Born on the Fourth of July, Tony Toliver (born Charles Anthony Toliver) grew up in the small town of Richards, TX. In his early teens, Toliver played bass and sang in the Piney Woods Quartet, a family gospel group that gigged all across southeast Texas. By 18, he had heard Ronnie Milsap and was so taken with his music that he began playing piano. After putting a band together, Toliver gigged around Huntsville until deciding at the age of 25 that a move to Nashville was mandatory. Toliver held several day jobs, while playing anywhere he could at night. While working at the Hall of Fame Motel, singer Dottie West heard Toliver and offered him a job. Toliver's first gig with West was at the White House, when President Ronald Reagan threw a 75th birthday party for Lady Bird Johnson. Toliver continued to work with West for the last four and a half years of her life. After West died, Toliver kept the band together and in 1995 cut his self-titled debut album for Curb/Capitol. The following year he released his second disc, Half Saint, Half Sinner.