Tony Calder, who has died aged 74, was a music promoter who worked with the biggest names in pop, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Small Faces, and was the business partner of Andrew Loog Oldham, with whom in 1965 he founded Immediate, one of Britain’s early independent pop labels, with the slogan “Happy to be a part of the industry of human happiness”.
The two self-proclaimed rakes set out to promote a looser ethic than prevailed in the bigger labels such as Parlophone or Decca, and Calder was a master of the buccaneering practices on which the record industry of the era flourished, such as pushing particular records by boosting sales at the shops that filed chart returns. They wanted spontaneity and “hipness”, and to tap into the burgeoning teenage market.
With a roster ranging from the Velvet Underground singer Nico to the comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, Immediate released everything...
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