Professor of Entertainment and Media Management at Vanderbilt
University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Tim went to school at Oklahoma
State, where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in
accounting, but his real dream was to be a songwriter.
In the 1970s,
he moved to Nashville, where he taught accounting at Vanderbilt while
shilling his songs on the side.
He has penned five #1 hits, including “The Bluest Eyes in
Texas” by Restless Heart, “Love in the First Degree” by
Alabama, and “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)” by Jerry
In 1985, he
switched careers from academia to artist management, and Restless Heart was
the first group he represented at the newly established Nashville satellite
of Fitzgerald-Hartley. It
turned out to be a good move for him, because there was more than a little
executive savvy to this mild-mannered accounting professor.
In 1989, Clive
Davis recruited him to run Arista Nashville. During his tenure at Arista Nashville, Tim discovered Brooks & Dunn,
Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, and Pam Tillis. He also turned it into a hit-making
machine, selling some 75 million records in four years. Arista
became such a force in the country music industry that Tim helped to launch
Arista Austin and Arista/Latin
to keep on top of the burgeoning Texas music scene.
meantime, he had had more songwriting success with “When I Call Your
Name”, which won him and Vince Gill Song of the Year honors at the
1992 Country Music Association awards.
In 1993, he became president of Arista
Nashville. It is small wonder
that Business Nashville considered him to be the most powerful mover and
shaker in the music biz in 1996.
In addition to running the show at Arista
Nashville, Tim also produced several of their albums, for groups such as
Blackhawk, Diamond Rio, and Exile.
At the turn of
the millennium, Tim changed tacks again and went to work for the creative
division of Gaylord Entertainment Company. It was a partnership that only
lasted about three months.
Undaunted, Tim teamed up with Tony Brown in 2002 to launch Universal
South, the Nashville wing of Universal Records. This turned out to be a better fit
for him, as he stayed there until 2006.
In 2008, he
re-entered the hallowed halls of academia to teach several courses at
Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Courses he teaches include Advanced
Artist Management, Business Models in Music Publishing, and
Entrepreneurship in the Entertainment Industry.
In his copious
free time, he serves on the boards of directors of the Academy of Country
Music and the Country Music Association.
Bobby Smith recordings
Too Many Hearts in the Fire (Tim Dubois/Jim Hurt/Wood Newton)