Friday, July 6, 2018

R.I.P.: Nashville Recording Engineer Jim Malloy

Jim Malloy, a recording engineer, publisher and producer, died Thursday, The Tennessean reports.

He was 87-years-of-age,

Over the course of his career — first in Hollywood, then Nashville — Malloy worked with a staggering list of legends, including Elvis Presley (who called him the "best engineer anywhere as far as I'm concerned"), Duke Ellington, Johnny Cash, Henry Mancini and Dolly Parton.

He won a Grammy Award in 1964 for engineering Mancini's "Charade" and was nominated for five more Grammys that decade for his work on Presley's "How Great Thou Art," Eddy Arnold's "The Last Word in Lonesome is Me," "The Latin Sound of Henry Mancini," "Pink Panther" and "The Addams Family Main Theme."

Malloy was born in a Dixon, Ill. garage in 1931. In 1954, he moved to California to pursue a career in the electronics industry. He eventually got a job at NBC and went to night school at National Electronics in downtown Los Angeles.

After leaving NBC, Malloy got a job in electrical maintenance at Radio Recorders, an L.A. studio. There, Alan Emig, head of Columbia Records' West Coast division and a former mixing engineer for Capitol Records, took Malloy under his wing.

During his time in California, he engineered several records for, among others, guitar great Duane Eddy. “He was a sweetheart, and he had great ears,” Eddy said. “(Great engineers) kind of peripherally produce the record themselves. They don’t really inflict themselves on the producer…but they subtly sneak little things in there to make it better."

Producer Chet Atkins, who came to Los Angeles to record the Anita Kerr Singers, asked Eddy who the best engineer in town was. His answer: Jim Malloy.

“As soon as I said it, I bit my tongue, because I knew what was coming,” Eddy remembered. Sure enough, Atkins' next question was, “Think he’d move to Nashville?”

Malloy came to Tennessee in the mid-1960s. In Nashville, he worked with Atkins at RCA from January 1965 to November 1968, then worked at Monument Records.

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