Published Nov 29, 2011As the man behind the boards for the Bob Dylan albums Desire and Hard Rain, producer Don DeVito helped to create some of popular music's most important and influential recordings. On Friday (November 25), the 72-year-old DeVito passed away after succumbing to a 16-year battle with prostate cancer.
DeVito was born in Brooklyn, NY, and initially entered the music business as a musician. He soon found his way into A&R work and was hired by Columbia Records. Before long, DeVito helped to bring Dylan to Columbia and produced several of his albums. In addition to Desire and Hard Rain, he helmed Street Legal and At Budokan.
He also worked with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, and more. In 1989, he won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Recording for his role as executive producer of the album Folkways -- A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly.
DeVito served as Columbia's national vice-president of A&R before retiring four years ago. He is survived by his wife Carolyn and children Marissa and James.