20 Facts About Arif Mardin


Arif Mardin was a Turkish-American music producer, who worked with hundreds of artists across many different styles of music, including jazz, rock, soul, disco and country.

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Arif Mardin worked at Atlantic Records for over 30 years, as producer, arranger, studio manager, and vice president, before moving to EMI and serving as vice president and general manager of Manhattan Records.

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Arif Mardin was awarded eleven Grammy Awards and has eighteen nominations.

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Arif Mardin was born in Istanbul into a renowned family that included statesmen, diplomats and leaders in the civic, military and business sectors of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic.

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Arif Mardin's father was co-owner in a petroleum gas station chain.

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Arif Mardin grew up listening to the likes of Bing Crosby and Glenn Miller.

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Arif Mardin sent three demo compositions to his friend Tahir Sur who worked at a radio station in America.

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Sur took these compositions to Quincy Jones and Arif Mardin became the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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Arif Mardin was later made a trustee of Berklee and was awarded an honorary doctorate.

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Arif Mardin began his career at Atlantic Records in 1963 as an assistant to Nesuhi Ertegun.

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Arif Mardin rose through the ranks quickly, becoming studio manager, label house producer and arranger.

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Arif Mardin worked closely on many projects with co-founders Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, as well as noted recording engineer Tom Dowd; the three legends were responsible for establishing the "Atlantic Sound".

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Arif Mardin retired from Atlantic Records in May 2001 and re-activated his label Manhattan Records.

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Arif Mardin is listed on Stephen Stills' first album issued by Atlantic Records, as a contributing artist for string arrangement on the songs "Church" and "To a Flame".

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Arif Mardin, when producing the Bee Gees' 1975 Main Course album track "Nights on Broadway" discovered the distinctive falsetto of Barry Gibb, which became a familiar trademark of the band throughout the disco era.

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Arif Mardin made three solo albums: Glass Onion, in 1970, Journey, in 1975, and All My Friends Are Here, in 2006.

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Arif Mardin composed, arranged, conducted and produced The Prophet, an interpretation of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, in 1974, featuring Richard Harris.

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In 1990, Arif Mardin was inducted into the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

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Arif Mardin came to the United States in 1958 with his wife, Latife Mardin, who was a playwright and translator.

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Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the Turkish president, said in a statement: “I was deeply saddened by the death of Arif Mardin, who is considered to be one of the most important music producers of the 20th century.

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