I don't really participate in many GOAT conversations because I know they are all relative, but in my book, Quincy Jones is at the top of my list.
Listen. Frank Sinatra. Michael Jackson. Ray Charles. Malcolm X. Buzz Aldrin. Prince.
In 1961, Quincy Jones became the Vice President of Mercury records. This made him the first African American to hold an executive position in a white-owned record label. This opened a door for him to work in a new area of music previously closed to African Americans, film scores. In 1963, he started work on the music for Sidney Lumet’s The Pawnbroker. This became the first of his 33 major motion picture scores. In 1963, Quincy won the first of his many Grammy’s for his Count Basie arrangement of “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” He also won many Grammy's for his work with Frank Sinatra including the hit song "Fly Me to the Moon." In 1985, he co-produced Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, which won eleven Oscar nominations, introduced Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey to film audiences, and marked Jones’ debut as a film producer.
I was a 80s baby, Quincy Jones' work was everywhere on my television.
Quincy wrote the theme music for Ironside (the first synthesizer-based TV theme song),
Sanford and Son, "The Streetbeater" is the theme song for the Red Foxx starring 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son. I wrote that song in about 20 minutes too. We had four musicians, Recorded it in about 20 minutes. It's amazing. Looking back, it's a trip."
Received an Emmy Award for the theme music he wrote for the television miniseries Roots (1977).
We held onto The Wiz VHS tape like it was the holy grail. We watched the musical/movie as a family all the time.
He also arranged music for the 1978 movie "The Wiz."
While working as a music supervisor and producer on 1978's The Wiz, a film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, he was impressed by the precocious co-star Michael Jackson, who had already made waves in The Jackson 5.
Jones produced Michael Jackson's first solo album Off the Wall. They teamed again to create Jones’s best-known work in producing an all-time best-selling album, Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1982).
the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–96).
After filming wrapped, Jackson told his label, Epic Records, and managers, Freddie DeMann and Ron Weisner, that he wanted Jones to produce for him. The music the pair made together may prove the existence of a higher power: Jones produced 1979's Off The Wall, 1982's Thriller and 1987's Bad.
To this day, Jones sees each day as a new opportunity to learn. Studies have found that musical training in childhood literally changes the structure of your brain and how it works, pointing to enhanced verbal abilities, non-verbal reasoning and making it easier to learn multiple languages.
However, Just like me, Quincy Jones discovered his love for music at the age of 14. He moved from the midwest (Chicago) to the west coast (Seattle). He caught word of a skinny, Black 16-year-old kid in town with frightening musical talent - His name was Ray Charles. Jones started playing nightclubs at 14 working with Ray Charles, soon after dedicating himself to the mastery of music (trumpet, piano, and arranger). It wasn’t long before he started touring Europe ( working with the likes of Billie Holliday, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Dizzy Gillespie, arranging and conducting their music and immersing himself in the culture of each country he visited.
There isn't many producers I can name who have arranged music for Frank Sinatra that became the first music played on the Moon. Literally. The song was “Fly Me to the Moon.” In 1969, Buzz Aldrin took the song with him on a portable cassette during the Apollo 11 mission,
"Yeah, 1969. Buzz Aldrin. Frank knew first and he called me up, and he was like a little kid: 'We got the first music on the moon, man!' He said, 'We're putting it back in the show!'" (4)
The Cosby Show, A Different World, Martin, and Fresh Prince of Bel - Air, which he composed and executively produced.
is by far the 🐐. He's had an immense impact on me because he is the musician/composer's dream that I aim to achieve. Two of my goals - (1) to produce over 50 albums and (2)one day compose for film is because of the many soundtracks this man has created. His music has been the soundtrack of my life since day one. To repay him and all my musical inspirations back, I've made a commitment to sonically strive to make music with no box around my creativity. I hope you all will hear my journey and dreams within my work.
Thank you Quincy Jones for everything you've given to us. God Bless you!!
Side note: He was born on March 14th. 14 is the magic number