Music Industry Veteran Clarence Avant on Working with Bill Withers
Music Industry Veteran Clarence Avant on Working with Bill Withers. Former label owner Clarence Avant (Sussex Records, Tabu Records), relates his experiences working with songwriter and performer Bill Withers (“Lean On Me”).
Universal Music Publishing Group Signs Clarence Avant's Publishing Companies (Avant Garde/Interior Music Corporation) To An Exclusive, Worldwide Administration Deal
The Avant catalogs encompass many hit songs including classics by Bill Withers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis such as, "Ain't It Heavy" (Buchanan), "Ain't No Sunshine" (Withers), "Come Back and Finish What You Started" (Cobb/McCoy), "Demons" (Withers/Cook/Hings/Gray), "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" (Harris/Jam/Lewis), "Lean on Me" (Withers), and "Grandma's Hands" (Withers).
Legendary music executive Clarence Avant is widely renowned for his sincere dedication to pioneering opportunities within the recording industry. During his 40 year career, Avant has represented the likes of blues artist Little Willie John, rock and roll pioneer Tom Wilson, and jazz producer Creed Taylor. In the late 1960s, Avant successfully engineered the first joint venture between an African-American artist and a major record company. Under his own record companies, Sussex Records and later Tabu Records, Avant signed recording artists Bill Withers, Dennis Coffey, The Presidents, in addition to playing a key role in the successful rise of Grammy winning Producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Acknowledged as a father figure by numerous performers and producers, Avant has been honoured publicly for his positive contributions to society. In 1993, Avant was named Chairman of Motown Records and, four years later, he became the first African-American to serve on the International Management Board for Polygram. Today, Avant is president of his own publishing companies, Avant Garde and Interior Music Corp.
Commented David Renzer, Worldwide President, Universal Music Publishing Group: "Clarence Avant is one of the true pioneers of our industry whether wearing the hat of record label executive, label owner, manager, publisher, and most of all as mentor to a great deal of creative and executive talent. We are pleased to be involved in his role as publisher as Clarence's publishing interests include classics written by Bill Withers, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis among many others."
Avant's success has been achieved through combining a tireless work ethic with individual ingenuity. Still quite active today as the president of Avant Garde and Interior Music Corporation, Clarence Avant also serves a member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Pepsi-Cola African-American Advisory Board. Avant was recently awarded with an honorary doctorate from prestigious Morehouse College.