Tommy Duncan

Country Singer

Tommy Duncan was born in Hillsboro, Texas, United States on January 11th, 1911 and is the Country Singer. At the age of 56, Tommy Duncan biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
January 11, 1911
United States
Place of Birth
Hillsboro, Texas, United States
Death Date
Jun 25, 1967 (age 56)
Zodiac Sign
Singer, Singer-songwriter
Tommy Duncan Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

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Tommy Duncan Life

Thomas Elmer Duncan (January 11, 1911 – July 25, 1967), also known as Tommy Duncan, was a pioneering American Western swing singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1930s as a founding member of The Texas Playboys.

He performed and toured with bandleader Bob Wills from 1967 to 1969.

Early life

Duncan was born in Whitney, Texas, United States, on a large farm into a large and impoverished family of truck farmers. He was one of 14 boys. Jimmie Rodgers, Bing Crosby, Emmett Miller, and other country and blues artists were among his most influential influences as a young artist. He left home at 13 to sharecrop on a cousin's farm, and by 1932, he was surviving as a busker in Fort Worth, performing at a root beer stand. He was accepted by 64 other singers to join the Light Crust Doughboys, a well-known local band that featured Bob Wills on fiddle. Duncan was hired after he sang "I Ain't Got Nobody" by Emmett Miller, impressing Wills with his yodeling skills and bluesy phrasing. The Doughboys appeared on a radio show under the sponsorship of a local firm, in the case of Light Crust Flour, as was normal at the time. Duncan soon became a hit on the show, as well as at dances and other appearances.

Wills, the bandleader, decided to form a band, Duncan and Wills became the Texas Playboys' creative center. Duncan, who was versatile in his singing style and repertoire, was praised for his vocal tone and range, and he was ideally suited to Wills' style of dance music. He performed everything from ballads and folk to pop, Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, blues, and cowboy songs.

He performed on "New San Antonio Rose" (1940), with Duncan on vocals; Columbia Records' "New San Antonio Rose" (1940) was his most popular record. Duncan married but his wife died after only a few years, only after that. Duncan's first royal check for "Time Changes Everything" was used to finance her funeral expenses, which was ironically. Duncan set the standard for Western swing vocals only a few years ago. He and Bing Crosby became mates when they stabled their horses together in California. Duncan memorized the lyrics and melodies to more than 3,000 songs in a virtual "human juke box." He was a master stylist with the ability to make every song sound as though he composed it. Duncan was also a multi-instrumentalist who could play piano, guitar, and bass.

Duncan was the first member of Wills' band to register for the armed services following the bombing of Pearl Harbor after a decade of musical success. His service lasted less than a year after he was released from hospital and restored Wills in 1944, as the war was approaching its conclusion.

Wills and the other Playboys appeared in many films, including Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys (1944), The Western Trail (1945), and Frontier Frolic (1946). In the mid to late 1940s, his voice developed. Duncan and Wills' "New Spanish Two Step" (1945), "Stay A Little Longer" (1946), and "Sally Goodin" (1947) were among Wills' writings. Duncan asked her to look at a gentleman who was just sitting at his glass of beer one night, one night in a bar visiting songwriter Cindy Walker. Duncan told her that he's just "watchin' the bubbles in his beer." They both knew they had a song idea and "Bubbles in My Beer" became one of Western swing songs' staples. Duncan on vocals on every Texas Playboys album that was a hit, apart from "Faded Love," sung by Rusty McDonald, cementing his reputation as one of the finest vocalist Wills ever.

Duncan was never a heavy drinker, according to rumors; Duncan would have a drink or two at social functions, and his brother Glynn said that if Duncan had no drinks even when they lived together in Fresno, California, he never saw him drink. Many band members thought him to be a jerk, but allegations may have arisen from professional envy. Duncan was admired by contemporaries, including Tex Ritter, Tex Williams, Teddy Wilds, Hank Penny, and Ole Rasmussen.

Wills' drinking habits were out of order for Duncan by 1948. Wills often skipped shows, and if the headliner did not appear, the band's salary reverted to union terms. Wills overheard Duncan one night before a performance, after a string of performances in 1948 without Wills, Wills. Wills told guitarist Eldon Shamblin, who started to form his own band, to "fire" Duncan.

He formed another Western swing band called 'Tommy Duncan and His Western All Stars,' featuring his younger brother Glynn (1921-2013), a Western swing pioneer on bass (who would later become Wills' lead vocalist in the late 1950s). Joe Duncan, Joe Duncan, was the lead vocalist for Johnnie Lee Wills' band for a brief period of time. Duncan and the band appeared in the 1949 Western film South of Death Valley, starring Charles Stark and Smiley Burnette, during the band's fame. Musical tastes were shifting, but not enough to sustain a large band of the Western All Stars' dances, which lasted less than two years.

Duncan performed and recorded with Wills from 1959 to 1961, rekindling much of the company's former glory. Duncan's voice had elongated to a mature mellow croon, and he used it to its best advantage by this time. However, Wills returned to drink and appeared with various bands. Wills' band never reached the same level as Duncan, and Duncan's solo efforts in comparison to his Wills' output paled. Duncan, despite being well-known for Western swing, was a fan of the old country hits of the day.

Duncan, who suffered with heart disease, died in his hotel room in San Diego, California, after a show at Imperial Beach on July 24, 1967. According to the coroner's report, he was "lying...on the floor... The evidence victim had a heart disease...and a number of heart pills for heart were discovered among personal effects." He is buried near Merced, California, and is buried there.


Tommy Duncan Career

Later career

By 1948, Wills' drinking was becoming too out of control for Duncan. Wills often missed shows, and when the headliner failed to appear, the band's pay reverted to union scale. After a string of performances in 1948 without Wills, Wills overheard Duncan complaining one night before a performance. Wills told guitarist Eldon Shamblin to "fire" Duncan, who set out to form his own band.

He organized another Western swing band called 'Tommy Duncan and His Western All Stars' featuring his younger brother Glynn (1921–2013), a Western swing pioneer, on bass (who would later become Wills' lead vocalist in the late 1950s). Another brother, Joe Duncan, was the lead vocalist for Johnnie Lee Wills' band for a period of time. At the height of the band's popularity, Duncan and the band made an appearance in the 1949 Western film, South of Death Valley, starring Charles Starrett and Smiley Burnette. Musical tastes were changing, however, and attendance at the Western All Stars' dances ranged from fair to poor, certainly not enough to sustain a large band, which lasted less than two years.

From 1959 to 1961, Duncan again toured and recorded with Wills, rekindling much of their former success. By this time Duncan's voice had evolved to a mature mellow croon and he used it to the greatest effect. But when Wills began drinking, he again left and made personal appearances with various bands. Wills' band never achieved the same greatness it had with Duncan, and Duncan's solo efforts mostly paled in comparison to his Wills output. Although known for Western swing, Duncan enjoyed singing country hits of the day.

Duncan, who had previous heart problems, died in his motel room in San Diego, California after a performance at Imperial Beach on July 24, 1967. The coroner's report said he was "lying...on the floor...Evidence victim had a heart condition, numerous pills for heart were found among personal effects." He is buried near Merced, California.