Bill Porter

Date: 1994 June 08
Length: 174 min.
Call Number: OHC228


Recording engineer. Born June 15, 1931. Full name: Billy Rhodes Porter. Chief engineer for RCA Records Nashville, 1959-1963. Engineer for Columbia Records Nashville, 1963. Manager, Monument Records Nashville studio, 1964-1966. Operated his own recording studio in Las Vegas, 1966-1973. Engineered Elvis Presley’s stage shows, 1970-1977.

Interview Summary

1994 June 8
(2 hours, 54 minutes)
Recording engineer Bill Porter describes the technical aspects of recording during his RCA years, 1959-1963. Discussion includes comments on the Nashville Sound; a description of his approach to recording and engineering; comments on the techniques used when recording Floyd Cramer’s “Last Date” and Jerry Byrd’s Byrd Of Paradise album; the significance of the condenser microphone; striving for a high fidelity commercial sound; details of early recording techniques; his custom mastering projects; mono vs. stereo recording; techniques utilized when recording the Browns; recording Skeeter Davis’s “The End of the World”; recording the Everly Brothers’ “Cathy’s Clown”; recording Jim Reeves’s “The Blizzard”; recording Boots Randolph’s “Yakety Sax”; recording Roy Orbison; recording Elvis Presley, including “It’s Now or Never,” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight”; and experiences working with Chet Atkins and Anita Kerr.