Grammy-winning engineer John Eargle dies


John Eargle, an author, Sci-Tech Award winner, Grammy-winning recording engineer and longtime JBL consultant in electro-acoustical product development, died last week. He was 76.

For 31 years, Eargle worked primarily with JBL and other companies in the Harman International group, and since the early '80s he held a consulting role with the title of senior director, product development and application.

In 2002, he shared a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the concept, design and engineering of the modern constant-directivity, direct radiator-style motion picture loudspeaker systems.

He had just completed the book "The JBL Story: 60 Years of Audio Innovation," and his earlier works included "The Handbook of Recording Engineering," "The Microphone Handbook," "Handbook of Sound System Design" and "The Loudspeaker Handbook."

Eargle also recorded more than 250 albums of such artists as Carol Rosenberger, Bella Davidovitch, Richard Rodney Bennett and Garrick Ohlsson. His jazz recording credits include Joe Williams, Red Holloway, Ruth Brown, Etta James, Clark Terry and Tommy Newsom.

In 2001, he was awarded a Grammy for best-engineered album, classical, for Dvorak: Requiem, Op. 89; Symphony No. 9, Op. 95 "From the New World."

He recorded the Seattle Symphony, London Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, Mostly Mozart Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the Westminster Choir.

He was a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan with degrees in engineering from the University of Texas and the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art,

He was a fellow, honorary member and past national president of the Audio Engineering Society, and in 1984 won the Society's Bronze Medal. Eargle joined the faculty of the Aspen Audio Recording Institute in 1980 and had served the Aspen Music Festival and School in this capacity for the past 19 years.

Tony Gieske contributed to this report.