Tommy Roe Interview
by Savina Todorova for Country Music News International
Roe was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, where he attended Brown High School. After graduating, he landed a job at General Electric soldering wires. He had a Billboard number 1 hit in the U.S. and Australia in 1962 with the track “Sheila”. A buildup of global sales of “Sheila” meant that the Recording Industry Association of America did not present the gold record until 1969. When “Sheila” became a hit in 1962, ABC-Paramount Records asked him to go on tour to promote the hit. He was reluctant to give up his secure job at GE until ABC-Paramount advanced him $5,000.
Savina: Tell us about your family, are they supportive of your musical career?
Tommy: Yes.. From the beginning.
Savina: When did you first and last perform on stage with fans and audience?
Tommy: The first time was in High School, around 1957. The last time was in 2017, Marietta, Georgia Cobb Covention Center.
Savina: As an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your favorite activity?
Tommy: I love working in the recording studio, and of course performing live on stage is a rush.
Savina: Describe a perfect day for you?
Tommy: Waking up.. Every day is a gift and a joy for me.
Savina: What is the difference between your last CD and you current one?
Tommy: My current CD is a collaboration with one of my favorite bands, Barefoot Jerry, and the CD prior to this was Memphis Me which I recorded as a solo.
Savina: In addition to performing, are you a song/lyrics writer as well?
Savina: Who inspires you musically (influences etc.)?
Tommy: Early Rock artist, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, and of course Buddy Holly.
Savina: What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?
Tommy: I get asked this question often, and I always answer the same. It’s hard to pick a favorite, each one is special in its own way.
Savina: What will your next single be?
Tommy: Aggravation is my latest single and is a collaboration with the very talented, K Michelle DuBois. Not sure what my next release will be.
Savina: What kind of songs do you like to record the most?
Tommy: Any song I feel I can deliver a winning performance with. Either high energy, or a slow ballad with meaningful lyrics.
Savina: You did a duet with K Michelle DuBois. How did that happen to come about?
Tommy: K Michelle covered a song I wrote with my writing partner, Freddy Weller called Pearl. I was impressed with her arrangement, and performance on Pearl I became a big fan. I eventually asked K Michelle if she would produce my next single, and she agreed. Then I asked her if she would sing some parts with me as a feat. Artist. That is how Aggravation came about, a song I wrote in the mid sixties and reimagined with the help of K Michelle.