Longtime manager Stan Moress, who helmed the careers of Clint Black, Eddie Rabbitt, Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine and many more, died Monday (Sept. 6) in Nashville, following a battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 83.
Moress, who was born in 1938 in Rochester, N.Y., graduated from Rollins College in 1960, and soon afterward began working in the mailroom for Rogers and Cowan.
Over the course of his career, he also spent time at MGM Records and RCA Records, where he created and executive-produced Roy Rogers’ duets album, but he made his most indelible mark as a manager. Through management company Moress, Nanas Entertainment (later Moress, Nanas, Shea Entertainment), his client list included Black, Rabbitt, Estefan, Roger Miller, Ronnie Milsap, Lorrie Morgan, K.T. Oslin, Pam Tillis and Tammy Wynette, among others.
Moress founded Nashville-based management and consulting firm the Consortium in 2001, alongside partners Bernard Porter, Al Schiltz and Mike Martinovich. Among those artists The Consortium repped over the years were Joe Diffie, Sherrié Austin, Billy Ray Cyrus and Catherine Britt. In 2005, Moress, Schiltz and Martinovich helped launch Midas Records Nashville.
Moress’ clients and colleagues remember him as a generous spirit, who often felt like a family member and was always willing to go out of his way to help.
Black, a Moress management client in the early 1990s, tells Billboard, “He always had a special place in my heart. We tended to be a comedy team when together, he the straight man, and I the jokester. We always had fun and I held him in great esteem. On top of all that, he was party to the matchmaking that became the best thing he ever did for me. He handed Lisa Hartman my tape and said, ‘You’ll love this guy.’ A short time after and now nearly 30 years ago, she became Lisa Hartman Black, my wife. He was a great blessing in my life and I’m deeply saddened to hear he has left us. Everybody loved Stan!”
During his time leading RCA Nashville, Joe Galante worked closely with Moress, and tells Billboard, “Stan gave everything to all the acts he worked with. He was always all in. He was the same in business and in life with his friends, always going the extra mile. He was funny, smart, and always smiling. I will miss [him] but continue to smile as [I] remember so many great times.”
“I owe Stan my career. Stan was magic,” says music executive Susan Nadler, who served as an in-house public relations executive at Moress, Nanas, Shea Entertainment and went on to work as a manager for Morgan, among others, and to lead Asylum Records alongside Evelyn Shriver. “He gave people opportunities. He was a mentor, he was a friend. He had a huge heart and he helped everybody. He encouraged me to go into management. I did and that was a life-changer for me. I learned so much from him and he was so generous with his time and his knowledge.”
“Stan Moress was one of my greatest friends in this business,” says Morgan. “My whole life changed the day Stan became my manager. He was a go-getter and wanted to make me a star. Then my life and my career changed again when Stan introduced me to choreographer Kenny Ortega who brought out the best entertainer in me I could possibly be. Stan had a great sense of humor as well. We had many major laughs together and great times. He also walked me down the aisle at my wedding, looked at me halfway down the aisle with a tear in his eye, and said ‘You don’t have to do this.’ I would say he probably knew me best than any other person in the business at one time. I will miss Stan, my family will miss Stan, as he was a part in watching my children grow up and was always a gentleman around my mom and sisters.”
“We’ve been close friends for over 25 years and business partners 15 of those 25 years,” Martinovich tells Billboard. “He was passionate about each of the artists he represented. Stan must have, unknowingly, invented the 24/7 concept. He never stopped being involved. Importantly, Stan never wished anyone ill. He was the first to reach out, the first to return a phone call, the first to say ‘whatever it takes.’ He was curious and stayed relevant and current until the very end.”
A memorial service for Moress is planned for a later date. He is preceded in death by his sister Shelley and survived by his brother Stephen. His family also includes nieces Hilary and Romi, as well as nephews Ryan, Steven and Jordan.