Celebrated record producer and music biz exec, TOMMY LIPUMA died yesterday, Monday 13th March in New York City. He was 80 and his death was confirmed by his wife, Gill LiPuma. No cause of death was given but it is known that the Grammy winning LiPuma had been ill recently.
Thomas “Tommy” LiPuma was born in Cleveland in 1936 and as a young man he aspired to becoming a saxophonist, though, to keep his options open, he also trained as a barber and worked in a local warehouse.
His first job in the music business was as a radio promoter for Liberty Records in Los Angeles. From there he graduated to work in music publishing and eventually production. In the 60s he worked for A&M and helped found Blue Thumb Records. From there he worked for Horizon, Warner Bros, GRP, Impulse, Verve and Universal.
However, it’s for his production work that Tommy LiPuma will always be remembered. His list of production credits reads like a who’s who of popular music greats…. people like Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Anita Baker, Phil Upchurch, Miles Davis, Natalie Cole, George Benson, Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, Everything but the Girl, Peabo Bryson, Randy Newman, Miles Davis and Dr. John. His productions have resulted in more than 75 million albums sold and 33 Grammy nominations!
Tommy’s last significant production work was his collaboration with Diana Krall on her ‘Turn Up the Quiet’ long player which is set for release on May 5th
Mr LiPuma is survived by his wife, Gill, daughters Jen Monti and Danielle Wiener, and grandchildren Matty, Julia, Chloe and Ava.
Tommy is pictured below in his prime with two of his most successful collaborators, Barbara Streisand and George Benson.