Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Long-term Joni Mitchell engineer Henry Lewy has died.

German-born Lewy entered the music industry as a disc jockey in the 1950s, moving between stations in California and Nevada. He left radio to head to South America - he actually ran away to join a circus - but returned to LA in 1959. His dj experience was of less use in his new career than the engineering skills he'd picked up at the same time, and it was as an engineer that he joined the Electrovox Studios.

His next move was to Liberty Records, where he helped engineer The Chipmunks (presumably a key role here being making sure the tape ran faster than normal). This stain on his name should be set against the other acts he worked with later, including the Mamas and the Papas, Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Neil Young), and Long Ryders.

His most famous role came as engineer for Joni Mitchell - he worked with her on all but her first album - although Mitchell could be snippy about how useful he was, snapping in interview "People assume Henry Lewy, my engineer, was my producer, but it's not true."

Lewy was 79. He died April 8th in Prescott, Arizona.