SPOTLIGHT ON TOMILLER, IN HIS OWN WORDS:
I was born and grew up in a small town in the western part of West Virginia. I had two wonderful hardworking parents, and a great life as a kid. We would play softball at the local ball diamond, and I rode my bike around town with my friends, and we always seemed to have a great time.
I started singing sometime in my single digit years, but exactly when I'm not sure. A new minister came to town when I was about 10, and he loved to sing. He started a choir in the church and I joined them. I tried to sing tenor, but I think I was singing lead most of the time(I didn't know any better, but I sure had fun).
I heard a lot of Elvis' songs early in life. I think a lot of what I learned about him and his songs was from his movies. I loved singing his songs not only because I liked them but also because my voice range fit right into his.They were easy and fun for me to sing. My friend, Gregg, had about everything that Elvis did, and we would play his songs for hours on end. When I was 16 the Beatles were really big and I loved the sound of their songs, especially those first ones(the early years). That Christmas of my 16th year my Mom and Dad took me to Sears and bought my first electric guitar and amp(I still have the guitar). It was a shock to me. I was in paradise.I loved those teen years and enjoyed Elvis and the Beatles, and learned to play and sing a lot of their songs. I have been influenced by a lot of other singers through the years and learned from their unique styles.
At 18 the war in Vietnam had started and I was drafted. I went through infantry training then was sent over to the war. I was a squad leader and eventually a platoon sergeant before coming home. I spent my last night in the states in San Francisco. It was a rainy night and I got really wet but I didn't care. I had my R & R in Japan in a little town called Atami. I got to sing karaoke in a small pub there, and it made me feel at home, so I spent a lot of my time there. I also got to sing at an open mic with a really great Japanese band. I saw them the next day and they told me they really liked my singing. They couldn't speak a word of English, but a lady translated for us.
After I came home I went to a small college in central West Virginia. I had acquired an acoustic guitar by then, and learned to finger-pick and sing. Everyone seemed to like hearing me sing, and I enjoyed performing for them. I joined the college choir and we went on tour one summer all over the eastern part of the country. We went to Washington D.C. and we got to sing in the church George Washington attended. We stayed at the homes of the church members everywhere we performed. They were all really nice folks.
After graduating from college the years went on and I gave up singing to focus on work. Didn't use my degree much, but got a job in electronics, computer systems, and networking for the U.S. Postal Service. They flew me to Oklahoma City a lot for training, and got to do a little Karaoke while I was there. Through my experience with computers I developed an interest in mixing music tracks. Got the DAW software and started learning. My wife(lovely, sweet lady) got me interested in singing again by introducing me to gospel music. Every Saturday night it became pizza and the Gaithers. This was about the time I started listening to Elvis's gospel, and loved it! Bill Gaither credits a lot of his success to Elvis recording "He Touched Me" early in his songwriting career.
When I retired my father- in- law became very ill and we had to take care of him quite a lot. He passed away and now my mother- in- law is very ill. She takes most of our time so I needed something to enjoy when possible. I started searching for karaoke sites and came across SingSnap. I feel so fortunate that I did. All the songs I could ever want to sing, and a whole lot of wonderful people all over the world to share it with. Found some amazing singers. and friends too!
Well, that is basically my musical journey to here and now. I've never actually sang on a stage solo in front of a large crowd. It would be great to be able to do that. I'm sure it is a wonderful and fulfilling experience. Guess I'll have to put that one on my bucket list!
Have a wonderful life, my friends!!!
Tom's Profile Page:
ARE YOU LONSOME TONIGHT – ELVIS PRESLEY
YESTERDAY WHEN I WAS YOUNG – ROY CLARK
BRING HIM HOME – from LES MISERABLES
SOMETHING ~ ELVIS PRESLEY
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*ToMiller's profile page assembled by Poppy