Hal Willner, record producer and SNL supervisor, has died

Willner was known for his eclectically assembled tribute-albums.

Hal Willner. Image:
Chelsea Lauren / Getty

Record producer Hal Willner has died at the age of 64. No official cause of death has been reported, however he was said to be experiencing symptoms related to coronavirus.

Willner worked as a sketch music producer on Saturday Night Live, starting in 1981. He also produced the music television series Sunday Night from 1988 to 1990.

As a record producer, his credits include Lou Reed’s Ecstasy, The Raven and Metallica collaboration Lulu. He also produced Marianne Faithfull’s Strange Weather, and a live tribute to singer Tim Buckley. This in particular is credited as a major event in the music career of Jeff Buckley, who was invited to the concert and hence introduced to the New York music scene where he began his career.

He was also well-known for his assembling of tribute albums, including a jazz tribute to the music of Fellini films, featuring artists including Blondie, Wynton Marsalis and Bill Frisell.

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