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Ethel Gabriel the First of the 5%

 

Ethel Gabriel (1921-2021) may be one of the most prolific recording industry professionals you’ve never heard of. Ethel was the first woman record producer for a major record label, and one of the first women in the world to work in A&R. She had a 4-decade career at RCA starting with an entry-level job and rising up to being an executive in the company.

During her career, Ethel produced over 5,000 records – some original recordings and some repackaged – by nearly every artist on the RCA roster (including Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton). Ethel was the woman in A&R to receive an RIAA Gold Record in 1959, and the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Historical Album (1982).

Ethel was willing to take risks, such as producing the first digitally-remastered album or working with artists who brought new types of music to the mainstream. Her credits include everything from mambo to easy listening to rap.

Ethel’s Background

Ethel was born in 1921 in Pennsylvania. She started her own dance band at age 13 (called “En and Her Royal Men”) where Ethel played trombone. She originally wanted to go to college for forestry (at the encouragement of her father) but women were not allowed into the program. She decided to attend Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) and study music education.

A relative helped Ethel get a job at RCA’s record plant (in Camden, New Jersey) to help pay for tuition and expenses. Ethel’s first job included tasks like putting labels on records. She was promoted to record tester where she had to listen to one out of every 500 records pressed for quality. She learned every note of the big hits since Ethel had to listen to them over and over.

Ethel was allowed to visit the nearby RCA recording studios. She brought her trombone with her, playing with major artists for fun between sessions. She also learned how recording sessions worked. Ethel was secretary to the manager of A&R at the time, Herman Diaz, Jr. Ethel got to produce her first recording session (with bandleader Elliot Laurence) when Diaz called in sick and asked her to do it.

In 1955, Ethel convinced her boss, Manie Sacks, to sign Perez Prado to RCA’s label. She produced his record, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, which became a worldwide hit and helped bring the mambo craze to the US.

She was with RCA during the creation of their Nashville studios, the signing of Elvis, and their transition from mono to stereo.

Through Ethel’s career, she was willing to take risks and experiment with new technology or music. In 1959, Ethel launched Living Strings, a series on RCA Camden’s label that ran for 22 years.

In 1961, she produced Ray Martin and his Orchestra Dynamica, the first release using RCA’s “Stereo Action.” In 1976, she was executive producer of Caruso,’s A Legendary Performer, the first digitally-remastered album. The technology used by Soundstream Inc (lead by Thomas Stockham) has gone on to be widely used in audio and photography restoration and Stockham’s work on the Caruso album was the basis for a 1975 scientific paper. In 1975, Ethel gave a chance to then-unknown producer Warren Schatz, who produced RCA’s first disco album, Disco-Soul by The Brothers.

Ethel managed RCA’s Camden label (designed for budget records) starting in 1961. Camden was struggling when she took over and went on to become a multi-million dollar label under Ethel’s watch. Some of RCA’s major artists even asked to be released on the Camden line over the flagship RCA label because of Camden’s success.

Ethel received two RIAA Platinum records and 15 Gold records (over 10 million record sales total) during her career with numbers still growing. Many of these were repackages or re-releases where Ethel put her expert eyes (and ears) on song selection and label redesign. One album she re-packaged, Elvis’ Christmas Album, was the first Elvis record to reach Diamond (10 million sales). Ethel said of creating special packages (in Billboard Magazine Sept 5, 1981), “It’s like second nature to me. The secret is that you know the market you’re trying to reach. You can’t contrive a special record. It has to be genuine and full of integrity because people know the difference.” Ethel re-issued albums for nearly every RCA artist (including the Legendary Performer series, RCA Pure Gold economy line, and the Bluebird Complete series).

Towards the end of her time at RCA, Ethel asked the company to fund a women’s group for lectures and seminars. She wanted to help women learn to become executives. Ethel said she felt like a mother to some of the women she mentored (Ethel was married but did not have children). She wanted to teach skills like how to network, how to dress or behave. Ethel also became involved with Women in Music, one of very few groups available to women in the music industry at the time. In 1990, Ethel publicly spoke out against the “boys club” in a Letter to the Editor of Billboard Magazine (Oct 6). She said, “Yes, there are ‘record women’ in the industry – and they have ears, too!”

Ethel also worked with many artists and ensembles in the studio during her career including Chet Atkins, Caterina Valenti, Marty Gold, Los Indios Tabajaras, Teresa Brewer and hundreds of recordings under the Living series. She said of working with artists, “There are times to ‘harness’ artists and times to ‘push.’” Ethel said her most helpful qualifications to do the job were “her knowledge and love of music and her ability to make difficult decisions and hold to them.” (Cincinnati Enquirer August 18, 1983)

Ethel was not promoted to Vice President at RCA until 1982, over 40 years into her career. Many colleagues said it was long overdue. The following year, she won a Grammy for Best Historical Album (for co-producing The Dorsey/Sinatra Sessions). After leaving RCA, Ethel remained in the industry where she worked as president and vice president to smaller record labels.

Ethel’s story is being captured in a documentary film about her life and career, called LIVING SOUND. Production on the film started in 2019, when Gabriel was 97 years old. The documentary began (with the aide of SoundGirls) through uncovering archival materials and conducting interviews with Ethel.

For more about LIVING SOUND visit livingsoundfilm.com.  SoundGirls also has a scholarship in Ethel’s honor: the Ethel Gabriel Scholarship.

The SoundGirls Podcast – Caroline Losneck and April Tucker: Living Sound the Ethel Gabriel Documentary Team

 

Find More Profiles on The Five Percent

Profiles of Women in Audio

 

The Ethel Gabriel Scholarship

Applications for 2021 will open on June 1, 2021.

We are proud to recognize Ethel’s contributions to the music industry and for paving the way for future generations of women working in music production.

In honor of Ethel Gabriel, SoundGirls will be awarding two $500 scholarships to members pursuing a career in the recording arts. These scholarships will be awarded in August 2021 and can be used for educational training and university programs. The scholarships are open to all members of SoundGirls.

SoundGirls is currently in production on a new documentary about Ethel Gabriel’s career and impact. For more info visit EthelGabrieldoc.com

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Any member of SoundGirls that is attending or plans to attend educational programs in Professional Audio. There is no age requirement and includes college programs, trade schools, seminars, and workshops. Applications are open to all genders and non-conforming genders.

HOW TO APPLY

The application includes two short essay questions:

  1. Why you are applying for this scholarship;
  2. How has Ethel Gabriel inspired you? (400-600 words, please.)
  3. Application opens June 1, 2021 – Apply Here

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION

The essay submission deadline is 12:00 midnight EDT July 30, 2021. The scholarships will be awarded in August 2021, and paid to scholarship winners. Scholarship winners will be required to send proof of enrollment in the educational program to SoundGirls or scholarship money must be returned.

SELECTION PROCESS & NOTIFICATION

The SoundGirls Board will review essays and will notify the winners via email.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

The scholarship funds awarded can be used for educational programs related to professional audio. Scholarships are non-renewable. You will need to submit proof of enrollment in a program.

QUESTIONS?

Any questions on the scholarship essay can be directed to soundgirls@soundgirls.org.


About Ethel Gabriel

Photo: Democrat & Chronicle Dec. 13, 2013

Photo: Democrat & Chronicle Dec. 13, 2013

Ethel Gabriel may be one of the most prolific music producers you’ve never heard of. Ethel had a 4-decade career at RCA starting with an entry-level job and rising up to become the first female record producer for a major record label and an executive role in A&R.

During her career, Ethel produced over 5,000 records and worked with a wide variety of artists on RCA’s roster including Elvis Presley. Ethel was willing to take risks – such as producing the first digitally-remastered album or working with artists who brought new types of music to the mainstream. Her credits include everything from mambo to easy listening to rap.

Ethel’s Background

Ethel was born in 1921 in Pennsylvania. She started her own dance band at age 13 (called “En and Her Royal Men”) where Ethel played trombone. She originally wanted to go to college for forestry (at the encouragement of her father) but women were not allowed into the program. She decided to attend Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) and study music education.

A relative helped Ethel get a job at RCA’s record plant (in Camden, New Jersey) to help pay for tuition and expenses. Ethel’s first job included tasks like putting labels on records. She was promoted to record tester where she had to listen to one out of every 500 records pressed for quality. She learned every note of the big hits since Ethel had to listen to them over and over.

Ethel would hang out at the nearby RCA recording studios (and brought her trombone with her to play between sessions). She got to play with some major artists for fun and also learn how the engineers and producers worked. She also spent a lot of time in the studio as secretary to the manager of A&R at the time, Herman Diaz, Jr. Ethel got to produce her first session (with bandleader Elliot Laurence) when Diaz called in sick and asked her to do it.

In 1955, Ethel convinced her boss, Manie Sacks, to sign Perez Prado to RCA’s label. She produced his record, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, which became a worldwide hit and helped bring the mambo craze to the US.

She was with RCA during the creation of their Nashville studios, the signing of Elvis, and their transition from mono to stereo.

Through Ethel’s career, she was willing to take risks and experiment with new technology or music. In 1959, Ethel launched Living Strings, a series on RCA Camden’s label that ran for 22 years.

In 1961, she produced Ray Martin and his Orchestra Dynamica, the first release using RCA’s “Stereo Action.” In 1976, she was executive producer of Caruso,’s A Legendary Performer, the first digitally-remastered album. The technology used by Soundstream Inc (lead by Thomas Stockham) has gone on to be widely used in audio and photography restoration and Stockham’s work on the Caruso album was the basis for a 1975 scientific paper. In 1975, Ethel gave a chance to then-unknown producer Warren Schatz, who produced RCA’s first disco album, Disco-Soul by The Brothers.

Ethel also helmed RCA’s Camden label (designed for budget records). Camden was struggling when she took over in 1961 and had a sales volume increase of 100% over two years. Camden went on to become a multi-million dollar label under Ethel’s watch. Some of RCA’s major artists even asked to be released on the Camden line over the flagship RCA label because of Camden’s success.

During her career, Ethel received two RIAA Platinum records and 15 Gold records (over 10 million record sales) and her albums continue to sell. Many of these were repackages or re-releases where Ethel put her expert eyes (and ears) on song selection and label redesign. One album she re-packaged, Elvis’ Christmas Album, was the first Elvis record to reach Diamond (10 million sales). Ethel said of creating special packages (in Billboard Magazine Sept 5, 1981), “It’s like second nature to me. The secret is that you know the market you’re trying to reach. You can’t contrive a special record. It has to be genuine and full of integrity because people know the difference.” Ethel re-issued albums for nearly every RCA artist (including the Legendary Performer series, RCA Pure Gold economy line, and the Bluebird Complete series).

Towards the end of her time at RCA, Ethel asked the company to fund a women’s group for lectures and seminars. She wanted to help women learn to become executives. Ethel said she felt like a mother to some of the women she mentored (Ethel was married but did not have children). She wanted to teach skills like how to network, how to dress or behave. Ethel also became involved with Women in Music, one of very few groups available to women in the music industry at the time. In 1990, Ethel publicly spoke out against the “boys club” in a Letter to the Editor of Billboard Magazine (Oct 6). She said, “Yes, there are ‘record women’ in the industry – and they have ears, too!”

Ethel also worked with many artists and ensembles in the studio during her career including Chet Atkins, Caterina Valenti, Marty Gold, Los Indios Tabajaras, Teresa Brewer and the entire Living series recordings. She said of working with artists, “There are times to ‘harness’ artists and times to ‘push.’” Ethel said her most helpful qualifications to do the job were “her knowledge and love of music and her ability to make difficult decisions and hold to them.” (Cincinnati Enquirer August 18, 1983)

Ethel was not promoted to Vice President at RCA until 1982, over 40 years into her career. Many colleagues said it was long overdue. The following year, she won a Grammy for Best Historical Album (for co-producing The Dorsey/Sinatra Sessions). After leaving RCA, Ethel remained in the industry where she worked as president and vice president to smaller record labels.

 

 

Helen Oakley Dance

“I wasn’t a trained musician. But I did have ears and that’s what’s important.”

Catherine Basie, Hugues Panassie, Count Basie, Helen Oakley Dance, and Stanley Dance. Paris, 1956. From the Papers of Stanley Dance and Helen Oakley Dance Collection (Photographer unknown)

Helen Oakley Dance (born Helen Oakley) was the earliest female jazz record producer (and perhaps the earliest known female record producer of any genre). She was instrumental in the early days of jazz in America – writing about it, producing it (including many recordings with Duke Ellington), promoting it, and connecting artists with each other.

Helen was born in Toronto in 1913 to a wealthy Canadian family. Her great-grandfather started Joseph Simpson Knitting and Yarn Mills in 1865 and her father, John Oakley, was managing director of the company. Growing up, she wasn’t a musician (her parents weren’t musical) but her family would receive a batch of twelve records every month from the big record stores and they could decide which to keep. Helen was drawn to records the rest of her family wasn’t – the jazz ones (artists like Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five). In an interview with Monk Rowe, Helen said, “That’s all I wanted to know about and hear. I didn’t know what the instruments were or what I was listening to but I always knew what I was listening to.” She attended the University of Toronto and completed her schooling at Les Fougeres in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Meeting Duke Ellington

Helen realized living in Canada that jazz music wasn’t coming there. She was going to have to go to the music was and the closest place was Detroit. She moved in 1933 (with her family’s blessing) with the goal to be a jazz singer. While in Detroit, Helen saw Duke Ellington play a show at the Fox Theater (Helen had all his records). Helen forged a note from a music critic to Duke that said Duke would like Helen and he should invite her for afternoon tea. He invited her to tea the next day. When Helen saw Duke had the letter on his mirror, she fessed up to forging it. Duke suspected it but was still amused and the two became fast friends. In an interview with Mark Tucker Helen said of Duke, “I was family and for the rest of my life and as long as he lived I was family and that was the greatest thing to ever happen to me.”

Chicago Years

Helen moved to Chicago in 1934 where she was a freelance music journalist. She wrote a regular column for Downbeat (a small publication at the time) where she could write about whatever she wanted or what she was listening to. At the time, there were jazz critics writing abroad but none in the US. She (with Squirrel Ashcroft) helped organize performances of jazz performers like Billie Holiday. She helped put on the first jazz concert in Chicago (where the audience was sitting and listening and not with a dance floor): Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, and Teddy Wilson. It was also significant because it was an interracial trio playing publicly which was unheard of at the time. Helen helped persuade Benny to hire Teddy Wilson, who was a black pianist.

Duke Ellington, Chick Webb & Artie Shaw at a jam session (Brunswick Recording Studio, March 14, 1937). Helen is in the white dress and she arranged this jam session. From Jazzhouse.org

Helen stayed in touch with Duke and went with the band to Duke’s shows when he was in the region. Helen said she was Duke’s “protege” and the band manager “always had me under his wing,” (M. Tucker interview). In those days, as she described it, the band liked having someone in the front who was into what they were doing. She attended all their rehearsals, recording dates and also produced some recordings with Duke. Helen produced recording sessions with other artists such as Paul Mares and Charles Lavere. They were recording to vinyl so the recordings were three minutes max. The tempo of the song would determine some of the structure of the song (if there was time for two choruses, for example). The studio shook when the “L” train would come by so they would lose takes over it.

When asked how she went from wanting to record to actually doing it, Helen said, “I don’t really know. I just did. I went up in the studios and set up a time.” (Rowe interview) “You had to promote yourself. You just talked yourself into jobs,” Helen said to Mark Tucker.

January 1935 recording organized by Helen. Features Paul Mares, Santo Pecora, Omer Simeon, Jess Stacy, Marvin Saxbe, Pat Pattison, George Wettling.

New York

She moved to New York after Duke recommended her to Irving Mills (Duke’s manager at the time). According to Jim Prohaska,

After discussing his plans for a recording company, he insisted that Helen come back to New York with him. She agreed, as Irving had suggested that she should help arrange talent and organize recording sessions for him once the venture was finalized. He wanted her to visit his offices plus check out the music scene in New York first hand. Her short visit extended ultimately into a permanent stay. She initially assisted Mills in pleading his case during meetings with lawyers and investors. Once the legal issues were completed, and Master Records became a reality, Helen became a formal part of the company by the end of 1936. (Prohaska)

Irving had two record labels, Master and Variety. Master was more commercial recordings (which Helen wasn’t as interested in) so Mills had her produce the small group records for Variety. Helen decided who to hire and who to put together for recordings. “I very often was in the control room but most of the time would be in there with the band. They would say, ‘if she’s smiling that’s it – she’s ok.’” (Rowe interview).

Helen produced Duke Ellington’s small band recordings (with Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Rex Stewart and Cootie Williams). She said Duke would go into sessions with nothing prepared. She watched him compose Solitude in twelve minutes while the studio was busy with another session.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJiXBHhm_LQ

“Later on I produced them, you know. I produced his whole band once. But on my own things, I hired the guys and told them what I wanted them to play, and stood in the control room, and decided whether it was happening or not. And if it wasn’t happening, I’d have a good idea why it wasn’t, and what we should do.” (M. Tucker interview)

Helen speaking about producing (first 2 minutes)

Variety recordings sold for 35 cents (or 3 for $1.00) whereas Master label sold for 75 cents.

Variety issued 170 recordings from December 1936 – September 1937. The label collapsed shortly after (due to competition and inability to get distribution in Europe). Some of the Variety recordings were reissued on the label Vocalion (later revived as Okeh, a subsidiary of Columbia Records). Helen continued producing sessions for Mills (for release on the ARC label). Jazz collection Jim Prohaska writes:

“As for the material released during the short nine month existence for both labels, the recordings selected by Irving Mills and Helen Oakley allow us a wonderful glance at some of the finest jazz musicians of the period. I daresay that without Mills foresight and Oakley’s sense for quality talent, some great music would have been lost.”

In addition to doing A&R and operations for Mills, Helen was involved in the local jazz scene connecting people and helping planning events. When Benny Goodman played Carnegie Hall in 1938, she was one of the main organizers of the event. It was the first jazz concert at the event and is still considered one of the most significant concerts in jazz or popular music history.

Military Service

In 1942, Helen’s brother Rupert was killed in duty (during World War II), and as she put it, “my career in jazz ended.” Helen volunteered for the Women’s Army Corps and her sister, Cynthia, joined the Canadian Army. Helen was assigned to the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS, which later became the CIA. In Helen’s obituary (written by her son, Francis):

“She assisted in the disposition of US undercover operatives and radio technicians being sent to occupied countries. In December 1943, she rendezvoused in the recently declared open city of Rome with her sister, now Captain Cynthia Oakley, who headed the debarkation in Italy of the first female contingent. This event was featured worldwide on Pathe news. Helen was relocated to US headquarters in Leghorn, where renegade German soldiers were trained as spies. In March 1945 she was reassigned to act as an undercover courier between Paris and Berne after Germany’s surrender. These orders were quickly cancelled after President Truman’s edict disbanding the OSS.”

Post War

Helen returned to New York in 1946 to a very different jazz scene (big band swing had gone out of favor to bebop). She married Stanley Dance, a jazz music writer and music producer who she had met in 1937 at a recording session. They had four children and the two were married over 50 years. They worked together on writing assignments and stayed current in the jazz scene but their income came from other family businesses. They lived in England for some years but sold the businesses in 1959 so they could relocate to Connecticut and pursue their jazz interests in the US (and nearby New York). Helen was active in the civil rights movement of the 1960s (locally and nationally).

Stanley and Helen’s contributions to jazz were recognized at the highest level. They were invited to state dinners at the White House with Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Clinton. Stanley won a Grammy for best liner notes and had five additional nominations. Helen published a book in 1987, “”Stormy Monday: the T-Bone Walker Story,” which was inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001.

A collection with eight decades of Helen and Stanley’s writing, interviews and photos and sound recordings was donated to The Yale Music Library (The Helen Oakley Dance and Stanley Dance Papers). Stanley passed away in 1999 and Helen in 2001.

Citations:

  1. Dance, Helen Oakley, interview by Mark Tucker. January 9, 1987, Oral History of American Music Collections Guide: Duke Ellington.
  2. Dance, Helen Oakley, interview by Monk Rowe. February 12, 1998, Hamilton College Jazz Archive.
  3. Prohaska, Jim “Irving Mills, Record Producer: The Master and Variety Record Labels

Further Reading:

 

A GOLDEN AGE

Women and the Grammy for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

The first person to win a Grammy for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical was Ted Keep for “The Chipmunk Song” in 1959, the year of the inaugural ceremony.

Sound engineering has come a long way since the days when creative usage of variable tape speed was a cutting-edge production technique. The audio engineer, in turn, has become more than just a technician. The quality of production can—and often does—make or break a record. For that reason, the Grammy for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical is a coveted and prestigious award.

Though audio has made many advancements, women’s representation is still playing at a low volume: Out of 415 nominations in this category, only ten women have ever been counted as nominees.

When we shuffle through the history of recorded music, it’s impossible not to notice that female engineers are mostly unaccounted for. Stories of Delia Derbyshire, Ethel Gabriel, and Cordell Jackson occasionally glimmer through to the surface, but they’re few and far between. Seeing as women have been systematically gatekept from STEM fields, this makes historical sense. Even so, it’s a bit shocking that there was a total absence of women in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category for 40 years until Trina Shoemaker was nominated for and won the first award in 1999.

Women only comprise about 3% of studio engineers today. Breaking into and advancing in the studio environment continues to be challenging for women, especially as the competition to get into the room is fierce even among men.

The good news is that our numbers are going up. The past decade has seen more female engineers receiving Grammy nominations than ever before. Women have been consistently represented in Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for the past four years in a row. In 2019, three of the five projects up for the award have featured female tracking, mixing, and/or mastering engineers. Efforts are being made towards inclusivity; the Recording Academy launched a Diversity Task Force and hosted open forums in multiple cities, and a growing number of producers and studio owners have pledged to focus on diversifying their staff.

How’s that for a “step up?”

“BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, NON-CLASSICAL”

Female Nominees / Winners Timeline

1959

No women nominated.

1960

No women nominated.

1961

No women nominated.

1962

No women nominated.

1963

No women nominated.

1964

No women nominated.

1965

No women nominated.

1966

No women nominated.

1967

No women nominated.

1968

No women nominated.

1969

No women nominated.

1970

No women nominated.

1971

No women nominated.

1972

No women nominated.

1973

No women nominated.

1974

No women nominated.

1975

No women nominated.

1976

No women nominated.

1977

No women nominated.

1978

No women nominated.

1979

No women nominated.

1980

No women nominated.

1981

No women nominated.

1982

No women nominated.

1983

No women nominated.

1984

No women nominated.

1985

No women nominated.

1986

No women nominated.

1987

No women nominated.

1988

No women nominated.

1989

No women nominated.

1990

No women nominated.

1991

No women nominated.

1992

No women nominated.

1993

No women nominated.

1994

No women nominated.

1995

No women nominated.

1996

No women nominated.

1997

No women nominated.

1998

No women nominated.

1999

The Globe Sessions (Sheryl Crow) – Andy Wallace, Tchad Blake & Trina Shoemaker, engineers

***WINNER

2000

No women nominated.

2001

No women nominated.

2002

No women nominated.

2003

C’mon, C’mon (Sheryl Crow)Trina Shoemaker & Eric Tew, engineers

2004

No women nominated.

2005

No women nominated.

2006

No women nominated.

2007

No women nominated.

2008

No women nominated.

2009

No women nominated.

2010

Ellipse (Imogen Heap)Imogen Heap
***WINNER

2011

No women nominated.

2012

No women nominated.

2013

No women nominated.

2014

The Blue Room (Madeleine Peyroux) — Helik Hadar & Leslie Ann Jones, engineers; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer

The Moorings (Andrew Duhon)Trina Shoemaker, engineer; Eric Conn, mastering engineer

2015

No women nominated.

2016  

Recreational Love (The Bird and the Bee) — Greg Kurstin & Alex Pasco, engineers; Emily Lazar, mastering engineer

2017

Dig in Deep (Bonnie Raitt) — Ryan Freeland, engineer; Kim Rosen, mastering engineer

Undercurrent (Sarah Jarosz)Shani Gandhi & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer

2018

Every Where Is Some Where (K. Flay) — Brent Arrowood, Miles Comaskey, JT Daly, Tommy English, Kristine Flaherty, Adam Hawkins, Chad Howat & Tony Maserati, engineers; Joe LaPorta, mastering engineer

No Shape (Perfume Genius) — Shawn Everett & Joseph Lorge, engineers; Patricia Sullivan, mastering engineer

2019

All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn’t Do (The Milk Carton Kids) – Ryan Freeland & Kenneth Pattengale engineers); Kim Rosen (mastering engineer)

Colors (Beck) – Julian Burg, Serban Ghenea, David Greenbaum, John Hanes, Beck Hansen, Greg Kurstin, Florian Lagatta, Cole M.G.N., Alex Pasco, Jesse Shatkin, Darrell Thorp & Cassidy Turbin (engineers); Chris Bellman, Tom Coyne, Emily Lazar & Randy Merrill (mastering engineers)

Head Over Heels (Chromeo) – Nathaniel Alford, Jason Evigan, Chris Galland, Tom Gardner, Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel, Serban Ghenea, John Hanes, Tony Hoffer, Derek Keota, Ian Kirkpatrick, David Macklovitch, Amber Mark, Manny Marroquin, Vaughn Oliver, Chris “TEK” O’Ryan, Morgan Taylor Reid & Gian Stone (engineers); Chris Gehringer & Michelle Mancini (mastering engineers)

* When I was compiling data for this article, scrolling through the years where no women were nominated had a profound impact on me. I felt it was important to include them here. – AE

ROUNDUP:
Trina Shoemaker (Winner)

Imogen Heap (Winner)

Leslie Ann Jones

Emily Lazar

Shani Gandhi

Kim Rosen

Patricia Sullivan

Kristine Flaherty

Michelle Mancini

Amber Mark