RICHARD PODOLOR,
1936-2022

Richard "Richie" Podolor, producer of Three Dog Night’s biggest hits, whose varied career included stints as a session guitarist, engineer and studio owner, died Wednesday. He was 86.

The L.A. native first made his name during the surf-music craze of the early 1960s, writing and recording with Sandy Nelson and The Hondells and releasing instrumental albums for Imperial as Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers. His first taste of the Top 40 came in 1958 with “Cha Hua Hua” by The Pets, a band he formed with future studio legends Plas Johnson and Earl Palmer.

He next segued into studio work, engineering albums for The Monkees, The Standells and The Electric Prunes, plus Steppenwolf’s debut, which included the smash “Born to Be Wild.”

Podolor moved into the producer’s chair in 1969 for Three Dog Night’s It Ain’t Easy (ABC-Dunhill), which spawned the #1 hit “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” (written by Randy Newman). He would produce the band's next five studio albums, which included more than a dozen Top 20 hits, among them “Joy to the World,” “Liar,” “An Old Fashioned Love Song,” “Black and White” and “Shambala.”

Three Dog Night posted on Facebook: “Today the world lost a brilliant talent in the producer, engineer and musician Richie Podolor. Richie was an amazing musical guide for Three Dog Night from its very first record at MCA, and he continued producing for us right on through to our new album, which is just about to be released. Despite his low-key demeanor, Richie was a powerhouse. Scores of artists, songwriters, producers and engineers have been impacted by Richie’s ideas and techniques. He was a great musician and a dear friend. Richie Podolor will be missed even as his talent still rests in the music and musicians that he touched.”

Podolor also produced Blues Image’s “Ride Captain Ride,” the self-titled debut of The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band and work by The Dillards, Steppenwolf, Alice Cooper, Phil Seymour, 20/20 and Alcatrazz.

Richie Furay wrote on Facebook: “He was so unique in his approach to recording, capturing the ’live’ sound of a band in the studio.”

Podolor’s family helped him open his first studio, American Recording Company, in 1959, which would move several times before landing in Woodland Hills, Calif., where it operates today under the supervision of Podolor's longtime partner Bill Cooper.

Belinda Carlisle, The Smithereens, Black Oak Arkansas, The Three O'Clock and Huey Lewis & The News are among the scores of acts that have recorded at American studios.

TOP 20: DEATH BECOMES HIM
No lucky 13 for Tay. (7/16a)
NEAR TRUTHS: A TOUR OF THE LANDSCAPE
I.B. will be your guide. (7/16a)
GRAMMYS GONNA GRAMMY: SADDLING UP FOR AOTY
More musings about Music's Biggest Night (7/15a)
ON THE COVER:
CHAPPELL ROAN
Half of Island's one-two punch (7/15a)
AUSTIN NEAL STICKS THE LANDING
These two dudes are tight. (7/15a)
THE GRAMMY SHORT LIST
Who's already a lock?
COUNTRY'S NEWEST DISRUPTOR
Three chords and some truth you may not be ready for.
AI IS ALREADY EATING YOUR LUNCH
The kids can tell the difference... for now.
INDIE DISTRIBUTION'S RISE TO GLORY
The discovery engine is revving higher.
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)