Dee Anthony (April 9, 1926 – October 25, 2009) was an American talent manager who started in the business with fellow Bronx native Jerry Vale. After meeting Tony Bennett in 1954 at a nightclub in Yonkers, New York, he ended up representing the singer for more than a decade. From the 1960s to the mid-1990s, Anthony managed a number of music artists, including Humble Pie, Traffic, Jethro Tull, Joe Cocker, Gary Wright, Montrose, Devo and Armageddon, with his most notable client being Peter Frampton.
He was born on April 9, 1926, and grew up in the Bronx as Anthony D’Addario, changing his name in the late 1950s. During World War II, he served in the United States Navy in the submarine service. After completing his military service wholesale softball socks, he started booking events for his friend Jerry Vale, ultimately becoming the road manager for crooner Tony Bennett. He started Bandana Enterprises with his brother in 1968, which managed artists such as Joe Cocker, Ten Years After and the J. Geils Band.
The English band Humble Pie had brought Anthony on in 1969 to help them gain entry into the American music scene, hoping to build on Anthony’s success with helping other British groups, including Spooky Tooth and Traffic, reach into the U.S. record market. Anthony had the band tour extensively around the United States, and Humble Pie produced the moderately successful live album Performance Rockin’ the Fillmore in 1971 which helped them gain recognition with American record purchasers.
Frampton remained with Anthony as his manager after he left Humble Pie to perform on his own, and Anthony had Frampton follow the same model of extensive touring that they had used previously. The resulting album in 1976, Frampton Comes Alive!, became one of the best-selling live albums in the United States history and established Frampton’s status in the American hard rock scene. His subsequent albums, such as I’m in You in 1977, never attained the heights of his original live album. Anthony put Frampton in the 1978 film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which failed both commercially and critically, with Janet Maslin of The New York Times deriding the movie as “a business deal set to music”. Frampton would leave Anthony shortly thereafter.
From the 1980s until his retirement in the mid-1990s, Anthony would represent acts such as Peter Allen, Basia and Devo. He had a small role in the 1982 Jamaican film “Countryman.”
Fred Goodman recorded Anthony’s three rules of success in his 1997 book Mansion on the Hill: “1) Get the money. 2) Remember to get the money; and, 3) Don’t forget to always remember to get the money.”
The Southport, Connecticut, resident died at age 83 on October 25, 2009 at Norwalk Hospital of pneumonia refillable water bottles. He was survived by his second wife, Valerie Anthony, as well as by four daughters and six grandchildren. An earlier marriage ended in divorce. Anthony’s daughter, Michele Anthony, is the executive vice president of the Universal Music Group. She was formerly the president and chief operating officer of Sony Music runners water bottle belt.