One of the most popular and sought after callers in the world, Tony was introduced to square dancing in 1972 through a teenage square dance program sponsored by the local Parks and Recreation Department…
With his musical background (singing professionally with a band for many years), and with his young analytical mind (majoring in both math and computer science at the University of South Carolina), he was quickly drawn into calling.
Trying to balance his time between school, his band, and his fledgling calling career quickly proved to be too much. Since he found calling so much fun, he quit the band in order to be able to devote more time to school and calling. He very quickly became very popular and soon found himself calling and teaching for five South Carolina clubs.
In 1974 Tony attended Promenade Hall Callers College in Indiana. There he first met his idol in the business – Dick Jones. Tony was so impressed with Dick that he “borrowed” much of his style and started using this new style in his own calling. Success quickly followed. Tony found himself calling all over the southeast. In 1980 Tony made the decision to go full-time with his calling. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now Tony travels almost 300 days annually doing festivals and dances all over the world. He routinely calls in over 30 states each year, and has called in almost all fifty states. Tony has also called in Canada, Saudi Arabia, England, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Holland, Denmark, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Taiwan, Australia, and Norway.
Tony, along with his partner Jerry Story, are co-owners of one of the most popular square dance record labels – Royal Records. Tony is an Accredited Caller Coach and an accredited member of CALLERLAB. He has served on CALLERLAB’s Board, its Executive Board of Governors, and two terms as Chairman of the Board. In 2000, Tony received CALLERLAB’s highest award – The Milestone.
In 2002, Tony branched out into the publications world. He is Editor of square dancings largest worldwide magazine Square Dancing Today. Square Dancing Today is the activitys first full-color, full size magazine. In the spring of 2002, Tony, along with his lifetime buddies Jerry Story and Larry Letson opened Pride RV Resort and Maggie Valley Square Dance Vacations in Maggie Valley, NC.
If you want to see him bubble with pride, just ask him about his three children – Ricky, Kayla, and T.J.