It has been reported today that Tony Calder has died aged 74,
Tony who started his career at Decca Records in the 1960s, was hired by Beatles manager Brian Epstein to promote the band’s first single "Love Me Do."
With the record struggling to get airplay, Calder personally sent 100 free copies to dance halls across the U.K. with a note saying it was a "guaranteed floor-filler" to drum up demand. His strategy proved successful with "Love Me Do" entering the British singles chart at number 17 in October 1962, kick-starting the Beatles’ career.
A year later Calder teamed up with Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and went on went on to launch Immediate Records in 1965, signing a host of future stars to the label, including the Small Faces, Rod Stewart, PP Arnold, Nico (pre-Velvet Underground) and Fleetwood Mac.
Rod signed a two single deal with Immediate recording two Mike D'Abo written songs 'Little Misunderstood' and 'So much to say' for the first single but Rod was able to get out of his contract with the label as the second single was never released and therefore the option lapsed.The planned follow up was to be the Mick Jagger produced Lee Dorsey hit "Working In The Coal Mine" on which Rod would share vocals with another Immediate artist, P. P. Arnold. The session was arranged and the song recorded and then there was an argument in the studio with Jagger who said that Rod could not hit the high notes, and that his voice was not right for the song as he thought it should be done. Jagger walked out in a temper and took the tapes with him and shortly afterwards had a row with Andrew Oldham and no one knows what happened to the tapes. One song which did survive from the session was a great track "Come Home Baby" which eventually got released on an obscure American compilation album called "Rod Stewart and The Faces" on the Springboard label.
In addition to his role as a promoter, DJ and record label boss, Tony Calder also produced Marianne Faithfull's top 10 U.K. hits "Come and Stay With Me" and "This Little Bird" in the mid-1960s.
The 1970s and 1980s saw him go on to achieve further success, working with Black Sabbath, The Bay City Rollers, reggae star Eddy Grant and hit novelty pop act Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers, among others, as well as founding his own publishing company Marylebone Music.