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About The Artist
Leland Thomas (Tommy) Lloyd came into the world in Bedford County, Tennessee in 1915, the son of James and Laure (Elkins) Lloyd. He wanted to play guitar at an early age. During early years, he tried to make guitars out of small wooden boxes, such as those that contained cigars.
At the age of 15, he was working on the farm and that enabled him to buy his first guitar for the grand sum of three dollars.
It was not even two years later that Tommy, the Strollin' Cowboy, was making his first radio appearance over WSM in Nashville, Tennessee. Marge Engler wrote a letter to the editor of The Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder that indicated he started with WSM in 1933. He hooked up with the band that backed the legendary Opry fiddler, Fiddlin' Sid Harkreader on the Grand Ole Opry. During that early time at WSM, he was picked by Lum and Abner to provide the music for their "Jot 'Em Down" show.
By 1946, he was in Toledo, Ohio. He was being heard by special wire from Toledo over radio station WFIN every Monday through Saturday from 11:00am to noon on the Home Service Hour. He also had a show over WTOD in Toledo, Ohio at 7:00am. Marge Engler reported that his daily theme song was "Happy Cowboy". She also indicated that Tommy enjoyed "...singing his hill folk songs, and usually adds some yodeling."
A blurb in the Bill Boyd Ranch House News in 1947 noted that he was being heard six days a week over WTOD at 1:30pm. The note also indicated that Tommy had appeared on forty radio stations by then and appeared on numerous transcriptions. Stars doing personal appearances in the Toledo would stop by and chat with Tommy such as Gene Autry, Ken Maynard, Texas Jack Sparks, Doye O'Dell, and, Wild Bill Elliott.
In a 1954 article, Tommy relates one his funniest moments on the air.
"One day, about three years ago, I was singing one of Johnny Bond's songs, and just as I finished, I was telling our listening audience what a fine song I thought it was. Then, as I looked around, there stood Johnny Bond and Gene Autry looking through our studio window at me.
We have seen mention of Tommy working at or owning several night clubs in the Toledo area. In 1949, he was appearaing at the Flamingo Club.
By 1952, his show was aired from 12:00noon to 12:30 over WTOD. The show featured Tommy and his band the Strollin' Cowboys which consisted of Roy Justice, John Justice and Sandy Harrison.
According to a fan club listing in Country and Western Jamboree in 1958, his fan club president was Shirley Anderson who lived in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
Tommy was married to Annie Lee (Harris) Lloyd; she passed away in 1994. They had a son Leland Thomas Lloyd, Junior.
Credits & Sources