Michael Blakey (music producer)

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Michael Blakey
Michaelblakeymusician.jpg
Michael Blakey
Born Michael Blakey
(1958-12-08) 8 December 1958 (age 58)
London, England
Occupation Record Producer
Musician
Talent Manager
Years active 1977–present
Website www.michaelblakey.com

Michael Blakey (born 8 December 1958, London, England) is a record producer, promoter, composer, musician, arranger, songwriter and artist manager. Blakey has either produced, promoted or worked as a musician for a number of notable artists and performers, including: Engelbert Humperdinck, Luther Vandross, Gloria Gaynor, Tears for Fears, Ron White, Coolio, Akwid, Mary J. Blige, No Doubt, 2Pac, Glen Campbell, Brian McKnight, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Bob Carlisle, and Michelle Wright.[1] He was also the drummer and composer for the 1990s rock band Tidal Force.[2] As both producer and promoter, Blakey earned several gold and platinum records.[3][4]

Disney's Super Hits gold record for Michael Blakey
The Beavis and Butthead Experience gold record for Michael Blakey

Early life and music career[edit]

In 1978, while just 19 years of age, Blakey became resident producer at Hansa Studios in Berlin, Germany - working with such artists as Boney M, Udo Lindenberg, Julio Iglesias and others.[5] Shortly after, Blakey produced singles and LPs for various European musical acts, including multi-platinum selling artist Engelbert Humperdinck[6] and the progressive rock band Phlox.[7][8]

Later music career[edit]

Blakey worked as a session recording drummer, composer and producer in the U.S. and U.K. throughout the 1980s and 1990s.[6] In 1993, Blakey became a drummer and composer for the European rock band Tidal Force, which released the LP Will To Power on Atico Records in 1994. Tidal Force was known for their singles Will to Power and A Man Rides Through.[9][10]

In 1999, Blakey together with two partners, John Guidon and Bruce Gladstone founded a record label called 2KSounds. This was one of the first record companies to scout for as well as promote music on the internet. 2KSounds had great success with one of these artists found on the internet named Brooke Allison. Due to this success, 2KSounds entered into a joint venture partnership with Virgin Records and Blakey became president of the Record Division.[11][12][13]

Music production and management career[edit]

Ron White and Michael Blakey walking on the Avenue of the Stars in New York City before Ron White's show at the Radio City Music Hall

Blakey acted as chief of A&R for Atico Records from 1991 to 1994 in New York.[14] He founded three other music production and promotional companies, including Platinum Records, between 1994 and 2000 in New York and Los Angeles.[15]

Blakey produced several feature motion picture soundtracks, including the original musical soundtrack for Disney's Cinderella II: Dreams Come True.[16]

In early 2009, Blakey teamed up with Grammy Award-nominated comedian Ron White (The Call MeTater Salad, Blue Collar Comedy Tour) to form Organica Media Group, the media of which was distributed by Universal Music Group. OMG also produces feature motion pictures and television content and has worked with musical artists such as Margo Rey, Gladys Knight, and Playboy model Crystal Harris.[17][18][19][20]

In 2009, Blakey formed Electra Star Management, based in West Hollywood, California. The company roster of talent includes: Academy Award-winning writer, actor and musician Billy Bob Thornton; actress Pamela Anderson (NBC's Baywatch); ten times Grand Slam winning tennis player Jimmy Connors,[21] touring comedian Ron White[4] and Golden Globe Award nominated American actress, writer and comedian Brett Butler,[22] famed for playing Grace Kelly on ABC's award-winning TV Show Grace Under Fire and currently starring on FX Networks' Anger Management (TV series).[23]

Discography[edit]

Blakey's discography is listed below:[24][25]

Year Artist Album Credit
2016 Christine Saadé Get Together Producer[26]
2016 Ashley J Dare Ya Producer[27]
2014 Ashley J One And One Producer[28]
2012 Ron White A Little Unprofessional Producer, Executive Producer[29]
Ron White Ron White's Comedy Salute To The Troops Producer[30]
2011 Ron White Ron White's Comedy Salute To The Troops Producer, Executive Producer[31]
2010 Margo Rey Get Back Producer[32]
Margo Rey Habit Producer[33]
2007 John Arthur Martinez Rodeo Night Vocals (Background)[34]
2004 John Arthur Martinez Lone Starry Night Composer[35]
2003 Craig Chambers Goin to Town Composer[36]
2002 Akwid 2002 A.D. Executive Director[37]
Emackillent Blackened Fish Executive Producer, Mixer[38]
John Greenberg Buffalo Nickels Composer[39]
Various Artists "Disney's Princess Favorites" Vocal Producer[40]
Various Artists Disney's Superstar Hits Producer[41]
Killingbird Killingbird" Executive Director[42]
Maddwest Maddwest Producer[43]
2001 Brooke Allison Brooke Allison Arranger, Composer, Drums, Mixer, Producer, Programmer, Writer[44]
Brooke Allison The Kiss-Off (Goodbye) Producer, Mixer[25][45]
Gary P. Nunn Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 Composer[46]
John Arthur Martinez Stand Your Ground Composer[47]
2000 Floormovers Floormovers Executive Director, Producer[48]
Larry Joe Taylor Heart of the Matter Composer[49]
Gary P. Nunn It's a Texas Thing Composer[50]
Various Artists Life Under the Street Lamp Executive Director[51]
Katora Sista Sista Executive Director[52]
1999 Patsy Cline Duets, Vol. 1 Arranger, Mixer, Producer, Vocal Producer[53]
Crystal Gayle Greatest Hits [Private I] Vocal Producer[54]
Beth Nielsen Chapman If I Could Only Stay Asleep Vocal Producer[55]
Waylon Jennings Just Out of Reach Producer[56]
Michelle Wright Michelle Wright Collection Producer[57]
Engelbert Humperdinck Quando Quando Quando, Vol. 1 Producer[58]
Bob Carlisle That Wonderful Someone Producer[59]
John Berry (singer) There He Goes Producer[60]
Glen Campbell Too Many Secrets Vocal Producer[61]
1998 Blake McShane Dreaming Producer[62]
Elk King of the Sky Production Assistant[63]
Willie Nelson Life's Railway to Heaven Producer[64]
Engelbert Humperdinck Release Me [Single] Producer[65]
John Arthur Martinez Spinning Our Wheels Composer[66]
Engelbert Humperdinck The Dance Album Producer[67]
Messiah The Rock Producer[68]
Various Artists The Very Best of British Dance Bands Drums[69]
1995 Gloria Gaynor I'll Be There Drums[70]
Craig Chambers Where the Pavement Ends Composer[71]
1994 Flaco Jiménez Flaco Jiménez Composer[72]
Alldaron West Safe Place to Fall Producer[73]
Tidal Force Will to Power Performer, Producer[74]
1990 Various Artists Knebworth: The Album Drums[75]
1988 The Bambi Slam Bambi Slam Vocal Producer[76]
1971 Christie (band) Yellow River (song) Drums[77]
1970 Christie (band) Christie Drums[78]

Filmography[edit]

Ron White, "A Little Unprofessional", DVD

Blakey has been involved with numerous film and television projects,[79] most notably the CMT Networks' Ron White's Comedy Salute to the Troops series[80] which is now in its seventh year.[81][82] He has been the executive producer for all televised performances – Ron White's Comedy Salute To The Troops 2011 and 2012 filmed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, and the 2013, 2014 and 2015 tapings at The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.[83][84][85] Blakey also produced Ron White's special "A Little Unprofessional"[86] which has been certified Platinum (DVD) by the RIAA,[87] debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts in June 2013 (CD)[88] and also nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Comedy Album for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.[89]

"Duets" music technology[edit]

During his time at Platinum Records, Blakey worked with scientists to develop the primary technology for Forensic Frequency Separation Software. FFSS allows sound engineers to extract a specific vocal segment from a mono track by lifting the individual frequencies within the vocal and keeping it intact. Once extracted, the vocal track can be treated as a conventional vocal recording and placed onto a separate track in a contemporary high-definition recording format.[90] This innovation drove the creation of the Blakey-produced 1996 Patsy Cline Duet album by enabling contemporary vocalists to sing along with the original artist. While such critically acclaimed artists as Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson recorded new duets on the album, noted music historian and author of the book Century of Country Robert Oermann, reported that he was "not enthused by" the recordings, and would rather just "listen to Patsy. She doesn’t need anybody with her." Blakey countered, "Anybody who says this is the wrong thing to do, well, I don't think they're a true music lover."[91]

Professional interests[edit]

In September 1987, according to The Motor magazine, Blakey and three key British investors, John Bogg, David Osbourne and importer Colin Hayes, purchased luxury automotive company Maserati U.K. Ltd. for "under £3 million." It was sold to the Chrysler Corporation less than two years later.[92][93]

In 2006, Blakey became co-owner responsible for "fleet growth" of Pylon International Inc., a private jet charter and service management company based in Van Nuys, California. Pylon was later acquired by IJM Holdings Corporation in August 2007.[94]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Blakey won the Melody Maker Producer of the Year award in 1993[95] and was named promotion Man of the Year by Music Beat in 1995.[96]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Blakey (1958-12-08). "Michael Blakey – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  2. ^ "Atico Records' Michael Blakey, A&R Director", Music Connection Magazine, 14 March 1994.
  3. ^ "Poppy/jazz performer Margo Rey to perform in Dallas May 27 and 28 | www.pegasusnews.com | Dallas/Fort Worth". www.pegasusnews.com. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  4. ^ a b 3 September 2012. "Sidebeat Music Exclusive Interview with Acclaimed Music Producer Michael Blakey". ActorsEntertainment.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  5. ^ "City Owls - Hansa Studios & Meistersaal". cityowls.com. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  6. ^ a b "All Music - Michael Blakey Credits". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  7. ^ "PHLOX music, discography, MP3, videos and reviews". Progarchives.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  8. ^ "Best of '95," Music Beat Magazine, January 1996, p. 43.
  9. ^ "Tidal Force – discography, line-up, biography, interviews, photos". Spirit-of-metal.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  10. ^ "Tidal Force", Jam Entertainment News, 12 November 1993
  11. ^ "Downloading a record deal". cjonline.com. Retrieved 2013-05-22. 
  12. ^ "Brooke Allison Joins Virgin Records". GigCity.com. Retrieved 2013-05-22. 
  13. ^ "Web Gives Exposure To Unsigned Acts". latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-05-22. 
  14. ^ "CD Reviews", Music Connection Magazine, 21 May 1994.
  15. ^ "Margo Rey's Inspiration for Dance Hit 'Let the Rain'"AM FM Magazine
  16. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3219778/
  17. ^ Murray, Jawn (2011-03-31). "Gladys Knight: Soul Icon Making Las Vegas Return". BV Buzz. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  18. ^ 4 September 2012. "Sidebeat Music Exclusive Interview with Acclaimed Music Producer Michael Blakey". ActorsEntertainment.com. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  19. ^ "The World of Playboy", Playboy Magazine, October, 2010, p. 11.
  20. ^ Ilya (2010-06-01). "Ron White Starts Own Record Label & Set To Star In Sitcom On USA". The Laugh Button. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  21. ^ "Tennis Icon Jimmy Connors Signs With APA (Exclusive)". HollywoodReporter.com. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  22. ^ "Our Clients". ElectraStarMgmt.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  23. ^ "Brett Butler on IMDb". Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  24. ^ "Michael Blakey Credits". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  25. ^ a b "Michael Blakey Credits". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  26. ^ "The Canadian Artist, Singer and Songwriter Christine Saadé (HYSC?) Releases a Brand New Single in Collaboration with the Amazing Twisted Dee". Miles High Productions. Retrieved 2016-11-21. 
  27. ^ "Ashley J Dare Ya Release". ElectraStarMgmt.com. Retrieved 2016-09-09. 
  28. ^ "Ashley J's New Record Tops The Charts". ElectraStarMgmt.com. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  29. ^ "Ron White - A Little Unprofessional (CD)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  30. ^ "Ron White's Comedy Salute To The Troops 2012". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  31. ^ "Ron White's Comedy Salute To The Troops 2011". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  32. ^ "Margo Rey - Get Back". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  33. ^ "Margo Rey - Habit". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  34. ^ "John Arthur Martinez - Rodeo Night". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  35. ^ "John Arthur Martinez - Lone Starry Night". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  36. ^ "Craig Chambers - Goin to Town". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  37. ^ "Akwid - 2002 A.D.". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  38. ^ "Emackillent - Blackended Fish". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  39. ^ "John Greenberg - Buffalo Nickels". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  40. ^ "Disney's Princess Favorites". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  41. ^ "Disney's Superstar Hits". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  42. ^ "Killingbird". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  43. ^ "Maddwest". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  44. ^ "Brooke Allison". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  45. ^ "Brooke Allison - The Kiss-Off (Goodbye)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  46. ^ "Greatest Hits, Vol. 2". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  47. ^ "John Arthur Martinez - Stand Your Ground". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  48. ^ "Floormovers". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  49. ^ "Larry Joe Taylor - Heart of the Matter". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  50. ^ "Gary P. Nunn - It's a Texas Thing". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  51. ^ "Life Under the Street Lamp". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  52. ^ "Katora - Sista Sista". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  53. ^ "Patsy Cline - Duets, Vol. 1". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  54. ^ "Crystal Gayle - Greatest Hits [Private I]". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  55. ^ "Beth Nielsen Chapman - If I could Only Stay Asleep". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  56. ^ "Waylon Jennings - Just Out of Reach". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  57. ^ "Michelle Wright - Michelle Wright Collection". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  58. ^ "Engelbert Humperdinck - Quando Quando Quando, Vol. 1". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  59. ^ "Bob Carlisle - That Wonderful Someone". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  60. ^ "John Berry - There He Goes". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  61. ^ "Glen Campbell - Too Many Secrets". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  62. ^ "Blake McShane - Dreaming". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  63. ^ "Elk - King of the Sky". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  64. ^ "Willie Nelson - Life's Raioway to Heaven". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  65. ^ "Engelbert Humperdinck - Release Me". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  66. ^ "John Arthur Martinez - Spinning Our Wheels". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  67. ^ "Engelbert Humperdinck - The Dance Album". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  68. ^ "Messiah - The Rock". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  69. ^ "The Very Best of British Dance Bands". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  70. ^ "Gloria Gaynor - I'll Be There". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  71. ^ "Craig Chambers - Where the Pavement Ends". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  72. ^ "Flaco Jimenez - Flaco Jimenez". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  73. ^ "Alldaron West - Safe Place to Fall". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  74. ^ "Tidal Force - Will to Power". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  75. ^ "Knebworth: The Album". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  76. ^ "Bambi Slam". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  77. ^ "Christie - Yellow River". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  78. ^ "Christie - Christie". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  79. ^ "Michael Blakey – Credits". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  80. ^ "Comedian Ron White Set to Reprise CMT's 'Comedy Salute to the Troops'". HollywoodReporter.com. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  81. ^ "On Sale Now: Ron White's Comedy Salute To The Troops". CMT.com. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  82. ^ "Full cast and crew for Ron White's Vegas Salute to the Troops (2013) (TV)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  83. ^ "Michael Blakey IMDb Credits". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  84. ^ "Michael Blakey To Produce Ron White's Comedy Salute To The Troops 2014". ElectraStarProductions.com. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  85. ^ "Salute To The Troops 2011 Full Credits". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  86. ^ "Ron White – A Little Unprofessional (DVD)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  87. ^ "Ron White's New DVD Certified Platinum". ElectraStarMgmt.com. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  88. ^ "Ron White's CD 'A Little Unprofessional' is #1 on Billboard". ElectraStarMgmt.com. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  89. ^ "Ron White's Grammy Nomination". Grammy.com. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  90. ^ Neil Strauss Published: 15 July 1999 (1999-07-15). "THE POP LIFE; On the Rise And on Line – New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  91. ^ "Album brings Patsy Cline's voice, music back". chronicle.augusta.com. Associated Press. 1999-10-05. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  92. ^ "All Systems Go at Maserati U.K.", Motor Magazine (U.K.), 3 October 1987.
  93. ^ "Quote of The Year", Autocar Magazine (U.K.), 30 December 1987.
  94. ^ 8 August 2007 at 10:45 AM EDT (2007-08-08). "International Jet Management Completes Pylon International Inc. Acquisition". Markets.pe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  95. ^ "End of The Year Critic's List", Melody Maker Magazine, 17 December 1993, p. 28.
  96. ^ "Best of '95", Music Beat Magazine, January 1996, p. 43.