|This article does not cite any references (sources). (December 2009)|
|Birth name||Nikolas Kostantinos Venetoulis|
|Also known as||Tony Cost, Nik Venet|
|Born||3 December 1936|
|Died||2 January 1998(aged 61)|
|Associated acts||The Beach Boys|
Nick Venet (born Nikolas Kostantinos Venetoulis, 3 December 1936 – 2 January 1998) was an American record producer who began his career at age 19 with World Pacific Jazz. He is primarily known for signing the Beach Boys and producing their early material.
Mentored by Lee Gillette, John Hammond, and Richard Bach, he worked with such notables as Chet Baker, Lord Buckley, Nat "King" Cole, Stan Getz, Chico Hamilton, Stan Kenton, Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, Peggy Lee, Gerry Mulligan, Ravi Shankar, and Kay Starr. At 21 he joined Capitol Records, giving them their first hits in a decade with The Lettermen. As well as being a producer, he was head of A&R at Capitol.
Venet is primarily known for signing the Beach Boys and producing their early material. Nik produced a number of other important Capitol clients, including Ray Anthony, The Buddies, Glen Campbell, Cashman, Pistilli, and West, Jim Croce, Ingrid Croce, King Curtis, Karen Dalton, Bobby Darin, the Four Preps, George Gerdes, Jimmie Haskell, Hearts & Flowers with Bernie Leadon, Hedge and Donna, The Hondells, the Honeys, the Kingston Trio, The Leaves, the Lettermen, Lothar and the Hand People, Mad River, Maffit & Davies, Ian Matthews and Matthews Southern Comfort, Onzie Matthews, Les McCann, Fred Neil, Vince Martin, Ricky Nelson, Dinsmore Payne, Lou Rawls, Billy Lee Riley, Murray Roman, Linda Ronstadt, Jack Scott, Maxine Sellers, Serendipity Singers, John Stewart, the Stone Poneys, Allan Taylor, Guthrie Thomas, The Vettes, Wendy Waldman, The Walker Brothers, Sammy Walker, and Timi Yuro.
He was executive producer on spoken word albums such as John G. Neihardt's Black Elk Speaks produced and recorded by William McIntyre, the Odyssey Theater Players in The Chicago Conspiracy Trial, Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks' 2000 Year Old Man series, and Orson Welles' Begatting of the President. When Capitol Vice President Alan W. Livingston left to start Mediarts Records, he took Venet with him. There Venet produced Dory Previn (who wrote about their romantic relationship in "Lemon Haired Ladies") and Don McLean. He stayed on a few years when the company was sold to United Artists. He also recorded such luminaries as Sam Cooke and the Pilgrim Travelers, Ivory Joe Hunter, Sarah Kernochan, Vince Martin and the Tarriers, the Nashville Street Singers, Ted Neeley, Wayne Newton, Jack Nitzche, Shorty Rogers, Bonnie Murray Tamblyn, Harriet Schock, Gene Vincent, Waddy Wachtel, Clara Ward, Sarah Kim Wilde, Bobby Womack, and Frank Zappa. He also produced the original cast albums for the Broadway musical Salvation and the off-Broadway hit The Last Session by Steve Schalchlin - ironically, Venet's last session.
His name is listed in the music credits for the 1965 skateboard film, Skaterdater.
Later life and death
He later changed his name to Nik Venet in honor of his grandfather. He died on 2 January 1998 of Burkitt's lymphoma. He is survived by his filmmaker son, Nik Venet III.