Lou Adler (born December 13, 1933) is a Grammy Award-winning American record producer, music executive, talent manager, songwriter, film director, film producer, and co-owner of the famous Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California.
Adler has produced and developed a number of iconic musical artists, including Carole King, Jan & Dean, The Mamas & the Papas and The Grass Roots. King's Diamond-certified album Tapestry, produced by Adler, won the 1972 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and is widely considered one of the greatest rock & roll albums of all time.
In 2006, Adler was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his achievements in music. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 as the winner, alongside Quincy Jones, of the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
Adler in December 2012
|Born||13 December 1933|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
(m. 1964; div. 1980)
|Children||6, including Cisco Adler|
Adler was born to a Jewish family in Chicago, Illinois in 1933 and raised in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles, California. His career in music began as co-manager, alongside Herb Alpert, of Jan & Dean. Adler and Alpert transitioned from managing into songwriting, composing the song "River Rock" in 1958 for Bob "Froggy" Landers and The Cough Drops, and "Only Sixteen" and "Wonderful World" with Sam Cooke.
In 1964, Adler founded Dunhill Records. He was President and chief record producer of the label from 1964 to 1967. During this time, Adler signed The Mamas & the Papas to Dunhill, producing six top-five hits for the group, including "California Dreamin'" and "Monday, Monday". Dunhill also reached #1 on the pop charts with Barry McGuire's single "Eve of Destruction". Through additional efforts by co-producers and songwriting duo P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, the label reached #8 on the pop charts with The Grass Roots single "Let's Live for Today".
Capitalizing on Dunhill's success, Adler sold the label to ABC in 1967 and founded Ode Records, to which he signed Carole King, Spirit, Cheech & Chong, Scott McKenzie, Peggy Lipton, and others. Adler produced all of King's albums on Ode, which include four Gold, one Platinum, and one Diamond certified albums by the RIAA. King's second album for Ode, Tapestry, sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, and is widely considered one of the greatest albums of all time. Adler's work on Tapestry garnered him two Grammy Awards in 1972: Record of the Year (for producing "It's Too Late") and Album of the Year.
In addition to work with his own label's artists, Adler produced a number of live albums for Johnny Rivers. In June 1967, Adler helped to produce the Monterey International Pop Festival, as well as the film version, Monterey Pop.
In 1975, Adler served as executive producer of the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. After seeing The Rocky Horror Show at a theater in London, Adler bought the American rights to the show, presented it live in Los Angeles, and executive-produced the film version (adding "Picture" to the title). The movie went on to become the longest-running theatrical film in history.
In 1978, Adler directed the movie Up In Smoke, starring Cheech & Chong. The movie remains a cult hit, and in 2000 Adler recorded a commentary track along with Cheech Marin for the DVD release. His 1981 film, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, did not make a large impact upon release but has enjoyed a long life on cable TV broadcasts. Also in 1981, Adler executive produced the follow-up to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shock Treatment.
Adler was married to actress and singer Shelley Fabares in 1964 and produced several of her songs. They separated in 1966 but were not formally divorced until 1980. In 1973 he fathered his first son, Nic Adler, with actress Britt Ekland. In 1978 he fathered another son, Cisco Adler, with then-girlfriend Phyllis Somer. Today, Adler is married to former actress Page Hannah, three decades his junior. The couple has four sons: Manny, Ike, Pablo, and Oscar.
Adler can often be seen sitting courtside next to Jack Nicholson at Los Angeles Lakers home games. Adler owns The Roxy Theatre with his son Nic, who operates the historic music venue on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. Peter Fonda based his character Terry Valentine in The Limey on Adler.
In 1976, Adler and his administrative assistant were kidnapped. The two men were held for eight hours and released after $25,000 in ransom money was paid. Three suspects were arrested and sheriff's deputies later recovered $14,900 of the ransom money. Two suspects were later convicted and one suspect was later sentenced to life in prison.
The following is a list of albums produced by Lou Adler:
The following is a list of films produced and/or directed by Lou Adler:
He celebrated his bar mitzvah in the Breed Street Shul
"Baby Talk" is a 1959 song by Jan and Dean which was a Top 10 hit for them on Dore Records. Jan Berry worked on the song with friends and Dore Records staffers Lou Adler and Herb Alpert. Alpert recalled recording the song in Jan's garage. The song spent 12 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart peaking at No. 10, while reaching No. 28 on Billboard's Hot R&B Sides. While not usually considered part of the "surf pop" genre, it contains many elements of what would become the signature sound of southern California in the early '60s such as the close vocal harmonies combined with falsetto sounds.
The song was originally released as a single in 1959 by The Laurels on Spring Records, though their version failed to chart.In 1962, Jan & Dean released a sequel to the song, entitled "She's Still Talking Baby Talk".Been to Canaan
"Been to Canaan" is a song written by Carole King introduced on King's 1972 album release Rhymes and Reasons. Released as that album's lead single, "Been to Canaan" peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1973 and it was the second of King's four #1 hits on the Easy Listening chart.A Finnish rendering of "Been to Canaan": "Olet Nähnyt Kaanan", was recorded by Anki on her 1973 album Aikalintu.Glad to Be Unhappy
"Glad to Be Unhappy" is a popular song composed by Richard Rodgers, with lyrics by Lorenz Hart. It was introduced in their 1936 musical On Your Toes by Doris Carson and David Morris, although it was not popular at the time, as there was only one 1936 recording of the tune. In the 1937 London production, it was sung by Gina Malo and Eddie Pola. The song was performed in the 1954 Broadway revival by Kay Coulter and Joshua Shelley.Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival
Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival is a live album recorded at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. A split artist release, it documents performances by the Jimi Hendrix Experience on side one and Otis Redding on side two.Honolulu Lulu
"Honolulu Lulu" is a song written by Jan Berry and Roger Christian, and Lou Adler for the American rock band Jan and Dean. It was the second hit single from their 1963 album Surf City And Other Swingin' Cities charting at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.Mountain of Love
"Mountain of Love" is a song written by Harold Dorman. Dorman released his version as a single in 1960. It was originally recorded in late 1959 at the Royal Recording Studios in Memphis before the backing vocals (and strings, much later) were overdubbed. It performed well, spending 19 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #21 in May 1960, while reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot R&B Sides chart, and #25 on Canada's "CHUM Hit Parade". The song was his only top forty hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the highest charting single of his career.Nightingale (Carole King song)
"Nightingale" is a song written by Carole King and David Palmer. "Nightingale" first appeared on her top-selling album Wrap Around Joy, which was released in mid-July 1974, but was released as a single in December. The song has since been put on many of her compilation albums, including her certified platinum album Her Greatest Hits: Songs of Long Ago.
The song, like the album Wrap Around Joy, got off to a slow start, but eventually charted high. "Nightingale" peaked at number nine on March 1, 1975, on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent the week before at number one on the Easy Listening chart.Poor Side of Town
"Poor Side of Town" is a song by Johnny Rivers that reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the RPM Canadian Chart in November 1966.Rewind (Johnny Rivers album)
Rewind is the third studio album by the American musician Johnny Rivers, released in 1967 by Imperial Records. The album includes cover versions of "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'" and "The Tracks of My Tears". Produced by Lou Adler with arrangements by Jimmy Webb, who wrote eight of the songs, the album peaked at #14 on the Billboard albums chart.So Far Away (Carole King song)
“So Far Away” is a song written by Carole King and appeared on her 1971 album Tapestry. The recording features James Taylor on acoustic guitar.
The lyrics express longing for a lover who is far away. But Allmusic critic Bill Janovitz notes that while the lyrics start by focusing on the physical distance between the lovers, the lyrics use that as a jumping off point to explore emotional distance between lovers as well. Rolling Stone stated King's "warm, earnest singing" on the song brought out the song's sadness.In addition to Taylor, and King on piano, instruments include Russ Kunkel on drums, Charles Larkey on bass guitar and Curtis Amy on flute.Speeding Time
Speeding Time is an album by American singer-songwriter Carole King, released in 1983. King's fourteenth album in 14 years, Speeding Time was poorly reviewed and was her first album not to chart. Following the album's release, King did not record again for six years.Tapestry (Carole King album)
Tapestry is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Carole King, released in 1971 on Ode Records and produced by Lou Adler. It is one of the best-selling albums of all time, with over 25 million copies sold worldwide. In the United States, it has been certified Diamond by the RIAA with more than 10 million copies sold. It received four Grammy Awards in 1972, including Album of the Year. The lead singles from the album — "It's Too Late"/"I Feel the Earth Move" — spent five weeks at number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts. In 2003, Tapestry was ranked number 36 on Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.Thoroughbred (album)
Thoroughbred is an album by American singer-songwriter Carole King, released in 1976. This is her final effort issued by Ode Records, and also the last album produced by Lou Adler who had been her collaborator since Tapestry.
The track "Only Love Is Real" was released as a lead single from the album, and became her 4th and final chart-topper on the U.S. Billboard AC chart. "High out of Time", a song featuring David Crosby and Graham Nash on vocals, was also released as a single. "There's a Space Between Us" also features harmony vocals by James Taylor.Up in Smoke
Up in Smoke is a 1978 American stoner comedy film directed by Lou Adler and starring Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Edie Adams, Strother Martin, Stacy Keach, and Tom Skerritt. It is Cheech & Chong's first feature-length film.
Cheech & Chong had been a counterculture comedy team for about ten years before they started reworking some of their material for their first film. Much of the film was shot in Los Angeles, California, including scenes set in Tijuana, while scenes set on the Mexican border were actually filmed at the border in Yuma, Arizona.
While negatively received upon its release, Up in Smoke is credited with establishing the stoner comedy genre. It’s now considered a classic.Wasn't Born to Follow
"Wasn't Born to Follow", also known as "I Wasn't Born to Follow", is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Goffin wrote the lyrics and King provided the music. The song was first recorded by The Byrds on their 1968 album The Notorious Byrd Brothers and King's short lived band The City also recorded the song on their 1968 album Now That Everything's Been Said. It has also been covered by many other artists, including The Monkees, Dusty Springfield and a solo recording by King. The Byrds recording was featured in the 1969 film Easy Rider and was released as a single.Wonderful World (Sam Cooke song)
"Wonderful World" (occasionally referred to as "(What A) Wonderful World") is a song by American singer-songwriter Sam Cooke. Released on April 14, 1960, by Keen Records, it had been recorded during an impromptu session the previous year, Cooke's last recording session at Keen. He signed with RCA Victor in 1960 and "Wonderful World," then unreleased, was issued as a single in competition. The song was mainly composed by songwriting team Lou Adler and Herb Alpert, but Cooke revised the lyrics to mention the subject of education more.
"Wonderful World" ended up doing substantially better on the charts than several of his early RCA singles, becoming his biggest hit single since "You Send Me" (1957). The song peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit number two on Billboard's Hot R&B Sides chart.
Herman's Hermits charted better with a cover of the song in 1965, reaching number four in the United States and number seven in the United Kingdom, respectively. Another cover by Art Garfunkel with James Taylor and Paul Simon charted at number 17 in 1978. The Sam Cooke version was featured in the 1978 film Animal House and gained greater recognition in the UK upon a 1986 re-release when it peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, going silver (it had peaked at number 27 on the UK singles chart on first release in 1960). Its 1986 success was attributed to sound-alike versions featured in the film Witness (1985) and a memorable Levi's 501 television commercial.Wrap Around Joy
Wrap Around Joy is a 1974 album by American singer-songwriter Carole King. The album hit No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart in late 1974 and spun off successful singles with "Jazzman" (No. 2 pop) and "Nightingale" (No. 9 pop, No. 1 adult contemporary).
The album was certified Gold by the RIAA.You've Got a Friend
"You've Got a Friend" is a 1971 song written by Carole King. It was first recorded by King, and included in her album Tapestry. Another well-known version is by James Taylor from his album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. His was released as a single in 1971 reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The two versions were recorded simultaneously in 1971 with shared musicians.
"You've Got a Friend" won Grammy Awards both for Taylor (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and King (Song of the Year). Dozens of other artists have recorded the song over the years, including Dusty Springfield, Michael Jackson, Anne Murray and Donny Hathaway.