Ethel Gabriel, who in additional than 40 years at RCA Victor is assumed to have produced 1000’s of information, many at a time when nearly no ladies did this work on the large labels, died March 23 in Rochester, NY She was 99 years outdated .
His nephew, Ed Mauro, his closest dwelling relative, has confirmed his dying.
Ms. Gabriel started working on the RCA plant in Camden, NJ, in 1940 whereas a scholar at Temple College in Philadelphia. One in all his first jobs was as a report tester – he pulled one out of each 500 information and listened to them to manufacture imperfections.
“If it was successful,” she mentioned he informed The Pocono File of Pennsylvania in 2007, “I obtained to know each be aware as a result of I needed to play it time and again and over.”
He additionally had a musical background – he performed the trombone and had his dance band within the Nineteen Thirties and early Nineteen Forties – and his talent group earned him an increasing number of duty, in addition to the occasional function. within the formation of musical historical past. She mentioned she was available on the 1955 assembly at which RCA govt Stephen Sholes signed Elvis Presley, who had been with Solar Information. He had a hand in it “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White”, the instrumental success of 1955 by Pérez Prado that helped ignite a mambo craze in america.
He may have produced or co-produced the album containing that tune, however April Tucker, principal investigator in a documentary made on Ms.Gabriel, mentioned particulars concerning the first a part of her profession have been imprecise. Ms. Gabriel typically mentioned she had produced about 2,500 information. Tucker mentioned Sony officers, who now personal the RCA archives, had informed him the quantity may very well be increased, for the reason that contributions weren’t at all times credited.
Nevertheless, within the late Fifties Ms.Gabriel was in command of RCA Camden Information, the corporate’s steadiness sheet, and earned producer credit, one thing she continued to do within the Nineteen Eighties.
In 1959 he began the “Dwelling Strings” sequence of easy-listening albums, consisting of orchestral performances of well-liked and classical melodies (“Dwelling Strings Play Music of the Sea”, “Dwelling Strings Play Music for Romance” and lots of others), most of which have been launched on Camden. The road quickly branched out into “Dwell Voices,” “Dwell Guitars” and different subgroups and have become an enormous revenue generator for RCA – which wasn’t, mentioned Ms. Gabriel, what the boss anticipated when he did it. commissioned by Camden, a label struggling in the mean time.
“I’m positive he thought it was a option to do away with me,” he informed The Specific-Occasions of Easton, Pa., In 1992 (too diplomatic to name the boss). “Properly, I’ve made a multimillion-dollar line. I’ve conceived, programmed and produced the whole lot.”
There have been additionally different worthwhile sequence. Ms. Gabriel was significantly good at rewriting RCA archive materials into albums that have been being bought once more, as she did within the “Pure Gold” sequence. In 1983 he shared a Grammy Award for Finest Historic Album for “The Tommy Dorsey-Frank Sinatra Classes.” When she left RCA in 1984, she was vice chairman.
But, not like the principle male leaders of the period, he not often made headlines. Ms. Tucker, an audio engineer, mentioned she had by no means heard of Ms. Gabriel till someday she went to look to see if she may discover out who the primary feminine audio engineer was. She introduced Ms. Gabriel to the eye of Sound Ladies, a corporation that promotes ladies within the audio subject, and shortly Caroline Losneck and Christoph Gelfand, documentalists, have been at work “Dwelling Sound”, a movie about her.
Ms. Losneck, in a phone interview, mentioned that they had hoped to finish the documentary by Ms. Losneck’s one hundredth birthday. Gabriel this November.
Ms. Losneck mentioned Ms.Gabriel had survived a tricky deal due to productiveness and competitors.
“She knew who to name when she wanted an organist,” she mentioned. “He knew how you can handle the funds.” All this gave him a measure of management. ”
Most of the information that Ms. Gabriel did fall right into a class typically marginalized as elevator music.
“Now it’s simple to take a look at that music now and say it was a bit of tacky,” Ms mentioned. Losneck, “however then it was a part of the cultural panorama.”
In the direction of the top of her profession, as extra ladies started to enter the sector, Ms.Gabriel was each an instance and a mentor. Nancy Jeffries, who went to work in RCA’s artists and repertoire division in 1974 and had beforehand sung with the band Insect Belief, was a kind of who discovered from her.
“Being a lady and having ambition in a report firm on the time was one thing I simply didn’t reckon with most male govt workers, however I used to be fortunate sufficient to land within the A&R division of RCA Information, the place Ethel was established. as a power to be reckoned with, ”mentioned by e-mail Ms. Jeffries, who has gone to govt positions at RCA, Elektra and different report firms. “I had developed various companies that, whereas they weren’t significantly ‘outdated’, generated plenty of income and funded a few of the division’s most speculative capabilities. Lesson one: Make cash for the corporate and let or not it’s.” .
Mauro merely summed up his aunt’s profession merely:
“He was profitable earlier than when the taking part in subject wasn’t stage.”
Ms. Gabriel, interviewed by The Cincinnati Enquirer in 1983, had a quick clarification of his potential to thrive in a person’s world.
“I didn’t know I used to be in a spot that shouldn’t be,” he mentioned.
Ethel Nagy was born on November 16, 1921, in Milmont Park, Pa., Close to Philadelphia. Her father, Charles, who died when she was a baby, was a machine, and her mom, Margaret (Horvath) Nagy, took up ceramic sculpture later in life.
Ms. Gabriel studied trombone in his youth and fashioned a band, En (his initials) and Her Royal Males, who performed within the Philadelphia space. Whereas on the Temple, he started working at RCA in close by Camden, placing labels on information and packing them up earlier than continuing to the report tester.
After graduating in 1943, Ms. Gabriel continued his research at Columbia College and labored within the RCA workplaces in New York, additionally as secretary to Herman Diaz Jr., who led the Latin division of RCA. She spent plenty of time listening to check classes, and within the mid-Fifties industrial publications referred to her as “RCA Victor govt.”
In 1958 she married Gus Gabriel, who was in music publishing. The couple counted Frank Sinatra as a pal. In a 2011 interview with The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, she mentioned that in 1973, when her husband died in a hospital, she entered her room someday and located her nurses in a tizzy.
“I requested,‘ What’s mistaken? “” He recalled. “They mentioned,‘ Oh, everybody had autographed photographs of Sinatra! “
Ms. Jeffries mentioned Ms. Gabriel had at all times mentored the ladies of the corporate, irrespective of the place they have been on the company scale. However his serving to hand was prolonged to males as effectively, as producer Warren Schatz discovered when he joined RCA within the mid-Nineteen Seventies, when the disco wave was on the rise. .
She had an concept for an album that would catch that wave, she mentioned, and got here up with $ 6,000 to do it. It was from the Brothers and included a track, “Sure Prepared for It,” which grew to become a dance base.
“So Ethel began my life in RCA,” Mr. Schatz mentioned in a phone interview. He quickly grew to become vice chairman of A&R, and he or she referred to him.
“No matter she needed to do, I might simply say sure,” she mentioned. “He was so calm, so educated, and so self-sufficient.”
Mrs. Gabriel left RCA in 1984, partly, she mentioned, on the invitation of Robert B. Anderson, a former U.S. Treasury secretary, who satisfied her handy over her retirement bundle to him – greater than $ 250,000 – to have the ability to make investments. him within the hope that the monetary achieve future music tasks. The cash disappeared, and Mr. Anderson, who died in 1989, was later convicted of tax evasion.
Ms. Gabriel lived in Poconos for a number of years earlier than shifting to a care heart in Rochester to be near Mr. Mauro and his household. When she died in a hospital, Mr. Mauro mentioned, workers had Sinatra songs in her room.