Still going strong after 50 years, Clive Davis continues to be a part of popular music, even today at 80 years old.
The 1960s was one of the most prolific moments in music history. Davis' quick climb from Harvard Law grad to President of Columbia Records shows just how determined he was to be a part of it.
Starting out as assistant counsel to CBS Records in 1960, within a year he became lead counsel. By 1967 Davis had climbed the music biz ladder to take on the weighty title of President of Columbia Records. Pretty impressive for a 35-year-old lawyer.
Davis possessed a discriminating ear for choosing great talent. The artists he signed still touch many generations, many genres and many niches of American culture.
His run of success with Columbia started with signing many of the biggest names in pop music in the second half of the ‘60s and into ‘70s – Janis Joplin, Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd and Aerosmith.
In 1975, after some disputed inappropriate use of funds, Davis was fired from Columbia. That didn't stop him from doing what he did best. He turned around and launched popular label Arista Records.
Since then he has continued to sign artists and produce music heard the world over.
Notably, Davis is responsible for discovering one of the best-selling artists of all time – Whitney Houston. His guidance led her from obscurity to worldwide fame.
Davis is not free from critics. His supposed use of Columbia Records funds for personal needs and his purported dictator-like tactics on artists' creative freedom have both been questioned.
Even if Davis sees music strictly in the business sense, the fact remains that he has molded the popular music scene for over half a century and continues to do so.
Currently, Davis is planning to reunite with the queen of divas, Aretha Franklin, in 2012 for her next album. As one of Franklin's mentors, Davis seems to be coming full-circle, sharing his talent for being a star-maker yet again with the world.
- "Time Has Come Today" - The Chambers Brothers
- "Piece Of My Heart" - Janis Joplin w/ Big Brother & The Holding Company
- "Soul Searchin'" - Electric Flag
- "Rose Garden" - Lynn Anderson
- "No Surprize" - Aerosmith
- "Life On The Road" - The Kinks
- "Ask The Angels" - Patti Smith
- "Shades Of Gray" - Robert Earl Keen
- "Blue Collar" - Gil Scott-Herron
- "It's Your Thing" - Aretha Franklin
- "Waterfalls" - TLC
- "Tougher Than Leather" - Run D.M.C.
- "Time Has Come Today" - The Chambers Brothers, Columbia Record Spot
Twinkle VanWinkle ponders, creates and discovers cool stuff about music, movies, food, fashion and so forth. Her thoughtful writings and interactives give great advice about healthy food, cooking tips, DIY projects, fashion and more. She'll teach you a thing or two about music as well. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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