Al Hassan, Road Manager for Steve & Eydie, Tony Danza and Jim Stafford, Dies at 87

Al Hassan, who had a 40-year-plus career as a road manager for the likes of Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gormé, Tony Danza and Jim Stafford, died April 12 in Washington, his family announced. He was 87.

Hassan’s job took him across the U.S. and to Canada, Africa, Asia and Europe as he also supported Leif Garrett, Susan Anton and Nana Mouskouri, among many other entertainers.

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The fifth of six children, Albert LeRoy Hassan was born on Dec. 2, 1936, and raised in the steel town of New Castle, Pennsylvania. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for three years, then graduated from the University of Maryland with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theater.

In college, Hassan worked with football coach Tom Nugent and was involved in the effort to recruit Joe Namath, a star high school quarterback and fellow Pennsylvanian from Beaver Falls. Namath did sign with the Terrapins but failed to score high enough on his college board tests and wound up with Coach Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama.

Hassan and Namath, however, developed a deep friendship, and he would become the football star (and occasional actor’s) assistant, a job that brought him to Hollywood in 1975.

Hassan connected with Scotti Brothers Records, a label run by Tony and Ben Scotti, and they hired him to serve as the road manager for up-and-coming country music singer Stafford, whose “Spiders and Snakes” would reach No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974.

Hassan accompanied Stafford around the country, and a career as a road manager was born.

“Music was Al’s lifeblood, from the ancestral music of his Syrian heritage to 1950s R&B,” his family said. “His playlist ranged from Umm Kalsoum and Fairuz to Big Joe Turner and Tom Jones, to Sinatra and Joni James, Elvis, Édith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Peter Allen to name a few.”

Survivors include his brother, James; sisters-in-law Concetta and Lisa; and many nieces and nephews.

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