Sony/ATV Music President to Address Graduates
A native of Portland, Tenn., Tomlinson took the reins of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville in January of 2006. In his role as president and chief executive officer, he supervises all creative elements for Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville, including the signing of new writers.
Tomlinson's road to Music City began in the early 1980s, when he first honed his skills at Multimedia Entertainment, Don King Music and Rick Hall Music. In 1988, he joined Acuff-Rose Music Publishing as creative manager.
During his time at Acuff-Rose, Tomlinson's career began to blossom. He worked diligently to have songs recorded from the legendary Acuff-Rose catalog and from company staff writers like Skip Ewing and Dean Dillon. Before his 14-year career with Acuff-Rose came to an end, Tomlinson would sign songwriter and now mega-star Kenny Chesney and would be promoted to vice president -- all before the age of 30.
From 2002 until 2005, Tomlinson served as vice president of creative for Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville. In 2002, he aided with the implementation of the Sony/ATV Publishing acquisition of Acuff-Rose Music Publishing. As vice president, he was responsible for both Acuff-Rose and Sony/ATV writers, including Chesney, Rodney Crowell and Gretchen Wilson. Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift are among the newest talents signed to Sony/ATV.
"Our students will no doubt be inspired by Mr. Tomlinson, because so many of them can relate to his story," Cumberland President Dr. Harvill Eaton said. "His passion for music, his work ethic and his business knowledge were the tools that took him from a small town 50 miles north of Nashville to Music Row."
To be held on Cumberland's Memorial Lawn at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, the University's 167th Commencement ceremony will have a decidedly Nashville tone. Earlier this year, Cumberland administrators announced plans to present iconic Nashville songwriter Claude "Curly" Putman with an honorary degree during the ceremony. A native of Princeton, Ala. known worldwide for writing such standards as "Green, Green Grass of Home" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today," Putman has been a member of the Cumberland community for a number of years through his support for the Sean Putman Memorial Scholarship at CU, an endowed scholarship established in memory of his late grandson.