Rollin' with Tommy in 2000
Tommy Hill Tommy Hill was born in the Deep South in the small town of Magnolia Arkansas. Early in life he knew that music would be his calling. As a child he would tune into R&B played on the radio and turn all of the furniture in the house into a drum set. Later, when finances allowed it, his mother bought him his first set of real drums. In High School Tommy played across Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas in a band headed by his High School Band director. He developed his talent quickly and began gaining the knowledge he would need later in life. After High School, Tommy moved to Denver, where his dreams of becoming a full time musician began to unfold. His uncle, stationed at a nearby Air Force base, took Tommy to a Jazz club to show him the level of playing required of a professional player. Tommy practiced with dedication and was soon ready to move into the spotlight. In the early 70's, Tommy was working with an R&B and Jazz band in Denver. The band was hot and landed a steady job at the well known Warehouse Club. There they opened for national acts that toured thru Denver. Among them are: Grover Washington, O. C. Smith, Della Reece, Gene Harris and Three Sounds, Eddie Harris, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charles Lloyd. On a very special night was when the renowned Hammond B-3 player Jimmy Smith played and asked Tommy to join him onstage. Tommy was moved and changed forever by the experience. In the years to follow, Tommy toured with The Coasters on the Reno/Vegas circuit with Tommy on drums and vocals. After coming off the road, Tommy moved to Dallas and played with the Johnny Taylor Band. During this same period, Tommy became active in his church and was influenced by the great traditions of Gospel music. Tommy's close friend Andrew 'Jr. Boy' Jones asked him to go back on the road with famed harp player Charlie Musselwhite. In the 8 years that followed, Tommy played on three CDs, toured domestically and abroad, won the W.C. Handy Award for Best Blues Band of the Year, and played the major Blues and Jazz festivals around the country. After years on the road with Charlie Musselwhite, Tommy and Andrew returned to Dallas to form their own band, and were soon signed with JSP Records, where Tommy played on Andrew's first two CDs. Over the next two years, Tommy also played on CDs for other artists including Cookie McGee, Randy McAllister, Gregg Smith, R.L. Griffin, Bob Kirkpatrick, and Eugene Church. Tommy began writing his own material and recorded Hanging with Tommy in 1995. On the CD, Tommy played drums, keyboards and sang all the vocals. After this first release, Tommy formed his own band, The Hilltones. Tommy Hill and The Hilltones recorded Rolling with Tommy in 2000. Tommy is currently playing live in the DFW area to promote his latest effort and is working on a self-produced video for his next release.