Hal Willner is an American music supervisor and producer who works in recording, films, TV and live events. Willner produced Gavin Friday’s albums ‘Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves’ and ‘Adam ‘n’ Eve’ and has been a close collaborator since 1988.
Born in 1957 in Philadelphia, Willner is best known for his tribute albums and events featuring a wide variety of artists. His first tribute album was “Amarcord Nino Rota” (1981). Since then he has recorded tributes to Kurt Weill, the music of Walt Disney movies, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Leonard Cohen, and organised tribute shows to Harry Smith, Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman among others. He also produced Lian Lunson’s Leonard Cohen documentary “I’m You Man” (2005). Willner has been the music supervisor of Saturday Night Live since 1981. He has produced albums by Marianne Faithful, Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed & Metallica, Laurie Anderson and Allen Ginsberg.
Gavin Friday appears on Willner produced albums such as Rogue’s Gallery (2006), Closed on Account of Rabies (readings of Edgar Allan Poe poems, 1997), the soundtrack to Robert Altman’s film “Short Cuts” (1993) and has been involved in the following Hal Willner produced live events:
- The Harry Smith Project (London 1999, New York 1999, Los Angeles 2001)
- Came So Far for Beauty, An Evening of Songs by Leonard Cohen (Dublin 2006)
- Shock and Awe: The Songs of Randy Newman (Los Angeles 2004)
- Forest of No Return: Hal Willner Presents Vintage Disney Songbook (London 2007), Stay Awake: 20th anniversary of the classic recording of Disney songs (Brooklyn 2008)
- Rogue’s Gallery (NYC 2007, Dublin 2008, London 2008, Gateshead 2008, Sydney 2010)
In 2009, Willner produced Gavin Friday’s 50th birthday party, “An Evening with Gavin Friday and Friends”, at Carnegie Hall in New York.
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