I was born in Fort Payne Al and raised in Gadsden Al. My brother Walter and sister Pat
were more than a decade older than me and my love of music started with them, especially Walter who let me play his 45s and listen to his radio. He loved everything
from rock’n’roll to soul to country, and my exposure to many types of music (and also Mom and Dad’s record collection) helped me to appreciate all different genres. My parents and I moved to Huntsville in 1971 - Mom and Dad were originally from Huntsville so it was a homecoming for them. I missed my friends in Gadsden but soon came to think of Huntsville as my hometown. I went from playing trumpet in the school band to playing drums in a high school garage band, Ashwood Run. The bassist in the group was a good friend of mine and he got me in the band, and one day one of the guitarists suggested I do some singing as well. I remember singing the Allman Bros’ “Whipping Post” and Deep Purple’s “Into the Fire” while playing drums. When we all graduated and went our separate ways the other guitarist in the group suggested I audition with him for a band in Madison Al called Truth. When I arrived with drum kit in tow, I was told they already had a drummer, but they needed a singer. My friend said, “Tom sings,” and after I sang some songs by The Who and Led Zeppelin I got the gig as lead singer. After a couple of years of touring the southeast with Truth I ended up back behind the drums sharing vocal duties with a female lead singer. In late 1979 I became frustrated with life on the road, coupled with the fact that all our money was being spend in service of the band and maintaining it’s equipment, roadies, van, etc, I quit and got a regular job (with a regular paycheck.) I sang off and on for a while with a group called Still Life up into the early 90s, then settled down and got married, concentrating on raising my kids. Gordon Franklin had heard me sing before and called me in 2005 when he needed a new singer for The Flashbacks, and they’ve been stuck with me ever since.
My hobbies are collecting comic books, paperbacks, DVDs, and other sundry items, but mainly music. Records, cds, 8 tracks, cassettes, 45s, I’ve got literally thousands. I believe music is Man’s greatest creation, a universal language of mind and spirit. I revel in it and over the years my love of performing has only grown. Clarence Clemons said, “I call the stage the healing floor. Whatever’s wrong with you, once you get on that stage, its fine.” I plan to spend as much time on the “Healing Floor” as I possibly can.
ABOUT Tom McCown
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Flashbacks Show Band