Ramone was born in South Africa and displayed a natural talent for music at a very young age. After attending the Julliard School for college, Ramone relocated permanently to the United States and set up his first recording studio at age 20. As a producer, he began working with jazz musicians but shifted to pop, rock and R&B records as those genres began to dominate the pop-culture landscape. His first Grammy came in 1975 for his work on Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years, but his greatest overall success came two years later, when he produced Billy Joel’s megahit album The Stranger. For years after that, Ramone became Joel’s go-to producer for what turned out to be the greatest period of commercial success for the singer.
According to the Associated Press, Ramone was hospitalized in New York for an aortic aneurysm. His son Matt told reporters that Ramone was “very loving and will be missed.”