Doug Morris is not just one of the most successful record executives in history after his record-breaking stints at Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and currently as Sony Music Entertainment ceo.
Starting out as a songwriter of such hits as The Chiffons’ ’66 hit, “Sweet Talkin’ Guy” and Brownsville Station’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” Morris will receive the 2014 Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award from Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Jimmy Webb at the Annual Induction and Awards Dinner scheduled for Thursday, June 12, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
The award, named after one of the org’s founders, is annually given to an artist or music industry “star maker” who has been responsible for a substantial number of hit songs. Previous honorees include Clive Davis, Phil Ramone, Whitney Houston, Garth Brooks, Diana Ross, Gloria Estefan and Sir Tom Jones.
Webb called Morris “a monolithic figure who is both a creative and marketing genius, emblematic of a new kind of super-executive in our business. His own success as a songwriter set the stage for a career as a hitmaker; he knows what a good song sounds like.”
Morris began his music career as a songwriter for music publisher Robert Mellin, joining Laurie Records in 1965 as a writer/producer and eventually being named vp/gm. Later, he launched his own label, Big Tree Records, which was acquired by Atlantic Records in 1978. At that time, Morris was named President of ATCO Records, beginning his 17-year association with Warner Music.
Morris helped create the music video on demand market as founder (and former Chairman) of VEVO, partnering with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt to launch the new premium music video and entertainment service in late 2009.
In 2013, Morris served as co-producer and lead financier of the smash Broadway musical Motown: The Musical, which was nominated for four Tony Awards and was the top selling new musical of the 2012-2013 season.
Inductees at this year’s event include Ray Davies, Donovan, Graham Gouldman, Mark James and Jim Weatherly. The prestigious Johnny Mercer Award will be presented to Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.