Tommy Crook

Tommy Crook

Tommy Crook is an Oklahoman guitarist.

Crook has performed on numerous stages across the country such as concerts, festivals, private functions and club venues. He played on several USO tours in Southeast Asia during the late 60’s and early 70’s. He has played with many artists they include Chet Atkins, Merle Haggard, Leon Russell, J. J. Cale, David Gates and Carl Radle. He released a self-titled album in 1989, produced and recorded by Grammy award-winning drummer David Teegarden.

Crook lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with wife and daughter. In addition to performing, Crook also teaches guitar.

On November 1, 2007 The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inducted guitarist Tommy Crook, who has played at the annual concert in tribute to greats like 2002 Inductee Charlie Christian and 2006 Inductee Eldon Shamblin. He received the Eldon Shamblin Sideman Award. It was Chet Atkins who provided the most regularly repeated praise of Crook when he answered Johnny Carson’s question of whether or not “anyone, anywhere played guitar better than Atkins.” Atkins said, “Yes Johnny, Tommy Crook in Tulsa, Oklahoma.” [http://www.omhof.com/news/maginot_news/EEAEyEZluVOvwdrvdG.html]

From OMHF website [http://www.omhof.com/news/Inductees/TommyCrook-2-1.html]

Anybody that has heard Tommy Crook perform knows they are experiencing a one of a kind talent. Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Inductee Hank Thompson writes on Tommy’s first 1968 album "He must be considered one of the creative stylists of our time, not only for his expressive style, but for utilizing every angle a small group has to achieve a big sound. You'll be hearing from him for a long time.” The fact is people had already been hearing from Tommy and his guitar for 20 years in 1968.

Tommy Crook was born February 16, 1944 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Ruby and Buck Crook. His first memories are of watching his father play at square dances in the Tulsa area and wanting to be just like his dad. Tommy was only four years old when he learned his first song from his dad, “Goodnight Irene.” His confidence and skills were so advanced that by the time he was ten he was a regular on Tulsa television as well as the undisputed champion of a weekly talent contest that offered one thousand dollars to anyone Tommy’s age that could outplay him. No one ever collected. This was the beginning of an ever increasing thirst for mastering and interpreting music of all genres that continues to this day.

In addition to a 1968 album call Mr. Guitar and Mr. Drums, recorded with drummer Phil McGhee and endorsed by 2002 Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inductee Hank Thompson, Tommy released a self-titled 1989 album produced and recorded by Grammy award –winning drummer David Teegarden.

Tommy has performed on numerous stages across the country such as concerts, festivals, private functions and club venues. Tommy also has played the tributes to 2002 Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Inductee Charlie Christian and 2006 Inductee Eldon Shamblin. He has played on several USO tours in Southeast Asia during the late 60’s and early 70’s. He has played with many artists including Merle Haggard, Leon Russell, J.J. Cale, David Gates and Carl Radle. He also played with Chet Atkins and it was he who provided the most regularly repeated praise of Tommy when he answered Johnny Carson’s question of whether or not “anyone, anywhere played guitar better than Atkins.” Atkins said, “Yes Johnny, Tommy Crook in Tulsa, Oklahoma.” The list of major artists and music business people that have heard Tommy and been completely awed by Tommy’s performance is exhaustive.

Tommy currently teaches guitar and has always chosen to call his own shots, staying close to his home in Tulsa, where he lives with his wife and daughter.

PERSONAL NOTE:I have the privilege of working at Ti Amo Ristorante Italiano in Tulsa. Tommy Crook and Mark Bruner play every Wednesday evening. It is simply amazing to sit and watch. It's like seeing fireworks for the first time as a kid. I have gotten to know Tommy over the past several months and he is very pleasant and just a super nice guy.

PERSONAL NOTE FROM FRIEND:Tommy Crook has never ceased to amaze me with his technique of playing the guitar. Growing up with his former brother in law, I was privy to knowing Tommy in his professional life and personal life. There are no words that come to me to describe what you witness when you watch him play that guitar. His right hand is moving as fast as lightning and you hear not one guitarist, but three. Figure that one out.


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