Tony Conway, a native of Bardstown, KY, was drawn to the world of entertainment from his earliest years. His fascination with music, live shows, movies, and circuses continued throughout his childhood. By the time he was a teenager, he was playing drums in both the school band and a local rock-n-roll band. All through high school and college, he travelled the back roads of southern Indiana, southern Ohio and Kentucky, playing clubs, colleges, and fraternity parties.
After graduating from Northwood University in West Baden, IN, Tony opened his first talent agency in Lexington, KY. In 1975, he moved to Nashville, TN, and soon met renowned talent agent, Buddy Lee. Lee quickly took notice of the energetic and driven young Conway and asked him to come to work for him. That was the beginning of a long, mentoring friendship and career for Conway at Buddy Lee Attractions, Inc.
In 1987, Conway was named President of Buddy Lee Attractions, and he eventually became CEO and co-owner of the company in 1998. During his tenure at BLA, Conway represented some of music’s most beloved and legendary artists, including Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, The Highwaymen (Willie, Johnny, Kris, and Waylon), Bill Monroe, The Dixie Chicks, Roy Orbison, George Strait, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Ronnie Milsap and Emmylou Harris. Tony has helped guide the successful careers of some of Country Music’s biggest stars, such as Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Tracy Lawrence, Jason Aldean, Lorrie Morgan, Sawyer Brown, Miranda Lambert, Jamey Johnson, Ricky Van Shelton, and John Michael Montgomery among others. Some major successful tours booked by Conway include The Highwaymen Featuring Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings; Neil Young & Crazy Horse; Garth Brooks’ World Tour; and The Dixie Chicks World Tour.
Tony Conway is also widely recognized as a leader in the production area of live entertainment. The coordinator of the very first FarmAid show, held in 1985, Conway has worked closely with many of those shows since. He was Executive Producer for the annual CMA Music Festival (formerly Fan Fair) for eleven years and has also served as the Executive Producer of the annual Verizon Wireless BamaJam Music & Arts Festival in Enterprise, AL and the new ShowMe Music & Arts Festival in Springfield, MO.
The recipient of numerous industry awards, Conway has been honored with the following: two-time CMA-SRO Agent of the Year, Performance Magazine Agent of the Year, four-time Nominee for Pollstar/Third Coast Agent of the Year, and the Hubert Long Lifetime Achievement Award from the NATD. He also received the IEBA Talent Agent of the Year award, and was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Tony was a recipient of the CMA President’s Award for leading the redesign and transformation of Fan Fair to the CMA Music Festival.
In 2010, Tony took his 35 years of experience and industry contacts and struck out on his own, forming Conway Entertainment Group/Ontourage Management. With this new venture, Conway draws upon his past as he embraces a future that fully utilizes his strengths in artist touring, personal management and live event production.
Tony and his wife, Nancy, reside in Nashville and have two grown children, Matthew and Katie. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting and boating.
Current Board and Organization Memberships:
Academy of Country Music (ACM)
Country Music Association (CMA) (Past President and Chairman of the Board)
International Association of Auditorium Managers (IAAM)
International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE)
International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA)
Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Arts and Entertainment (Board Member)
MusiCares (Nashville Board of Directors)
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce (Former Chair Music, Arts and Entertainment)
Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) (Past President)
Nashville Entertainment Association (NEA)
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS)
National Association of Campus Activities (NACA)
Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA)
Showmen’s League of America (SLA)
T.J.Martell Foundation (Past President)
W.O. Smith School of Music (Board and Incoming President)