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Clive Davis Steps Down as Head of BMG Music

April 18, 2008 10:00 AM ET

Famed record industry figure Clive Davis will relinquish his post as CEO of the Sony BMG Music Group. Davis will reportedly take on another creative post at the label. Barry Weiss, chief of the company's Zomba Label Group, will take over Davis' role. Over the course of his fifty-plus-year career, Davis also served as president of Columbia Records, where he signed Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and many more. Davis also founded Arista Records, which he fronted for twenty-six years, and J Records. He was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. If this is Davis' final week on the job, he went out with a bang: One of his most recent signees, Leona Lewis, became the first British solo artist to have the debut album debut on the albums charts at number one. To see an in-depth look into Davis' prestigious career, from his biggest hits to pictures with his most notable artists, check out this photo gallery. Click here to read Rolling Stone's February 2008 profile on Clive Davis, "The Last Record Man."

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Clive Davis: The Last Record Man
Clive Davis' Biggest Hits: The Legendary Record Man With His Famous Artists
Is Perez Hilton the Next Clive Davis?

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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