Clive Davis –The
Back in the 60s, Clive Davis changed the face of Columbia records and the course of the music industry by forging into previously uncharted waters. He took Columbia records from the staid producer of Classical, Broadway, and Pop music into the era of Rock and Roll and R&B. He had a vision, backed by a flair for picking the right talent, to diversify the stagnant Columbia label. Under Davis' leadership, Columbia doubled its market share in 3 years.
During his early days at Columbia, he saw a music “revolution” brewing when he attended the Monterey Pop Festival. He felt compelled to follow his instinct to capitalize on what was to become a complete cultural change in music and society. After hearing the then unknown Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, he quietly seized the opportunity and signed them with a contract buyout costing Columbia $200,000, roughly 20 times more than what the best of the best were getting at the time.
A few months later, in the Summer of 1968, Clive introduced the sound of Blood, Sweat and Tears. The combination of amplified guitars and horns were an original and unique sound in the evolving rock and roll genre. He didn't stop there. Also emerging under the well tuned ear of Clive Davis were megastars Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Loggins and Messina, Billy Joes, Boz Scaggs and Pink Floyd. One has to wonder if the rich and powerful sounds of these mega rockers would have ever reached the public's ear had Davis not had the vision to promote them.
Trading on his reputation and successes at Columbia, Davis organized and built Arista from the ground up. Davis' first success at Arista matched the then unknown Barry Manilow with the song Mandy. Davis had the knack for recognizing the qualities needed in both the artist and the song to make a hit. He controlled the recording of Mandy which ultimately propelled Manilow to superstardom instantaneously. The list of talents whose careers were successfully launched by capturing Davis' ear is endless.
Davis continues to drive the music industry forward with J Records. At Arista, he had the opportunity to fill the Corporate Chairmanship but refused the job because he thrives at the creative level of the industry. With a love of music and a big creative genius, Clive Davis has charted the course of the music industry to deliver the superstars of today. What he likes best about his job is to see an unknown star and transform them into a mega-talent undenied.
Known as the “ear”, Davis has a gift for seeing “stars” and instinctually knowing what music best capitalizes on the inherent talent of the new performer. Under his protective direction, he propels them to the top and keep them there. He IS the finder of many of the best known rock, R&B, and Country stars today; the talent with longevity. To the worlds listening pleasure, Davis is owed a debt of gratitude.
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