Clive Davis

Easton Press Clive Davis books

The Soundtrack of My Life - Signed First Edition - 2012


Clive Davis biography

Clive Davis, a renowned American music executive and record producer, was born on April 4, 1932, in Brooklyn, New York. With a career spanning several decades, Davis has played a pivotal role in shaping the music industry and discovering some of its most iconic talents. Davis began his journey in the music business after earning a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1956. He started working at a law firm before joining Columbia Records in 1960, where his remarkable career took flight. In the early years, he demonstrated a keen eye for talent, signing and developing artists such as Janis Joplin, Santana, and Bruce Springsteen.

In 1974, Clive Davis became the president of Columbia Records and later the CEO of its parent company, CBS Records. During his tenure, he continued to make significant contributions to the industry, signing artists like Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, and Aerosmith. Davis played a pivotal role in guiding these artists to monumental success, shaping their careers and influencing the musical landscape. However, his journey has not been without challenges. In the late 1970s, Davis faced controversy and legal battles, including his departure from CBS Records. Undeterred, he rebounded by establishing Arista Records in 1974, which went on to become a major player in the music industry. At Arista, he discovered and nurtured talents such as Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, and Kenny G.

Clive Davis continued to evolve with the changing music landscape, adapting to new genres and trends. He was instrumental in popularizing the MTV Unplugged series and remained a respected figure in the business. Beyond his work with artists, Davis has been involved in various philanthropic endeavors and received numerous awards for his contributions to the music industry. Davis's autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life, published in 2013, provides an intimate look at his life, career, and the influential figures he encountered along the way. His enduring impact on the music industry has solidified Clive Davis as a legendary figure, recognized for his ear for talent, business acumen, and dedication to the art of making music.


The Soundtrack of My Life

His career has spanned more than forty years, and he has discovered, signed, or worked with a staggering array of artists: Whitney Houston, Janis Joplin, Simon and Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Dionne Warwick, Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, and hosted the world’s highest profile parties.

In this fully illustrated, personal account, Davis tells all, from becoming an orphan in high school and getting through college and law school on scholarships, to being falsely accused of embezzlement and starting up his own record company, J Records. His wealth of experience offers valuable insight into the evolution of the music business over the past half-century and into the future.

Told with Davis’s unmatched wit, frankness, and style, The Soundtrack of My Life exposes a trove of never before heard stories some hilarious, others tragic, all revealing that will captivate and inspire all music lovers.

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