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Former Warner Bros Exec Stan Cornyn Dies

CARPINTERIA, Calif (CelebrityAccess) — American record label executive, Stan Cornyn, whose long tenure at Warner Bros. Records left an indelible mark on the modern recording industry, died on Tuesday in California of cancer. He was 81.

A native of California, who attended Yale, Cornyn joined Warner Bros. in 1958 and eventually rose to the post of CEO/founder of Warner New Media after stints as both Executive VP of Warner Bros. Records and Senior VP of the Warner Music Group.

While at Warner, he earned Grammy Awards for Best Album Notes in 1966 for Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night," as well as Sinatra's 1967 release "Sinatra At the Sands." He was nominated two more times, in 1968 and 1969 for work on liner notes for Sinatra and Duke Ellington's Francis A. & Edward K. and Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim's Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim recordings, and in 1974 for Sinatra's "Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back."

Cornyn also served as the head of Warner-Reprise's Creative Services department and was widely regarded for his innovative marketing such as the Grateful Dead Ron "Pigpen" McKernan Look-alike Contest and the "Joni Mitchell Is 90 Percent Virgin," campaign.

"The whole idea of the label having a personality was Stan's doing," publicist and longtime Warners alum Bob Merlis told Billboard. "If you're Impulse Records, your personality is defined by your music. Warner/Reprise was not just one thing musically, but he gave it a personality — the rock stuff for sure, but even stuff like Frank Sinatra, Trini Lopez, he put the Cornyn touch on it too."

Cornyn's vision also embraced technology and in 1989, he oversaw Warner New Media's introduction of the new multimedia format called CD+Graphics, or CD+G, which added graphical extras to standard compact discs.

According to Billboard, Cornyn is survived by his companion Meg Barbour and two sons, Christopher Cornyn and Thomas Guy Cornyn. The family plans to conduct a private memorial and asks that contributions be made to Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care – Staff Writers