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Emmanuel, Tommy (31st May 1955-Present)

He is a guitarist, drummer, singer, producer, arranger and teacher born in Australia, who was a child prodigy that first began to play by ear when he was four years old and was a professional musician by the time he was six.

He toured with the Australian country music star Buddy Williams in the 1960s but this was stopped by child welfare who demanded he went to school.  This did not stop him performing completely though and being a breadwinner while still a child, he was a member of The Trailblazers with his sister Virginia on slide guitar and his brother Chris on drums as well as entering several competitions and appearing on television.

While still a teenager he moved to Sydney and appeared in many of its clubs before becoming a much sought after session musician.  At the same time he was a member of the successful Australian group Dragon who toured with Tina Turner among others and also recorded literally thousands of jingles.

During the course of his career he has recorded and performed with artists and groups including Air Supply , Eric Clapton, John Denver, the Dortmund Symphony Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Sir George Martin, Hank Marvin, Men at Work, Les Paul, Joe Walsh, the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra and Stevie Wonder. Realising a dream he got to perform with his first and possibly biggest influence, Chet Atkins , and in 1996 they recorded the Grammy Award nominated The Day the Finger Pickers Took Over the World .

Other albums he has appeared on are 16 of his own that includes Only, Classical Gas, Endless Road and The Mystery, which gained a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Country Instrumental” for its “Gameshow Rag/Cannonball Rag”, Lost in Love by Air Supply , One More Kiss by Bluehouse, I Love You by Diana Ross , Double Bill, Just For Thrills and Groovin’ by Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings,  JB50 by Jimmy Barnes and Real Aussies.

Recognised for his contribution to music he is the first international artist inducted into the Thumb Pickers Hall of Fame in Muhlenberg, Kentucky, and in 1999 Chet Atkins bestowed him with the title “Certified Guitar Player” for lifetime contribution, which makes him one of only four to receive that accolade. The other three being John Knowles, Jerry Reed and Steve Warner.   In 2010 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2012 he was given the title of Kentucky Colonel by the governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky governor which is the highest state honour.

Air Supply Recordings
All Out of Love (Graham Russell, Clive Davis )
Old Habits Die Hard (Criston Barker, David Moyse )

Here he is performing “Guitar Boogie”…