Wendy Waldman
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A WENDY WALDMAN BIOGRAPHY

Wendy Waldman has a very diverse career in the music industry. She is a critically acclaimed recording artist, as well as a writer of multi-platinum songs for other singers in musical genres ranging from country to pop, film, jazz, children's music and R&B. She is also a teacher, and one of the first distinguished woman record producers.
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Wendy grew up in Los Angeles, in a musical family. Her father, Fred Steiner, is a composer who wrote, among other things, the famous "Perry Mason" theme. He also composed the music for episodes of "Star Trek," "Gunsmoke," "Rocky and Bullwinkle," and "The Twilight Zone." Wendy's grandfather, George Steiner, was also a composer who wrote music for Laurel and Hardy and animated features such as "Betty Boop."

Bryndle 1969In the early seventies, Wendy formed a band with some friends, calling themselves Bryndle. The members of Bryndle were all active in the very creative and energized music scene of Los Angeles at that time: Karla Bonoff, Andrew Gold, and Kenny Edwards.

After an unreleased album, the members of Bryndle all went their separate ways. However, the group proved to be a powerful springboard for all four partners, who each went on to highly successful careers. (The four have appeared on many other artists' records in various combinations -- audiences have been hearing this sound for many years without knowing it, on many classic albums including many of Linda Ronstadt's hit albums of the '70s.) Wendy ultimately became a solo recording artist, a hit songwriter, and a pioneer among women producers.

Wendy Waldman's first solo album, Love Has Got Me, came out on Warner Brothers in 1973 and was proclaimed by Rolling Stone Magazine to be the "singer-songwriter debut of the year." She was then the youngest member of the Warner Brothers "brain trust" -- a group of artists signed to the label who were known for their innovative and critically acclaimed approaches to music -- which also included Maria Muldaur, Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Captain Beefheart, and Van Dyke Parks.

Wendy's subsequent albums on Warner Bros. Records were all highly acclaimed as she devloped a strong fan following. Gypsy Symphony (1974), Wendy Waldman (1975), The Main Refrain (1976), and Strange Company (1978) are all strong showcases for Wendy's amazing songwriting talents as well as her proficient and often striking vocal performance. A number of singles from these albums picked up good regional airplay, but only "Long Hot Summer Nights" reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #76 in the late summer of 1978.

Wendy toured extensively throughout the U.S., headlining her own shows as well as opening many larger tours. She also began to expand into other aspects of music, experimenting with collaboration, different approaches to the craft, and ultimately to production. The years spent learning and working "behind the scenes" would prove to be extremely valuable to her as time went on. One of the results of this experimentation was the collaboration with Linda Ronstadt on a children's song, "I Want a Horse," which was included in the Grammy-winning Sesame Street record entitled "In Harmony," and is still considered a classic.

Wendy moved to Nashville in the early eighties, recognizing a renaissance in music there, which to her was very exciting. It was in Nashville that she honed her collaborative skills, writing numerous hit songs in country music and participating as well in studio work, touring with country artists, television, and record production. In all, there were some 70 Wendy Waldman songs recorded during those years, among them several BMI million-air award winners, and hit singles. Among her favorites is the song "Fishin in the Dark," written with Jim Photoglo, which became one of The Dirt Band's biggest hits, and spun several follow-up singles with them as well.

With her partners Phil Galdston and John Lind, Waldman wrote "Save the Best for Last," which was recorded by Vanessa Williams. It was a number one record on the pop, A/C, and R&B charts for numerous weeks in a row, garnering a Grammy nomination as well as ASCAP song of the year. The same team had a world-wide hit with Vanessa's follow up tune, "The Sweetest Days," and Aaron Neville's hit "I Owe You One." At the same time, Waldman also received the coveted Wrangler Award from the Cowboy Hall of Fame for her song "Corn, Water and Wood," which was co-written with Carol Elliot and recorded by Michael Martin Murphey. It is this kind of diversity that gives Wendy Walman the greatest pride.

Wendy continues to have her material recorded across the formats. In the year 2002 Waldman songs appeared on two Grammy-winning projects: Alison Kraus' exquisite folk project and Cece Winans' gospel CD. Simulatneously, Waldman had the title track to the NBC film Carrie which was written with the ultra pop LA team known as Hypnogaja. The year 2003 showed the same kind of diversity with tracks by Deana Carter as well as Melissa Erricone, produced by Arif Mardin. Having collaborators who span the breadth of the music world is one of the most special aspects of her writing career.

After Waldman produced her own project Letters Home (1987), she found herself being called upon by other artists to produce theirs as well. One of her earliest productions was the now-classic Suzy Bogguss album "Somewhere Between," which won the Academy of Country Music's New Artist Award in 1989. Another Waldman production considered a "classic" is New Grass Revival's "Friday Night in America." Some of the others who worked with Wendy are: The Forester Sisters, Matraca Berg, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Jonathan Edwards, Sweden's Elisabeth Andreasson, and The Sweethearts of the Rodeo.

In 1997, Warner Brothers released a retrospective of Waldman's first five solo albums, entitled, Love is the Only Goal: The Best of Wendy Waldman. It is interesting to note that this CD is receiving the same sort of critical acclaim which accompanied the original records from which it is drawn, and new listeners are discovering Wendy Waldman's music.

Bryndle 1995Life being the circle that it is, the group Bryndle reunited and finally released an album in 1995 which gained much critical acclaim. In support of the self-titled album, Bryndle toured for several years all over the U.S. and in Japan. The group maintains a very active web site and has a strong following. In 2001, Bryndle released a second album, "House of Silence," co-produced by Waldman and Kenny Edwards. A live CD, "Live at Russ and Julie's," was released in 2003.

From 2002 through 2007, Wendy Waldman focused on independent productions, where she believes a lot of great new talent can be found. She masterminded and produced both of John Cowan's well-received solo albums for Sugar Hill Records, the critically acclaimed "Cowboy Savant" by Ronny Cox, a CD from Brian Joseph entitled "The King of Echo Park" and a truly amazing final album by the late great Artie Traum called "Theif Of Time" just before his untimely passing. Owning her own studio, affectionally called THE LONGHOUSE, makes it possible for her to devote considerable time and care to the production of each of these artists' projects. She is now booked continuously, developing several new artists.

In recent years, Wendy Waldman was also very proud to be the first woman to join the elite team of Taylor Guitar Clinicians, and the first to focus on songwriting as well as instrumental technique. These clinics have been very successful, and have been an excellent vehicle for exposing her to new fans as well as reconnecting with old ones.

After working on so many different projects, she has finally returned to her own recording career, releasing first a CD of previously unheard songs, Seeds And Orphans (Longhouse Records, 2003), as well as her first new solo studio album of all new material in twenty years! My Time In The Desert (Longhouse Records, 2007) contains some of Wendy Waldman's best songs to date including her own versions of "Fishing In The Dark" and "Save The Best For Last."

In 2007, Wendy Waldman joined with accomplished solo artists Cindy Bullens and Deborah Holland to form a trio they call The Refugees. Since that time, The Refugees have been wowing audiences and radio DJs alike with their soaring harmonies, indelible musicianship, and unforgettably humorous stage presence. Each of The Refugees has logged more than three decades in the industry, with nineteen solo albums and multiple Grammy Award nominations to their credit, featuring musical styles that blend country, rock, folk, and Americana. To describe them as eclectic would be an understatement. These three women have utilized their intense drive and relentless passions to create an entirely new sound. Their debut CD, Unbound (Wabuho Records) was "officially" released in January of 2009 and their second CD, Three, came out in 2012.

Wendy Waldman has always been active in the music community, teaching workshops at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rocky Mountain Folks' Festival, the Kerrville Folk Festival, numerous ASCAP, NSAI, and BMI panels and workshops. She has served as a judge for many of the music organizations' songwriting contests including ASCAP's Sammy Cahn Awards, and Telluride Bluegrass Festival's writing competition. Wendy has served on the Boards of Directors for both Folk Alliance Region West (FAR-West) and Folk Alliance International.

Wendy's studio/house in Los Angeles is now the home of the venerated public radio music show "FolkScene," which has run continuously for more than 35 years in Los Angeles and now around the world on the Web. In this way Waldman gives back to the community that has supported her.

Wendy Waldman's amazing musical career continues to pick up steam with new projects and dreams. New songs are in the works and a new solo studio album is in the planning stages. Wendy continues to play concerts solo and with The Refugees at house concerts and coffee shops as well as headlining festivals. The best is yet to come!



ARTICLES

1. Rolling Stone Magazine
"Love Has Got Me" - An album review by Stephen Holden

Issue No. 146, October 25, 1973, Pages 60-61



2. Wood & Steel, A Taylor Guitars Quarterly Publication
Wendy Waldman Visits the Taylor Guitar Factory

Volume 37, Summer 2003, Page 30



3. Performing Songwriter Magazine
"A Recording Strategy for Independent Artists" by Wendy Waldman

Volume 10, Issue 70, June 2003, Pages 88-89



4. Performing Songwriter Magazine
"Producer's Corner: Wendy Waldman" by Lydia Hutchins

Volume 7, Issue 43, January/February 2000, Pages 52-60



5. FolkWorks Newspaper
"Back By Spring: THE RETURN OF WENDY WALDMAN" by Rex Butters
(PDF File)
Volume 7, Number 2, March/April 2007, Pages 3 & 24



6. The Lefsetz Letter
"The House Concert" by Bob Lefsetz
(PDF File)
April 2006



7. The Lefsetz Letter
"The Refugees At The Library" by Bob Lefsetz
(PDF File)
September 29, 2008




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Wendy Waldman - Songwriter


In 1973, two songs written by Wendy Waldman appeared on an album by Maria Mauldaur. Since that time, more than 150 songs, written or co-written by Wendy, have been recorded by others, including the Grammy award winning, "Save The Best For Last."

More than 70 other artists have recorded Wendy Waldman's songs in fields as diverse as pop, R&B, jazz, country, film, Latin and cowboy music. Among her biggest records are "Save The Best For Last" and "The Sweetest Days" by Vanessa Williams; "Fishin' In The Dark" and "Home Again In My Heart" by The Dirt Band; "Baby What About You" by Crystal Gayle; "I Owe You One" by Aaron Neville; "Heartbeat" by Don Johnson, and "I'm Gone" by Alison Krauss. Most recently, "Fishin in the Dark," released on Garth Brooks' new box set.

Her songs have also been recorded by Maria Muldaur, Robert Smith of the Cure, Linda Ronstadt, Kim Carnes, CeCe Winans, NewGrass Revival, Randy Travis, Randy Meisner, Edgar Winter, Jesse Colin Young, Percy Sledge, Kenny Rogers, Judy Collins, Melissa Manchester, Rita Coolidge and Bette Midler to name just a few.

For a more complete list of Wendy Waldman's songs and the artists who have recorded them, see the Wendy Waldman Songwriter Page.




Wendy Waldman - Producer

After Wendy Waldman produced her own project Letters Home in 1987, she found herself being called upon by many other artists to produce their albums as well. One of her earliest productions was the now-classic Suzy Bogguss album Somewhere Between, which won the Academy of Country Music's Best New Artist Award in 1989.

Here's a partial list of albums that Wendy Waldman has produced. Please note that this list is currently under construction and more will be added to it in the near future.

Pam Mark Hall
Keeper (Reunion Records, 1986)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Pam Mark Hall


Wendy Waldman
Letters Home (Cypress Records, 1987)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Letters Home


Elisabeth Andreasson
älskar, älskar ej... (Sonet Sweden, 1988)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Elisabeth Andreasson


Suzy Bogguss
Somewhere Between (Capitol Records, 1989)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Winner: Horizon Award - Academy of Country Music
(Wendy is also credited with background vocals)

Purchase Here
Suzy Bogguss


New Grass Revival
Friday Night in America (Capitol Records, 1989)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
(Wendy is also credited with background vocals)
Purchase Here
New Grass Revival


Jonathan Edwards
The Natural Thing (MCA, 1989)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Jonathan Edwards


Forester Sisters
Foresters Greatest Hits (Warner Bros, 1989)
Wendy Waldman produced three songs on this album: "Letter Home", "Don't You" and "Leave it Alone"
(all 3 tracks were top ten singles)

Purchase Here
Forester Sisters


Forester Sisters
Come Hold Me (Warner Bros. 26141, 1990)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Come Hold Me


Matraca Berg
Lying to the Moon (RCA 90532, 1990)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Matraca Berg


Sweethearts of the Rodeo
Sisters (Sony, 1992)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Sweethearts of the Rodeo


Rick Vincent
A Wanted Man (Curb Records, 1993)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Rick Vincent


Bryndle
Bryndle (MusicMasters, 1995)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Bryndle


John Cowan
John Cowan (Sugar Hill 3907, 2000)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
John Cowan


Bryndle
House of Silence (2001)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
House Of Silence


John Cowan
Always Take Me Back (Sugar Hill 3932, 2002)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Always Take Me Back


Ronny Cox
Cowboy Savant (Elixir Records, 2002)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Ronny Cox


Brian Joseph
King Of Echo Park (Frog Songs, 2003)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Brian Joseph


Bryndle
Live at Russ and Julie's (2003)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Live at Russ & Julie's


Wendy Waldman
Seeds And Orphans (Longhouse Records, 2003)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Seeds And Orphans


Anna Wolfe
My Treasure (2005)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Anna Wolfe


Arthur Lee Land
Dragonfly (Perfect Groove Records, 2005)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Arthur Lee Land


Hypnogaja
Acoustic Sunset - Live At The Longhouse (Union State Records / Longhouse Records, 2006)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Hypnogaja


Wendy Waldman
My Time in the Desert (Longhouse Records, 2007)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
My Time in the Desert


Artie Traum
Thief of Time (Roaring Stream Records, 2007)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Artie Traum


The Refugees
Unbound (2008)
Producer: Wendy Waldman and The Refugees
Purchase Here
The Refugees: Unbound


Wendy Waldman
Seeds and Orphans, Vol. 2 (Longhouse Records, 2009)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Seeds and Orphans, Vol. 2


Mietek Szcześniak
Signs (2011)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Mietek Szczesniak


The Refugees
Three (2012)
Producer: Wendy Waldman and The Refugees
Purchase Here
The Refugees: Three


Lisa Haley
Joy Ride (2012)
Producer: Wendy Waldman
Purchase Here
Lisa Haley Joy Ride
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©2012 Wendy Waldman