Dr. Bil

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Sharing these eloquent words from Frank Wells about our dear friend.

“Bil VornDick. An amazing engineer and producer, always willing to share his knowledge and to be a generous, nurturing mentor to the next generation. Bil was a friend to all without reservation. His recordings propelled many a musician’s career into the limelight, even if he got left behind when major labels swooped them up. If you aren’t familiar with his legacy of recordings, check out the (incomplete) 650+ listings at https://www.allmusic.com/…/bil-vorndick…/credits (the earliest engineering credit listed says 1957 — the year I was born – not sure how he pulled that off). If tracks like “Flight of the Cosmic Hippo” aren’t on your reference track list, you are missing the boat.

This photo of Bil VornDick that I pinched from Robbie Clyne was taken early on at the AudioMasters. I had the pleasure and honor of working with Bil, alongside Jim Kaiser and the late, great Tom Clark in helping revitalize the then dormant AES Nashville Section in the nineties. We swapped the officer positions around in those early years and now the Nashville Section of the Audio Engineering Society is one of the best in the world. Bil, Jim, Tom, Michael Koreiba and I worked together as the founding board members of the Nashville Engineer Relief Fund (NERF – https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=nashville%20engineer%20relief%20fund ) across 20+ years (with Eric Elwell replacing Tom on the board along the way) in parallel with 25 years on the AudioMasters Benefit Golf Tournament with the NERF Board, Linda Albright, Kerry Kopp, Randy Poole, John Jaszcz (Yosh) and many many others through the years. Bil was a tireless constant in all our work and the AudioMasters won’t be the same without the good doctor on the course (though Bil was giving the secret stash location of a certain mountain elixir to his course partner Robbie Clyne this past weekend, and Robbie is committed to keeping the tradition and Bil’s memory alive).

With three decades of interaction, the stories are endless. I’ll only share here a conversation I had with Bil that has nothing to do with any of the above. Figuring he wasn’t born Bil VornDick, I asked him once about the spelling of his name. He told me that when he was nine, he wanted his name to stand out as unique, so he fully embraced Bill instead of William but then dropped an l from Bill and added a cap midway through his last name. At age nine he was already staking claim to the quirky uniqueness of Bil VornDick.

Thanks for all the music, Bil. Even more, thanks for sharing your talent, energy, enthusiasm, optimism and compassion. And most of all, thanks for your friendship. We’re all better to have known you.”

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