Remembering Tom Wilson

He had one of the greatest production arcs in pop music history:

Sun RaSun Song

Cecil TaylorJazz Advance

Sun RaThe Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra

Bob DylanThe Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

Bob DylanThe Times They Are A-Changin’

Bob DylanAnother Side of Bob Dylan

Simon and GarfunkelWednesday Morning, 3 A.M.

Simon and GarfunkelThe Sound of Silence (Single)

Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home

Bob Dylan: “Like a Rolling Stone” (Single)

Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited

Mothers of Invention: Freak Out!

Eric Burdon & The Animals: Eric Is Here

Mothers of Invention: Absolutely Free

The Blues Project: Projections

The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground & Nico

Nico: Chelsea Girl

The Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat

But outside of the heads who really know, he’s been largely forgotten.

Shame on us.

Today, I salute Tom Wilson, staff producer at Transition, Savoy, Columbia and Verve. on what would have been his 80th Birthday.

I’m hoping that Bob Dylan took a moment to think about Tom.  When Bob breaks up in hysterical laughter on the beginning of ‘Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream’, the other voice you hear is Wilson.

I’m hoping Simon & Garfunkel take pause to thank Tom.  His remix of ‘Sounds Of Silence’ made them international superstars.

I’m hoping Lou Reed gives a minute of his day to remember Tom.  He did the production work on the first two Velvet Underground albums.

God Bless Frank Zappa.  In any interview with Kurt Loder,  Zappa openly acknowledged Tom for putting his job and his rep on the line and producing – record company politics be dammed – the first two Mothers Of Invention albums.

I would suggest that you go out and buy any of the aforementioned albums here, but chances are, you probably bought them several times over.

Now you know who helped shape the sound.

Check out this brief overview that was done by Steven Stancell:

Happy Birthday Tom!


About earldouglas

Author of the book, 'Black Rock Volume 1', which is available now at and as an e-book on Barnes & and Executive Director of the Black Rock Coalition New York Chapter. Photographer, music fan, Yankee fan, supporter of the arts!
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