Paul Conroy

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Paul Conroy is an English music executive with a long and varied career of managing labels. He went from general manager of pioneering indie Stiff to senior positions with majors like Virgin Records, WEA and EMI.[1]


Conroy's introduction to the music business came as a college social secretary in the early 1970s.[2] His first job was working as a booking agent for the Charisma Agency, where he worked with Nigel Kerr. Together they built the agency up into a major force on the burgeoning pub rock scene.[3] In 1975 they collaborated with Jake Riviera to put on the Naughty Rhythms package tour, with pub rock stalwarts Kokomo, Dr. Feelgood, Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers. Conroy became the manager of The Kursaal Flyers, who got signed to Jonathan King's UK Records and had a hit with the song "Little Does She Know". In an idiosyncratic twist that presaged the common touch of many of his later promotional successes, Conroy had the band perform on Top of the Pops surrounded by laundry machines and giant detergent boxes.[4]

In early 1977, Conroy went to work for Stiff Records where he became the general manager working with the likes Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Ian Dury and Madness. Between 1985 and 1990 he was first Marketing Director and then Managing Director of the US labels division of WEA in London. He then went on to become president of Chrysalis Records International from 1990 to 1992. Conroy joined Virgin Records UK as Managing Director in 1992 and was promoted to President in 1997 before leaving in early 2002. Successes included Spice Girls, Meatloaf, Massive Attack, The Verve and George Michael helping make Virgin the number one label for many years.[2]

Later in 2002 Conroy and his wife Katie, a former EMI International VP, launched Adventures in Music, which comprised three divisions - Adventure Records, Management, and Publishing culminating in the Christmas Number One in 2003 with Mad World by Michael Andrew and Gary Jules. They were also the first label to win an Ivor Novello Award for that single. [5]

Conroy served as chairman of the Brit Awards committee from 1997 to 2000, and was a longstanding member of the BPI Council, before stepping down in 2002.[6]

Recent activity[edit]

Conroy now resides in Henley, Oxfordshire and Gozo. In 2011, he encouraged the Wallingford Parish Church Choir to enter a national competition in which they won to record an album for Decca Records. He also served for a number of years on the Board of the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, and more recently Paul has acted as a consultant for Universal Music on issues related to Catalogue artistes and the setting up of the website Udiscover and also consulted for leading Advertising Agency in placement of music for various commercials. [7]


  1. ^ Cooper, Tim (2009-09-03). "Pop: Finger on the pulse". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Paul Conroy To Leave Virgin Records". 2002-01-18. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  3. ^ "History of Oval Music". Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  4. ^ "Kursaal Flyers - Little Does She Know". video clip. BBC. 1976-12-09. Retrieved 2008-02-10.  (RealPlayer)
  5. ^ Stark, David (September 2002). "NewsLink". SongLink International. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  6. ^ "Reid takes dual role after Conroy's BPI exit". Music Week. Feb 16, 2002. 
  7. ^ Andrew fFrench (18 March 2011). "Church choir wins contest to record a CD". The Oxford Times. Retrieved 2011-04-22. 

External links[edit]