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Joe Boyd

Joe Boyd
Joe Boyd

Joe Boyd (born August 5, 1942) is an American record producer and writer. He formerly owned Witchseason production company and Hannibal Records. Boyd has played a crucial role in the recording careers of Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, Nick Drake, The Incredible String Band, Vashti Bunyan, John and Beverley Martyn, Maria Muldaur, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Billy Bragg, 10,000 Maniacs and Muzsikas.

Boyd was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Princeton, New Jersey. He attended Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut. He first became involved in music promoting blues artists while a student at Harvard University. After graduating, Boyd worked as a production and tour manager for music impresario George Wein, which took Boyd to Europe to organise concerts with Muddy Waters, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Boyd was responsible for the sound at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, when Bob Dylan played a controversial set backed by electric musicians.

In 1964, Boyd paid his first visit to Britain, returning the following year to establish an overseas office of Elektra Records. In 1966, Boyd opened UFO Club, London’s first psychedelic ballroom. He worked with UFO regulars Pink Floyd, and produced their first single, "Arnold Layne", and recordings by Soft Machine. Boyd worked extensively with audio engineer John Wood at Sound Techniques studio in Chelsea. In this studio, Boyd and Wood made a succession of celebrated albums with British folk and folk rock artists, including the Incredible String Band, Martin Carthy, Nick Drake, John Martyn, Fairport Convention and Richard Thompson. Some of these were produced by Boyd's production company, Witchseason.

Boyd returned to the United States at the end of 1970 to work as a music producer for Warner Bros. with special input into films, where he collaborated with Stanley Kubrick on the sound track release of A Clockwork Orange. Boyd also contributed to the soundtrack of Deliverance, directed by John Boorman, where he supervised the recording of "Dueling Banjos", which became a hit single for Eric Weissberg. Boyd also produced and co-directed the film documentary Jimi Hendrix (1973). In the States, Boyd produced albums by Maria Muldaur and Kate & Anna McGarrigle. Boyd subsequently founded the Hannibal Records label in 1980 (later absorbed into Rykodisc), which released albums by Richard Thompson and many recordings of world music, including Hungarian band Muzsikás. Boyd also produced R.E.M.'s third album Fables of the Reconstruction (1985), and records by Billy Bragg and 10,000 Maniacs.

Boyd was executive producer for the 1988 feature film Scandal, starring John Hurt and Bridget Fonda about the Profumo Affair in UK politics in 1963. Boyd left Hannibal/Ryko in 2001 and his autobiography, White Bicycles - Making Music in the 1960s, was published in 2006 by Serpent's Tail in the UK.

In 2008, Boyd was a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists.

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