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Background information
Born 27 July 1943 (1943-07-27) (age 66)
Origin London, England
Occupations Talent Spotter, manager, impresario and author
Associated acts Rolling Stones, Small Faces, Marianne Faithfull, Small Faces, Eddy Grant, Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers

Tony Calder (born June 27, 1943 in South West London) is an English rock and roll record manager, impresario, talent-spotter, Promoter and Public relations expert. He was Andrew Loog Oldham business partner (manager of The Rolling Stones) from 1962 to December 1969.

The personal highlight of Calder’s promotion and marketing career in Music was using his PR and marketing skills to get the Rolling Stones hit Little Red Rooster to Number 1 in the UK singles chart in November 1964 and again scoring a number 1 in May 1966 with Paint it, Black by the Stones. Other major highlights include his work on getting Small Faces hit Itchycoo Park to Number 1 and Amen Corner hit with (If Paradise Is) Half as Nice, Eddy Grant’s hit I Don't Wanna Dance and Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers number 1 single Swing the Mood.


Early career

Calder's grounding in the industry began in the early sixties at Decca Records under the direction of Edward Lewis. By day he worked in the sales and marketing department, and by night he worked as a DJ under the wing of Jimmy Savile [1], the combination of which gave him a unique insight in to the music industry and led him to meeting Brian Epstein, The Beatles,Andrew Loog Oldham and Seymour Stein (who introduced Calder to his all time record hero George Goldner.)

1962 - 1970

It was in 1962 when Calder made his first real impression on the British rock and roll music scene when Brian Epstein hired him to promote The Beatles single Love Me Do [2] by sending free copies of the single to the top fifty Mecca Ballrooms and the opposition top rank ballrooms in order to activate the local Independent record shops to order the record.

In 1963, Andrew Oldham and Calder merged their clientèle to set up the UK’s first Independent PR-pop company, ‘IMAGE.’ [1] The PR focus of the business changed rapidly with the success of the Rolling Stones as the office handled the day to day management of the Rolling Stones and the promotion of the Beach Boys via their publishing contract.

In early 1965, Calder did his first and last record production, taking over from Oldham producing Marianne Faithfull. Oldham produced the successful As Tears Go By which got to number 9 in the UK in 1964. Tony Calder followed this up with his production of Faithfull’s biggest hits ‘Come and Stay With Me’ which got to Number 4 in the UK singles chart and ‘This Little Bird’ which got to Number 6 in the UK singles chart in 1965.

In the Summer of 1965 Calder and Oldham decided in order to have total control over all aspects of their artists’ work, they formed the legendary Immediate Records [3], the first major independent label in the UK, responsible for acts like the The Small Faces, Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, The McCoys, Chris Farlowe, Amen Corner, P.P. Arnold and the The Nice. Immediate Records would have never happened had Calder not masterminded the creation of the pressing and distribution deal which became the role model for all the Independent labels that followed such as Virgin Records, Island Records and Chrysalis Records.

At the end of 1969 Calder and Oldham had a split, which resulted in Calder leaving Immediate Records.

1971 – 1980

In 1971, concert promoter Ronnie Simpson asked Calder if he wanted to see "the worst band musically but who are being mobbed like The Beatles". The following night in Edinburgh’s Cave Club the band Bay City Rollers was watched by Tony and his booking agent business partner David Apps, and were signed by them the very next day. However, problems soon arose between the Bay City Rollers manager Tam Paton and Calder due to Tam’s personal style of management. Calder and Apps decided to take Dick Leahy, head of Bell Records, to Edinburgh to witness the Bay City Rollers' crazy fan appeal. After the gig, Calder and Apps signed over their interest in the band to Bell Records.[4][5]

In 1975, Calder returned to the UK after spending 6 years in the Caribbean island of Antigua after being appointed CEO of NEMS Records, where he signed Black Sabbath, Pluto and Marianne Faithfull, who during this spell spent 16 weeks at Number 1 in Ireland with the single “Dreamin My Dreams”.[6] Due to corporate financial irregularities at NEMS Records not under Calder’s control he decided to leave his position as CEO one year into his contract.

In 1977, Tony Calder found his friend from the sixties, fashion designer Ossie Clark, out of work. Calder believed in his potential and with Clark’s financier friend Peter Lee set the designer back in business and started licensing his designs and his name, which resulted in a huge revival of Clark's reputation in the UK and USA.[7]

Calder reluctantly had to relinquish his success with Ossie Clark at the end of 1977 due to his management commitments to Eddy Grant, whose international record career at the time began to occupy a lot of Calder’s time as manager. The partnership resulted in international record success and Calder subsequently helped Grant with the formation and development of his Ice Record label.

1981 – 1990

In 1982 Eddy Grant under Calder’s guise went on to score his biggest selling Number 1 in the UK with 14 million units sold worldwide of I Don't Wanna Dance followed up by his most well known song Electric Avenue which was number 2 in the UK and the US in 1983 both from Eddy Grant’s most successful album Killer on the Rampage.

In 1988, in partnership with Bill Kimber he went on to form the Big Wave Group, which had immediate worldwide success with Jive Bunny and The Mastermixers. Calder masterminded the 3 consecutive number 1 singles in the UK and throughout Europe and the Number 1 single in the USA of Swing the Mood by Jive Bunny.

1990 – 2000

Tony Calder co-wrote a biography of ABBA in the 1990s with Andrew Loog Oldham and journalist Colin Irwin (journalist) proclaiming them as the greatest songwriters of all time considering that English was their second language.

2001 – Onwards =

In December 2007 Calder was re-hired by Eddy Grant to be his business manager after Calder negotiated on behalf of Eddy Grant's ICE record label a production deal with Mercury Records which is part of Universal Music Group.


“Tony was the mover-shaker, the doer of deals, the puller of strings and the fixer” George Gallacher of The Poets [8]

“After the failure of Train Song I kept on writing and a phone call from Tony Calder (who founded Immediate with Andrew Oldham) had me into a studio to record some demos of the new songs” Vashti Bunyan [9]

“Tony Calder told me that Cliff Richard wanted the song and so that was why they didn’t release it. I didn’t believe him for a minute.” Vashti Bunyan [10]

External links


  1. ^ a b Loog Oldham, Andrew (2000). Stoned. Secker & Warburg. ISBN 0-09-928467-7.  
  2. ^ Taylor, Derek (2008). The Beatles London. Portico. ISBN 978-1-906032-26-5.  
  3. ^ [1] Andrew Oldham Biography
  4. ^ [2] Bay City Rollers Biography on NME
  5. ^ Coy, Wayne (2005). Bay City Babylon. Hats off Books. ISBN 1587364638.  
  6. ^ Faithfull, Marianne (1994). Faithfull. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-436-28866-4.  
  7. ^ [3]Ossie Clark Bio on Wikipedia
  8. ^ [4] George Gallacher Interview
  9. ^ [5] Vashti Bunyan Interview
  10. ^ [6] Interview with Vashti Bunyan Interview


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