Legendary record producer John Fry, best known for his work with Big Star, died Thursday at the age of 69. According to Memphis Commercial Appeal, Fry passed away at a Memphis hospital after suffering cardiac arrest.
Fry was the founder of Memphis’ famed Ardent Studio, which has been used by legendary musicians such as Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, The Replacements, and Big Star, as well as contemporary acts including The White Stripes, Cat Power, and M.I.A.
Additionally, Fry was an accomplished record producer. He helmed the first three studio albums for Big Star — including their seminal 1972 debut #1 Record — and served as the band’s creative mentor. For more on Fry’s relationship with Big Star, read Len Comaratta’s 2013 oral history, Don’t Lie to Me: An Oral History of Big Star.
Fry’s other credits include recording work with Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, The Replacements, and The Afghan Whigs. For his efforts, Fry was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
In a tragic coincidence, Fry’s death comes less than a week after his frequent studio partner John Hampton passed from compilations of cancer.