b. 1935, d. March 1987. A sports journalist on several local and national newspapers, Stratton-Smith first came to prominence writing football annuals in the 50s. A chance meeting with Antonio Carlos Jobin convinced him to switch careers and he emerged as a music publisher and later pop manager. A good friend of Brian Epstein, he was originally asked to ghost-write the Beatles manager’s autobiography but turned down the project to complete a work on the martyr Mother Maria Skobtzova. By 1965, Stratton-Smith was back in the pop business managing Paddy, Klaus And Gibson, who were soon followed by Beryl Marsden, the Koobas and Creation. All of them under achieved, in spite of some crafty chart hyping from their desperate manager. It was not until the end of the decade that Stratton-Smith found his true niche managing such ‘progressive’ artists as the Nice, Rare Bird and Van Der Graaf Generator. The new phase coincided with the launching of Charisma Records whose roster included Genesis, Lindisfarne, Audience and Bell And Arc, all of whom were managed by Stratton-Smith at one time. By the mid-80s, Stratton-Smith wound down his interests and Charisma was sold to Virgin Records in 1986. The following year, this most-liked of British music business entrepreneurs died of stomach cancer. A service in his memory attracted a ‘telephone directory’ of musicians and music business friends.
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