashford & Simpson, Art Garfunkel, The Grateful Dead, Burt Bacharach, Bernadette Peters, Bette Midler, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Brook Benton, The Chiffons, Deborah Harry, Debbie Boone, Dusty Springfield, Gordon Lightfoot, Jerry Lee Lewis, Liza Minnelli, Michael Feinstein, Miriam Makeba, Bobby Darin, Peggy Lee, and Richie Havens, among numerous others.
After relocating to Los Angeles, Arthur turned his attention to comedy, producing albums for the likes of Robin Williams, Norm McDonald and Adam Sandler, who he developed a lifelong friendship with.
Following the news of his passing, Janis Ian shared a tribute to her colleague on social media, writing:
RIP Brooks Arthur, who taught me how to sing on a mic, who engineered “Society’s Child “, who took a chance on me at twenty-one, who fed me when I was hungry, who produced and engineered “At Seventeen”, who was a mainstay in my life from the time I was fourteen years old until this very moment. Condolences to his wife Marilyn, who cooked the lamb chops I ate, and his daughters Jacki and Jill, who made me laugh when I ran out of joy. רו אין שלום old friend.
Arthur is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marilyn, their daughters Jill Arthur Posner and Jacki Arthur Eisenberg, their husbands, Ari and Jerry, respectively, and four grandchildren, Maxwell Abish, Benjamin Posner, Natalie Posner and Jade Eisenberg, and a sister Rochelle Kaplan.
The funeral is midday on Sunday, October 16 at Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries in Simi Valley. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Chabad.org or the American Jewish World Service.