Fundraising success for ‘Holtie’s headstone’ campaign

PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 September 2020

Roger 'Holtie' Holt and DJ Tony Prince with sackloads of Osmonds fan letters. Picture: Tony Prince

Roger 'Holtie' Holt and DJ Tony Prince with sackloads of Osmonds fan letters. Picture: Tony Prince

Archant

Roger ‘Holtie’ Holt was a high-profile figure in the music industry during the 1970s but died in relative obscurity in a village near Andover in July.

During his heyday he was based in London where he hobnobbed with pop stars, but loved spending his weekends in Sidmouth, where his parents lived.

He owned a house in Sidmouth for many years and was known as a ‘party animal’, often entertaining gatherings of friends there.

He also enjoyed fishing, waterskiing, and drinking at The Blue Ball.

One of his closest friends from that era was Sidmouth resident Tom Griffiths, who attended his funeral.

It was a low-key affair with few mourners, no other friends or family members, and not even enough money to buy a headstone for his grave.

But Mr Griffiths launched an appeal to buy one, and donations immediately began flooding in as Holtie’s former friends and colleagues heard about his death.

The news was also circulated to fans of The Osmonds, as Holtie had introduced them to the UK when he was promotions manager for Polydor Records.

He worked with many other big names of that era including Led Zeppelin, Slade, Boney M and Petula Clark.

He was friends with national radio DJs including the former Radio Luxembourg presenter Tony Prince, who has an old photo of the two of them with a sackload of Osmonds fan mail.

Mr Griffiths recalls staying with Holtie at his flat in London several times and going to legendary 1970s nightspots including Tramp, the Valbonne and the Speakeasy, and having dinner with Billy Connolly, Pamela Stephenson and Slade.

Tributes to Holtie on the GoFundMe page include: “Fond memories of a generous and fun-loving guy”, “Great memories of water skiing and parties”, and “The Song Is Ended But The Memory Lingers On.”

Mr Griffiths said he is now arranging for the headstone to be made, and it will be put in place in around six months’ time.

He is hoping to arrange a gathering of Holtie’s old friends and colleagues to mark the occasion.


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