NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) — The Country Music Association hosted the Eight Annual CMA Touring Awards on Tuesday night, with concert industry legend Lou Messina taking home the award for Promoter of the Year.
Held at the Marathon Music Works in Nashville with singer-songwriter and 2017 CMA New Artist of the Year Jon Pardi serving as the master of ceremonies, the awards honor the most respected industry professionals from the 2019 touring season.
Honors for the evening included Tony Conway, who was presented with the CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award by country music legend Marty Stuart.
“You know, sometimes when I talk about who I used to represent or who I do represent, they think I’m making all this up because it just sounds like a dream, and it is. It’s true,” said Conway, accepting the industry accolade. “I want to thank everybody in this room for what they do on the road. Like everybody says, we are one big family, and it takes professionals and people that love the business as much as I do to pull it off.”
“The beauty of Tony is, his handshake is better than a pile of contracts,” said Stuart. “And that’s the truth. If Tony gives you his word on something, it’s done.”
Other winners for the night included Mary Ann McCready, who won the Business Manager of the Year category for the third time. Red Light’s Mary Hilliard Harrington took home the trophy for Manager of the Year and became the only honoree in CMA Touring Awards history who has won two different categories with three prior trophies received for Publicist of the Year.
WME’s Jay Williams was recognized as Talent Agent of the Year for 2019, while Bridgestone Arena in Nashville was recognized as the Venue of the Year.
The CMA Touring Awards, originally called the SRO Awards, were created by the CMA Board of Directors in 1990 to honor outstanding professional achievement within the touring industry. The first Awards were presented at a gala hosted by K.T. Oslin and Roger Miller during CMA’s Entertainment Expo, also known as the Talent Buyers Entertainment Marketplace.
The SRO Awards were renamed the CMA Touring Awards in 2016.
The 2019 CMA Touring Awards winners
Business Manager of the Year
Mary Ann McCready – Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc.
Coach/Truck Driver Of The Year
Larry Phye, Jr. – Chris Stapleton
Front of House Engineer Of The Year
Arpad Sayko – Chris Stapleton
Lighting Director of the Year
Chris Reade – Dierks Bentley
Manager of the Year
Mary Hilliard Harrington – Red Light Management
Tour Manager of the Year
Todd Bunch – Eric Church
Monitor Engineer of the Year
Bryan “Opie” Baxley – Kenny Chesney
Production Manager of the Year
Jay Ballinger – Dierks Bentley
Publicist of the Year
Tyne Parrish – The GreenRoom
Talent Agent of the Year
Jay Williams – WME
Talent Buyer/Promoter of the Year
Louis Messina – Messina Touring Group
Tour Videographer/Photographer of the Year
Jill Trunnell – Kenny Chesney
Tour Video Director of the Year
Chris Jones – Eric Church
Tour Musician of the Year
Wyatt Beard – Kenny Chesney
Venue of the Year
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN