Derek Block's career in show business has spanned 50 years. He started out in 1962 as a dance/club promoter, and had the fortune to book Tom Jones, The Who and The Moody Blues on the back of their first hit singles at the time when he was still working fulltime as an accountant.
He was then offered the opportunity to become a booking agent, and the first act given to him to book was three American boys who had just arrived in the UK; The Walker Brothers. Over the next few years, Derek signed a number of unknown bands and artists such as The Troggs, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Greg Lake, and started his own agency; Harvey Block Associates, with his partner Dru Harvey.
The pair successfully built up the agency and promotions company, and in 1968 joined forces with The Marquee Group where they had major success with Yes, The Nice, The New Seekers and Black Sabbath.
In 1970 Derek set up his own independent company and in subsequent years has managed, promoted, produced and represented, almost without exception, every major artist in the music business. Over the next 20 years Derek also managed Mike Yarwood, Dick Emery and The Nolans, produced major pantomimes with the likes of Charlie Drake, Jimmy Tarbuck and Frankie Vaughn, and co-produced some major touring musicals such as A Chorus Line, Fiddler on the Roof, Dirty Dancing and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
Derek established offices in the USA and Australia, and represented the William Morris Agency outside of the USA, looking after many legendary names including Danny Kaye, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Rod Stewart, Simon & Garfunkel, The Everly Brothers, Diana Ross and many more.
Through the decades the contemporary music agency has signed many unknown bands including The Police, Adam Ant, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Duran Duran, Squeeze, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and many more. In addition to this, Derek developed four successful independent record labels which were subsequently sold to major record companies.
Derek then moved into classical arts, presenting the Bolshoi Ballet and orchestra worldwide including the first legendary six week season of dance at the Royal Albert Hall.
The company today is still presenting and touring over 500 shows per year.