MTPR

Tom Engelmann

Host and Producer

Tom Engelmann produces "Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music." The series features biographical sketches and the music of artists who often work behind the scenes or in support of major musicians. 

Tom supports Montana Public Radio's jazz programming and occasionally hosts Freeforms. 

Tom’s “heroes” have included composer and arranger Bobby Scott, keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, songwriter Hoyt Axton, harmonica player and producer Norton Buffalo, songwriter Doc Pomus, Tonight Show band arranger Tommy Newsom, saxophonist and Springsteen pal Clarence Clemons, bassist and producer Felix Pappalardi, songwriter Nick Ashford, the trumpet playing Candoli Brothers, guitarist and teacher Mickey Baker, guitarist Hugh McCracken, producer Phil Ramone, songwriter J.J. Cale, composer and arranger Clare Fischer, composer and producer Cowboy Jack Clement, composer and vocalist Laura Nyro, saxophonist Bobby Keys and trumpeter Lew Soloff.  

"Unsung Heroes" can be heard as part of Montana Public Radio’s Monday Music Special.

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The chances are pretty good that if a country record had some distinctive guitar licks on it, anytime from the early '50s through the 1970s, they were played by Grady Martin.

Mundell Lowe in Saarbrücken 2000.
Walter Gehring (CC-BY-3)

For artists as different as the Everly Brothers and Benny Goodman, Mundell Lowe was a true unsung hero. He provided both rhythm and lead guitar for performers like Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney, Sarah Vaughan and even Johnny Ray.

Known as “Mundy” in the business, he was a composer, arranger and orchestral director and raconteur and contributed to the soundtracks of some prominent motion pictures and television shows including “Rawhide,” “Peter Gunn,” and even Woody Allen’s “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex.” His career lasted some astounding 80 years.

Drum set.
(PD)

Joe Fields was an American producer and record executive, active mainly in jazz music He co-founded Cobblestone Records in 1972, and soon after founded Muse Records. In 1996 Fields and his son Barney co-founded High Note Records, which is still actively producing and issuing jazz recordings. Artists associated with Joe Fields over the years include Houston Person, Pat Martino, Etta Jones and Red Rodney.

Join host Tom Engelmann Monday January 22 at 8 p.m. as he presents the productions of jazz entrepreneur Joe Fields on another edition of “Unsung Heroes: Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music,”

Most music listeners don’t realize that there really was a “Mr. Tambourine Man” behind Bob Dylan’s famous song. His name was Bruce Langhorne and he was one of the most important session guitarists of the 1960s, particularly in the early years of folk-rock. He was most famous for accompanying Bob Dylan, but he also played on the recordings of Tom Rush, Richard & Mimi Fariña, Richie Havens, Gordon Lightfoot, Eric Andersen, Joan Baez, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. He even wrote scores for some successful motion pictures. Enjoy the music of this under-appreciated folk hero on another edition of “Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music,” on MTPR Monday October 9 at 8 p.m.

Tommy LiPuma produced memorable recordings by Barbara Streisand, Dave Mason, Paul McCartney and Willie Nelson.  And he started out as a barber! 

Join Tom Engelmann Monday July 24 at 8 p.m. as he explores the colorful career of Tommy LiPuma on another edition of “Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music.”

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