Actor/writer/director/producer Bruce Kimmel's anticipated book Album Produced By… hits stores and online this week.
In 1993, actor/writer/director Bruce Kimmel made another drastic life change and began a new journey, this time as a record producer. Within a year he became a hugely successful producer of musical theatre recordings, at a time when musical theatre recordings were not exactly high on anyone's popularity list. It was soon clear that Kimmel had a point of view, along with a dream that when people saw the credit "Album Produced by Bruce Kimmel" that it might actually mean something.
The story of that journey is peopled with an incredibly colorful cast of characters, including Stephen Sondheim, Lauren Bacall, Elaine Stritch, Dorothy Loudon, John Kander, Schmidt and Jones, Jerry Herman, Carol Channing, Petula Clark, Helen Reddy, and just about every great singer working back in what would be the last Golden Days of the record business. Kimmel produced cast albums (both Broadway and off-Broadway), gave new writers the chance to have their music recorded, new singers the chance to be heard, and made occasional best-selling forays into film music and jazz. From 1993 to 1999, when he and Varese Sarabande parted ways, he'd produced over 120 albums.
The next five years of his life would be a rollercoaster ride that most people would never want to take. He rides the ups, downs, curves, and thrills with humor, positivity, and perseverance. He creates a new and unique label, watches it crash and burn, and then rebuilds his life yet again, always fighting the good fight. As with There's Mel, There's Woody, and There's You, the first volume of his memoirs, Album Produced by… is filled with laughter, tears, joy, suspense, back-stabbing, broken promises, and above all, music-the grand and glorious music that Kimmel and company were able to bring forth.
Watch during the creation and recording of some of the most beloved musical theatre albums ever made. Meet not only the singers, but Kimmel's engineer, musical directors, arrangers, orchestrators, and musicians-an unlikely array of collaborators all led by Kimmel's vision, understanding, and sometimes insane passion. Written with warmth and humor, Album Produced by… is a look back at a remarkable career in the recording industry.
Bruce Kimmel wrote, directed and starred in the cult movie hit, The First Nudie Musical (available on a Special Edition DVD). He also co-created (with David Wechter) the story for the hit film, The Faculty, directed by Robert Rodriguez. As an actor, Mr. Kimmel guest-starred on most of the long-running television shows of the 1970s, including The Partridge Family (recurring), Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, MASH, Alice, and many others, including leading roles in several pilots for all three of the major networks.