RIP: Michael Viner, record producer, Incredible Bongo Band

From Rolling Stone:

Michael Viner, the record producer whose 1973 recording of “Apache” by the Incredible Bongo Band is the cornerstone of hip-hop, died in Los Angeles on Saturday, August 8th, from cancer. He was 65.

Viner held a number of positions in the entertainment world. He was an executive for MGM Records in the 1970s, signing Debby Boone (whose “You Light Up My Life” was Number One for 10 weeks in 1977) and helping produce Sammy Davis Jr.’s “The Candy Man,” which topped the charts in 1972. He also produced the second Nixon inaugural ball in early 1973, a result of his association with Republican MGM head Mike Curb, lieutenant governor of California from 1979 to 1983. (Viner’s politics were more liberal; he’d worked as an aide for Robert Kennedy in the ’60s.) Later, Viner’s Dove imprint pioneered books-on-tape, and he later made a name publishing books based on tabloid scandal. Still, it’s the much-sampled Incredible Bongo Band recordings that stand as Viner’s lasting achievement.

- Incredible Bongo Band Wikipedia entry

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