Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jack Richardson, 1929-2011. R.I.P.

Record producer Jack Richardson passed away on Friday. He was 81. His cause of death is not known although he had been in poor health in recent years.

Richardson is best known for being to The Guess Who what George Martin was to The Beatles. Richardson produced fourteen Guess Who albums at Nimbus 9 studios in Toronto between 1968 and 1975. This collaboration yielded such hits as "These Eyes", "No Time" and "American Woman." Indeed, when "American Woman" hit number one on the U.S. Billboard charts in 1970 it marked the first time that chart position had been achieved by a Canadian act.

This success gave Richardson the opportunity to work with the likes of Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Poco and The Irish Rovers. In later years, Richardson imparted his knowledge to students at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. In 2003, Richardson was named to the Order of Canada.

As it happened, former Guess Who lead singer Burton Cummings was performing in London, Ontario last night and dedicated the show to Richardson. And why not? If not for Richardson, chances are Cummings would not still be singing these songs in front of audiences more than forty years after they were recorded.

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