David Hughes MBE
David is married with three adult children, two of whom make a living from music, the third is currently a freelance sub-editor, two grandsons and two grand daughters. He is now enjoying his ‘retirement’, having worked in the music industry for 33 years, culminating in 20 years with EMI Records.
David started working in insurance, then Customs and Excise before seeing the light and deciding to try and earn a living from his passion for music. He joined a local newspaper in Kent in 1966, starting a music column alongside all the more traditional elements of local reporter life. After 12 months he managed to persuade the editor of a weekly music paper, Disc & Music Echo, to take him on as a journalist, staying there for five years.
David then moved from journalism to public relations, becoming press officer at Polydor Records in 1972 and having loads of fun with artists such as New Seekers, Slade, The Osmonds, Jam, Sham 69, Lynsey de Paul, James Last and Neil Sedaka, among many others.
In 1978 he joined EMI Records as General Manager of the Tamla Motown label, then moved into various marketing and management positions, working with, among many others, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Duran Duran, Nigel Kennedy, Garth Brooks and the NOW That’s what I Call Music series. After 15 years, he moved back to public relations in 1993, becoming the company’s Vice President of Communications and External Affairs and assuming responsibility for EMI’s calendar of centenary events until retiring at the end of July 1998.
David now enjoys an even fuller post-commuting life, having served as Chairman of EMI’s Archive Trust, as well as Universal Music UK Sound Foundation (formally known as EMI Music Sound Foundation) (an idea he formulated with UMUKSF CEO Janie Orr, as part of the company’s centenary celebrations in 1997) until 2016. He was awarded an MBE in 2015 for Services to the Music Industry and Charity
David’s passions, apart from holidays, New Zealand wine and Farnborough Football Club, centre round the talent of others and include theatre, cinema, music and books in general, and Alison Krauss, Mary Chapin Carpenter Tamsin Greig, Janie Dee, Katherine Kelly, Sheridan Smith, Lesley Sharpe, Suranne Jones, Barbara Kingsolver, JoJo Moyes and Alexander McCall Smith in particular. Any spare moments are spent auctioning friends’ and ex-colleagues’ old records for frequently surprising prices.