There are tons of news stories and obits floating around about Arif Mardin’s death, and many of them quote Daryl Hall’s written statement calling him a “father figure.’

So, in a way, Daryl Hall has now lost a father to cancer, too.

I remember as a kid reading the liner notes on my new music (cassettes, as previously admitted in this space), and running across Mardin’s name frequently. That probably has a lot to do with his formative work with Hall & Oates (the Abandoned Luncheonette album is really the beginning of their sound as it came to be known and several of that album’s songs are among my favorites), but includes quite a few other artists whose work I would have owned back then, too (and the Boy Meets Girl album Reel Life with its infectious pop songwriting — songs like “Waiting For a Star to Fall” — was particularly influential on this aspiring then-teenaged songwriter).

Mardin certainly made his mark on music history.

Arif Mardin

3 thoughts on “Arif Mardin

  • June 27, 2006 at 9:37 am

    It’s so strange, I consider myself pretty well versed in pop music history, but his was a name I barely knew. However, looking back at this list of credits on allmusic, I don’t know how I missed him. John Prine, Carly Simon, Average White Band, Aretha Franklin, Miami Vice…what an amazing body of work.

    He had a hand in much of my formative music as well, and what’s so amazing is that it’s totally different than the music you’re talking about (John Prine, James Taylor, et al). It’s rare to see someone that has covered such a wide and impressive range.

    Truly a major loss.

  • June 27, 2006 at 9:47 am

    Yeah, you’re right — it’s an almost dizzingly diverse array of work. Very impressive, and also quite enviable. To have been able to have worked with (and probably shaped) that many talented musicians; to have produced such great work across quite a few genres and many styles; to have had the challenge of new types of projects year after year, and to rise to those challenges — that’s quite a life to have led.

  • June 27, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    I’m on the H&O mailing list and noticed they cancelled their Nevada gigs on the day of the performance. Any idea why?


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