Tony Guidry was born and raised in Crowley, Louisiana. As he tells it – his first love was the streets and his second love was music. Running around his small town at an early age, Tony came into contact with and was a favorite of a lot of the older hustlers. Naturally smart, and not inclined to violence, Tony was the typical product of a two parent home coming of age in a small country town. Throughout his early school years, Tony’s grades were among the top of his class.
An early entrepreneur, he quickly grew out of mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. By high school Tony started selling drugs after a close family member who was a dealer got hooked on crack. Focusing mostly on weed sales, Tony did a booming business that paid off his family’s home, bought both parents a car and allowed him to buy all the musical equipment he’d always wanted. Tony DJ’ed and sold drugs all through high school. Never truly desirous of the spotlight, but always trying new ways to make money – Tony sold mixtapes and DJ’ed at local events in Crowley until he graduated.
Despite a few close calls – like being searched by a principal during his senior year when he had 6 bags of cocaine in his inside jacket pocket (the coke went unnoticed) & his drug addicted family member trying to turn him in for $50 informant money – Tony was never arrested or charged with any crimes. Feeling his life getting out of hand & headed in the entirely wrong direction, Tony decided against college and chose to join the military in order to avoid the slippery slope of crime as a career. Tony knew from the “old heads” he’d been around since he was 6 that crime only led to prison or death.
After joining the Marines in an attempt to escape the criminal path he had been headed down from a young age, Tony found himself in cities such as Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Diego, Oakland and Los Angeles where the burgeoning crack trade of the 80s proved to be too much for him to resist.
The 80s was the era that saw such a boom in crack sales that laws were changed on every level to deal with the popularity of the drug. Crack cocaine was extremely popular and incredibly lucrative financially. Watching the profits made from drugs in the larger cities of the east & west coast led Tony to a realization that the smaller cities in the south were newly developing markets. Using a combination of street sense, formal education and logistical tactics learned in the military, he devised routes that allowed him to move substantial amounts of cocaine to supply the ever-growing demand of his southern home (and several surrounding states as well).
Focusing solely on the south, where the drug sales were more lucrative and the drug dealers less organized, Tony soon became a top level distributor. Eventually a federal investigation led to the dismantling of his operation and landed Tony in a maximum security federal prison on his first offense.
After serving 17 years in a federal penitentiary, he came out of prison dedicated to stop other young Black men from taking his path. First though, he knew he needed money. Money to live off of for himself, as well as funds to invest in helping the youth of urban communities.
Since his release, Tony has partnered several times with multiple guys headed down the wrong path with the intent to mentor and instruct them on the many legal ways they can apply their talents to providing for themselves. During his time helping these young men to legitimize themselves, Tony realized that his new business partners would very quickly reach a point of self-sufficiency. The two concert promotion companies, one record label, one trucking company, and several other businesses that Tony helped to start in southwest Louisiana are still active to this day, and all of of the parties involved are no longer at risk of incarceration.
Pursuing his own dreams and the woman he loves, Tony moved to Atlanta to be with his life partner Wendy Day. Together they own a digital & social media marketing company, “A Scratchy Throat” which caters mostly to independent artists/labels and small businesses. A Scratchy Throat focuses on building and growing an artist or business’ online following in order to create more fans/customers.
Tony is also the owner of Authentic Artists Alliance, which handles artist development, promotion, marketing & booking for upcoming indie artists who are putting in the work, but don’t have the six figure budget required for a regional campaign.
Tony still oversees a fledgling prison outreach program while continuing to mentor at risk youth, many of whom are the progeny of his peers from his days as a drug dealer.
Tony’s plans for the future include the continued work in the music industry and digital markets. He is currently putting the pieces in place for the booking wing of Authentic Artists Alliance to be able to provide his clients multiple tour opportunities (based on their buzz). He is also working daily on A Scratchy Throat, to ensure clients the most effective and affordable social media service available.
Never one to have all his eggs in one basket, Tony is very heavily seeking real estate investment opportunities and other possible business ventures that will yield a passive income; which will in turn afford him more time for outreach and giving assistance to those most in need of his positive influence and “can do” attitude.
Tony believes that the only way to fail is give up. It doesn’t look like he’ll be doing that anytime soon!