Q What can you tell me about the person behind the name I've seen on so many different CDs and albums throughout the years: producer Phil Ramone?
—Mark Bennett, Elk City, Okla.
Ramone, 66, is the heralded super-producer behind a 40-year string of hits by a who's who of artists, including Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Sting, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Paul Simon, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow and Tony Bennett. He was born in Cape Town, South Africa, but as a child came to New York, where he became a prodigy on violin, learned guitar and delved into the technical side of making music. His new memoir, Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music, is a ringside seat to the makings of contemporary musical history.