Milt OkunMilton Theodore Okun (December 23, 1923 – November 15, 2016) was an American arranger, record producer, conductor, singer and founder of Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, Inc. Okun transformed the careers of a dozen or more major U.S. artists who under Okun's tutelage became some of the most successful musical acts of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. A special on PBS alludes to Okun as one of the most influential music producers in history. His career lasted over 50 years, from the folk revival to the twenty-first century.
He created arrangements or produced for many popular groups and artists such as The Chad Mitchell Trio, Peter, Paul and MaryThe Brothers Four, John Denver, and Miriam Makeba. In 1968 he interviewed many American folksingers and published the songs they chose in ''Something to Sing About!''
Critic Richard Sparks wrote that at the height of Okun's career "Of all producers, Milton Okun's range is the widest, from Plácido Domingo to the Muppets." During a hiatus in his work as conductor for Harry Belafonte, Okun took on the Chad Mitchell Trio as his first folk trio, later signing Tom Paxton as a client for his new Cherry Lane Music publishing company when Paxton auditioned (unsuccessfully) for an opening in the trio. Okun began his long association with John Denver after Denver replaced Chad Mitchell in the renamed "Mitchell Trio." Okun also was arranger and producer of Peter, Paul and Mary, brought John Denver to stardom and produced his most loved hits, and his Cherry Lane Music, became the music publishing company for Elvis and DreamWorks among other household names.
Okun died on November 15, 2016, at the age of 92. Provided by Wikipedia