Brian Ahern (producer)

Brian Ahern, CM (born in Halifax, Nova Scotia) is a Canadian record producer and guitarist. He has produced albums for a wide variety of artists, including 12 albums for Anne Murray; 11 albums for Emmylou Harris (to whom he was also married for seven years); he also produced discs for Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, Don Williams, Jesse Winchester, and Linda Ronstadt.[1] Ahern was entered into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006 in Saint John, New Brunswick.[2] He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for Producer/Engineer during The Americana Music Association Awards at the Ryman Auditorium, in Nashville TN. on Thursday, 9 September 2010 by former wife Emmylou Harris and musician Rodney Crowell.[3]

Brian Ahern
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
GenresFolk, country music
Occupation(s)Musician, producer
Years active1961–present
Associated actsEmmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, Anne Murray, George Jones, Keith Richards, Neil Young
WebsiteBAAM Music

Ahern became renowned for his recording studio Enactron Truck, which produced over 40 gold and platinum records (including Bette Midler's The Rose and Barbra Streisand's A Star Is Born).[4]

Los Angeles yearsEdit

When Emmylou Harris was contracted to Reprise, Ahern was specifically assigned to produce her records. Harris' Reprise debut Pieces of the Sky was released in 1975. Ahern and Harris assembled many of the musicians who had played on Gram Parsons solo albums, including James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, and Ron Tutt for the sessions. Ahern had signed Texas songwriter Rodney Crowell to his publishing company prior to starting work with Harris, and introduced Harris to Crowell's songs. Harris would record a number of Crowell's songs on her Ahern-produced albums including "Till I Gain Control Again," "Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight," "Ashes By Now," "You're Supposed To Be Feelin' Good," "Angel Eyes (Angel Eyes)," and "I Don't Have To Crawl." Ahern produced all of Harris' Warner Bros/Reprise recordings through 1983's White Shoes, including #1 albums Elite Hotel (1975) and Luxury Liner (1977).

On 9 January 1977, Ahern and Harris were married at his home in Halifax, Nova Scotia.[5] They had one daughter together in 1979. Ahern and Harris divorced in 1984.

While in Los Angeles, Ahern also produced Rodney Crowell's debut album Ain't Living Long Like This, Johnny Cash's Silver (including the hit "Ghost Riders in the Sky"), and two albums by Mary Kay Place.

Nashville yearsEdit

In Nashville he produced Ricky Skaggs, Marty Robbins, and George Jones. Ahern continued to produce Emmylou Harris, the last recording being All I Intended to Be in 2008.


On December 28, 2019, Governor General Julie Payette announced that Ahern had been appointed as a member of the Order of Canada.


  1. ^ "Brian Ahern". AllMusic. 23 December 1999. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Producer Brian Ahern to Enter Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame". Country Music Television. 20 July 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  3. ^ "The Producers: Brian Ahern". Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "The Emmylou Harris Story". 19 September 1973. Retrieved 13 December 2011.

External linksEdit