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.

Ways to Connect

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.”

Sylvia Moy in 1967 with Stevie Wonder and James Jamerson, Earl Van Dyke and Robert White of the Funk Brothers.
Motown Records Archives

Without Sylvia Moy there may never have been a Stevie Wonder. A Motown songwriter and producer who collaborated with him on numerous hits, she is perhaps most known for co-writing "My Cherie Amour" and "I Was Born to Love Her." She also co-wrote hits for artists like Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and The Jackson Five. 

Join Tom Engelmann at 8:00 p.m., Monday, June 26 as he opens the Motown vaults to enjoy the works of Sylvia Moy on another edition of "Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music."

In a career spanning half a century, Bruce Lundvall worked with a wide variety of artists including Miles Davis, Dianne Reeves, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Norah Jones as the president of Blue Note Records. Phil Chess and his brother founded Chess Records, a storied Chicago label that captured great blues musicians like Muddy Waters in their prime and helped establish rock ’n’ roll as a musical genre. He even helped start the careers of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones.

If Donna Summer was the "Queen of Disco" it could very well be that the "King of Disco" was English musician, composer and arranger Rod Temperton. Starting with the disco group "Heatwave," Temperton went on to work with artists like Quincy Jones, George Benson and Michael Jackson. And yes, he also wrote for Donna Summer.

Join Tom Engelmann as he hangs the disco ball and boogies down to the songs of Rod Temperton on another edition of “Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music.”

Tune in Monday, Feb. 27 at 8:00 p.m. on your radio or online.

Van Gelder was closely associated with Blue Note Records, an American jazz record label.

Take a look at any jazz recording made during the past sixty years and there’s a good chance that it will have been recorded by Rudy Van Gelder. From his studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Van Gelder worked with artists like Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock to produce some of the most memorable music of all time. Join Tom Engelmann as he pays tribute to the engineer who made recorded music come to life on another edition of "Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music."

Tune in to MTPR Monday, January 9 at 8:00 p.m. on your radio or online