EVP, Creative West Coast - BMG Chrysalis
Lionel Conway has played a key role in a remarkable number of significant events during the course of a fruitful career that began at Dick James Music in his native London. He had the enviable task of placing Beatles songs with other British artists. In the late ‘60s, he persuaded James to sign the then-unknown young writer/artist Reg Dwight (Elton John), and served as Elton’s manager in 1970. Shortly thereafter, Conway formed and ran Chris Blackwell’s Island Publishing Company. During his 21 years with Island, Conway personally signed some of the most renowned writers in rock annals, a who’s who of greats that includes Cat Stevens, Dave Stewart, Robert Palmer, Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople), Tom Waits, Mick Jones (Foreigner), Andy Fraser (Free), Paul Rogers (Bad Company), Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), Steve Bray (Madonna’s co-writer), Gary Wright, Jimmy Cliff, Trevor Horn, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and U2. In 1975, Conway moved to North America, starting Island’s U.S. office in Los Angeles, remaining in his post until Island was purchased by PolyGram, whereupon he joined Madonna’s new company, Maverick, as president of publishing. At Maverick, Conway signed Grammy winner Lucinda Williams as well as platinum acts Vertical Horizon and Candlebox. After Maverick was acquired by Warner/Chappell, Conway continued to consult and oversee Maverick’s stable of writers until 2001, when he took the job of president of publishing for Mosaic Media Group. During the following four years, he acquired Hamstein Music, which included all songs written by ZZ Top and over 40 Country #1 hits, and Aerosmith songs. In 2005, Mosaic sold its publishing company to Stage Three Music. While at Stage Three, he signed Brett James, the Decemberists, Bobby Pinson and Matt Nathanson. BMG acquired Stage Three in 2010, and Conway transitioned to the role of EVP, Creative, West Coast, for BMG Chrysalis in mid-2011.