Peter Asher's Career / Open Lines

Hosted byIan Punnett

Peter Asher's Career / Open Lines

About the show

Peter Asher is a singer, musician, record producer, broadcaster, and writer, and he is the winner of multiple Grammy Awards, including twice being named Producer of the Year. Born in London in 1944, he got his start as half of the duo Peter & Gordon and was the first head of A&R for Apple Records. As a producer, he has worked with James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond, Robin Williams, Cher, and many other artists. He joined Ian Punnett (Twitter) to discuss his fascinating career in music.

Asher revealed his first hit single with duo partner Gordon Waller, "A World Without Love," (1964) was written by his sister's then-boyfriend, Paul McCartney. The song was unfinished and needed a bridge before they could record it, so Asher asked McCartney to complete it. "Eventually, he took his guitar and went to his bedroom for a depressingly short seven or eight minutes... if you're Paul that's what you can do," he said. Asher's association with The Beatles ultimately led him to take a job as the A&R guy at the band's newly-formed label, Apple Records.

Apple signed singer-songwriter James Taylor to the new label after McCartney and George Harrison heard his demo tape, Asher recalled. Two hits from Taylor's time with Apple Records, "Carolina In My Mind" and "Something In The Way She Moves," had to be re-recorded for a greatest hits album because the masters were tied up in legal proceedings, he added. "[Taylor] wanted to do it a little more the way he was doing it live on the road at the time," Asher continued. He also talked about the distinctive stylistic unity in the records he has produced, calling the sound "clean and tidy," and how his work with Linda Ronstadt changed the direction of her career. "I made a conscious effort to focus on the brilliance of her voice and her singing," he recounted.

Open Lines followed in the remainder of the program.

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