Tom Edington was born in Lakewood, New York. He came from a rather large
family, being the 8th child in a family of 11 kids - five boys and six
girls. He grew up and attended school in Falconer, New York.
He recalls the first time he ever had to get up and sing in front of an audience.
It came about when his music teacher was auditioning everyone in the class
for a role on stage in a school production. He remembers getting up
to sing "Down In the Valley" and trying to sound like Gene Autry and
Roy Rogers with a western twang. The teacher was suitably impressed,
because he was asked to sing in front of the school assembly. And he notes,
from that moment on, he was hooked on applause, even though he was just
fourteen at the time.
In the liner notes for an album he did back in 1978, he wrote that
he didn't start singing until his last year of school. He said he had
a great deal of help and encouragement from family and friends
when he first started. But still, never thought seriously
of his abilities until about 1953 when a friend of his named
Bumpy Peterson asked Tom to sing a couple of songs with
Tom remembers quite a few of the people that helped him musically
through the years. Larry Main first taught him how to play the chords
on a guitar. Then there was Johnny Sudul who sold him his first guitar.
He credits Joe Vario for teaching him "... more about performing
and singing than I have room to write about here." And Bill Greenwalt
who gave him his first professional singing job.
That first gig was in 1953 at a little Italian restaurant he recalled. They
had a small four piece band, guitar, drums, accordion and a laptop
Hawaiian steel guitar. The band, called the Tunetwisters,
played mostly dance or instrumental music; they didn't have anyone
doing vocal numbers. The band asked Tom to sing and he became
a regular with them after that. The only pay he got from
that was having his name in their ad in the newspaper.
It mentioned in small letters "Tom Edington, vocalist". He was only
Other bands Tom has worked with over the years include The Rhythm Rangers,
Rusty and the Rainbow Ramblers, The Sun Valley Rangers, The Versatiles,
The Cut-Ups, The Country Gold Show, The Little Kettle Band, Siarra Country
and Country Blue.
In 1976, his career took him to Nashville, Tennessee where he recorded
his first single. The "A" side was a tune that Tom wrote called "So Lonely".
On the flip side was a Jim Reeves tune, "Blueboy". The record was a regional
release and Tom remembers he sold them all but a dozen or so that he gave
to family and the local radio stations. For the trivia buffs out there,
playing drum on both of these tunes was D.J. Fontana, drummer
for Elvis Presley at one time.
In 1978, he recorded an album in Sharon, Pennsylvania for the Marjon International
Records label with the group, Rege Easler and the Silver Spurs. He may not have had
a major label behind his recording effort, but he knew his audience. All but 50 copies
from the initial pressing were sold. The album, "Tom Edington Sings Country Gold" included five
original tunes by Tom. In the liner notes, he tips his hats to the fans who told him through the years,
"Hey, you oughta cut a record."
The songs he wrote (published by ReKar Music, BMI) for his album included:
- Spittin' Image
- I Call Her Honey
- Lettin' Go
- Yesterday's Rain
- Give My Love To Wichita
In 1990, he recorded a mini-album of more of his own tunes and included
the two tunes he had recorded in 1976. Jack Greene, of WSM's Grand Ole Opry
recorded one of Tom's tunes from that endeavor, "Yesterday's Rain" on an
album called "Jack Greene - Country Friends".
For the past 28 years, Tom has performed solo, with just him and a guitar
after giving up playing in the bars and clubs and now does volunteer work
and entertains the elderly in nursing homes and the retirement establishments,
an audience he says enjoys the old country melodies.
On December 28, 1958, in a little country church in Busti, New York,
Tom married the love of his life, Linda. She has been an LPN (Licensed
Practical Nurse) for 25 years. Tom says she's been the inspiration behind
several of the songs he wrote and without her constant encouragement
and support, he would have pushed aside his music aspirations long ago.
They had three kids (Daughters Julie and Tammy and son, Tom II) and
lived in Gerry, New York back in 1978. The family also include a pony
that had been with them for 14 years along with a dog and a cat.