April 7, 1922|
New York City
|Died||July 20, 2009
Rancho Mirage, California
Stanley Herbert Polley (April 7, 1922 – July 20, 2009) was an entertainment manager active in the 1960s and 1970s. His clients included rock band Badfinger, musician Al Kooper, singer Lou Christie, singer-producer Hank Medress, tv director Michael Cooper, arranger Charles Calello, composer Sandy Linzer and WABC disc jockey Bob Lewis. Multiple financial dealings by Polley were found to be irregular and to the detriment of his clients.
Polley was born on April 7, 1922 in New York City. In the early part of his career he practised law and worked in retail shops before beginning his managerial career in New York's garment industry. He began artist management after he met Lou Christie in the mid-1960s. It was through his association with Christie that he met and began working with other artists in the New York and Los Angeles entertainment fields. Around 1968 Polley formed a company called Five Arts Management, for his work with Christie, Kooper, Calello, Cooper, Linzer and Lewis. He formed further companies for legal and accounting purposes to manage artists including composers Irwin Levine and Larry Brown. In 1970, Polley registered Badfinger Enterprises, Inc. as a corporate entity for management of the British rock group Badfinger, which had no American representation at the time.
According to The New York Times, in 1971 Polley was named during US Senate investigation hearings as an intermediary between unnamed crime figures and a New York Supreme Court judge. Most of Polley's American clients said they were already suspicious of their manager by this point, but the publicity of the hearings convinced several to sever ties with him.
In 1972, Polley negotiated a record contract with Warner Bros. Records for Badfinger, which called for advances to be paid into an escrow account. In 1974, Warner's publishing division filed a lawsuit against Polley when it was unsuccessful in locating the funds. The legal morass crippled Badfinger financially; band leader Pete Ham committed suicide in 1975 leaving behind a note pointing the finger at Polley for his financial ruin. Bandmate Tom Evans committed suicide on November 19, 1983.
In 1991, Polley pleaded no contest to charges of misappropriating funds and money laundering in Riverside County, California. Aeronautics engineer Peter Brock accused Polley of swindling him out of $250,000 after the two set up a corporation to manufacture airplane engines. Polley was placed on probation for five years and ordered by the court to return all missing funds to Brock, although the complainant said the restitution never materialized.
- Suddath, Claire (October 4, 2013). "Breaking Badfinger: Who's Getting the Baby Blue Money?". Bloomberg. Bloomberg LP. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- Matovina (2000), p. 86
- Matovina (2000), p. 114
- Matovina (2000)
- Wood, Chris (January 30, 2016). "Badfinger's last original member still playing their music". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- Matovina (2000), p. 282
- Matovina (2000), p. 388
- Brennan (2012)
- "Stanley H Polley, Find Grave".
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