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Ed Cherney Joins McNally Smith Board of Directors

Legendary L.A. Music Producer, Industry Leader and Grammy Award Winner Sees Big Challenges — and Opportunities — for Students in Wake of Digital Upheaval

The right man at the right time. That’s the consensus among McNally Smith College of Music’s faculty, administration, students and fellow board members upon learning that the legendary music producer Ed Cherney is joining the renowned music school’s Board of Directors. The Grammy Award-winning audio production giant has worked with some of the most influential and enduring recording artists of our time, from Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Bette Midler to the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt and many others.

Besides his role behind the glass, Cherney has worked with the Grammy in the Schools and Grammy Camp programs. He is also a two-time governor of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, a founder of the Grammy’s Producers and Engineers Wing as well as a founding member of the META Alliance, a group of audio industry luminaries. In addition to his work on records for leading artists, he also has worked on numerous film projects and soundtracks.

“Ed has had profound impact on the quality of music made in the past 40 years,” says Harry Chalmiers, President of McNally Smith College of Music. “He’s known for his production work but he has served the industry in numerous capacities. Not only is he a premier producer and engineer, he has real vision and practical viewpoints that will readily serve the direction of the school now and for the future. We welcome his contributions to our Board of Directors and we look forward to his impact on our curriculum, faculty and most importantly among the recording artists and production professionals of tomorrow.”

Cherney joins the board at an auspicious time for both one of the leading music colleges in the country and the music industry at large: McNally Smith is delicately managing its steady growth against an unforgiving economy and the financial struggles of students and their families. The music industry has been turned on its head as the digital upheaval continues to batter every facet of the business model from record label viability and digital distribution issues, right into the recording studio.

Today’s Music Students Need to Know All Aspects of the Business Now

“I have been familiar with McNally Smith for quite awhile and was very impressed with its Production program and faculty and the overall feeling and sensibility at the school,” Cherney notes. “I am happy to be of service to the college at a time when everything in the music business has been changed, including the dramatic drive down of rates among studios, the few that remain, and among leading and emerging producers and engineers.”
The industry leader is known for his work with a wide array of artists, among them Iggy Pop, Bob Seger, Wynonna, Eric Clapton, Jann Arden, Jackson Browne, and Keb’ Mo , to name just a few. A founding member of the Music Producers Guild of America, Cherney has also served as Governor of the L.A. Chapter of the Recording Academy, and was honored with the Mix Foundation TEC Award as Engineer of the Year.

Some recent projects include Buddy Guy’s Grammy-winning “Blues Singer,” recording and mixing the Rolling Stones acclaimed HBO Special and live box set “4 Flicks,” and the Grammy-nominated soundtrack and score for the hit film “A Mighty Wind.” Cherney also was Music Producer and Engineer for the Rolling Stones’ “The Biggest Bang” DVD.

As to his views on where things are headed, he takes a realistic now-and-then perspective about the music industry. “Music students need so much more now than when I first started in the business during my own college years,” he says. “Back then you apprenticed with someone and hoped to find work from that experience. But today, artists and producers need to be smart about their own A&R, radio promotion and merchandising. They need to know arranging in addition to knowing how to write a great song. They need an understanding of contracts, publicity, marketing, IT, and everything, really— including production expertise — that used to be provided to them when record labels were the only resource available.”

Cherney’s own career illustrates that hard work and talent will keep producers and others busy even in the tough transitional times: His most recent projects include recording and mixing records for SheDaisy, Jann Arden, and music for the films “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” “Duplicity,” Disney’s “Planet Earth,” and “Sex In The City.”

Cherney is also currently producing new artist Charlie Greene, and completed Spinal Tap’s “Back From The Dead,” a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album. And he’s recording and mixing a new project for the rock band Snew and currently working on the soundtrack to the film “Louis” with Wynton Marsalis. He has also recently recorded and mixed music from Sting’s “Symphonicity”, Mathew Morrison (“Glee”) debut album to be released in May and recorded and mixed the score for Tom Hanks’ upcoming film “Larry Crowne” and Lawrence Kasden’s new movie, “Darling Companion.”

His advice for music students at McNally Smith: “It’s a time of big challenges but it’s also an era of new opportunities. If I can help be an ambassador for students to the real world while on the McNally Smith board, then it will be a rewarding experience for everyone.”

Read more about the legendary producer at his website