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John Eargle Receives Posthumous Technical Grammy Award

Industry pioneer John Eargle was posthumously awarded the 2008 Technical Grammy Award at the Special Merit Awards ceremony

From left: Mark Gander, JBL’s VP of marketing; Eargle’s niece Cyndi Bird; and Eargle’s nephew, John Paul Eargle.

Industry pioneer John Eargle was posthumously awarded the 2008 Technical Grammy Award at the Special Merit Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on the evening prior to the 50th Grammy Awards telecast. The accomplished engineer, musician and longtime JBL Professional consultant passed away on May 9, 2007, leaving a legacy of achievement in the areas of music recording, loudspeaker design and education. The Technical Grammy Award is presented by vote of the Recording Academy’s national trustees to individuals who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.

“John Eargle left an everlasting and profound impression on the audio industry,” says JBL Professional VP of marketing Mark Gander, who accepted the Grammy Award on behalf of John Eargle, along with John’s niece, Cyndi Bird, and his nephew and namesake, John Paul Eargle. “He was a brilliant engineer, musician, author and teacher. His 2008 Technical Grammy Award commemorates the industry-wide recognition of John’s accomplishments, as well as the considerable time he devoted to sharing his expertise, experience and wisdom.”

John Eargle was a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and engineered and/or produced more than 275 albums, including Grammy Award-winning releases from Joe Williams and Ruth Brown. In 2001, Eargle earned a Grammy Award for Best-Engineered Album, Classical for Dvorák: Requiem, Op. 89; Sym. No. 9, Op. 95, “From the New World.”

In 2002, Eargle and other JBL engineers won a scientific and technical award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the concept, design and engineering of the modern constant-directivity, direct radiator-style motion picture loudspeaker systems.

Eargle earned degrees in music and electrical engineering from the Eastman School of Music (Bachelor of Music), University of Michigan (Master of Music degree), University of Texas (Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering), and Cooper Union (Master of Engineering). He was member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers; a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers; a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and reviewer of electro-acoustical patents for the ASA Journal; and a Fellow, Honorary Member and past president of the Audio Engineering Society, a member of the AES Journal Review Board and was awarded the AES Bronze Medal.

During his 30-plus years with JBL, Eargle championed the concept of flat power response in sound reinforcement applications, conceiving the application of bi-radial constant-coverage horns to both studio monitors and cinema systems. John also authored several books, including The Handbook of Recording Engineering, The Microphone Handbook, The Handbook of Sound System Design and The Loudspeaker Handbook. In early 2007, he completed The JBL Story: 60 Years of Innovation.

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