Tommy Crain died in his sleep January 13. Tommy is survived by his daughter Annie, and wife, Melissa - an avid Endurance Rider for decades. Tommy and Melissa were very active in the sport - Melissa as a serious rider and competitor with her spectacular horse Whoa Jack, and Tommy as a cheerful and competent support crew for Melissa and anybody else that needed help.
The music world will also miss Tommy. These words from Charlie Daniels:
CHARLIE DANIELS said on his website: “TOMMY CRAIN will always be a part of the CDB family and his music will always be a part of the CDB sound. We have lost a good friend and the world has lost a unique, creative and precious human being. We send our deepest condolences to the family of our brother TOMM CRAIN. You were special, buddy. We’re gonna miss you. CD”
Tom Crain was born in Nashville, Tn. on January 16, 1951, the son of Tom and Helen Crain. He has an older sister, Sherry, and a younger brother Billy. At the tender age of 6 yrs., Tom began piano lessons after being influenced by his dad and granddad who both played the piano.
After a neighbor taught him to play ukelele in the 6th grade, Tom won a talent contest at his grammar school and decided to pursue music more seriously. He then took up guitar and banjo. Throughout high school, Tom played in various local bands, the best being Flat Creek Band in which his brother Billy also played guitar. This group eventually disbanded and Tom formed a group called Buckeye. Buckeye was the opening act at Charlie Daniels' very first Volunteer Jam at Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium where he met Charlie Daniels and a lot of other southern rock musicians.
About a year later , Charlie needed a guitar player and Tom was the man he called for the job. In a few weeks time in February of 1975, Tom married his sweetheart, Melissa, moved to a new apartment, and left on the road with the Charlie Daniels Band for a fifteen year run. Tom played on many CDB albums, co wrote over 60 songs with the band and won a Grammy for co writing " The Devil Went Down To Georgia " which won a Grammy in 1980.
Tom left the band in the summer of 1989 to pursue other interests and to raise his young daughter, Annie, and to help his wife in her career of equestrian endurance riding. After several tries at having his own band during the 90's Tom disappeared from the music scene until he met Towson Engsberg, a drummer from Atlanta , GA. who had a rhythm section called The Crosstown Allstars. Tom began commuting to Georgia on a weekly basis in 2004 to play the Atlanta club scene. After about a year and a half, the Allstars decided to record an original album to be released in 2005. The rest is future history.
Condolences to Melissa and Tommy's family and friends, and a 'thank you' to Tommy for his selfless gifts to the endurance community.