By C. Lawrence
Former resident of Weiser, Tony Olson experienced music all around as a kid. From bluegrass and country to rock n’ roll, Olson’s songwriting was influenced by many musicians and writers. When he was young, he wrote many songs but lacked the resources to pursue anything more. Olson made a career in banking in his later years while his music went by the wayside until 2007 when he had an eye-opening experience with brain surgery. Faced with his own mortality, it was at this time he realized that he wanted to pursue his dream that began when he was young.
Over the years, Olson has contributed to the music world in many ways. His most recent success, announced on Sept. 30, 2019, was winning an award for “Best Modern Country Song” in the World Songwriting Awards of 2019! His song “Barnyard Boulevard” was judged as the top song in its category among hundreds of entries from both professional and amateur writers. The song was inspired by Olson’s early years growing up in Weiser. “We lived that song,” said Olson. It was written for all the kids who have lived, worked, or played on an old dirt road in the country.
The World Songwriting Awards is an international competition featuring more than 120 countries worldwide! This award follows two other songwriting competitions Olson previously entered, The UK Songwriting Contest and The Great American Song Contest, where Olson was a Finalist. With over 1500 songs in the Country category, Olson was one of five American Finalists in the Country genre of the UK Songwriting Contest. Olson also received a Highly Commended designation in the 2018 UK Contest in two different categories for his song “Bas As You”. Many of his songs have been forwarded to publishers and music libraries. Tony has had the pleasure of recording with well-known people in the music industry including the Blake Shelton band and Adam Cunningham (The Voice, 2017). The Blake Shelton band did the music for the demo recording and Cunningham performed the vocals. To listen to a sampling of Tony’s music, visit his website at www.tonyolsonmusic.com.
Olson has many projects he is working on right now. He recently finished recording four songs in Nashville for an upcoming album by Daniel Borge of Norway. Borge stated that during a visit to the CMA Fest in Nashville, his flight home was cancelled due to bad weather. Spending extra time in the city, Borge and his wife went to the Legends Corner at the Broadway where he was approached by Olson after singing a couple of impromptu songs on stage. Borge said that Olson “had been looking for a voice like mine for his songs!” After exchanging information, they kept in touch over Facebook. “…he showed me his songs! I really liked them! They were amazing. So little by little we got to know each other,” said Borge.
The two formed a long-distance bond that started an incredible relationship. “Tony has made me believe so much more in myself! He’s a guy that really lifts you up and makes you believe that your dreams will come true! And after I met him, I’ve got the opportunity to do things I didn’t even think about dreaming about,” shared Borge during the interview. After a few months, they were able to meet again in Nashville where they began recording. “He helped me in so many ways! I wish him nothing but good things in his future,” says Borge. The singer will also be premiering one of Olson’s new songs during a televised concert in Norway on November 30th.
Olson credits his success to his inability to sing or play an instrument well. He jokingly said, “I can’t carry a tune and I am not a great guitar player, so I had to be a decent writer to fit in.” Over the next few years, Olson’s goals include having a song make it to the Hot Disc Charts in Europe and the Billboard Charts. He would also like to accomplish writing a song that makes it into a film or television soundtrack and win an ISSA or Josie Award. When asked about what he is most proud of in his career, he said “I’m proud of the new friends I’ve made, and the old friends who believed in me. I’m proud of taking on such lofty goals and actually getting some of them accomplished. I always wondered if I could run with the big dogs…maybe I can.”
Congratulations, Tony, on your recent success!
From all your friends in Weiser, Idaho