June 5, 2023

Silicon Business

Business 500

90-year-old Clive Davis on signing some of the biggest names in the music business: “I do know when I hear a hit song”


In his early yrs, Clive Davis was in no way drawn to tunes. He commenced his vocation as a law firm.  

“I was plucked out of a legislation firm to become chief law firm for Columbia Data three yrs out of legislation school. I did that for 5 several years,” Davis explained to “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King. 

He was shortly produced to be head of Columbia Information with no education in tunes. Davis mentioned he hardly ever assumed he would have a “musical ear” but he is credited to be 1 of the greatest hit-makers—signing some of the greatest names in the enterprise, such as Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Billy Joel, and Earth Wind and Hearth. 

Davis celebrated his 90th birthday previously this month. The star-studded celebration incorporated an impromptu general performance by Alicia Keys, 1 of his most thriving artists.  

Artists like David Foster claimed the key to Davis’s good results is mutual respect.

“He is totally artist-friendly and the artist generally comes initial,” Foster reported.

“He is an inspiration to everybody in the audio enterprise, and most of all to me,” Manilow added. 

At this time, singers turn into famed immediately on social media because their new music goes viral. Davis said that this helps make it tougher to discover expertise. 

“It would be harder for the reason that appropriate now you will find no Bob Dylan, there is certainly no Bruce Springsteen. Correct now there is no Aretha Franklin,” he explained.  

Even with decades in the company, Davis reported he can not reveal what a strike single sounds like, he just knows when he hears it. 

“I do know when I hear a strike track. And so Simon and Garfunkel, [I’ll] by no means forget about that when they performed me ‘Bridge Around Troubled Water,’ I explained, ‘That has gotta be the initial one,'” he recalled. “I felt it was so traditional and it nonetheless to this working day is my preferred tune.” 


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