Wally Heider

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Wally Heider (1923–1989) was an American recording engineer and recording studio owner (Wally Heider Studios.) After a distinguished career as an engineer in the 1940s [source?] and 1950s, he was instrumental in recording the San Francisco Sound in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A significant number of Rolling Stone Magazine's Top 500 albums were recorded in his studio including Volunteers by Jefferson Airplane, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere by Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Electric Warrior by T. Rex, Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison, American Beauty by the Grateful Dead, Green River by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Amazing Grace by Aretha Franklin and Abraxas by Santana.

Though he had a chronic stutter and more than ample girth, nothing could stop him from refining and advancing the art of studio and remote recording. His high-energy style endeared him to many musical artists whose work was enhanced by his engineering techniques.

His initial collection of recordings from the big band era formed the basis of the Hindsight Records catalogue, acquired from Heider in 1979 by Thomas Gramuglia. Through Heider, Hindsight ended up owning over 9,000 copyrights and masters. In 1986 Wally Heider hired music-film Consultant Joseph Nicoletti Jr. of Laguna Beach,California to make & present the Big Band Masters to MCA, Sony-interscope,Paramount pictures and many more broadcast and Marketing companies.[1]

Career chronology[edit]

Musicians, Albums, Concerts[edit]



Heider's remote recordings of Big Bands broadcasting via radio from the middle 1930s into the 1950s are a treasure trove of "live" recordings performed by a wide assortment of some of the most notable, (as well as lesser known), big band, jazz and popular artists of the entire period. Many of these broadcast recordings provide some of the only known recordings of complete arrangements by those artists, and include entire sections of arrangements that otherwise had to be cut from recordings made in commercial recording studios, because of the timing constraint that was prevalent for records throughout the entire pre-LP recording era. (Recordings made for commercial release on 10" 78-RPM records could not exceed three minutes and thirty seconds of music, and many jukeboxes were automatically timed to change records at 3:20.) As for his later years, the breadth and scope of important albums recorded by Heider reads like a veritable who's who of 70's album rock. For a full list of albums he recorded, see Wally Heider Studios.


  1. ^ Description of Hindsight Records, contained in "Michelex Merges with Hindsight Records". News Release, March 9, 2005.

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