You Oughta Know: Tony Wilson
Once upon a time, the Sex Pistols played a show at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall, and the end result was that just about everyone in the audience went on to pursue a career in music in some capacity or other. One of those people was Tony Wilson, and if you don’t know who he is... Well, you oughta know!
Anthony Howard Wilson – Tony to his friends – was responsible for helping kickstart the careers of some of the most famous bands to emerge from Manchester in the ‘80s, although his work in the music industry actually began in the late ‘70s. At the time he saw the Sex Pistols, he was the host of the music program So It Goes, and their performance promptly spurred him to book them to appear on the last episode of the show’s first season. Over the course of his career as a manager, label owner, and music businessman, Wilson worked with artists like Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, James, The Durutti Column, and A Certain Ratio, among many others. Indeed, if you ever purchased an album on Factory Records, you have him to thank, since he was part owner and manager of the label.
Although Wilson died of complications tied to renal cancer, his legacy in music lives on, as you’ll be able to hear when you check out the playlist we’ve put together.