from Columbia Records
Columbia Press and Public Information,
(photo to be
Tom grew up on a ranch near San Jose, California. His family
enjoyed music and avocados, and Tom began writing at a relatively young age. The first
records he ever bought were Johnny Hortons Battle of New Orleans and
Rufus Thomas Walking the Dog.
After working for a number of years on the California club
circuit, Tom moved to New York City for six months; living in the Village, writing,
reading, performing and soaking up ideas. Having absorbed sufficient New York atmosphere,
Tom moved to Nashville.
to get into a different climate, Id been living
in California nearly all my life, and wanted to spend some time strumming a banjo,
smelling magnolias and eating biscuits.
All of which he did. But more important, Tom formed a series
of friendships that led to the recording of his country-flavoured album, Tom Jans,
One of the songs on that album, Loving Arms, was discovered
by Rita Coolidge, recorded by herself and Kris Kristofferson, and later by Dobie Gray,
Elvis Presley, and more than 100 other performers.
Another Tom Jans composition, Out of Hand became a #1
single for country singer Gary Stewart.
Tom was brought to Columbia Records at the urging of label
executive Don Ellis, who had been impressed by the singer/composers work on
Toms next album, Through the Eyes of an Only Child
(sic), was released on Columbia in 1975. Produced by Lowell George of Little Feat, the
album displayed a somewhat harder edge to Toms sound than his fans may have
expected. The album sold well, and increased Toms reputation in the music community.
Toms second Columbia album, Dark Blonde,
was concept; but one of theme rather than strict continuity. My
grandmother once told my mother that I was the darkest blonde she had ever seen, Tom
sort-of explains. It was a long time before I understood what that meant. This album
is an exploration of what caused her to say that of me I guess she was talking about
my perversity rather than the color of my hair.
Dark Blonde was produced by Joe Wissert, whose other current
credits include Earth, Wind and Fire and Boz Scaggs. The supporting musicians are members
of Toms own band, plus special guests Bill Payne, Ernie Watts and Mike Utley.
Like many young, California-based songwriters, Tom deals with his
surroundings and his background, in musical terms. His perspective is his own, as distinct
is his personality.
While he write many serious songs, he doesnt take himself
all that seriously. Nor for that matter, his friends. Take for example, the lyric of to
one as-yet unrecorded Jans composition
What makes you think youre so holy?
Youre just guacamole