Tom Tall
Tom Tall

See also  Tom Tall and Ginny Wright entry.

Tom Tall was born Tommy Lee Guthrie on December 27, 1937 in Amarillo, Texas. He changed his name to avoid confusion with the already prominent Woody Guthrie. He started singing on the radio in Snyder, Texas at the age of 13, and after his family moved to California, Tom won the weekly singing contest held at River Rancho by disc jockey Squeakin’ Deacon.

“Fabor just happened to be there that day,” Tom recalled, “and he gave me his card, invited me up to see him.” At their first session, which was held at Western Recorders on Sunset Boulevard, “They changed my name because Woody Guthrie was well known at the time. Somebody suggested Tall and I decided it worked.”

Tom Tall had not even graduated from high school when his duet with Ginny Wright, “Are You Mine” came out. The success did not last long because in the middle of promoting it, Ginny Wright quit to get married. For further performances, he did it with his sister Myrna Jay. Fabor continued to put out the Ginny Wright-Tom Tall duets that had already been recorded, including “Boom Boom Boomerang” and “Out of Line.” “Boom Boom Boomerang” had already been recorded by the De Castro Sisters on Abbott. “Out of Line” was written by Ginny Wright and Tom Tall, inspired by a steady refrain from Fabor Robison—“You’re out of line.”

Tom Tall resumed recording and also writing songs on his own but he did have other collaborators, including Tyler Ruckus and the Creel Sisters, all fellow-Fabor artists.