LISTEN: RIP Hal Willner

Remembering the legendary producer through his work behind the boards

Hal Willner RIP (Art: Ron Hart)

This horrid, horrid virus continues to tear it’s way through the hearts of the music community with the passing of New York super producer Hal Willner, gone at age 64.

Blake Zidell, Hal’s longtime publicist, said Willner had symptoms consistent with those caused by the coronavirus, but he had not been diagnosed with the virus.

Willner had been one of the key component of Saturday Night Live’s music department since 1980, selecting the songs that would appear on skits. He also 

Willner had selected music for skits on “Saturday Night Live” since 1980. He produced albums for Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull, Leon Redbone, The Neville Brothers, Gavin Friday, Laurie Anderson and so many others. 

Hal Willner in the park (Art: Ron Hart)

He produced Sonic Youth’s Goo and Lulu, too. Joe Piscopo’s New Jersey, The Carl Stalling Project…so much music.

We are so sad to hear about the passing of Hal Willner, whose work as a producer served as such a guidepost to the furthest reaches of American music in its kaleidoscopic history. We worked with what was available on Spotify to put this playlist together in his memory.

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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.