Stephen Recker's Biography
Stephen Recker was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Upon receiving his first guitar at age nine, he immersed himself in the study of music from the Beatles to Jazz. At age 17 he studied composition with Jazz greats Stan Kenton and Warne Marsh, prompting his move to "guitar heaven," Boston, Massachusetts.
He graduated with honors from Berklee College of Music in 1981 with a Bachelor of Music. During college he spent his summers playing electric guitar and tenor banjo at Opryland in Nashville, and at Disney World in Florida. But in the summer of 1981 Stephen moved to Los Angeles to try his hand at the studio world. As a session guitarist he recorded and toured with Al Stewart, Stu Hamm, the Spencer Davis Group, Mary Wells, Bonnie Pointer, Glenn Jones, Irene Cara, Glenn Frey, Grover Washington Jr., Tommy Chong, Peter White, Gary Swan, and Tom Borton, among others.
Fun With Old Clothes, Recker's 1996 debut as a leader, both on album and on tour, brought together many gifted musicians: drummer Marty Zevin, an alumnus of Frank Zappa's band; Eric Marienthal, saxophonist with Chick Corea's Electrik Band; keyboardist Chris Rhyne, formerly with Jean-Lu Ponty and Santana; and percussionist Michael Fisher, known for his work with Larry Carlton and Joni Mitchell. Rayford Griffin, another Ponty alumnus and drummer with Anita Baker, contributed to the title track. The record reached #33 on the charts and the band toured the United States in a record-breaking snow.
Three years after landing in L.A., Stephen departed Los Angeles as lead guitarist (and tour manager) on the Al Stewart Band's Russians and Americans world tour. His association with Stewart spanned seven years, seventeen countries, and over 1,200 shows, with highlights including: numerous TV and radio shows; concerts with the Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra in Antwerp, Belgium; and concert bills with such acts as the band, Dave Mason, Chris DeBurgh, Strawbs, Little Feat, and Jackson Browne. Stewart's release, Last Days of the Century features Recker as a guitarist and as a songwriter, most notably on the hit Recker/Stewart collaboration Ghostly Horses of the Plain. This recording also appears on the record-breaking Wave Aid II CD.
In 1989 he returned to the Jazz scene, recording and touring with Tom Borton and Stu Hamm, both Steve Recker Band alumni. He appeared as a featured soloist and associate producer on the former's #1-hit debut CD Dancing With Tigers and recorded with Eric Johnson on the latter's The Urge CD. His studio presence also led to stints re-recording and mixing audio for network television shows.
As a MIDI programmer and technical consultant, Stephen's credits include Don Henley, Diana Ross, Madonna, Ringo Starr, Neil Dorfsman, Michael Boddicker, Barry White, Miller Beer, Dionne Warwick, LA and Babyface, Brandon Fields, and the Hiwatt Corp. These situations involved customization and programming of studio effects racks, among other tasks. He worked with Frank Levi on the design of the Hiwatt 2000 series amp, and then demonstrated them in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Encouraged by his success as a software specialist in the music business and television industries, Recker was anxious to explore the new frontiers being developed with computers. In 1991 he joined the team at Tri-Graphics, a Macintosh-based sevice bureau in Glendale, CA. There, in less than a year, he went from postscript output operator to lead Scitex operator. His duties included scanning, color correction, and airbrushing such demanding national publications as Audio/Video Interiors, Sunset, Car Audio Electronics, and Movieline.
The many divergent paths of his career neatly converged with the advent of Multimedia. In the fall of 1992, Stephen formed Another Software Miracle, LLC. His debut for the Fernandes Guitar Company was the sole interactive digital video presentation at the 1993 NAMM show in L.A. That summer, and in association with Dynamedia Design, Razza Digital, and Radius Inc., Recker premiered a video of one of his songs at Digital World in Beverly Hills, CA. Edited entirely on a Macintosh computer in digital format using a beta version of Radius' VideoVision Studio, Contents Under pressure was among the first full-screen videos ever produced on a Mac.
Stephen subsequently served as Director of Interactive Production at Razza Digital where he designed and produced content for clients such as Apple Computer, MicroNet, Adobe, Macromedia, and Radius. Razza's unique position in multimedia history afforded Recker an insider's view of emerging technologies, and the opportunity to produce the sixth commercial CD-ROM ever released in the United States.
As a freelance programmer, Recker interactive media for JPL/NASA, Raytheon/Hughes, the Smithsonian, and many others. He has also been called on to speak at QuickTime Live, the American Film Institute, UCLA, the University of Georgia, the Society of Composers and Lyricists, and the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.
As a producer for his company, Another Software Miracle, LCC, Stephen has created a unique historical CD/Web experience entitled Virtual Gettysburg. These stories of the battle and battle-field, as told by licensed battle-field guide Gary Kross, were released in March 2002 to critical acclaim. The piece earned Recker a spot on Audio/Video Multimedia Producer Magazine's list of the Top 100 Producers of 2002. Soon thereafter, Recker removed to the east coast to promote Virtual Gettysburg and to study up for the creation of Virtual Antietam.
In 2005 he founded Antietam Battlefield Guides and began collecting Antietam photographs and relics. Pieces from his collection can be seen in the park pamphlets, on the park waysides, in numerous books, and in the new battlefield museum.
His book, Rare Images of Antietam and the Photographers Who Took Them was released in September 2012. Recker currently resides in Smithsburg, Maryland and is a Web Developer at ICF International.