The Baltimore Sun

TONY WILSON, 57 Music promoter

Tony Wilson, a music impresario credited with guiding bands from industrial England to the international stage, died Friday of complications from kidney cancer. He was 57.

Mr. Wilson promoted a host of influential bands from his native city of Manchester in northern England, including Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays.

Mr. Wilson's influence on the city, and on British music, is documented in the 2002 movie 24-Hour Party People, which charts the rise and fall of Mr. Wilson's empire, which included Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub.

Manchester-born and Cambridge-educated, Mr. Wilson's record label and nightclub were credited with making the city Britain's most vibrant music center through the 1980s and 1990s, spawning bands including the Smiths and Oasis.

Though Factory Records and the Hacienda closed in the 1990s, Mr. Wilson remained a passionate advocate for his city, presenting a radio show for the local British Broadcasting Corp. station.

RICHMOND FLOWERS, 88 Challenged segregation in Ala.

Former Alabama Attorney General Richmond Flowers, a moderate on racial issues who challenged the dominance of segregationist Gov. George Wallace in the 1960s but saw his political career end in an extortion case, died Thursday of Parkinson's disease at his home in Dothan, Ala.

A World War II veteran, Mr. Flowers was elected attorney general in 1962, the year Mr. Wallace won his first term as governor. Mr. Flowers soon took socially progressive actions in contrast to Mr. Wallace's call for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!"

As attorney general, Mr. Flowers took over for local prosecutors in 1965 in the slaying of Viola Liuzzo, a white civil rights worker from Detroit. The defendant was acquitted by an all-white jury.

Mr. Flowers was trounced in the 1966 Democratic primary for governor by Mr. Wallace's wife, Lurleen, who was her husband's stand-in because Alabama law then barred governors from running for a second term.

In 1968, Mr. Flowers was accused with two others on federal charges of extorting payments from life insurance companies in return for being allowed to do business in the state when Mr. Flowers was attorney general. All three were convicted in 1969.

Mr. Flowers was sentenced to eight years in prison and served about 1 1/2 years.

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad