Tommy is a multifaceted international artist who wrote, co-wrote, and recorded, six top ten hits between 1962, and 1969, more than any other single artist/songwriter during this period of the 60's, with four RIAA certified gold records, and two of his hits, "SHEILA" and "DIZZY," topping the Billboard chart at #1. Tommy had a total of eleven records reach the Billboard top forty, and twenty three Billboard top 100 chart records. With similar chart success in England, and throughout Europe, Asia, and Australia, Tommy is considered one of the early pioneers of American pop culture.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia USA, Tommy started singing and writing songs at the age of fourteen. In high school, Tommy, and two friends, Mike Clark and Bobby West, formed a band called The Satins. In addition to neighborhood gigs, Tommy and The Satins played high school dances, and fraternity parties at Georgia Tech, and the university of Georgia. It was during this time that Tommy met Felton Jarvis, who would soon become his producer.
In February, 1962, Tommy along with Felton Jarvis, and his new manager, Bill Lowery, drove from Atlanta to Nashville, and recorded two songs; "Save Your Kisses," and "Sheila." The single was released, and "Sheila" soon became the number one hit around the world. Little did Tommy know, this would be the beginning of a career that would propel him into the spotlight for life.
In 1986, Tommy was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and joined a prestigious list of talented Georgians who hold this honor. Tommy is proud of his Georgia roots, and considers this award very special. Tommy is also a Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee, and proud to be among the elite of this genre.
Tommy's music is warm and friendly and sure to put a smile on your face. His song, "DIZZY," (Gold, #1 Billboard Magazine, 1969) was one of his biggest hits, along with "JAM UP AND JELLY TIGHT," (Gold, #8 Billboard Magazine, 1969) "SHEILA," (Gold, #1 Billboard Magazine, 1962) "SWEET PEA," (Gold, #8 Billboard Magazine, 1966) "HOORAY FOR HAZEL," (#6 Billboard Magazine, 1966) and "EVERYBODY," (#3 Billboard Magazine, 1963). Some of Tommy’s best recordings may not ring a bell until you hear them. They include "IT’S NOW WINTERS DAY," “THE FOLK SINGER,” “CAROL,” “SUSIE DARLING,” and "HEATHER HONEY."
Tommy’s song, “YOU MIGHT AS WELL FORGET HIM,” A/K/A, “WALK THE STREETS,” written in 1963, and originally recorded by “The Tams,” went on to become a rocksteady standard in the mid sixties by reggae artist, Johnny Clark, Derrick Harriott, and Kevin Batchelor. Most recently “WALK THE STREETS” was recorded by reggae artist, Mikey Spice, and included in his new CD, “WALK A MILE.”
In the entertainment world, and especially the music business, it is extremely easy to categorize acts and artists and be done with it. Occasionally, however, an artist comes along who cannot be stuck so neatly into one niche or another, an artist whose creativity is too broadly based. Tommy Roe is one of those people.
Pictured above and right:
Tommy Roe opening for The Beatles