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Bob Dylan Producer Don DeVito Dead At 72

DeVito, Joel
Columbia Records

Don DeVito, a Grammy-winning producer and music business executive known for his work with Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith and others, died Friday at the age of 72 after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer.

DeVito is likely most remembered for producing two mid-’70s albums considered among Dylan’s greatest: ‘Blood on the Tracks’ and ‘Desire.’ He also hit the road with the folk-rock icon, producing the live discs ‘Hard Rain,’ which documented Dylan’s 1975-76 Rolling Thunder Revue tour, and ‘At Budokan,’ from Dylan’s 1978 world tour. In addition, DeVito oversaw a Dylan TV special based on ‘Hard Rain’ that was broadcast on NBC in 1976.

As an A&R executive at Columbia Records, DeVito played a large role in the successful careers of artists including Joel (pictured above with DeVito), Springsteen, Aerosmith, Janis Joplin, the Byrds, Simon and Garkunkel and Blue Oyster Cult. He is also largely credited in convincing Dylan to return to Columbia after leaving the label for Asylum Records.

He won a Grammy in 1989 for his work on ‘Folkways — A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly,’ which featured contributions from Dylan, Springsteen, John Mellencamp, U2, Brian Wilson and others. He also had a hand in the producing the post-9/11 charity event ‘The Concert for New York City,’ an all-star concert which raised more than a million dollars for the Robin Hood Relief Fund.

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