Michael Fremer reports the death of Harry Pearson, founder of The Absolute Sound magazine, who invented the term ‘high-end audio’. He was 77.
Pearson … venerated the RCA “Living Stereo” and Mercury “Living Presence” records. (He)… elevated the status of certain recording studios and venues like Kingsway Hall as well as legendary recording engineers like Kenneth Wilkinson, Robert Fine and Lewis Layton and producers like Jack Pfeiffer and Wilma Cozart Fine.
As Wilma Cozart-Fine’s son Tom related to me in an email upon learning of HP’s passing: “I can tell you for a fact that Harry’s articles and commentaries about Mercury Living Presence were read by and had influence on decision makers at Polygram, and the same was true at RCA/BMG. At Polygram, the methods employed to make the Mercury CDs, and their success in the marketplace, were widely adopted throughout the company. Competitors at Sony and BMG started digging in the vaults to find real-deal master tapes and started caring about analog playback, simple signal chains and state of the art analog-to-digital conversion, raising the bar on quality for all classical CDs. I’m not saying it was just Harry, but Harry’s voice was important.”
Full eulogy here.