Today's society is so full of hyperbole and over used superlatives like "great" and "genius" that it has become almost impossible to spot the real thing. Most would agree that Apple's Steve Jobs was a genius. After all, he revolutionized not one industry but FIVE industries. Perhaps Jobs' genius was his incredible creative versatility.
Warren Miller, Studio Center's Founder, who passed away on November 18th, also possessed that unique creative versatility. The Creative Versatility that enabled him to move in and out of industries successfully and gracefully while taking just enough skill and knowledge for his next venture. His career began as a chart topping Rockabilly Singer in the late 1950's who appeared on "American Bandstand" many times. His records, including such hits as "Everybody's Got A Baby", still command big money almost 60 years later. He also started his own record label, "Colt 45 Records" at the tender age of 20. For most of us, that would be a nice career but for Warren Miller, it was just his first and second.
Soon Warren was working his way up the ladder at various radio stations before landing the Program Director's Job at the new WCMS in Norfolk, Virginia where he programmed the legendary country station for years. Programming a top station is quite an accomplishment and Warren was lauded for his performance. Career Number 3 was now in the books. While at WCMS, he started a small studio called "D'Arcy Studios" to serve the needs of local bands and musicians. The little studio, located over a restaurant, thrived and soon Warren was writing, mixing and voicing commercials for clients and agencies all over the world. "D'Arcy Studios", now renamed "Studio Center", would go on to became the largest commercial production house in the United States with seven locations in six cities. His Fourth Career was his longest as he successfully owned and operated Studio Center for 38 years until selling in 2004.
Singer. Record Producer. Program Director. Studio Mogul. A Studio Center Vice President once referred to Warren Miller as a "Little Genius". After four very successful careers, let's go ahead and just call Warren Miller a genius. A genius that lives on in all of us that walk in his very large shadow every day.