A longtime house producer and arranger with Atlantic Records, the versatile Arif Mardin assisted in the creation of many of the classic pop and jazz recordings of his era, enjoying perhaps his greatest success in collaboration with Aretha Franklin. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 15, 1932, Mardin studied at Istanbul University and the London School of Economics while pursuing music as a hobby. In 1956, however, he met Dizzy Gillespie on the trumpeter's tour of Turkey, and was inspired to take up music as a profession. He won a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music and graduated in 1961, signing on with Atlantic two years later as an assistant to Nesuhi Ertegun. He soon became a studio manager and then a house producer and arranger. Producing for such artist as the Bee Gees, the Average White Band, Culture Club, Roberta Flack and Bette Midler.
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