How Many Female Record Producers Can We Name?

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Can you name any?

NOT artists. NOT artists who self-produce. NOT DJs. NOT record label owners. NOT A&R weasels. NOT journalists. NOT critics. NOT managers. NOT songwriters. NOT lawyers. NOT promoters. NOT significant others. And especially NOT vanity recording artists that have so much juice that they can buy a production credit for themselves.

I am talking about good, old-fashioned, non-artist, full-time 3- or 4-point record producers like Rick Rubin and Brendan O'Brien. "Name" producers. The kind your record company wants you to work with. The kind that marry pop stars and get label imprint deals. The kind that that if they produce a record you might buy it because you really like her sound.

While there are many fanciful things about the movie "Laurel Canyon," this I found most fanciful of all.

Names, please.

felicity (felicity), Sunday, 13 April 2003 03:29 (eighteen years ago) link

Amazing. I can name zero.

Sean (Sean), Sunday, 13 April 2003 03:32 (eighteen years ago) link

Jessica Corcoran

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Sunday, 13 April 2003 03:37 (eighteen years ago) link

Mads Bjerke (are they female?)

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Sunday, 13 April 2003 03:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Sonia Pottinger!

Really, the Musical Feast comp of her productions on Sanachie is one of my favorite Jamaican records.

I'll try to think of more...

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Sunday, 13 April 2003 03:43 (eighteen years ago) link

(er, wait, I guess she's not exactly a "3 or 4 point" producer, but whatevah)

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Sunday, 13 April 2003 03:45 (eighteen years ago) link

That's okay. Any proper producers will do. I am impressed.

felicity (felicity), Sunday, 13 April 2003 04:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Mads Bjerke (are they female?)

I doubt it. Mads is a pretty usual male name in Denmark and Norway (Mads = variant of Mats = shortened form of Matthias/Mattheus, or something), and the surname Bjerke is indeed Danish/Norwegian.

OleM (OleM), Sunday, 13 April 2003 04:04 (eighteen years ago) link

doh! oh well.

another name that comes to mind is Anjali Dutt but I think she's much more of an engineer than producer

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Sunday, 13 April 2003 04:10 (eighteen years ago) link

Trina Shoemaker

Probably the most prolific producer/engineer around now that I'm aware of - QOTSA, Wilco, Whiskeytown, Iggy Pop...

Mil, Sunday, 13 April 2003 04:24 (eighteen years ago) link

Sally Browder ( Has produced records by Dwight Yoakam, the Red Aunts, Rocket from the Crypt, the Muffs, etc.

Douglas (Douglas), Sunday, 13 April 2003 04:45 (eighteen years ago) link

I was going to name Corcoran and Dutt and ESOJ beat me to the punch. I salute you, fellow UK early nineties obsessive. Shoulda thought of Browder too, darn it.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 13 April 2003 05:54 (eighteen years ago) link

Linda Perry?

hstencil, Sunday, 13 April 2003 06:31 (eighteen years ago) link

there's a woman in The Matrix.

Al (sitcom), Sunday, 13 April 2003 06:53 (eighteen years ago) link

Monica Belluci - krowr!

James Blount (James Blount), Sunday, 13 April 2003 07:34 (eighteen years ago) link

Sylvia Massy produced Undertow by Tool among others.

Damian (Damian), Sunday, 13 April 2003 09:32 (eighteen years ago) link

Kathleen Brennan - but she's a significant other too.

bert (bert), Sunday, 13 April 2003 09:55 (eighteen years ago) link

Sylvia Robinson produced a lot of the early Sugarhill stuff, didn't she?

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 13 April 2003 10:58 (eighteen years ago) link

I learned a lot (I could think of zero) but so far Mil owns the thread.

felicity (felicity), Sunday, 13 April 2003 12:14 (eighteen years ago) link

Back in the old days, Cordell Jackson of Memphis ran her own label and produced weird rockabilly classix like "She's the One That Got It" for her Moon imprint--there was Sun and she wished to com-PETE.

Jess Hill (jesshill), Sunday, 13 April 2003 12:21 (eighteen years ago) link

Jennifer Herrema does production work with Neil Haggerty as Adam & Eve. Of course, that goes against you "no artists" rule.

Kim Gordon produced the first Hole album with the guy from Gumball. That must count a little bit, right?

Matthew Perpetua (Matthew Perpetua), Sunday, 13 April 2003 14:50 (eighteen years ago) link

There's also Anjali Dutt, I think - she did engineering & production for folks such as Oasis, Swervedriver, MBV, and the Grifters, among others. (I'm pretty sure she did some production work, and I'm just as sure she worked on the Grifters' _Ain't My Lookout_.)

David R. (popshots75`), Sunday, 13 April 2003 15:10 (eighteen years ago) link

Sylvia Robinson is a good answer.

Sean (Sean), Sunday, 13 April 2003 15:13 (eighteen years ago) link

Sylvia Robinson was my immediate thought, although didn't she own Sugarhill?

Also, Kandi, who worked with Shek'Spear for TLC and Destiny's, although I think she had some pretty unsucessful releases under her own name.

Nick H, Sunday, 13 April 2003 16:26 (eighteen years ago) link

Genya Ravan -- produced Young, Loud & Snotty by the Dead Boys

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 13 April 2003 16:40 (eighteen years ago) link

Sylvia Robinson co-owned Sugarhill, I think, but since we were told to name proper producers like Rick Rubin, I stand by the answer.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 13 April 2003 17:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I didn't mean the narrow definition purely to be bossy but Martin is correctly understanding the gist of the question. I do think the fact that we are straining to expand the definition to sound engineers kind of demonstrates why the Laurel Canyon character seemed like such a Hollywood fiction.

felicity (felicity), Sunday, 13 April 2003 22:45 (eighteen years ago) link

Also: Joanna Bolme from The Jicks is a sound engineer for Jackpot Studios.

Matthew Perpetua (Matthew Perpetua), Sunday, 13 April 2003 23:43 (eighteen years ago) link

she should be 'Joanna Bolme from the Minders' not 'from the Jicks' - ugh. That's almost as bad a claim to fame as being 'Elliot Smith's ex girlfriend'.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 14 April 2003 00:34 (eighteen years ago) link

er.. carry on

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 14 April 2003 00:35 (eighteen years ago) link

Linda Ronstadt has credit for producing a few ellpees for others on the Warners/Asylum label.

Victoria Spivey used to produce records and owned a record company, too.

Genya Ravan also produced Ronnie Spector's solo album.

bflaska, Monday, 14 April 2003 03:15 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh yes, Terry Garthwaite (better known from Joy of Cooking) regularly produces; I think her first effort was Farron's (sp) first album.

bflaska, Monday, 14 April 2003 03:18 (eighteen years ago) link

Jazz has a number of women producers. Helen Keane (lots of albums for Bill Evans).

bflaska, Monday, 14 April 2003 03:23 (eighteen years ago) link

Electric Sound Of Jim:

You're in deep denial, man.

Matthew Perpetua (Matthew Perpetua), Monday, 14 April 2003 04:24 (eighteen years ago) link

about what? the Jicks or elliott smith?

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 14 April 2003 04:54 (eighteen years ago) link

The Jicks. Why, besides petty snobbery, would you object to someone being identified by their affiliation with their current band, particularly when it is the most popular band that they've been involved with?

Matthew Perpetua (Matthew Perpetua), Monday, 14 April 2003 12:30 (eighteen years ago) link

Ani DiFranco and Sinéad O'Connor produced their own rekkids. I think Kate Bush, Utah Phillips and Lucinda Williams did her own as well.

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Monday, 14 April 2003 12:36 (eighteen years ago) link

mind you, Utah Phillips is definitively not a woman...

pauls00, Monday, 14 April 2003 16:54 (eighteen years ago) link

I must be confusing the name with somebody else.

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Monday, 14 April 2003 16:58 (eighteen years ago) link

i don't think many exist. oh well..

JP Albin (John Paul Albin), Monday, 14 April 2003 21:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Hillary Johnson ought to be a "name" in just a few years... She's engineered/produced a ton of underground artists and writes for TapeOp magazine occasionally (and no, I am not she! Though she recorded my band's album).

Helen Keller, Tuesday, 15 April 2003 00:04 (eighteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
fwiw, NPR's All Things Considered just broadcast the first of a two-part series on Female Record Producers. In fact, hmm, suspicious timing -- felicity do you write for the show? :-)

Today's installment is archived at and the second half is broadcast tomorrow apparently.

Paul in Santa Cruz (Paul in Santa Cruz), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 06:22 (eighteen years ago) link

Ha ha! I was wondering this myself while listening to it on the way home from work today. Not about felicity specifically, but just if NPR people are lurking here for story ideas.

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 06:26 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...
Missy Elliot has her own label and has produced other artists including Tweet.
M'Shell Ndgeocello produces her own stuff.
Yvonne Ellis did live sound for Simply Red for many years and produced some of my stuff in the late 80's too.

Colin, Saturday, 31 December 2005 12:24 (fifteen years ago) link

most artists co-produce.

retrokid, Saturday, 31 December 2005 12:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Frances McDormand in Laurel Canyon (she produced Folk Implosion!)

Sorry, lousy joke.

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Saturday, 31 December 2005 15:33 (fifteen years ago) link


sleeve (sleeve), Sunday, 1 January 2006 01:28 (fifteen years ago) link

Second to Linda Perry.

rljrflj, Sunday, 1 January 2006 02:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Madonna has co-produced most of her own albums, and also produced a couple of songs for Nick Kamen.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Sunday, 1 January 2006 03:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Samara Lubelski is doing a lot of engineering these days. And she makes great solo records when she isn't recording with Hall Of Fame.

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Sunday, 1 January 2006 03:21 (fifteen years ago) link


corey c (shock of daylight), Sunday, 1 January 2006 09:11 (fifteen years ago) link

go corey go corey go

Mr Straight Toxic (ghostface), Sunday, 1 January 2006 14:57 (fifteen years ago) link

Madonna has co-produced most of her own albums, and also produced a couple of songs for Nick Kamen.

-- Geir Hongro


I can be so mean.

fandango (fandango), Sunday, 1 January 2006 15:06 (fifteen years ago) link

Imogen Heap. Recent Lass who produced and wrote her entire album called 'speak for yourself' Plus Joni Mitchell did the whole 'blue' album i believe.

Kara Roxanne, Monday, 9 January 2006 20:54 (fifteen years ago) link

six years pass...

thoughts on this piece?

lex pretend, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 11:02 (nine years ago) link

I just... can't. Because I have actual work to do today. But when you follow up a quote like:

"If they're a bunch of guys and they're young and they're funny and they tell rude jokes, you have to be a woman who isn't shocked by that and can, as a matter of fact, crush them all with three words."

^^^^which is getting at something, WRT the attitudes one encounters, and the expectations and barriers that women have to feel comfortable facing.


"The more stringent and insurmountable constraint is the biological one. A man can, technically speaking, reproduce on his coffee break. It doesn't take all that long, and biologically it doesn't take much of a toll. For a woman, the opposite is true.

I do not have enough FUCK YOU in the world for Prof Rogers.

Because reproducing and "lack of interest" are not things I have EVER experienced in the world of production. But other stuff, oh boy I could write you a book.

But like I said, I've got work to do.

my god it's full of straw (White Chocolate Cheesecake), Wednesday, 29 August 2012 11:10 (nine years ago) link

"There are no social barriers to a woman becoming a record producer," says Prof Rogers.

yeah this ^^ made me make an actual face at my screen, like wtf

lex pretend, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 11:11 (nine years ago) link

More and more, I've had gals running sound at shows I've played.

Earth, Wind & Fire & Alabama (Eazy), Wednesday, 29 August 2012 14:53 (nine years ago) link

indeed, and it's a refreshing sign of equality that women doing sound can be dicks just as much as men.

40oz of tears (Jordan), Wednesday, 29 August 2012 15:07 (nine years ago) link

a healthy 85% of people involved in professional A/V are d-bags

Poliopolice, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 16:15 (nine years ago) link

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