Mike Vernon (record producer)

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Mike Vernon
Portrait of record producer, Mike Vernon
Background information
Birth nameMichael William Hugh Vernon
Born (1944-11-20) 20 November 1944 (age 77)
Harrow, Middlesex, England
GenresBlues, pop rock
Occupation(s)Record producer, recording engineer, executive producer
Years active1963–present
LabelsCBS Records, Polydor Records, Blue Horizon Records, Decca Records
Associated actsBluesbreakers, David Bowie, Duster Bennett, Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Climax Blues Band, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, John Mayall, Christine McVie, Ten Years After, Focus, Bloodstone, Curtis Jones, Champion Jack Dupree, Otis Spann, Eddie Boyd, Furry Lewis, Bukka White, Olympic Runners, Rocky Sharpe and the Replays, Dr. Feelgood, Chris Farlowe, Freddie King, Frankie Ford, Jimmy Witherspoon. Level 42, Oli Brown

Michael William Hugh Vernon MBE (born 20 November 1944)[1] is an English music executive studio owner, and record producer from Harrow, Middlesex.[2] He produced albums for British blues artists and groups in the 1960s, working with the Bluesbreakers, David Bowie, Duster Bennett, Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Climax Blues Band, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, John Mayall, Christine McVie and Ten Years After amongst others.[3]

Biography[edit]

Vernon is best known as founder of the blues record label, Blue Horizon.[2] He worked at Decca Records starting in 1963, and produced the Mayall-Clapton collaboration Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (1966).[3]

In 1967, he produced David Bowie's debut album for Deram Records.[4] The 1971 Blue Horizon release Bring It Back Home featured Paul Kossoff and Rory Gallagher, each appearing on one track. Two years later, Vernon released a solo album, Moment of Madness, on Sire Records. He was also a member of Olympic Runners (1974–1979) and acted as producer for them. He was a producer and member of Rocky Sharpe and the Replays (1979–1983). With the Replays he sang bass under the pseudonym of Eric Rondo.[5] He founded the Indigo and Code Blue record labels in the 1990s.[3]

Vernon came out of retirement to produce Dani Wilde's album Shine, and the second album by the British blues prodigy, Oli Brown. Brown's album entitled Heads I Win, Tails You Lose was released in March 2010.[6]

In October 2013, Vernon was rewarded with a BASCA Gold Badge Award,[7] in recognition of his unique contribution to music.

On 7 September 2018, Vernon's first album on Manhaton Records, Beyond The Blues Horizon, was released. It featured twelve tracks, including nine new self-penned originals, and three covers from the catalogues of Brook Benton, Mose Allison and Clarence "Frogman" Henry.[8] The release was supported by a European tour under the billing of 'Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo'.[9] Vernon's band, The Mighty Combo, consisted of Kid Carlos (guitar), Ian Jennings (upright bass), Matt Little (keyboards), Paul Tasker (saxophone) and Mike Hellier (drums).

Vernon was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to music.[10]

Production discography[edit]

  • 1965 – Five Long YearsEddie Boyd
  • 1965 - From the Land of Green Ginger - The Green Ginger Three
  • 1966 – Bluesbreakers with Eric ClaptonJohn Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • 1966 – Art GalleryThe Artwoods
  • 1966 – "Rubber Band" – David Bowie
  • 1966 – Sound of Sitar – Chim Kothari
  • 1967 – Champion Jack Dupree and His Blues BandChampion Jack Dupree featuring Mickey Baker
  • 1967 – "Love You till Tuesday" – David Bowie
  • 1967 – The Blues AloneJohn Mayall
  • 1967 – A Hard Road – John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • 1967 – Crusade — John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • 1967 – David Bowie – David Bowie
  • 1967 – Eddie Boyd and His Blues Band – Eddie Boyd (Liner notes)
  • 1967 – Raw Blues – Various Artists
  • 1967 – Shake DownSavoy Brown
  • 1967 – Ten Years AfterTen Years After
  • 1968 – The 1968 Memphis Country Blues Festival – Various Artists
  • 1968 – Roosevelt Holts: Presenting The Country Blues (Production)
  • 1968 – 40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to ServeChicken Shack
  • 1968 – 7936 South Rhodes – Eddie Boyd
  • 1968 – Bare Wires – John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • 1968 – Blues from Laurel Canyon – John Mayall
  • 1968 – Long Overdue – Gordon Smith
  • 1968 – Diary of a Band, Vol. 1 – John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • 1968 – Diary of a Band, Vol. 2 – John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • 1968 – Getting to the Point – Savoy Brown
  • 1968 – Last Night's DreamJohnny Shines
  • 1968 – Fleetwood MacFleetwood Mac
  • 1968 – Mr. Wonderful – Fleetwood Mac
  • 1968 – Undead – Ten Years After (Liner notes)
  • 1968 – Fully InterlockingThe Web
  • 1968 – Memphis Hot ShotsBukka White (Production, liner notes, photo)
  • 1969 – 100 Ton Chicken – Chicken Shack
  • 1969 – The Biggest Thing Since ColossusOtis Spann (Liner notes)
  • 1969 – Blue Matter – Savoy Brown (Percussion, arranger, assistant)
  • 1969 – Fleetwood Mac in Chicago/Blues Jam in Chicago, Vols. 1-2 – Fleetwood Mac
  • 1969 – English Rose – Fleetwood Mac
  • 1969 – First Slice – Jellybread
  • 1969 – Heavy Blues – Champion Jack Dupree
  • 1969 – Looking Back – John Mayall (Liner notes)
  • 1969 – Midnight JumpSunnyland Slim
  • 1969 – O.K. Ken? – Chicken Shack
  • 1969 – Fiends And AngelsMartha Veléz
  • 1969 – Patent Pending – The Johnny Almond Music Machine
  • 1969 – The Pious Bird of Good Omen – Fleetwood Mac
  • 1969 – A Step Further – Savoy Brown (Percussion, bells)
  • 1969 – Stonedhenge – Ten Years After (Vocals)
  • 1969 – Presenting the Country Blues/Furry Lewis (Production, liner notes)
  • 1969 – Presenting the Country Blues/Mississippi Joe Callicott (Production, liner notes)
  • 1970 – Theraphosa BlondiThe Web
  • 1970 – Stars of the 1969–1970 Memphis Country Blues Festival – Various Artists
  • 1970 – Grease One for Me – Bacon Fat
  • 1970 – White Hot Blue BlackJohn L. Watson
  • 1970 – In and Out of FocusFocus (Liner notes, supervisor)
  • 1970 – The End of the GamePeter Green
  • 1970 – Accept – Chicken Shack
  • 1971 – Black Magic Woman – Fleetwood Mac
  • 1971 – Bring It Back Home – Mike Vernon (Harmonica, percussion, vocals)
  • 1971 – The Original Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac
  • 1971 – Moving Waves – Focus (Liner notes, supervisor)
  • 1971 – Rick Hayward – Rick Hayward (Liner notes)
  • 1971 – Thru the Years – John Mayall
  • 1972 – Alvin Lee and Company – Ten Years After
  • 1972 – Discovering the BluesRobben Ford
  • 1972 – Focus 3 – Focus (Supervisor, backing vocals)
  • 1972 – Rocking at the Tweed Mill – Livin' Blues
  • 1973 – At the Rainbow – Focus (Supervisor)
  • 1973 – History of British Blues Vol. 1 (Various Artists) (Production, liner notes and on one song)
  • 1973 – Ram Jam Josey – Livin' Blues
  • 1974 – BurglarFreddie King (Percussion)
  • 1974 – Hamburger Concerto – Focus
  • 1975 – Larger Than Life – Freddie King (Percussion)
  • 1975 – Love Is a Five Letter WordJimmy Witherspoon (Percussion)
  • 1975 – Out in FrontOlympic Runners (Percussion)
  • 1975 – Vintage Years – Fleetwood Mac
  • 1976 – Do You Wanna Do a ThingBloodstone
  • 1976 – Gold PlatedClimax Blues Band
  • 1976 – Live – Jimmy Witherspoon & Robben Ford (Executive production, editing, mixing)
  • 1977 – Best of Savoy Brown – Savoy Brown
  • 1977 – Edwin StarrEdwin Starr (Tambourine, vibraslap)
  • 1977 – Hot to Trot – Olympic Runners (Percussion, vocals)
  • 1977 – On the Line – Foster Brothers
  • 1977 – Ship of Memories – Focus
  • 1977 – Soul Survivors – Diversions
  • 1978 – Focus con Proby – Focus (Liner notes, supervisor)
  • 1978 – Puttin' It Onya - Olympic Runners (Percussion, vocals)
  • 1979 – Let It RollDr. Feelgood
  • 1979 – Out of the Ground – Olympic Runners (Percussion)
  • 1979 – Rama LamaRocky Sharpe and the Replays
  • 1980 – Rock-It-To MarsRocky Sharpe and the Replays
  • 1980 – Let's Go (Shout! Shout!) – Rocky Sharpe and the Replays
  • 1981 – Level 42Level 42
  • 1982 – The Pursuit of Accidents – Level 42
  • 1983 – Stop! Please Stop! – Rocky Sharpe and the Replays
  • 1983 – Good Rockin' Tonight – Johnny & the Roccos (Production)[11]
  • 1984 – End of the Line – Pete McDonald
  • 1985 – Graffiti – New Jordal Swingers
  • 1986 – Mad Man Blues – Dr. Feelgood
  • 1986 – On the LooseSteve Gibbons
  • 1987 – Hat Trick – Blues 'N' Trouble (Percussion)
  • 1987 – Guitar Guitar – 32/20
  • 1988 – CrossroadsEric Clapton
  • 1988 – Great British Psychedelic Trip, Vol. 1, 1966-69 – Various Artists
  • 1988 – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers – John Mayall
  • 1988 – RoachfordRoachford
  • 1988 – Songs for the Weekend – New Jordal Swingers
  • 1989 – Level Best – Level 42
  • 1989 – Singles – The UA Years – Dr. Feelgood
  • 1989 – Steel & Fire – The Mick Clarke Band (Engineer)
  • 1989 - Mick 'Wildman' Pini – Mick Pini
  • 1989 – Storyteller - The Complete Anthology: 1964–1990Rod Stewart
  • 1990 – Blues It UpDana Gillespie (Percussion)
  • 1991 – That's What The Blues Can Do – The Innes Sibun Blues Explosion (Production)[12]
  • 1991 – Second SightChris Youlden (Vocals, engineer)
  • 1992 – 25 Years - The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
  • 1992 – Attack of the Atomic GuitarU.P. Wilson (Engineer, mixing)
  • 1992 – Blue LightningLightnin' Slim (Mixing)
  • 1992 – Blues, the Whole Blues & Nothing But the Blues – Jimmy Witherspoon (Percussion, engineer, mixing, liner notes)[1]
  • 1992 – Chiswick Story – Various Artists
  • 1992 – Delta BluesmanDavid Honeyboy Edwards
  • 1993 – Dog Days Are OverThe Scabs
  • 1993 – Delta HurricaneLarry McCray
  • 1993 – Clima RaroDanza Invisible
  • 1994 – Live Dog – The Scabs
  • 1994 – Sound Like This – The Hoax
  • 1994 – Al Compás de la Banda – Danza Invisible
  • 1995 – Dos Caras Distintas – Los Secretos
  • 1996 – A Man Amongst MenBo Diddley (Production, liner notes, percussion)
  • 1997 – Me To YouEric Bibb (Production, backing vocals, percussion)
  • 1998 – SwangoCandye Kane (Production, backing vocals, tambourine)
  • 1999 - Blues Gonna Be My WayMick Pini
  • 1999 – The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions 1967–1969 – Fleetwood Mac (Production)
  • 2007 – The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions – Otis Spann (Production)
  • 2007 – Furry Lewis & Mississippi Joe CallicottThe Complete Blue Horizon Sessions (Production, liner notes, photos)
  • 2007 – The 1968 Memphis Country Blues festivalBukka White The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions (Production, liner notes, photos)
  • 2008 – The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions – Jellybread (Production, liner notes)
  • 2008 – The Complete Blue Horizon SessionsTop Topham (Production, liner notes)
  • 2008 – The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions – Key Largo (Production, liner notes)
  • 2008 – The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions – Gordon Smith (Production, liner notes)
  • 2008 – The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions – Eddie Boyd (Production, liner notes)
  • 2008 – The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions – Champion Jack Dupree (Production, liner notes)
  • 2010 – Heads I Win, Tails You LoseOli Brown (Production)
  • 2010 – ShineDani Wilde (Production)
  • 2010 – Fun to Visit – Mingo & The Blues Intruders[13] (Production)
  • 2015 - Just A Little Bit - Mike Vernon & Los García[14] (vocals & kazoo - Production & liner notes)
  • 2016 – Take Me HighLaurence Jones[15]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bob Brunning, Blues: The British Connection, Helter Skelter Publishing, London 2002, ISBN 1-900924-41-2 - First edition 1986 - Second edition 1995 Blues in Britain
  • Bob Brunning, The Fleetwood Mac Story: Rumours and Lies, Omnibus Press London, 1990 and 1998, ISBN 0-7119-6907-8
  • Martin Celmins, Peter Green - Founder of Fleetwood Mac, Sanctuary London, 1995, foreword by B.B.King, ISBN 1-86074-233-5
  • Dick Heckstall-Smith, The safest place in the world: A personal history of British Rhythm and blues, 1989 Quartet Books Limited, ISBN 0-7043-2696-5 - Second Edition : Blowing The Blues - Fifty Years Playing The British Blues, 2004, Clear Books, ISBN 1-904555-04-7
  • Christopher Hjort, Strange brew: Eric Clapton and the British blues boom, 1965-1970, foreword by John Mayall, Jawbone 2007, ISBN 1-906002-00-2
  • Paul Myers, Long John Baldry and the Birth of the British Blues, Vancouver 2007, GreyStone Books, ISBN 1-55365-200-2
  • Harry Shapiro, Alexis Korner: The Biography, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, London 1997, Discography by Mark Troster, ISBN 0-7475-3163-3
  • Mike Vernon, The Blue Horizon Story 1965-1970 vol.1, notes from the booklet of the box set (60 pages)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2590. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b "Mike Vernon: Biography". MSN Music. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Biography by Richie Unterberger". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Ranking: Every David Bowie Album from Worst to Best". Consequence.net. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  5. ^ Matt Frost. "Mike Vernon: Producing British Blues". Soundonsound.com. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  6. ^ Applegate, Zoe (11 May 2010). "BBC - Oli Brown lures producer Mike Vernon for blues album". BBC News. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  7. ^ "2013 BASCA Gold Badge Award Recipients Announced". Ppluk.com. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Mike Vernon Steps Beyond the Blues Horizon". Ramzine.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  9. ^ "MIKE VERNON – Beyond The Blue Horizon". Rawramp.me. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  10. ^ "No. 63135". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 October 2020. p. B23.
  11. ^ "Johnny & The Roccos - Good Rockin' Tonight". Discogs. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Innes Sibun Biography". Innessibun.org.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Mingo Balaguer". Mingobalaguer.es. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  14. ^ "Mike Vernon & Los Garcia - Just A Little Bit - DWM Music Company". Dwmmusic.com. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  15. ^ Liam Martin. "Laurence Jones | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 July 2017.

External links[edit]