Tommy was born in 1945 in Homestead, Florida, and after his first foray into music in a church choir, he launched his secular recording career in Jackson, Mississippi, working mostly with Tim Whitsett and his Imperial Showband in the latter half of the 1960s. After a short stint with the Nightingales, he signed with KoKo in 1971 and had six impressive singles released, followed by records on Sundance, Juana and Urgent Records.

“I Can’t Do Enough for You Baby” is a mellow and melodic slow-to-mid-tempo song that sounds almost inspirational, while “Hold On” is a beautiful waltz-time ballad which James Carr released on Atlantic in 1971. Both of these songs were cut as demos probably in 1969 after Tommy and Carson Whitsett had signed a deal to become staff writers with Malaco Records.

Tommy was a magnificent singer and songwriter, who never got the credit he deserved mainly because of poor business choices and unfortunate incidents throughout his career. However, he was a beautiful person, gentle and humble.

(Heikki Suosalo)




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