Former JOURNEY singer Steve Perry has paid tribute to recording engineer Al Schmitt, who died Monday (April 26) at the age of 91.
Over the course of his career, Schmitt received 23 Grammy Awards — more than any other engineer — and was the first person to win both the Grammy and Latin Grammy for "Album Of The Year." Schmitt received Grammys in six consecutive decades, and in 2006 he was honored with a Recording Academy Trustees Award.
Earlier today, Perry took to his social media to write: "One of my biggest heroes in my life passed last night at 91. Al Schmitt was an amazing recording engineer and mixer. He recorded many of Sam Cooke's hits. Over the years we became friends.
"One day I was hanging at one of Al's sessions, and I met composer Patrick Williams. I asked if there were any words to these amazing strings I was listening to. I was told Patrick had just written the composition and simply wanted to record it. Al and Patrick gave me an 'end of day' stereo board mix and some weeks later at Patrick's home, he and his composer assistant Jason Lee and I used that stereo music track to write and record 'October In New York'. That music track Al recorded is on my 'Traces' LP.
"Al was a huge fan of music and was always reaching for all emotional aspects of sincere music. He is missed."
On Schmitt's Facebook page, his family posted the following note: "Al Schmitt's wife Lisa, his five children, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren would like his friends and extended recording industry family to know that he passed away Monday afternoon, April 26.
"The world has lost a much loved and respected extraordinary individual, who led an extraordinary life. The most honored and awarded recording producer/engineer of all time, his parting words at any speaking engagement were, 'Please be kind to all living things.'
"Loved and admired by his recording colleagues, and by the countless artists he worked with, from JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Dr. John, Natalie Cole and Jackson Browne to Bob Dylan — and so many more — Al will be sorely missed. He was a man who loved deeply, and the friendships, love and admiration he received in return enriched his life and truly mattered to him.
"A light has dimmed in the world, but we all learned so much from him in his time on earth, and are so very grateful to have known him."