July 8, 2010Webster Mourns the Passing of Legendary Sound Engineer and Webster Audio Production Professor Bill Porter
Bill Porter, legendary recording engineer and Webster University Emeritus Special Lecturer, died July 7. He was 79. Following a career in which he recorded almost 600 songs for such artists as Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins and Roy Orbison, Porter returned to his hometown of St. Louis and taught a wide range of audio engineering courses at Webster University. Porter taught nine courses in Webster's School of Communications audio production program and for the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts from 1999 to 2005. He won the William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003 and a lifetime achievement award from the Webster University Student Chapter of the Audio Engineering Society.
"Bill Porter was a perfectionist who shared his wisdom and talent with new generations of audio production students," said Debra Carpenter, dean, Webster University School of Communications. "He was a true Southern gentleman and my friend. His passing is a great loss to those of us who knew and loved him."
Porter is widely regarded as the creator of the "Nashville Sound," was sound engineer on 15 of Billboard’s Top 100 Songs of All Time and was the first recording engineer inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame. During his time at RCA Studios, Porter recorded most of Elvis' No. 1 hits in Studio B in Nashville, and, in the 70s recorded several of Elvis' concerts.
Although Porter himself never graduated from college, he created and co-authored the first college level curriculum in audio engineering. Many of his methodology and curriculum are still being taught today.
"Bill was a humble man and a rare talent," said Barry Hufker, Webster University professor of audio production. "He accomplished everything in music recording most people only dream about. He cared deeply about education and the students. He worked hard to share his knowledge and experience to teach students how to listen and then to open their minds to all the possibilities around them. No other teacher could offer what he had and we were blessed to have him. He had a huge impact on the shape of our audio production program. All who knew him here will miss him greatly."
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University is a worldwide institution committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Founded in 1915, Webster offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through five schools and colleges, and a global network of more than 100 campuses. Its 20,000-plus student population represents almost 150 nationalities.
Since opening its first campus overseas in Geneva in 1978, Webster has become a recognized leader and innovator in global education. The University's Study Abroad programs rank in the top 2 percent of the more than 1,400 colleges and universities surveyed in the "America’s Best Colleges" 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report. Webster is one of just 34 U.S. institutions to share this distinction, which recognizes study abroad programs that involve substantial academic work for credit and considerable interaction with the local culture. The University's international presence now includes campuses in London; Vienna; Amsterdam and Leiden, the Netherlands; Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, China; and Bangkok and Cha-am, Thailand. Webster also has educational partnerships with universities in Mexico and Japan.