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HANK MEDRESS  11/19/38 – 6/18/07

My old friend, Hank Medress”, the founder of the Tokens (”The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and producer of ”He’s So Fine”,“Candida”, “Knock Three Times”, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ( On The Old Oak Tree “) talks about his career, challenges and aspirations in an interview I did with him last year for Spectropop.

I’m proud to have known him for as long as I did, he was always a friend and inspiration. I’m happy I was able to give him a chance to set the record straight about some controversial aspects of his career, which he never spoke about before in print. https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/10/31/hank-medress-the-unsung-hero-behind-the-lion-sleeps-tonight-hes-so-fine-and-tie-a-yellow-ribbon/

Hank R.I.P.- Rock In Perpetuity!

Respectfully, your friend Artie

top photo l-r: Hank Medress, Jay Seigal, Phil and Mitch Margo…The Tokens

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne
https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

BACK TO THE R.I.P. ROCK N PERPETUITY ARCHIVES https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/rip-rock-in-perpetuity-archives/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

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One day in 1973, while driving down La Brea in Hollywood, I saw Jerry Moss waiting in line at Pinks hot dog stand. I leaped out of my car and introduced myself!

He was standing with Jack Daugherty (the Carpenters producer) They were both surprised and amused by my boldness…which led to both of them opening the doors of the A+M lot to me. As time went by, I became friendly with not only Jack, but with Richard Carpenter, John Bettis ( who co-wrote “Top Of The World”, “Yesterday Once More”and Paul Williams ( “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Old Fashioned Love Song”). We would sit around Paul’s office, discuss music and play songs for each other.

About a year later, when the top position at Irving/Almo music became vacant, Paul Williams suggested to Jerry Moss that they consider me for the job.

In 1974, I left Warner Brothers Music and was asked to join the Irving/Almo publishing arm of A&M Records. The company had been run by Chuck Kaye, but Chuck had decided to take some time off. I was in the right place at the right time.

The following is the actual press release that Rondor Music (the parent company) put out to announce my hiring:

MOSS NAMES WAYNE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IRVING/ALMO MUSIC

Jerry Moss, president of A&M Records, has announced that effective March 15, 1974 Artie Wayne has been named executive director of publishing for Irving/Almo Music. He was formerly general professional manager and director of creative services for Warner Bros. Music.

Wayne was first discovered by Bobby Darin in 1959…who sent him to Donny Kirshner who had just formed Aldon Music with vet song man/producer Al Nevins. It was there that Wayne learned how to write songs from Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield.

He went on to collaborate with Paul Vance and in 1963 co-wrote his first hit “Meet Me at Midnight Mary” with Ben Raleigh and produced Bell Record’s first hit with Joey Powers.

In 1965, Wayne went to Scepter Records with Ed Silvers, where he produced the Shirelles, the Kingsmen and the Guess Who. When Silvers moved to the coast to join Viva Records, Wayne stayed in New York.

Unable to afford to sign Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, whom he worked with at Scepter, he took the duo to Eddie Holland, who signed them to Motown. In the next four and a half years, Wayne and partners Sandy and Kelli Ross build Alouette Productions into the top New York administration and exploitation firm of the late sixties. They represented Quincy Jones, (Joey) Levine and (Artie) Resnick, (Gary) Geld and (Peter) Udell, Bobby Scott, Janis Ian, Ron Haffkine, Leslie Gore, Bo Gentry and Jerry Jeff Walker.

After moving to the coast in 1970, he contributed pieces to Rock and Fusion magazines and reviewed acts for Cash Box before joining Viva Music as professional manager.

For the last three years, Wayne has been general professional manager and director of creative services for Warner Bros. Music. He directed the New York, Hollywood and Nashville professional staff, which has been dubbed “The Warner Raiders.” During those years, they represented the works of America, Badfinger, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, the Faces, the Fifth Dimension, the Kinks, Gordon Lightfoot, Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, Randy Newman, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimmy Webb, Neil Young and many others.

He spearheaded campaigns that resulted in multiple recordings by Three Dog Night, the Lettermen, Bobby Sherman, the Jackson Five, Johnny Winter and Art Garfunkle. His “Raiders” were also responsible for over 50 “cover” records of “Theme From Summer ’42” before the composition received a Grammy or Academy Award nomination. In 1973 the company boasted 55 chart singles and representation in the average of 33 chart albums every week.

More recently, Wayne acted as musical consultant on Warner Bros. Films’ “Cleopatra Jones” which resulted in two top 20 records by Joe Simon and Millie Jackson.

Although his time only allows him to be an occasional song writer, over the years he had nearly 200 of his own compositions recorded, including, among others, titles by Aretha Franklin, Bobby Darin, Jose Feliciano, Chi Coltrane, Rick Nelson, the Jackson Five, Miriam Makeba, Tiny Tim, Wayne Newton, and most recently, the much-covered “Flashback” (co-written with Alan O’Day) with chart records by the Fifth Dimension and Paul Anka.

My first day at the office I found “I Honestly Love You” and sent it to Olivia Newton John https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/09/13/olivia-newton-john-tries-to-squeeze-one-more-hit-out-of-jeff-barry-and-artie-wayne/

The following week I discovered and signed Rick James
https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/26/rock-and-roll-heaven-soars-on-internet-tribute-to-croce-perren-and-james/

I had a chance to work with Brian Wilson https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/brief-encounters-with-brian-wilson/

I didn’t have a chance to work with Billy Preston https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/25/rock-and-roll-heaven-rocks-internet-special-tribute-to-cash-pitney-preston/

Got to work with my old pal Jeff Barry https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/02/10/jeff-barry-i-honestly-like-him/

Became friends with Barry White  https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/28/a-very-special-tribute-to-barry-white-mickey-most-and-jimi-hendrix/

During a time when women were treated unequally in the music business, I did everything I could to give talented, qualified women a break. I promoted my Secretary, Margo Matthews, to the Head of the Copyright Department where she remained for over 30 years.

Brenda Andrews, had been a secretary for seven years before I arrived. Not only did she have a good song sense, but she was showing songs in the catalog and getting more covers than anyone on the professional staff! I doubled her salary and made her an official songplugger. I’m happy to say that she retired a few years ago after becoming senior Vice-President of the company!

Lance Freed, the son of disc jockey Alan Freed, was fairly new to publishing at the time, but had potential. He ultimately became president of the company, a position which he still holds today.

I was told by Jerry Moss when I was hired that I was in charge of the World Wide Publishing operation, only to find out from one of A+M’s lawyers on the eve of my departure to Europe, that I was only in charge of the operation in the US!

Jerry was out of the country, so I couldn’t get this “mistake” straightened out. Besides, I had a meeting in London the next day with Richard Branson to make him an offer to buy his company…Virgin Records.

(To Be Continued)

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

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I’m not a Star Trek enthusiast, but when I worked with Gene Rodenberry on “Genesis 2” I gained a lot of respect for him and for his philosophy. I was working for Warner Brothers Music and I was asked by the TV division to help Gene find someone to write the music for his new pilot, a proposed series. I was impressed with how open to suggestions he was to composers I was able to offer him for his pilot…even new untried and inexperienced ones. I wasn’t surprised when I saw his bohemian and hopeful form of television making. During the 1960’s Star Trek was the only show that featured minorities in authoritative, significant roles. From the African American, Uhura to the Russian who symbolized that although at the time the U.S.S.R. and U.S.A. were involved in a very tepid cold war that one day they would be able to get over their differences and coexistent in friendship and cooperation. As an Authoritative African American, I could identify with that.

A couple of weeks ago I told this touching story to my friend and my co-writer of, “Guide To Advanced Blogging”, Sebastian Prooth who directed me to read his recent tribute to the late Star Trek Producer Michael Piller.. After I was so enthusiastic about the first chapter that he posted of Piller’s unpublished book, to my surprise I opened up my email to find another excerpt, “Roddenberry’s Box.”

I was informed and inspired by Gene’s original vision of an idyllic and hopeful future.

I can understand why Paramount and CBS wanted to suppress the sovereignty of Gene’s future that Michael Piller took as his responsibility to relay to us.

Sebastian, was deeply disappointed when CBS made him take the first chapter down. After a little investigating, I discovered that CBS and Paramount don’t own the rights, in fact all they own is the Star Trek material contained in the book. The actual text of the book is the property of Michael Piller, now his estate!!

I’ve been trying to reach Sebastian every other hour since I found out to tell him the good news…but I’ve been unable to.

I took it upon myself to post the second chapter right here, right now on my blog so all of you can read it and have a wonderful weekend taking a look inside of, “Rodenberry’s Box” from Michael Piller …

Copyright 2007. Artie Wayne.

To reach Sebastian Prooth go to http://www.sebrt.com

To know more about Advanced Blogging with Proven Results http://www.guidetoadvancedblogging.com

Back to Artie Wayne on the Web https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

 

Now here’s the next chapter Michael Piller’s unpublished book…

 

 

 

 

 

 

RODDENBERRY’S BOX

When I surf the net or read letters to the editor in some genre magazine, I often come across complaints from fans who say that Star Trek really needs to get “some new writing blood in there”. They’re absolutely right.

In fact, recruiting new talent was one of my priorities when I was producing the television shows. I scheduled pitches from free-lance writers every day and required my staff writers to do the same. Hearing new voices and fresh ideas, in my opinion, kept the franchise vital. The Star Trek series were the only television shows in town that encouraged amateur submissions of speculative teleplays (if they were accompanied by legal releases that protected the studio from lawsuits). Thousands were submitted. Every one was read. I looked at every synopsis and analysis myself. Ninety-nine out a hundred were not what we were looking for. But that last one made the search worthwhile. We discovered several writers through the process.

A writing assignment for a Star Trek movie would certainly attract all sorts of good writers with credentials in feature films. Why then wouldn’t the studio and Rick Berman seek out “new blood” to write the next Star Trek movie instead of giving it to another old television warhorse like me?

The answer can be found in Roddenberry’s Box.

I happen to like the box. A lot of writers don’t. In fact, I think it’s fair to say, most writers who have worked on Star Trek over the years would like to throw the box away. It may surprise you to learn that when I took over as head writer, the entire writing staff of Star Trek: The Next Generation was so frustrated and angry with Gene Roddenberry they were counting the days before their contracts expired (and indeed every one of them left at season’s end.) He wouldn’t let them out of the box and they were suffocating..

My first time in Roddenberry’s Box was during the very first episode I worked on as head writer. We were already in production of season three, four shows were finished, twenty-two still to do. There were no scripts and no stories to shoot the following week. Desperate, I bought a spec script that had been sent in from an amateur writer named Ron Moore who was about to enlist in the U.S. Navy. It was a rough teleplay called “The Bonding” and would require a lot of reworking but I liked the idea. A female Starfleet officer is killed in an accident and her child, overcome with grief, bonds with a holographic recreation of his mother rather than accept her death.

I sent a short description of the story to Rick and Gene. Minutes later, I was called to an urgent meeting in Gene’s office. “This doesn’t work” he said. “In the Twenty-Fourth Century, no one grieves. Death is accepted as part of life.”

As I shared the dilemma with the other staff writers, they took a bit of pleasure from my loss of virginity, all of them having already been badly bruised by rejections from Gene. Roddenberry was adamant that Twenty-Fourth Century man would evolve past the petty emotional turmoil that gets in the way of our happiness today. Well, as any writer will tell you, ‘emotional turmoil’, petty and otherwise, is at the core of any good drama. It creates conflict between characters. But Gene didn’t want conflict between our characters. “All the problems of mankind have been solved,” he said. “Earth is a paradise.”

Now, go write drama.

His demands seemed impossible at first glance. Even self-destructive.

And yet, I couldn’t escape one huge reality. Star Trek worked. Or it had for thirty years. Gene must be doing something right.

I accepted it as a challenge. Okay, I told the writers, I’m here to execute Roddenberry’s vision of the future, not mine. Let’s stop fighting what we can’t change. These are his rules. How do we do this story without breaking those rules?

A day later, I asked for another meeting with Gene and Rick. And here’s how I re-pitched the story:

“When the boy’s mother dies, he doesn’t grieve. He acts like he’s been taught to act — to accept death as a part of life. He buries whatever pain he may be feeling under this Twenty-Fourth Century layer of advanced civilization. The alien race responsible for the accidental death of his mother tries to correct their error by providing a replacement version of her. The boy wants to believe his mother isn’t dead, but our Captain knows she isn’t real and must convince the boy to reject the illusion. In order to do so, the boy must cut through everything he’s been taught about death and get to his true emotions. He must learn to grieve.”

The new approach respected Roddenberry’s rules and by doing so, became a more complex story. He gave his blessing. And I began to learn how Roddenberry’s Box forced us as writers to come up with new and interesting ways to tell stories instead of falling back into easier, familiar devices.

The rules of behavior in Roddenberry’s universe have filled books. There are more books dedicated to the personal histories of Star Trek characters as well as detailed cultural histories of the alien races of the Twenty-Fourth Century. And even more books written about Star Trek’s science and technology. Gene and his colleagues over the years have created a tapestry that is not easy for new writers to penetrate. My experience has been that our most successful new writers grew up as dedicated fans and already know the Star Trek world inside and out. With the notable exceptions of Ira Steven Behr, Jeri Taylor and Joe Menosky, three writers in a decade, I rarely had luck hiring experienced writers who could come in and understand the franchise.

I can’t speak for the studio or for Rick but I can guess why they wouldn’t take a chance on a brand new writer on a major motion picture.

An epilogue.

There was a writers’ rebellion of sorts on my last year as head writer at Star Trek, four years after Roddenberry’s death. Some of the writers at Voyager went to Rick to say they wouldn’t return if I came back. It was nothing personal, Rick told me. We were all friends. But my rules were holding them back. My creative demands were suffocating them. They wanted to be free to do the things I wouldn’t let them do as writers.

I had completed a cycle. Somehow, I’d become the alien replacement for Roddenberry. It had become Piller’s Box.

It was time to leave. I opened the box and let them, and myself, out.

And now, three years later, here I was about to climb back in again.

-Excerpt from Michael Piller’s “Fade in: From Idea to Final Draft, The Writing of Star Trek Insurrection”-

 

 

 

Before 26 Grammys, an Emmy, 7 Oscar nominations, and becoming one of the most successful record producers of all time (“Thriller”, “We Are The World”), before producing hit TV shows, (“Jenny Jones”, “Mad TV”, “Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air”) and films (“The Color Purple”, “Listen Up”), Quincy was first and foremost a musician of the highest order!

“People have called me a jazz musician, but that’s ludicrous. I have yet to figure out what a jazz musician is.”

Q was the first high level black executive to work for a major record label in the 60’s, when he was producing Leslie Gore (“It’s My Party”, “You Don’t Own Me”) for Mercury records. Although Kelli Ross and I ran his publishing companies, in New York for years, I didn’t really get to know him until I moved to California and worked for Warner Brothers music. in 1972 he wanted to concentrate on writing and scoring more films.

He had already done, “In Cold Blood”, “Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice”, “Cactus Flower”, “The Getaway”and “Cotton Comes To Harlem”, a highly successful “Blaxpoitation” film. In his eagerness to take Hollywood by storm, he had over committed himself and promised his friend, Sam Goldwyn, Jr. to do the music for “Come Back Charleston Blue”, the follow up to “Cotton”, although he was weeks behind in scoring another film.

The usually cool “Mr. Jones”, was in a panic and needed a Black composer fast, or risk facing an embarrassing situation. He called me and asked if I’d do personal favor for him and help him out of a jam. The first person he wanted me to approach was one of our Warner Brothers writers and Atlantic artist, Donny Hathaway, who was riding high with his first album and singles, “The Ghetto” and “Where Is The Love” (with Roberta Flack). I remember Donny, in his Kongol Cap and me in my “Superfly” hat, “bopping” into a screening of the film and leaving with an enthusiastic commitment from Donny, which got Quincy off the hook!

Q said that he would let me have his screen credit as musical consultant if I could continue to help to put the soundtrack together. Needless to say I jumped at the chance! Although I just learned how to drive, knowing that Quincy didn’t drive at all, I volunteered to take us wherever we had to go over the next hectic month. Although he seemed nervous and at times held onto the dashboard for dear life, he never said anything about my driving! He did, however, introduce me to some of the most important men in Hollywood, and gave me a tip on how to deal effectively with them.

“Use “fuck” in your conversation every once in a while to get their attention!”

While driving around he also clued me in on what I could expect from life itself! We were both between wives, and hung out with football Hall of Famer, Jim Brown, and “Hair” director Michael Butler, who always had a party going on. We also were warmly welcomed at “The Candy Store”, “The Factory” and the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills hotel, where he introduced me to some of the most incredible women in the world! I remember one actress in particular, who was as emotionally disturbed as she was beautiful. On one of our drives I told him I was falling in love with her, he just shook his head and said,

“She can be saved…but do you want to be her savior?” A question I’ve asked of myself on several occasions, concerning other complex relationships I’ve had since then.

He also showed me how to deal in social situations with the”Soul Handshake”, which can be a very elaborate and varied ritual. Q had a simple way of handling it. He’d grab the shaker’s hand with both of his hands and hold them until the “shaker’s”urge went away. A method I’ve continue to use to this day.

On long drives I took the opportunity to pop in an 8 track and play a song or two I was promoting. This usually led to a discussion about music. I tried to interest him in covering a couple of songs by Sly and The Family Stone, which he passed on, saying he liked their tracks but the songs weren’t melodic enough for him. He laughed and said,

“I like my music, like my women…pretty on the top and funky on the bottom!”

When I complained about the quality of the 1972 state of pop music, Q said,

“The Pop market always comes back to classically influenced music…when a genre goes as far as it can go, that’s the only place where it can go.”

35 years later, his words still ring true. Today, Rap, Hip-Hop and Pop artists are incorporating more and more long passages of classically influenced music into their recordings, including Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Ne-Yo, Michael Buble’ , John Legend, and Rihanna.

Even though I haven’t seen Q in years, I remember the time that we spent together as one of the highlights of my life! I read something recently he said to his critics that inspires me whenever I get low on self esteem.

“Not one drop of my self-worth depends on your acceptance of me”

Official Quincy Jones website http://www.myspace.com/quincyjones

THANKS AND REGARDS, ARTIE WAYNE https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/celebrating-two-million-views-today-on-artie-wayne-on-the-web/

Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne

WHILE FIGHTING LARGE CORPORATIONS WHO ARE TRYING TO KEEP ROYALTIES AWAY ME AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER ARTISTS, SONGWRITERS AND PUBLISHERSMY ONLY SOURCE OF INCOME IS FROM THE SALE OF MY BOOK. ” I DID IT FOR A SONG”, WITH OVER 100 STORIES FROM THE MUSIC BUSINESS OF THE ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. I HOPE YOU’LL CONSIDER BUYING ONE DIRECTLY FROM ME THROUGH PAYPAL FOR ONLY $9.99 AT  artiewayne@gmail.com OR BY CHECK TO…ARTIE WAYNE  P.O. BOX 1105, DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

Paris Hilton, tells Barbara Walters that she has, “become a different person” since she’s been in jail. She says her change in attitude is due to a religious conversion and from now on has asked to be called Paris X.

Another stunt on an MTV “Punk’d” special went horribly wrong. Ashton Kutcher was taken to the hospital, when he was forcibly pulled off the “Pope-mobile” by Vatican security guards, after trying to Punk the Pope!

Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez, is seeking revenge against those congressmen who tried to get a vote of no confidence against him. He is taking steps to deport anyone whose ancestors came to the New World without permission.

Now that democrats are calling an illegal alien an “undocumented immigrant”, should we be calling a drug dealer an “unlicensed pharmacist”?

A “contract” has been put out on the producers of the “Sopranos” after the stupid, unsatisfying finale aired last week. It’s especially distressing for TIVO owners, who are still trying to play back what happens next, after the last scene suddenly goes to black!

Dr. Kevorkian (the assisted suicide doctor) recently released from jail is back promoting euthanasia, while youth in Asia are trying to avoid Dr. Kevorkian completely.

Pepsi and Viagra teamed up, now you can pour yourself a stiff one!

Music fans are skeptical about the New Monterey Pop Festival in July, which will headline Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

The Berlin Zoo is trying everything they can to stunt the growth of Knut The baby polar bear, to keep him cute and a top tourist attraction, including cloning!

EXCLUSIVE! We’ve got OUTAKES from “The Landlord”, the Internet smash featuring Will Farrell and little Pearl! http://www.funnyordie.com/v1/view_video.php?viewkey=fca4861eb91876f70674

If your not among the 34 million who’ve seen “The Landlord”, here’s your chance… http://www.funnyordie.com/v1/view_video.php?viewkey=3efbc24c7d2583be6925&page=&viewtype=&category=

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

Thanks to Howard Wolen, Dan McGrath, Richard Yannotti, Patti Dahlstrom and Sebastian Prooth for their contributions and to the late Harvey Miller, who helps every week with this column.

To Reach Sebastian Prooth http://sebrt.com

Advanced Guide To Blogging http://guidetoadvancedblogging.wordpress.com/

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” The future ain’t what it used to be”
– Yogi Berra

“Bigamy is having one wife/husband too many. Monogamy is the same.”
– Oscar Wilde

“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather–who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”
– Author Unknown

“The wheels of justice go round, round, round…Wait a minute that’s a revolving door!”
– Joe Nelson on Paris Hilton

“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the
government and I’m here to help.”

– Ronald Reagan

“Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?”
– President George W. Bush

“We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.”
– Apostate Jerry

“As I approach a new project, my process always begins with the question: what is it about? Here’s one answer that might apply to a Star Trek movie…” -Michael Piller, late Star Trek writer and producer.

“You’ve got to seize the opportunity if it is presented to you”
-Clive Davis, CEO of BMG Music Group

“Positive thinking brings you results you desire”
– Dr. Henry Mundt

“I remember once an Irish woman wished me well by saying ‘I wish you a good death’ and I was like, ‘Say what!?’ I thought about it and thought actually it’s a great thing to wish someone.“- Paul McCartney http://www.youtube.com/paulmccartney

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

Special thanks to Sebastian Prooth, Mark Petty, Sharon Link, Richard Yannotti, Alan O’Day, Patti Dahlstrom, and Laura Pinto for their contributions.

To reach Sebastian Prooth and read a complete chapter from late Star Trek writer and producer, Michael Pillar’s unpublished, unavailable book! http://sebrt.com

For Alan O’Day http://alanoday.com

Laura Pinto’s collection of quotes http://www.geocities.com/lpintop/sayings1.html

Mark Petty http://profiles.yahoo.com/markwpetty

Joe Nelson http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-5FiXa5s7dKNrfehkfjxA7gyx

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Long before Clive Davis, was known as the genius behind the recording careers of all the “American Idols”, he was already a legend!

I was skeptical when I heard a lawyer was taking over as head of Columbia records, until I met Clive Davis at Woodstock in 1969. Awash in the rain, the mud, and the good vibrations, I remember sharing a bottle of water with him and thinking how cool it was for the head of a record company to be out here “roughing it” with his artists!

The next time I saw him, it was at a Columbia record convention in Los Angeles, soon after Janis Joplin passed away. I knew that he and Janis had been close and mentioned that Allan Rinde, Michael Ochs and I had been with her at the Whiskey, a few nights before she died. Reverently, Clive asked me to join him in one of the conference rooms, where he played me an acetate, which he was going to introduce at the convention later that afternoon, “Me And Bobby McGee”by Janis…it was a moment I’ll always remember.

His personal taste in pop music of the sixties, and his signings at the label, put Columbia at the head of the pack. Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, Laura Nyro, Electric Flag, Santana, Chicago, Billy Joel, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Pink Floyd were all top moneymakers.

I was a bit worried, however, when he took over as president of Bell records just before he changed it’s name to Arista. I was with Warner Brothers Music, and had a record recently released on Bell, that was starting to make a little noise. It was the first cover of a song I picked up at the Tokyo Music Festival, “Daydreamer” by David Cassidy. Clive, however, set my mind at ease when he didn’t let the record get lost during the companies transition. It ultimately went on to become David’s biggest hit selling over 5 million units world wide!As he went on to create an Empire at Arista, his formula was simple…it all starts with the song. I remember my old friend Scott English telling me that it was Clive Davis who suggested that he change the title of his song, “Brandy” ( which had been the title of a recent US hit), to “Mandy”, which became Barry Manilow’s and Arista’s first multi million seller!

Soon the label’s artist roster included, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, Monica, Exposé, Sarah McLachlan, Annie Lennox, saxophonist Kenny G, rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Sean “Diddy” Combs, Aretha Franklin, Toni Braxton, Air Supply, Ace of Base, TLC, Bay City Rollers, Nona Hendryx, and Patti Smith among others. It wasn’t long before he became CEO of the BMG music group in the U.S.

Clive Davis’ secret for finding winners is simple, “You look for stars. You look for the makeup of artists who can have long lasting careers and who could be headliners.”

He forgets to mention that it doesn’t hurt to have an incredible song sense and the power to promote the kind of music that you believe in…the kind of music that makes a difference all over the world!

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne