There was a time when the pop manager was universally understood within the music industry as the father figure holding sway over his stable of artists. A sort of benevolent "Big Shot". There is little doubt the rules of the game have changed as the music industry adjusts to downloads, TV talent shows, social networking and a 24 hour media.
In this programme, we explore the changing role of the music manager with a variety of industry Big Shots. Paul Loasby manages David Gilmour and Jools Holland, and he still thinks a good gimmick can get an artist noticed if handled well. Managers David Enthoven and Tim Clark used to work with King Crimson and Free, but these days they keep a keen eye on the interests of singer Robbie Williams and would like to see the return of a bit more outrage as typified by the punk era.
The programme also looks at the world of Simon Cowell and his TV shows with comment from his former boss Richard Griffiths, now managing One Direction and Leona Lewis.
Writer and broadcaster Paul Morley brings his own brand of insight and sanity as he still believes that the manager plays a vital role in delivering something special to the music hungry fan. But how well are they being served? Is what is on offer appetizing enough? If it is so tasty why are sales so poor?
Produced by John Sugar
A Sugar production for BBC Radio 4.