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Emmanuel, Tommy

Tommy Emmanuel

Instrumentalist

Top Albums and Awards

Critics Cant Get Enough

Emmanuel Journeys to America

Selected discography

Sources

Tommy Emmanuel, one of Australias foremost instrumentalists, stated in his Epic Records press release: To me, music is something that is beautiful and positive. If I can pass that torch on to others, then Im happy. This extraordinary guitarist has attained world renown status, and at 43 years old, is already considered a legend. To say Im blessed would be an understatement, he stated in his biography on the Sony Music Artist Info website. Half the time Im waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up from this dream.

William Thomas Emmanuel was born on May 31, 1955 at Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia. Emmanuel first started playing at the age of four. The first guitar tune that he learned was Arthur Smiths Guitar Boogie. In 1960 he started his first band called The Emmanuel Quartet. It was a family affair, with Tommy on rhythm guitar, Phil on lead guitar, Chris on drums, and Virginia on Hawaiian steel guitar. He and his wife Jane have a daughter named Amanda, and he still performs with his brother Phil.

As a young boy, Tommy practiced an average of 16 hours a day, sometimes in pubs. Early in his career, it was evident that he was very ambitious. He has worked with many renown artists in the music industry and has composed and arranged many successful songs. His musical versatility is evident in the different types of musical styles hes played; jazz, rock and roll, bluegrass, country, and even classical. I never shy away from a word like pop, Frank Sinatra is a pop singer, he sings popular music, stated Emmanuel in his online biography. Bach was a pop composer, and yes, Im a pop guitar player. I have roots in all sorts of different styles of music, and Im able to draw on all of that. At the end of the day, the thing that pulls it all together is my sense of melody.

Emmanuel was inspired by the great American guitarists Chet Atkins and Hank B. Marvin of The Shadows. Emmanuel stated in his biography, I heard a track of [Atkins] on the radio and did a total backflip. That lovely fingerpicking led to my picking up the guitar. When I was in my mid-teens, I sent Chet a fan letter and he wrote me backIve still got his letter. In the early 80s, I went to Nashville for the sole purpose of meeting him. Later on in his career, Emmanuel and Atkins turned out to be a successful pair that often performed together. John Anderson from Newsday stated, Emmanuel professes a lifelong passion for Atkins playing, and he obviously has studied it, because its hard to tell where the teacher stops and the student starts. They play seamlessly, with a great deal of humor.

Another strong influence in Emmanuels successful career has been the Maton Guitar. It is made by Maton, a Melbourne company in Australia. The model MS500 solid body was Emmanuels first Maton, and he started playing it at the age of six. It is his instrument of choice and he owns about eight of them. In June 1988, he was playing a Takamine guitar. At that time, the owner of the company approached him and asked if they could develop a model that met his high playing standards. Emmanuel agreed and the company soon produced the T/E Artist & Signature guitar. This model features Emmanuels signature engraved into the fingerboard. It is estimated that over 500 have been made. Today, Emmanuel acts as a consultant to the company to ensure the model guitar maintains its high degree of sound quality and payability.

Top Albums and Awards

In 1995 a dream to play with an orchestra was made possible with the production of the album Classical Gas, which received widespread fame and went gold in Australia. It was something Id wanted to do for many years, the artist stated on the Sony website. I wanted to try things Id never tried before, but at the same time I didnt want to bite off more than I could chew. Some of the album was recorded live outdoors with the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the remaindr was recorded in a Melbourne studio with the same

For the Record

Born William Thomas Emmanuel, May 31, 1955 at Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia; married, wifes name Jane; children: Amanda. Started playing guitar at age four; played jazz, rock, bluegrass, country, and classical; inspired by the great American guitarists Chet Atkins and Hank B. Marvin.

Awards: Australias Best Guitarist by Juke Magazine, 1986, 1987, and 1988; Studio Musician of the Year award in Bi-Centennial Music Week, 1988; recipient of numerous Rolling Stone awards including Most Popular Guitarist, 1989 and 1990, and Best Guitarist from 1991 through 1994; Australian Adult Contemporary Record of the Year for Determination, 1991 and for The Journey, 1993.

Addresses: Official fan club PO Box 1019, Hampton North, Victoria 3188, Australia.

ensemble. Many of his most well-known songs are on the album, including The Journey, Run a Good Race, Who Dates Wins, and Initiation. New songs included Padre and She Never Knew. The album finishes with a fiery duet between Emmanuel and Slava Grigoryan, a fast rising 20-year-old Spanish guitar player from Melbourne. The great thing about an orchestra is their range, the artist state on the Sony website. They can play with this incredible subtlety, and it can be so beautifulbut when they really rip into something, the volume is just unbelievable. If youre standing next to them, it nearly blows you away.

Critics Cant Get Enough

Another album, Cant Get Enough, really brought out the excellence of his acoustic guitar work. Randy Goodrum, a Nashville keyboard player and songwriter, is also on the album, which was recorded in Melbourne, Nashville, and Los Angeles, and was produced by Goodrum and Emmanuel. Warren Hill was on sax, Tom Brechtlein on drums, and Nathan East on brass. Chet Atkins and guitar players Larry Carlton and Robben Ford are three guests on the album. Richie Yorke in the Sunday Mail asserted, On first hearing of the opening track youd swear you were listening to something new and fresh from Steely Dan Cant Get Enough has all the earmarks of an international hit at a point in musical history when traditional instrumentalists have been in short supply. Emmanuel stated that the song Inner Voice was one of the best on the album. Its an interesting piece of music and I got the idea from a James Taylor song called Baby Boom Baby from the Never Die Young album it has a real haunting flavour to it the eerie sound comes from a Brazilian instrument called the hose, which you swing above your head. Other songs on the album include Song for Nature, Stay Close to Me, Change for Good, Reggies Groove, Drivetime, How Many Sleeps? and Fields of Gold.

Emmanuel Journeys to America

The 1994 all instrumental collection called The Journey was his first U.S. release. Others on the album included Chet Atkins on guitar, Joe Walsh on guitar, Jerry Goodman on violin, and Dave Koz on saxophone. The Journey was produced by American guitarist Rick Neigher. Twelve songs made up the album, some of which are Hellos and Goodbyes, The Journey, If Your Heart Tells You To, Amy, Tailin the Invisible Man, and Villa Anita.

Emmanuels awards include Australias Best Guitarist in Juke Magazine for 1986, 1987, and 1988. He received the 1988 Studio Musician of the Year award in Bi-Centennial Music Week. The recipient of numerous Rolling Stone awards such as Most Popular Guitarist in1989 and 1990, and Best Guitarist from 1991 through 1994, he also received Australian Adult Contemporary Record of the Year in 1991 and 1993. He was named Australian Performer of the Year by the MO Awards in 1995 and 1997 and also received a gold record for the sales of Classical Gas.

Selected discography

From out of Nowhere, 1979.

Dare to Be Different, Sony.

Initiation, Sony.

Up from Down Under, 1987.

No More Goodbyes, Sony.

Cant Get Enough, Sony.

Determination, Sony, 1991.

The Journey, Columbia, 1993.

The Journey Continues, 1994.

Terra Firma, Columbia, 1995.

Classical Gas, Sony, 1995.

Midnight Drive, Higher Octave, 1997.

(With Chet Atkins) The Day the Finger Pickers Took over the World, Sony, 1997.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, July 8, 1995.

Newsday, April 13, 1997 p. C23.

Tennessean, February 24, 1997.

Online

http://www.tommyemmanuel.aust.com

http://www.music.sony.com

Bill Bennett

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"Emmanuel, Tommy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Emmanuel, Tommy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 10, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/emmanuel-tommy

"Emmanuel, Tommy." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved December 10, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/emmanuel-tommy

Emmanuel, Tommy

Tommy Emmanuel

Instrumentalist

Tommy Emmanuel, one of Australia's foremost instrumentalists, stated in an Epic Records press release: "To me, music is something that is beautiful and positive. If I can pass that torch on to others, then I'm happy." This extraordinary guitarist has gained world renown and is already considered a legend. "To say I'm blessed would be an understatement," he stated in his biography on the Sony Music Artist Info website. "Half the time I'm waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up from this dream."

William Tommy Emmanuel was born on May 31, 1955, at Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia, and grew up with five siblings: Chris, Virginia, Phil, Darcy, and Veronica. Emmanuel first started playing guitar at the age of four. The first tune that he learned was Arthur Smith's "Guitar Boogie." In 1960 he started his first band, called The Emmanuel Quartet. It was a family affair, with Tommy on rhythm guitar, Phil on lead guitar, Chris on drums, and Virginia on Hawaiian steel guitar. As a young boy, Tommy practiced an average of 16 hours a day, sometimes in pubs. Early in his career, his ambition became became evident.

Throughout his career, Emmanuel has worked with many highly admired artists in the music industry and has composed and arranged many successful songs. His musical versatility is evident in the different types of musical styles he has played, including jazz, rock and roll, bluegrass, country, and even classical. In his online biography, Emmanuel commented, "I have roots in all sorts of different styles of music, and I'm able to draw on all of that. At the end of the day, the thing that pulls it all together is my sense of melody."

Emmanuel was inspired by the great American guitarists Chet Atkins and Hank B. Marvin of The Shadows, the fabled instrumental backing group for 1960s British pop sensation Cliff Richard and a respected recording unit in their own right. Later on in Emmanuel's career, he and Atkins turned out to be a successful pair that often performed together. John Anderson from Newsday stated, "Emmanuel professes a lifelong passion for Atkins' playing, and he obviously has studied it, because it's hard to tell where the teacher stops and the student starts. They play seamlessly, with a great deal of humor."

Another strong influence in Emmanuel's successful career has been the Maton Guitar, made by the Maton Company in Melbourne, Australia. The model MS500 solid body was Emmanuel's first Maton, and he started playing it at the age of six. It is his instrument of choice and he owns about eight of them. In June of 1988, he was playing a Takamine guitar. At that time, the owner of the company approached him and asked if they could develop a model that met his high playing standards. Emmanuel agreed and the company soon produced the T/E Artist & Signature guitar. This model features Emmanuel's signature engraved into the fingerboard. It is estimated that over 500 have been made. Today, Emmanuel acts as a consultant to the company to ensure the guitar maintains its high degree of sound quality and playability.

The 1994 all-instrumental collection called The Journey was Emmanuel's first U.S. release. Guests on the album included Chet Atkins on guitar, Joe Walsh on guitar, Jerry Goodman on violin, and Dave Koz on saxophone. The Journey was produced by American guitarist Rick Neigher.

In 1995 Emmanuel's dream to play with an orchestra was made possible with the production of the album Classical Gas, which received widespread fame and went gold in Australia. Some of the album was recorded live outdoors with the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra, and some was recorded in a Melbourne studio with the same ensemble. Many of his best-known songs are on the album, including "The Journey," "Run a Good Race," "Who Dates Wins," and "Initiation."

Another album, Can't Get Enough (1996), brought out the excellence of Emmanuel's acoustic guitar work. Randy Goodrum, a Nashville keyboard player and songwriter, appeared on the album, which was recorded in Melbourne, Nashville, and Los Angeles and produced by Goodrum and Emmanuel. Richie Yorke in the Sunday Mail asserted, "On first hearing of the opening track … you'd swear you were listening to something new and fresh from Steely Dan. … Can't Get Enough has all the earmarks of an international hit at a point in musical history when traditional instrumentalists have been in short supply."

Emmanuel followed up the success of Can't Get Enough with a duet album with Chet Atkins, The Day the Finger Pickers Took Over the World (1997), and the 2001 release Only. The latter album was admired for the austerity of Emmanuel's fingerpicking guitar style. Rather than simply showboating his talent, he moved from one style to another, from folk-based songs such as "Timberlake Road" and "Train to Dusseldorf" to the lush romanticism of "Those Who Wait." Each of the 14 compositions on the album was written solely by Emmanuel. In 2002 Emmanuel released Endless Road, which was not issued in the United States until 2005. On the album he performed with Atkins on a composition titled "Chet's Ramble," which an All Music Guide critic unfavorably assessed as sounding like "an outtake from their 1997 duet album The Day the Finger Pickers Took Over the World." The same review generally panned Emmanel's talent as a singer, although it found much to praise about his particular rendition of the standard "Mona Lisa." In 2006 Emmanuel released The Mystery, which featured guest vocalist Elizabeth Watkins on the ballad "Footprints." He also issued a duet album with Jim Nichols, Happy Hour, in 2006. The album featured a cover of the classic Benny Goodman composition "Stompin' at the Savoy," and covers of "Nine Pound Hammer," "Who's Sorry Now," "Birth of the Blues" and "Lover Come Back to Me," as well as a version of Atkins's "Trambone."

Emmanuel's awards have included Australia's Best Guitarist in Juke Magazine for 1986, 1987, and 1988. He received the 1988 Studio Musician of the Year award in Bi-Centennial Music Week. He was the recipient of numerous Rolling Stone magazine awards between 1989 and 1994, and received the Australian Adult Contemporary Record of the Year in 1991 and 1993. He was named Australian Performer of the Year by the MO Awards in 1995 and 1997, and achieved gold record status for sales of Classical Gas. He and his wife, Jane, have a daughter named Amanda, and he still performs with his brother Phil.

For the Record …

Born William Thomas Emmanuel on May 31, 1955, at Muswellbrook, New SouthWales, Australia; married, wife's name Jane; children: Amanda.

Started playing guitar at age four; played jazz, rock, bluegrass, country, and classical; inspired by American guitarists Chet Atkins and Hank B. Marvin; released Endless Road, 2002; released The Mystery, 2006.

Awards: Juke Magazine, Australia's Best Guitarist, 1986, 1987, and 1988; Bi-Centennial Music Week, Studio Musician of the Year, 1988; recipient of numerous Rolling Stone awards, including Most Popular Guitarist, 1989 and 1990, and Best Guitarist,1991 through 1994; Australian Adult Contemporary Record of the Year, for Determination, 1991, and for The Journey, 1993.

Addresses: Official fan club—P.O. Box 1019, Hampton North, Victoria 3188, Australia. Website—Tommy Emmanuel Official Website: http://www.tommyemmanuel.aust.com.

Selected discography

From Out of Nowhere, 1979.

Dare to Be Different, Sony.

Initiation, Sony.

Up from Down Under, 1987.

No More Goodbyes, Sony.

Determination, Sony, 1991.

The Journey, Columbia, 1993.

The Journey Continues, 1994.

Terra Firma, Columbia, 1995.

Classical Gas, Sony, 1996.

Can't Get Enough, Sony, 1996.

Midnight Drive, Higher Octave, 1997.

(With Chet Atkins) The Day the Finger Pickers Took over the World, Sony, 1997.

Only, EMI, 2001.

Endless Road, Favored Nations Acoustic, 2004.

Live One, Original Works, 2005.

The Mystery, Favored Nations Acoustic, 2006.

(With Jim Nichols) Happy Hour, Original Works, 2006.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, July 8, 1995.

Newsday, April 13, 1997 p. C23.

The Tennessean, February 24, 1997.

Online

All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (November 8, 2007).

Tommy Emmanuel Official Website, http://www.tommyemmanuel.aust.com. (November 8, 2007).

Sony Music USA, http://www.sonymusic.com (November 8, 2007).

—Bill Bennett and Bruce Edward Walker

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Emmanuel, Tommy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Emmanuel, Tommy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 10, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/emmanuel-tommy-0

"Emmanuel, Tommy." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved December 10, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/emmanuel-tommy-0