Tony Calder the promoter who was behind The Beatles initial rise to fame has died at the age of 74.
He was also the man responsible in getting Black Sabbath and Fleetwood Mac record deals. Andrew Loog Oldham, who started Immediate records with Calder confirmed his death on Twitter:
A member of the family has left us – TONY CALDER 1938-2018 R.I.P. abrazo o pic.twitter.com/pHhAVbsWjr
— Andrew Loog Oldham (@loogoldham) January 2, 2018
Calder died of complications from pneumonia in London at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
The Beatles were still attempting to find an audience for ‘Love Me Do‘ when Calder who was employed at Decca Records by day and a dance-hall DJ at night, opted to get behind the band. He took it upon himself to send copies of the single to clubs across the U.K., promising disc jockeys that ‘Love Me Do‘ would be a hit.
According to Calder:
“It was not getting radio play, and after the first week they were in panic. And that’s when I thought, ‘This fills all the dance halls that I play at. Let’s do that around the country.’ We mailed it on the Monday. By Wednesday, they were all playing it.”
“People started asking for it in their local record shops. All of a sudden, the Beatles had a Top 20 UK hit. The record was struggling and it picked up and that’s how we got it away,” added Calder.
Before Immediate Records, Calder and Oldham started a PR firm that counted the Rolling Stones and Beach Boys as clients.
At Immediate, he signed Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, and the Small Faces, though the label went bust a few years later. Calder also signed Black Sabbath and the Bay City Rollers as well as releasing material by Marianne Faithful.
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Feature Image: Max Pixel