A&R exec and producer Don DeVito, best known for his ’70s work with Bob Dylan, died Nov. 25 at a hospice in the Bronx after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 72.
DeVito, who served as senior VP of A&R at Columbia Records for many years, began his association with Dylan on the 1976 album “Desire,” one of only four albums by the singer-songwriter to reach No. 1 on the U.S. album chart. The same year, he also produced “Hard Rain,” a live collection drawn from a date on Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour.
The producer went on to helm Dylan’s 1978 studio album “Street Legal” (1978) and “Bob Dylan at Budokan,” a live collection recorded in Japan and issued in the U.S. in 1979. He also worked on the 1985 boxed set “Biograph” and produced the live sound for Dylan’s all-star “30th Anniversary Concert Celebration,” released on CD in 1993.
Besides producing the boxed Dylan collection “The Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3,” DeVito worked on catalog projects for Sony’s Legacy division by Tony Bennett, Carole King, the Byrds, Journey, Janis Joplin and Jeff Buckley, among others.
He also produced albums by Billy Joel and Aerosmith and actor Joe Pesci’s 1998 vocal set “Vincent Laguardia Gambini Sings Just for You.”