A respected industry exec and music historian—renowned for his advocacy on behalf of songwriters—Alan Warner died on 1/27 at his Los Angeles home after a long illness. He was 78. He is survived by Pat Warner, his wife of 42 years, who was by his side at the end.

The Stamford, England, native's 60-year career in the biz included a decade at EMI Music Publishing, ultimately as SVP of Global Catalog Promotion. He was also a creative consultant for EMI, Warner Chappell and Sony/ATV (now Sony Music Publishing) and recorded interviews with an array of legendary artists and songwriters, including Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Gamble & Huff, Lamont Dozier, Allen Toussaint, Gerry Goffin, Mann & Weil and Neil Sedaka, among others. He also curated a series of discography books coveted by producers, music supes and advertising agencies.

“Many of us in the Sony Music Publishing family share roots at EMI, where Alan was a treasured colleague and friend,” reads a quote from Sony Pub chief Jon Platt. “We are deeply saddened to hear of his passing and grateful to have known and worked closely with him. I will always remember his kindness and his incredible passion for songwriters, which inspired me and so many others in the music business and beyond.”

Warner’s music career began at EMI Records in 1961. He eventually became a label manager for United Artists Records in London before moving to the L.A. HQ in 1976. He produced numerous compilation albums over the years, including Capitol’s Rock of Ages series, The Sue Records Story boxed set and the beloved Crescent City Soul (the latter two for EMI). His work as a music and film historian included the books Celluloid Rock (co-written with Philip Jenkinson) and Who Sang What in Rock ‘n’ Roll. He also oversaw music and film blog The Door to Yesterday. Warner's most recent undertaking was the liner notes to Can: Live in Stuttgart 1975.