Joe Jorgensen, 1937-2003

Aug 7, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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On Wednesday, July 23, 2003, the recording industry lost Joe Jorgensen, one of its finest engineers.

Born in Gentofte, Denmark, Jorgensen immigrated to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with his family in 1951, bringing with him a zest for music and a talent for technology. During his late teens, he landed his first job editing programs at New York's WOR Radio in 1957. In 1960, he met legendary engineer/producer Phil Ramone and joined A&R Recording Studios as one of that studio's first staff engineers.

Working with many of the industry's finest composers, arrangers, musicians and artists, Jorgensen developed a recording style that attracted many clients. In 1966, Jorgensen met Mediasound founder Harry Hirsch and joined his staff, recording albums for Frank Sinatra, Englebert Humperdinck and many other major artists including Maynard Ferguson's Gold LP, Conquistador. The celebrated studio became a magnet for young engineers like Michael DeLugg and Bob Clearmountain.

One of the first engineers to go independent, in 1977, Jorgensen began an exclusive relationship with Bob James' Tappan Zee label. For over 14 years, this partnership produced an impressive roster of top jazz and rock albums, including Kenny Loggins' platinum Nightwatch and such Gold One on One and Bob James & David Sanborn's Grammy-winning Gold Double Vision LP.

In 1989, Jorgensen began a new stage of his career with the formation of Soundshine Inc., a company that specialized in the design and installation of innovative professional audio systems for theme parks, houses of worship, schools and commercial facilities.

Jorgensen is survived by his wife of 37 years, Gunvor "Kiki" Jorgensen, his son Mikael, a recording engineer with SomaStudios in Chicago, and his daughter Dania.

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