Program: That’s A Smash—Great Producers of the 60s & 70s

This is a fast-paced, multimedia program that profiles four of the most important record producers of the ’60s and ’70s: George Martin (The Beatles); Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys); Phil Ramone (Billy Joel); Phil Spector (the Wall of Sound); and the greatest producer you never heard of, Tom Wilson (Bob Dylan; Simon & Garfunkel)

Why were these producers important? Consider this:

• Paul McCartney didn’t want strings on The Beatles’ “Yesterday!”

• Billy Joel’s “Only The Good Die Young” started out as a reggae song!

• Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” bombed on the charts—until it was radically reinvented!

• The Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” has a crazy secret ingredient you never noticed: accordions!

They were classic songs, written by some of the biggest artists ever—but without the right producers, they would have been flops!

Sharing lots of rare audio, video clips, PowerPoint and in-the-studio anecdotes about legendary songs, the program explores how creative producers made brilliant choices that influenced artists, their incredible albums and the musical tastes of an entire generation.

Providing context, That’s A Smash quickly traces the history of the recording industry, from Edison’s invention of the cylinder recorder to the pop legends of the Baby Boomer generation. Then audiences dive into the secret sounds hidden inside many time-tested favorites, including The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun,” The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are.”

For more information about this and my other programs, visit my Program Summaries page or send me an email via the Contact page.

You’ll never hear these classic pop songs the same way again!