Michael Omartian

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Michael Omartian
Born (1945-11-26) November 26, 1945 (age 69)
Origin Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Contemporary Christian, pop, rock, R&B
Occupation(s) Composer, musician, record producer
Instruments Piano, organ, synthesizers
Years active 1970–present
Associated acts Rhythm Heritage, Stormie Omartian, 2nd Chapter of Acts

Michael Omartian (born November 26, 1945) is an American singer-songwriter, keyboardist, and music producer. He has been a participant in numerous albums, during a career that has spanned over 38 years. As a producer, he has had No. 1 records in three consecutive decades. He is a multiple Grammy Award winner, including a Grammy for keyboardist of the year and producer of the year. He spent five years on the A&R staff of ABC/Dunhill Records, as a producer, artist and arranger. He was subsequently hired by Warner Bros. Records as a producer and A&R staff member. Michael moved from Los Angeles to Nashville in 1993, where he served on the Board of Governors of the Recording Academy and has helped to shape the curriculum for the first Master’s Degree program in the field of Music Business at Belmont University.

Michael has produced albums for several artists including Clint Black, Michael Bolton, Debby Boone, Steve Camp, Peter Cetera, Christopher Cross, Joe "Bean" Esposito, Amy Grant, Benny Hester, Whitney Houston, The Imperials, The Jacksons, Cliff Richard, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, and Trisha Yearwood. In 1985 Michael Omartian, along with Quincy Jones, co-produced the No. 1 hit "We Are the World" by a supergroup of popular musicians billed as USA for Africa.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Omartian was born in Evanston, Illinois. He is of Armenian descent.[3]

In the late 1960s, Omartian helped launch Campus Crusade for Christ's new music outreach group, "The New Folk." In that capacity he arranged much of the music and assisted in training the singers. He was also a founding member of the 1970s disco-funk band Rhythm Heritage, and he also played as a session musician for artists including Koinonia, Steely Dan, The Four Tops, Seals and Crofts, Al Jarreau and Loggins & Messina.[4][5][6]

In 1980, thanks to the Christopher Cross debut album, Omartian was nominated for ten Grammy Awards, winning three.[7]

Omartian has recorded a number of highly polished contemporary Christian music albums under his own name, including White Horse, Mainstream, Adam Again, Conversations (an instrumental album). Virtually all of his solo albums are now out-of-print. Omartian produced several Christian albums, most notably for The Imperials on the award-winning albums "Priority" and "One More Song For You" – which were produced in Omartian's basement studio on tight budgets.[citation needed]

In 2003, Omartian scored an audio book rendition of the biblical gospels, called "Gospels Come To Life". The audio Bible was read by fellow CCM writer/musician Michael W. Smith, based on musical ideas by Smith. The Spanish version of this audio Bible was narrated by CCM artist, Jaci Velasquez.

Toward the end of 2006 he contributed to an album with Annie Herring (of 2nd Chapter of Acts) called One on One, he plays piano as the solo instrument throughout with Herring providing vocals.[8] One on One was his second collaboration with Herring; the first being the 1983 album Together Live, a collaborative, in-concert effort with Herring's family trio, 2nd Chapter of Acts, and Omartian's wife, Stormie. The live double-LP album was recorded in 1982 at The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California. The album was also released on in video format.[9]

Omartian has produced number one records in three consecutive decades (1970s, 1980s, and 1990s).[7]

Discography[edit]

Artist[edit]

Solo[edit]

Michael and Stormie Omartian[edit]

  • 1978: Seasons of the Soul (Myrrh)
  • 1980: The Builder (Seymour)
  • 1982: Mainstream (Sparrow)
  • 1982: Omartian Odyssey (compilation) (Myrrh)
  • 1983: Together Live (with 2nd Chapter of Acts) (Sparrow)

Others[edit]

  • 1974: Compliments of Garcia Jerry Garcia (Round)
  • 1976: Through a Child's Eyes Annie Herring (Sparrow)[10]
  • 1995: Like Brothers Pratt & McClain (Sonrise Music)
  • 1995: Contemporary Mozart (non-US release entitled Bon Appetit: Contemporary Mozart Arrangements Volume 2) (K-Tel)
  • 2000: Child of the Promise: A Musical Story Celebrating The Birth of Christ Michael and Stormie Omartian (Sparrow)

Producer[edit]

Video[edit]

Awards[edit]

Grammy Awards

In one year alone, he was nominated for ten Grammy Awards, three of which he won for producing and arranging on Christopher Cross' debut album:

GMA Dove Awards

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Performers From USA For Africa's "We Are The World"". In The 80s. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  2. ^ "We Are The World by USA for Africa Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  3. ^ Kaufman, Gil (April 22, 2009). "Kris Allen's 'She Works Hard For The Money': The Story Behind The Cover - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny (1945-11-26). "Michael Omartian | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  5. ^ "53. Adam Again – Michael Omartian | CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time". Ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  6. ^ "Michael Omartian". Ccmclassic.com. 1945-11-26. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  7. ^ a b "Michael Omartian | Yamaha Artists". Yamaha.com. 1945-11-26. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  8. ^ Herring, Buck. "One on One (Annie's newest release 2006)". Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  9. ^ "2nd Chapter Of Acts And Michael And Stormie Omartian - Together Live". Discogs]. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Complete album credits for the 1976 release by CCM artist, Annie Herring, entitled Through a Child's Eyes". discogs.com. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: Michael Omartian". Allmusic. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 

External links[edit]