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Michael Omartian

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A solo artist, producer, and composer who enjoyed success in both the secular and CCM arenas, Michael Omartian first surfaced during the early '70s as a top session keyboardist, playing on albums by artists ranging from Steely Dan to the Four Tops to Loggins & Messina before making his solo debut with 1974's Myrrh label release White Horse. In 1975, he and producer Steve Barri formed the Los Angeles studio group Rhythm Heritage, topping the pop charts early the following year with their theme to the ABC television series S.W.A.T.; "Baretta's Theme (Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow)" appeared in 1976, but was the unit's last effort of note. After helming Alan O'Day's 1977 chart-topper "Undercover Angel," Omartian graduated to the top ranks of producers through his work with singer/songwriter Christopher Cross, collaborating on a series of hits including the Grammy winning "Sailing," "Ride Like the Wind," and "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)." From there, he produced sessions for Rod Stewart and Donna Summer, focusing increasingly on CCM projects in the years to follow through work with Gary Chapman, Kathy Troccoli, and 4 Him. In addition to his solo releases, Omartian also recorded several albums with his wife, Stormie. ~ Jason Ankeny

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26 November 1945 in Evanston, IL

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s