TOM WILSON (1998 Inductee)

Tom Wilson’s career has covered a broad spectrum of the industry. Beginning in 1959, with his band "The Western All-Stars", he played country and bluegrass at barn dances, nightclubs and outdoor festivals, appearing with stars like Sonny James, Oscar Brand and Mac Wiseman. Over the years, Tom has also done over four hundred live radio broadcasts. Tom’s first recording contract with Rodeo Records produced two 45’s and three albums. One of the songs, "The St. Lawrence River’s My Home", was on regional charts for 14 weeks and is still Tom’s trademark and most requested song. Tom and the band traveled the road for five years, from 1967 to 1971, across Ontario and Quebec.

Tom’s "Blue Mountain Blues" album, released by Rodeo in 1985, received so much airplay on bluegrass radio programs over Ottawa’s CKBY and Kingston’s CFMK that it was followed by "Electric Radio", an album of bluegrass and bluegrass gospel recorded at Ottawa’s Snocan Studios. Tom adopted the name "Border Bluegrass" for his band’s appearances in this genre, and both the Western All-Stars and Border Bluegrass have been regular guests at Brockville’s Riverfest, opening for Tommy Hunter, Michelle Wright and Crystal Gayle. In 1989, Tom and his group appeared at the prestigious Mariposa Festival in Barrie, Ontario where they were very well received by the 26,000- member audience and gained extensive TV and press coverage.

Another all-bluegrass album, "Gettysburg", was released in 1992 and featured four of Tom’s original compositions including the title song. The album received a glowing review in "Bluegrass Unlimited", the bible of the bluegrass industry. In all, Tom has eight country/bluegrass/gospel albums to his credit.

Since 1987, Tom has been performing gospel concerts in churches, prisons and other institutions throughout Eastern Ontario and Northern New York State. In 1993, he returned to live radio on "Bluegrass Ramble", a monthly public radio station program broadcasting to Syracuse, Utica and Watertown, N.Y. Tom released his first CD, another bluegrass production in 1997. Titled "When the Wagon was New", it has received airplay all the way to New Zealand and favorable comments from Doc Williams, Bill Clifton and Tom T. Hall.

On March 30, 2006, Tom was inducted into the Brockville and Area Music and Performing Arts Hall of Fame.


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