Tony Stratton-Smith

Tony Stratton-Smith

Tony Stratton-Smith

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Tony Stratton-Smith (1933–1987) was an English rock music manager, and entrepreneur. He was best known as founder of London based independent record label Charisma Records which he began in 1969. Groups he managed included The Nice (featuring keyboard player Keith Emerson), Bonzo Dog Band and Van der Graaf Generator. In 1970 he signed the progressive rock band Genesis onto his record and management companies, and released Trespass, the band's second album. Genesis became the label's most successful group. The label was eventually sold to Virgin Records in 1983. Virgin re-activated the Charisma name with a new logo for a short time during the late 1980s.

"Strat" as he was known to his friends was famous for his sense of humour and flair for promotion. His sense of humour was often reflected in promotional materials and record label art. With an ear for unusual and creative talent he made Charisma successful especially in its early years. Though usually known as "Charisma Records", the company also promoted itself as "The Famous Charisma Label." Stratton-Smith released many records by Monty Python and helped to finance the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He also recorded Vivian Stanshall and financed Stanshall's film Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, as well as being credited as its producer. Other important artists Stratton-Smith was closely associated with include Atomic Rooster, Audience, Brand X, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett,......
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