Tony Williams passes

Tony Williams, bluegrass entrepreneur, promoter, and all-around friend to the music died this morning in the hospital near his home in Kentucky from multiple post-surgical complications. He was 70 years of age.

Though he was involved in multiple aspects of the bluegrass world, many people know Tony primarily as the father of Josh Williams, three-time IBMA Guitar Player of the Year, and vocalist with Rhonda Vincent & The Rage. Josh came to prominence as a young teenager, recording his first album while still in school, and it was Tony and his wife Terri who carted Josh to festivals and competitions across Kentucky, Missouri, and eventually the IBMA while he was still a boy.

Siring and nurturing Josh Williams would be enough for any bluegrass fan to cheer the work of the Williamses, but Tony also contributed to the industry in a variety of other ways. At one point he ran a company that created light weight instrument cases extruded from high impact plastic, and spent many years seeking out and booking acts for small venues in Kentucky.

Friends could always count on a smile from Tony when they encountered him at a festival or a show, and he was a fixture at the annual IBMA World of Bluegrass convention.

Visitation with the family will be held Wednesday (June 14) from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at at Collier Funeral Home in Benton, KY, followed by a celebration of his life at 7:00.

Bluegrass Today shares our condolences with Josh, his mom, and his older brother, Justin.

R.I.P., Tony Williams.

Terri, Josh, and Tony Williams

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.