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NEW :: "Album Produced by ... " - A Bruce Kimmel Memoir

In 1993, actor/writer/director Bruce Kimmel made another drastic life change and began a new journey, this time as a record producer. Within a year he became a hugely successful producer of musical theatre recordings, at a time when musical theatre recordings were not exactly high on anyone’s popularity list. It was soon clear that Kimmel had a point of view, along with a dream that when people saw the credit “Album Produced by Bruce Kimmel” that it might actually mean something.

The story of that journey is peopled with an incredibly colorful cast of characters, including Stephen Sondheim, Lauren Bacall, Elaine Stritch, Dorothy Loudon, John Kander, Schmidt and Jones, Jerry Herman, Carol Channing, Petula Clark, Helen Reddy, and just about every great singer working back in what would be the last Golden Days of the record business. Kimmel produced cast albums (both Broadway and off-Broadway), gave new writers the chance to have their music recorded, new singers the chance to be heard, and made occasional best-selling forays into film music and jazz. From 1993 to 1999, when he and Varese Sarabande parted ways, he’d produced over 120 albums.

The next five years of his life would be a rollercoaster ride that most people would never want to take. He rides the ups, downs, curves, and thrills with humor, positivity, and perseverance. He creates a new and unique label, watches it crash and burn, and then rebuilds his life yet again, always fighting the good fight. As with There’s Mel, There’s Woody, and There’s You, the first volume of his memoirs, Album Produced by… is filled with laughter, tears, joy, suspense, back-stabbing, broken promises, and above all, music—the grand and glorious music that Kimmel and company were able to bring forth.

You’ll watch during the creation and recording of some of the most beloved musical theatre albums ever made. You’ll meet not only the singers, but Kimmel’s engineer, musical directors, arrangers, orchestrators, and musicians—an unlikely array of collaborators all led by Kimmel’s vision, understanding, and sometimes insane passion. Written with warmth and humor, Album Produced by… is a look back at a remarkable career in the recording industry.

Bruce Kimmel is the author of eleven previous books, including a memoir about his acting, writing, and directing days entitled There’s Mel, There’s Woody, and There’s You: My Life In The Slow Lane. He has had an active career in one form of show business or another for over forty years. His record label, Kritzerland, issues musical theatre and soundtrack recordings.

Mr. Kimmel lives in Studio City, California.




Just as Frank Sinatra had an additional and invaluable career as the great preservationist and evangelist of the American popular song (with particular focus on the Lost and Found), so author-actor-singer-director Bruce Kimmel has additionally served the cause of Broadway and Hollywood beyond measure, producing some of the most memorable vocalists of our time in recordings that give new life to music that might otherwise be forgotten, while renewing and revitalizing the theatrical canon with his impeccable taste and unerring musicality. In his usual engaging and endearing style, he at last gives us a first-hand view of his process. For this terrific chronicle, and for his immeasurable contribution to musical theatre, we can only give our most inadequate thanks.

        —Rupert Holmes,
       Tony and Edgar award-winning playwright and novelist

Bruce Kimmel’s rollicking memoir, There’s Mel, There’s Woody, and There’s You, left his fans begging for more. Thankfully, the theatre gods are kind and answered our prayers. Actor, director, composer, playwright, novelist, film-maker...and good at all of them, Kimmel has reinvented himself more times than Madonna and had more lives than a cat. In Album Produced by…, he now shape-shifts into what may be his greatest theatrical incarnation—as the foremost album producer of theatre music in the last twenty-five years. Through time and labels, his amazing career fluctuates with more highs and lows than the sliding dials on a soundboard and is sweetened with the usual Kimmel wit-laced raconteurism.Whether working with the greats (Carol Channing, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Louden, Ann-Margret, to name a few) or promoting and often discovering the next big musical stars of Broadway, our intrepid hero battles lessthan- visionary bosses, broken promises, harried orchestrators, enraged engineers, the occasional disgruntled diva, and the mysterious crooner, Guy Haines. But he manages to defeat all obstacles and egos in his way, emerging triumphant to dance in divine syncopation with the glorious music he creates. To know the stories behind all those wonderful albums is to listen to them with fresh ears and a new appreciation of the talent, tears, and genius that went into them.

       —Charles Edward Pogue,
           screenwriter of Dragonheart, DOA, & The Fly

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