Tony Calder

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Tony Calder
Born (1943-06-27)27 June 1943
Origin London, England
Died 2 January 2018(2018-01-02) (aged 74)
Occupation(s) Talent spotter, manager, impresario and author
Associated acts Rolling Stones, Small Faces, Marianne Faithfull, Eddy Grant, Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers

Tony Calder (27 June 1943[1] – 2 January 2018) was an English record manager, impresario, talent-spotter, promoter and public relations agent. He was Andrew Loog Oldham's business partner from 1963 to December 1969.

During a career spanning over 50 years he was instrumental in promoting a number of successful songs in the UK Singles Chart, including the Rolling Stones "Little Red Rooster" and "Paint It, Black", the Small Faces "Itchycoo Park", Amen Corner's "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice", Eddy Grant’s "I Don't Wanna Dance" and Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers single "Swing the Mood".


Calder was born in Surbiton, Surrey to Scottish parents.[2] His grounding in the music industry began in the early 1960s at Decca Records under the direction of Edward Lewis. By day he worked in the sales and marketing department.[3] which gave him a significant insight into 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).

In 1962 Calder was hired by Brian Epstein to promote The Beatles single "Love Me Do",[4] which he did successfully by sending free copies to the top fifty Mecca Ballrooms and also the opposition Top Rank ballrooms, in order to persuade the local independent record shops to order the record.[citation needed] The following year pop impresario Andrew Oldham and Calder merged their clientele to set up the UK's first independent PR-pop company, ‘IMAGE.’,[3] and handled the day-to-day management of the Rolling Stones, and later 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, producing her biggest hits "Come and Stay With Me", which reached Number 4 in the UK Singles Chart and "This Little Bird", which reached Number 6 in 1965. In 1965 Calder and Oldham formed Immediate Records,[5] the first major independent label in the UK, eventually responsible for acts like The Small Faces, Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, The McCoys, Chris Farlowe, Amen Corner, P.P. Arnold and The Nice. He also worked with Vashti Bunyan for the label, although it was not until the 2000s that she became a cult hero.[citation needed] At the end of 1969 Calder left Immediate Records.


In 1971, Calder signed the new band Bay City Rollers with his booking agent business partner David Apps, but quickly relinquished the contract to Dick Leahy, head of Bell Records.[6][7]

In 1975, Calder was appointed CEO of NEMS Records, where he signed Black Sabbath, Pluto and Marianne Faithfull. However he left this position soon after, and spent the following year setting old friend and fashion designer Ossie Clark back in business; licensing his designs and his name to forge a revival of Clark's image. In 1978, he turned his attention to managing Eddy Grant, whose international record career took off, and he subsequently helped with the formation and development of Grant's Ice Record label.

1980s and after

Calder formed the Big Wave Group in 1988, in partnership with Bill Kimber, and had worldwide success with Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers, who had three consecutive number 1 singles in the UK and throughout Europe and the Number 1 single in the US with "Swing the Mood".

In 1996, Calder co-wrote a biography of ABBA entitled Abba : The Name of the Game, with Andrew Oldham and Colin Irwin.[8]

In December 2007, Calder was re-hired by Eddy Grant as business manager after Calder negotiated on a new production deal for Grant's Ice label with Mercury Records.[citation needed]


Tony Calder died of complications from pneumonia on 2 January 2018 at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.[9]


  1. ^ Larkin, Colin (3 January 1997). "The Virgin encyclopedia of sixties music". Virgin in association with Muze Inc. Retrieved 3 January 2018 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Savage, Mark (4 January 2018). "Tributes to Beatles promoter Tony Calder". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b Loog Oldham, Andrew (2000). Stoned. Secker & Warburg. ISBN 0-09-928467-7.
  4. ^ Taylor, Derek (2008). The Beatles London. Portico. ISBN 978-1-906032-26-5.
  5. ^ [1] Archived 28 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Bay City Rollers". Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  7. ^ Coy, Wayne (2005). Bay City Babylon. Hats off Books. ISBN 1-58736-463-8.
  8. ^ Andrew Oldham; Tony Calder; Colin Irwin (8 March 1996). ABBA : The Name of the Game. Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 978-0330346887.
  9. ^ Lang, Jamie (3 January 2018). "Tony Calder, Music Promoter Who Worked With Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dies (Report)". Retrieved 3 January 2018.


  • Larkin C Virgin Encyclopedia of Sixties Music (Muze UK Ltd, 1997) ISBN 0-7535-0149-X p. 90
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