Legendary music producer Arif Mardin died Sunday night. This was a very classy man, much loved by all the artists he ever worked with.
And the artists he worked with were as diverse an array as anyone has ever tackled. For decades, he was a star in-house producer with Atlantic Records, making records with Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, the Bee Gees, Average White Band, Barbra Streisand, The Rascals, Phil Collins, John Prine, Halls and Oats, George Benson, Average White Band and dozens more...
He retired from Atlantic in 2001 and a few months later, he went into the studio with an unknown young woman for his pals at Blue Note Records. The result was the Grammy-winning, multi-platinum debut by Norah Jones, COME AWAY WITH ME. And our song tonight is my favorite from that album, a cover of Hank Williams' classic "Cold Cold Heart."
In honor of Arif's passing, I have 2 brand new box sets titled "WILLIE NELSON-- THE COMPLETE ATLANTIC SESSIONS." If you wanna play this game, be sure to include an e-mail address. Just send us your top 10 songs (could be "my top 10 songs of all time," "my top 10 songs by women singers," "my top 10 songs with a political message," "my top ten songs with an alto sax," "my top 10 songs from the 80's"... anything). Tomorrow morning, I'm going to look 'em all over and pick one and John's gonna look 'em all over and he'll pick one too. And the two winners are going to each get a box of Willie.
(guest blogged by Howie Klein)