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 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.
- 1941, 1946: production of several Alvino Rey and his Orchestra hits, including Bumble Boogie (1946)
- '60s Big band and pop recordings
- disciple of Bill Putnam; assisted at United Western Recorders, Hollywood.
- 1966 Monterey Jazz Festival remote recordings; met Dale Manquen.
- 1967 Monterey Pop Festival remote recordings.
- 1968 Studio 3, Los Angeles Crosby Stills & Nash
- 1968-1980 Wally Heider Studios, 245 Hyde Street, S.F.
- 1969 remote 24-track recording
- 1970 remote 8-track recording; for example Creedence Clearwater Revival at Oakland Coliseum.
- 1971-72 1971-72 dual 2-inch 24-track remote truck recording.
- August 20, 1972 Wattstax recording
- 1974-75 remote concert recordings in the Los Angeles area.
- Instrument rental business in SF until Dolph Rempp and SIR came along.
- 1975 studio at 1604 N. Cahuenga, L.A.
- 1976 Filmways
Musicians, Albums, Concerts
- Woody Herman
- Gary Tole
- The Who, Monterey Pop
- Jimi Hendrix, Monterey Pop
- Ravi Shankar, Monterey Pop
- The Beach Boys: Smiley Smile, Lei'd in Hawaii (unreleased), Wild Honey, 20/20 ("Time to Get Alone" only)
- Bob Marley and the Wailers, Live at the Roxy
- Crosby, Stills, Nash, CSN 1969
- Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Deja Vu
- Jefferson Airplane
- Hot Tuna
- David Bowie
- Doobie Brothers
- Grateful Dead
- Jefferson Starship
- Fleetwood Mac
- Don Kirshner's Rock Concert
- Creedence Clearwater Revival
- Earth, Wind & Fire
- Herbie Hancock
- The Jacksons
- Stan Kenton
- Bee Gees, "Here At Last Live"
- The iconic Frampton Comes Alive - west coast shows
Engineers worked with
- John (Jack) Crymes Jr. (recording engineer, Senior Electrical Engineer) Remote Recording, Heiders LA Studios
- Stephen Jarvis (recording engineer) Heiders SF '70-'75
- David Fraser (Automatt)
- Russ Gary ('68-'69 helped prep SF studios for opening) (Hyde '69-'71)
- Stephen Barncard
- Ellen Burke (245 Hyde)
- Lesley Barncard (1975 Cahuenga)
- Leslie Ann Jones (Automatt)
- Maureen Droney (Automatt)
- Michael Rosen (Automatt)
- John Nowl (Automatt)
- Fred Catero (Automatt)
- Jeffrey Cohen (Automatt)
- Tom Scott (1966)
- Gray Odell (1966)
- Ben Gardner
- Michael Patterson
- Ken Caillat
- Dan Agostino (Heiders L.A. '74-'76)
- Richard Dashut
- Chris Morris (for Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
- Ken Kessie (Automatt)
- Steve Mantoani
- Jim Simon (Filmways/Heiders '78-'83)
- Mel Tanner
- Harry Sitam
- Frank DeMedio
- George Fernandez (first session, Hyde st. '69)
- Jerry Martin (Hyde '69)
- Dave LaBarre
- Bill Halverson (1966 Monterey crew)
- Grover Hemsley (1966 Monterey crew)
- Ken Hopkins (Hyde '70)
- Dave Mancini
- Steve Malcolm 1974-80
- Biff Dawes (Woody Herman, Live at Monterey) Cahuenga 1971-1982
- Gabby Garcia (recording engineer) Cahuenga 1971 - 1979
- Larry Cox (LA and SF studios 1968-1978)
- David Coffin (245 Hyde)
- Andrew Bloch (Hustler and engineer) Cahuenga 1972 - 1978. Various remote and studio recordings.
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.
- Description of Hindsight Records, contained in "Michelex Merges with Hindsight Records". News Release, March 9, 2005.