Bill Traut, Chicago Record Man, Dies at 85

Producer, manager and label head worked with both jazz and rock

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Bill Traut

Bill Traut, a Chicago-based producer, manager and record label executive, died on June 5 at age 85 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The cause of death was not disclosed. Although best known as the chief of the rock label Dunwich, which released the Shadows of Knight’s hit cover of Van Morrison’s “Gloria,” Traut also had extensive experience with jazz artists. As a manager, his company Open Door Management worked with such artists as Kurt Elling, Janis Siegel, Alan Pasqua, Alan Broadbent, Peter Erskine, Fred Hersch, Jon Hendricks, Oregon, Tony Williams and Shelly Berg. He also served as the CEO of the fusion label Headfirst. As a producer, Traut worked with Count Basie, Buddy Rich and others.