Nashville producer and engineer Bil VornDick dies at 72

Nashville Producer and engineer Bil VornDick.

Nashville, TN (July 12, 2022) – Music Row veteran producer and engineer Bil VornDick, whose clients included Alison Krauss, Doc Watson and Charlie McCoy, died July 5 at age 72, less than a week after receiving a diagnosis of cancer.

Known for his skills in the recording studio, particularly in folk, bluegrass, Americana and acoustic circles, VornDick has worked on albums that have garnered over 40 Grammy nominations and nine wins. He was also treasured for his personality and was invariably kind, wise, welcoming, gentle, and generous.

Raised in Northern Virginia, VornDick was the first soloist for four years on trumpet in high school and was voted “most creative” and “most talented” by his senior class. While still a student and playing guitar in rock bands in Virginia, he sold a few songs to Cedarwood Publishing on Music Row. Chet Atkins urged him to move to Nashville and helped him enroll at Belmont University. Before moving, he worked at the Washington Star Newspaper in DC, where he met his wife, Patricia, in the printmaking department in the early 1970s.

In 1979, he became one of the first graduates of Belmont’s music business program. Country superstar Marty Robbins heard him working on demos for Loretta Lynn’s publishing house and hired him as his studio’s chief engineer. VornDick went on to become chief engineer of Stargem Studio, founder of The Music Shop, and owner of Music Row Audio and Mountainside Music Group Productions.

Questions and Answers about Bil VornDick

VornDick was an active participant in the Nashville music community. He campaigned to save RCA Studio A from demolition, promoted roots music charts, championed health insurance for musicians, and defended the intellectual property rights of recording engineers. He has also done consulting and/or teaching work for the Audio Engineering Society (he served two terms as president of the Nashville chapter), MTSU, Belmont, Folk Alliance International, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, MerleFest, Telluride, South Plains College, Kerrville Folk Festival, Vol State and more.

A celebration of VornDick’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in his name to NERF (Nashville Engineer Relief Fund) or MusiCares.

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