Don Arden

Born Jan 4, 1926

Don Arden, born Harry Levy, was an English music manager, agent, and businessman best known for overseeing the careers of the rock groups Small Faces, Electric Light Orchestra, and Black Sabbath. He achieved notoriety in England for his aggressive, sometimes illegal business tactics which led to him being called "Mr. Big", "The English Godfather" and "The Al Capone of Pop".… Read More

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Browse recent news and stories about Don Arden.

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    Ian Faith Lives!
    Huffington Post - Jan 18, 2016
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    abc News - Dec 17, 2015
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    Interview: Kenney Jones, Drummer Of Small Faces, Faces With Rod Stewart And The Who, Looks Back (And Forward)
    Huffington Post - Jan 17, 2014
  • Poor Rural Mass. Students Outscoring Urban Classmates
    Education Week - May 24, 2012


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Don Arden.


1926 Birth Born on January 4, 1926.


1944 18 Years Old Born into a Jewish family in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. Arden began his showbusiness career when he was just 13 years old as a singer and stand-up comic after briefly attending the Royal College of Music and in 1944 changed his name from Harry Levy to Don Arden.


1946 20 Years Old After being demobilised from the British Army at the end of World War II, Arden returned to carve out his showbiz career from 1946 to 1953. … Read More
1954 28 Years Old He gave up after that and in 1954 went on to become a showbiz agent after realising it would be more profitable. … Read More


1960 34 Years Old Arden signed up American rock'n'roller Gene Vincent in 1960 and launched his career as a manager. … Read More
1964 38 Years Old During 1964, Arden moved into beat group pop management with the Nashville Teens who secured chart hits with "Tobacco Road" and "Google Eye" and "Find My Way Back Home". … Read More
1965 39 Years Old In 1965, Arden met aspiring rock band Small Faces in his office in Carnaby Street. … Read More


1966 40 Years Old In 1966, Arden and a squad of 'minders' turned up at impresario Robert Stigwood's office to 'teach him a lesson' for daring to discuss a change of management with Small Faces. … Read More
1967 41 Years Old Arden tried to rekindle his former glories as a family entertainer by releasing a single of his own in 1967: "Sunrise Sunset", from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, but it failed to chart.
1968 42 Years Old Arden returned to music management in 1968 when he signed the Move. … Read More
1973 47 Years Old Arden took over management of singer-songwriter Lynsey de Paul in 1973 who provided him with the first hit on his new Jet label, "No Honestly" in 1974.


1976 50 Years Old By 1976, Arden was embroiled in a lawsuit with the distraught singer over what she claimed was late payment of money owed to her.
1978 52 Years Old De Paul commented: She eventually reached a settlement with Arden in 1978.
1979 53 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1979, one of Arden's successes, Black Sabbath, sacked their vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. … Read More


1986 60 Years Old 1 More Event
Don's son, known legally as 'David Levy', appeared at the Old Bailey in 1986 for his role in an alleged assault on an accountant working for Jet Records. … Read More
He was buried in Agecroft Jewish Cemetery, Langley Road, Pendlebury, near Manchester on 25 July 2007.
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