'Sir' Harry Cowell (born 4 September 1960) is a British musician and record producer - he is no relation to Simon Cowell. He lives between West London and Las Vegas.
Cowell was educated at Ashdown House Prep School in East Sussex, then Millfield School in Somerset; he later attended Crawley College and entered the music business in 1980 as a drummer. Whilst solely working as a drummer / drum tec, he struggled financially and at one point had four separate jobs, including cleaning at Gatwick Airport.
Cowell progressed from playing with friends from Crawley College, to touring with the following groups:
- Department S
- Martha and the Muffins
- Steve Skolnik of Fischer-Z
- The Stranglers
- The Vapors
- Michelle Grigg and the scene
Cowell then moved from playing to full-time drum tec and tour management and has been involved with the following groups:
Cowell briefly worked as the drum tech for Genesis and The Police - The Police's Stewart Copeland was also at Millfield School. In 1986 Cowell opened a new recording studio "The Stone Room" in London's Shepherd's Bush; here he worked with well-known names such as T'Pau, Captain Sensible, My Bloody Valentine and The Manic Street Preachers.
During the mid 80's he made a name for himself managing rock acts like Chrome Molly, Blue Blud and Mammoth featuring John McCoy on bass (Gillan) and Nicky Moore (Samson). In 1991, Cowell joined forces with Simon Napier-Bell before expanding into personal management and subsequently worked with Asia and Ultravox.
After a period as managing director of River Droite Music, Cowell left and set up Private and Confidential Music. In 2009, Cowell signed up to run publishing and production companies - Mission Publishing Ltd and Mission Recordings Ltd. Following a joint venture with Imagem Music in late 2009 the Mission companies are to launch Mission Recordings Ltd in early 2011 - the first artist signed to the new label is Gianluca Paganelli and more recently Demi Holborn (the Youngest Female Artist to enter the UK's Top 40 Single Charts). In February 2012 he signed writer and producer Ayo Beatz and his 1st commercial single went into The Music Week Commercial Pop Chart in July at Number 10. This was the 1st single released on Cowell's new label Mission Recordings Ltd. In June 2012 Mission Entertainment Group Ltd was sold to Papa Entertainment Plc and Cowell was made the CEO of Papa Entertainment Plc which is listed on the London ISDX Stock Exchange.
Cowell is credited with signing:
- Katherine Jenkins
- Errol Brown
- Heather Small
- Ayo Beatz
- michelle Grigg
Cowell was also on the board of AIM (Association of Independent Music) who represent the independent record sector until early 2011.
Sir Harry as The Producer and his company Papa Entertainment PLC are behind Raiding The Rock Vault which won a year long contract in March 2013 to perform at The LVH (formerly The Las Vegas Hilton) on the old Elvis Presley stage which more recently was used by Barry Manilow for his four year run in Vegas. The Red Carpet night took place on 19 March 2013. In December 2013, Cowell negotiated another year at The LVH and the show has now become the Number 1 show in Vegas on Tripadvisor and Voted The Best of Vegas 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018 Number 1 Musical in Vegas beating off Rock of Ages & Jersey Boys and something no Las Vegas show has ever achieved. On November 1st 2014 the show moved to The Tropicana Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Then moving to The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in March 2017. His second show "Raiding The Country Vault at the newly refurbished 3,000 seater Mansion Theatre in Branson, Missouri, USA was launched in mid 2016 and in January 2017 he took over the Starlite Theatre in Branson where he moved Raiding The Country Vault for a two year run. The Starlite Theatre also opened up Gettin' Basted a 150 seater restaurant which became The Number 1 restaurant In Branson on TripAdvisor within 5 weeks. RTRV is currently The Number 4 show in Las Vegas and RTCV is the Number 1 show in Branson on TripAdvisor and in November 2018 Won "The Best Of Branson" Production Show. in 2019 Raiding The Country Vault moved to The Americana Theatre due to The Starlite being sold.
At one time, Cowell's father (Alan Christopher Cowell MC) was the owner of the sports brand Gola and Camping Gas UK and he was on the Board of ERGH which owned Visionhire TV Rentals amongst others and was bought out by Granada in the 80's.