Michael Ochs, the younger brother of prominent folk and folk-rock singer Phil Ochs, became his sibling's manager around early 1967, almost by accident. The pair had been out of touch for about three years when Michael, through Phil's then-wife, let him know about a record company that was interested in signing the singer. Michael Ochs was at that time a rising photographer who had shot musicians like Taj Mahal, the Chambers Brothers, and the Sopwith Camel. As a result of Michael passing along the message, Phil called his younger brother and asked Michael to manage him, despite Michael's lack of management experience and some friction between them that had led them not to talk to each other for some time. Michael managed Phil over the next few years, which were fairly volatile ones for the singer, involving finding a new record label after his contract with Elektra had expired, making the transition from acoustic music to electric folk-rock, and increasingly frustrated and erratic behavior from Phil, who died in 1976.
Michael Ochs did eventually make photography his main concentration, establishing the Michael Ochs Archives, one of the leading collections and suppliers of images of 20th century musicians. He has also hosted radio music programs and was instrumental in the compilation of posthumous Phil Ochs reissues, including A Toast to Those Who Are Gone (consisting largely of previously unreleased material) and the Farewells & Fantasies box set.