Phil Ramone 1934-2013

Marilyn rehearses at Madison Square Garden

Legendary music producer Phil Ramone, who arranged Marilyn’s iconic performance of ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’, died in New York on March 31st, aged 79.

Here is an excerpt from an interview he gave to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2010:

Q. You were the mastermind behind Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” moment for President Kennedy. What was that like?

A. An armory had been transformed into a massive theater for the president’s birthday celebration and I was handed the terrifying job of doing something with Marilyn Monroe’s appearance, which turned out to be the most fun I’d ever had. She was so sweet. She looked sensational. And I looked like a deer in headlights. She comes out and sings that song like it’s never been sung before or since, and all we have is some crummy 16mm film footage of it.

Q. So did you get to kiss Marilyn Monroe that night?

A. She gave me a big kiss on the cheek as she said thank you.”

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