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Peter Asher (OH 57) - Originality
19/06/2017

Peter Asher, CBE was born in London June 22, 1944, the son of a doctor and a professional musician.  He was educated at The Hall School and went on to Westminster and then Kings College, London where he studied philosophy. His entry into the world of the performing arts began whilst he was still a pupil at The Hall.  At the age of eight he starred in his first film, “The Planter’s Wife” as the son of Claudette Colbert and Jack Hawkins.  He went on to act extensively in various film, TV, radio and stage productions.

 

His legendary music career began in 1964 as one-half of the singing duo Peter & Gordon, who amassed nine Top 20 records during their career. Their debut single, “A World without Love” – a song given to them by Paul McCartney – went to number one in over 30 countries, including the U.S. and U.K. In 1968, Mr. Asher became head of A&R for the Beatles newly formed record company, Apple Records, where he found, signed and produced James Taylor and worked closely with the Beatles on their individual projects.  During this period ,he became a key figure in the “revolution” of The Sixties, founding the book shop and art gallery “Indica” (where John and Yoko met and where Allen Ginsberg and William Boroughs visited) and found himself at the center of an era of profound social and artistic change.

 

In 1971, Asher moved to the U.S. and founded Peter Asher Management, representing James Taylor and, beginning in 1973, the management and production of Linda Ronstadt as well.  Peter Asher Management became one of the most successful Artist Management companies in the US, handling artists such as Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, and Carole King. Asher quit the personal management business in 1995 when he was appointed Senior Vice President of Sony Music, a post he held for eight years.

 

As a producer, Mr. Asher has worked with such diverse artists as James Taylor, 10,000 Maniacs, Diana Ross, Ed Sheeran, Neil Diamond, Ringo Starr, Linda Ronstadt, Cher, Morrissey, Robin Williams, Jane Monheit, Kenny Loggins, The Dixie Chicks, Fall Out Boy, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hans Zimmer and Billy Joel, among many others.  He has been awarded 37 RIAA-certified gold albums and 22 platinum albums in the U.S., and many more internationally.  Mr. Asher has produced fourteen Grammy Award-winning recordings, and in 1977 and 1989 was honored individually with the Grammy Award for “Producer of the Year”.  He won a further Grammy in the category of “Comedy Album of the Year” for his production work with Robin Williams.

 

Peter continues to be in high demand as a record producer, consultant, lecturer and as a performer again in his highly successful one-man show, “A Musical Memoir of the 60s and Beyond”.   He has also received various international awards, is a member of Mensa and of SAG-AFTRA, President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy and has been a frequent keynote speaker at industry events. Other projects include producing music for “Pirates of the Caribbean 4”, “Sherlock Holmes 2”, “Madagascar 3”, “Man of Steel” and “Rush”.   He is currently working with Steve Martin on a new bluegrass album with the Steep Canyon Rangers, and with Elton John on an album to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Elton John/Bernie Taupin songwriting partnership.

 

In the New Year’s Honours list for 2015, Peter Asher was awarded a CBE (“Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, for services to the music industry. 

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