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In The Soundtrack of My Life, music legend Clive Davis recounts an extraordinary five-decade career in the music business, while also telling a remarkable personal story of triumphs, disappointments, and encounters with some of the greatest musical artists of our time, including Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Simon & Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, the Grateful Dead, Patti Smith, Whitney Houston, Carlos Santana, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, and Alicia Keys.
Orphaned in his teens, Davis earned a full scholarship to New York University and another to Harvard Law School. He served as General Counsel of Columbia Records and, in a totally unexpected stroke of fate, became head of the company overnight. More surprisingly, he learned he had “ears,” a rare ability to spot special talent and hit records. Those ears contributed to the success of three companies—Columbia, Arista, and J—where Davis discovered and developed more unique artists than anyone in the history of the music industry.
What began on the grass at the Monterey Pop Festival with the signing of Janis Joplin has evolved into a lifelong passion and calling, spanning genres, including rock, pop, R&B, country, jazz fusion, and hip-hop. This is the imprimatur that has helped shape contemporary music and, over the years, our popular culture.
The Soundtrack of My Life is an essential book for anyone interested in the story of popular music, the fascinating ups and downs of the music business, the alchemy of hits, and the dramatic life of a brilliant leader…and listener. It is a riveting read from beginning to end.
“A valedictory for Mr. Davis, the music executive whose Midas touch with radio hits across genres – especially at Arista Records, from 1975-2000 – is industry legend.”— Andy Webster, New York Times
“An eye-opening, not to mention ear-opening, experience.” Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times