I also found out that I am not the first Tom Gary to play the blues. I was looking at Eric's Blues dates on the Pre-war blues list, and I discovered my name!! I asked for more info on the list and here is what I got
Re: [pre-war-blues] GARRY, TOMMY [GARY] (hca/ADELPHI REC) b. 1910-0228, BROWNSVILLE, TN
Tom Gary (sic: although most Census spellings seem to be aural, anyway) was
enumerated for the 1920 Census at Civil District 9, Haywood County. He was aged
10, suggesting a birthdate in 1909 (the 1920 Census operated as of 1 January
He was living on Turnpike Road near its intersection with Fulton Road (State
Highway 87). Fulton Road runs west from just near Brownsville, to near the
border of Lauderdale County. The village of Turnpike is on State Highway 54,
just to the south of Fulton Road. Turnpike Road may have been what is now Shady
Rest Road. In that case, the next intersection would be Estes Lane (!).
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 2:10 AM
Subject: Re: [pre-war-blues] GARRY, TOMMY [GARY] (hca/ADELPHI REC) b.
1910-0228, BROWNSVILLE, TN
Hammie Nixon named Tommy Gary as one of the harp players he influenced,
which shouldn¹t be surprising.
On 2/28/07 10:50 AM, "Stefan Wirz" <wirz.hannover@...> wrote:
> from Steve LaVere's liner notes to Adelphi AD 1010 (1971, The Memphis
> Blues Again Vol. 2):
> "TOM GARY, who accompanies John [Estes] on the mouth harp on DROP DOWN
> MAMA, was born January 9 [sic], 1919 in Brownsville, Tennessee. He
> became acquainted with John while he was in his early teens and John was
> already well into adulthood. Tom did extensive 'rambling' both as a
> youth and later, after his wife's death in 1943, travelling through the
> Mississippi River corridor, from Chicago to the Gulf. He still regrets
> that he didn't take advantage of the opportunity to record with John
> years ago; his first recording with Estes was not until 1969, for
> 'Memphis Swamp Jam' [Blue Thumb BTS 6000]."
This is pretty darn cool. I know I am not related directly to him, but who knows what distance relative that we could share:-)