Tom Dowd: 1925 to 2002
Tom Dowd, whose producer and engineer credits numbered in the hundreds and ranged across American musical styles from rock to pop to soul to R&B to jazz to southern rock and beyond, died October 27. He was 77.
Dowd produced or engineered records for an astounding assortment of performers, among them Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane, James Brown, Charles Mingus, Dusty Springfield, Eric Clapton, Diana Ross, the Drifters, the Allman Brothers, Jerry Jeff Walker and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
He worked at Atlantic for more than two decades and was acknowledged for pioneering the use of eight-track machines in major recording studios in the late 1950s. After leaving Atlantic, Dowd was a highly-sought-after independent producer, continuing to work in the studio until shortly before his death.