b. 13 January 1929, Hanover, Germany, d. 20 May 1994, London, England. Born of Jewish stock in the volatile political climate of Germany, Platz was exiled, with his sister, Gina, to Neasden, in Middlesex, in the 30s. Placed in publishing by his guardian, Platz was initially disappointed to discover it was in music rather than literature. At age 14 he became an office boy for Southern Music in Denmark Street, London. Graduating from copyright to manager of an office specialising in Latin-American recordings, he eventually left to set up his own company, Essex Music. That company, with Platz at the helm, became arguably the leading publishing agency by the late 50s, with the Rolling Stones its first major coup. They were soon joined by major talents like the Moody Blues, Who, Procol Harum, Ralph McTell, David Bowie and Marc Bolan. The modus operandi with each such major songwriter was to form a separate division of the company, overlooked by Essex, so that artists maintained a financial and business incentive in their affairs. In addition he inaugurated two record labels, Fly and Cube. Platz also went on to help finance and publish songs from the world of stage musicals, including Stop The World - I Want To Get Off, The Roar Of The Greasepaint - The Smell Of The Crowd and Lionel Bart’s Oliver. Between 1973 and 1986 he was publishing director of the Performing Rights Society, but his entrepreneurial activities were finally curtailed by the onset of motor neurone disease in his mid-60s.
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