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Tom Ayres

courtesy Billy Ayers

Also see

1955 Honorable Discharge U.S. Army-Special Forces 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team (Red Devils)

1955 Ventura California - Business Ad. Assoc. Arts 1958 University of California (Berkley) Business Ad., Theatre 1961 Owner of three record stores.

1962 Staff Producer Dot Records, RCA, United Artists, Kama Sutra, Budda, and CBS.
1964 Hanna-Barbera Productions (Children's television, records commercials)
a. Art and Repertoire Administrator
b. National Promotion Director
c. International manager of copyrights (81 countries of the world)
d. General Manager of all music divisions

Awards: "Emmy" "Jack and the Beanstalk", NBC starring Gene Kelly.
Also various "pop" gold awards.

Music Creator The Impossibles CBS-TV #1 daytime show,1967 for television.

1967 Vice President in charge of music and promotion Tony Benedict Productions in Hollywood. Scoring and promotion of such shows as: Jonathan Winters Early Birds", Night Noises starring Paul Winchell, "Sesame", various segments and "The Electric Company" various.

T.V.Commercials, American Airlines, Dodge Motors (good guys wear white hats), Kellogs, Vox, Welchs.

Independent record producer, artist for Columbia, Epic, MCA, United Artists, Mercury, Phillips, Smash, RCA Victor Records, Posh Boy-Magnum Force (United Kingdom), Donna-Del-Fi and others worldwide.

1970 - took an active part for revival and release of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.
1970 - involved in signing and planning career of David Bowie, RCA Records.

Creator of first pop music video 1965 "Pebbles and Bam-Bam" for first network animated prime time series "the Flintstones" with "Open up Your Heart (and let the sun shine in) NBC-Tv. Presented as weekly "tag" to promote visually the HB single of the same name.

Life membership American Federation of Musicians Guest lecturer USC Guest lecturer VA
Elected to A.S.C.A.P.
Member Louisiana Music Commission
Outstanding Citizen's Award Los Angeles presented by mayor Tom Bradley. Appointed member music commission state of Louisiana, 14 citations, 2 administrations.

1984 - Consultant "Cradle of the Stars" PBS-TV (the Louisiana Hayride)

"Street Scene Los Angeles", producer Louisiana music segment with Joel Sonnier and Friends, No Shame, New Orleans Natives, Novia, Jerry Sikorsky and the American Patrol.

Ledbelly Revel - Junior League of shreveport

Founder - First Kleshmer Orchestra in mid America "The Kleshmer Gypsy Orchestra".

1973 - co-producer of the feature film "Guitar Picks and Roach Clips", winner at the Edenborough Festival.

Other Artists produced, written or recorded for: Louis Prima, Les Baxter, Sammie Davis Jr., Gene Kelly, Raquel Welch, David Bowie, Sir Douglas Quintet, Five Americans, Marmi Nixon, Glen Campbell, Danny Hutton, Scatman Crothers, Kris Kristofferson, Shawn Cassidy, Sabicas, Byron and Slim Whitman, Bob Dylan, Aynsley Dunbar, Janis Joplin, Levi and the Rockats, and Gene Vincent. LP's: "Elvis the First Live Recording", "Elvis in the Beginning", "The Hillbilly Cat".

Tom of course, was also co-founder-owner of the famous "Rodney Binginheimer's English Disco in Hollywood, California.

These are just some of the credits to Tom's achievements. These are not necessarily chronologically in order but should give you a good idea of his life long accomplishments.


Music Producer: Tom Ayres

12/25/33 - 5/31/00
by John Andrew Prime - The Times - Tom Aryes, a North Louisiana native heavily involved in national music in the 1960s and 1970s died Tuesday night, May 31st in his apartment in Shreveport. He was 66. On the following, Sunday, Los Angeles radio personality Rodney Bingenheimer lamented the fact the Aryes did not live long enough to receive a tribute from British rocker David Bowie.

"In a documentary we've been working on for three years, David Bowie gives credit to Tom as the man who brought him to RCA Records," said Bingenheimer, morning host on KROQ-FM in Los Angeles and Ayres partner in the 1970s-era Sunset Avenue attraction Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco. The documentary will debut next January at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, Bingenheimer said. Stardust: David Bowie Story, which recounts a time when Bowie lived with Ayres in a mansion previously owned by actress Lillian and Dorothy Gish.

Ayers encouraged artists to branch out from Shreveport, bringing them to the attention of his peers in the music industry.

"He was involved in bringing Victoria Williams to Los Angeles from Shreveport. And he got Levi and the Rockats on the Louisiana Hayride," said Los Angeles music writer Todd Everett. "He's one of these guys that nobody has ever heard of. But the record business wouldn't be able to operate without them. Couple that with his colorful personality, and you aren't going to find many people like Tom Ayres in any business."

Bingenheimer said Ayres was involved in many aspects of music. "He produced the Dartell's number one hit "Hot Pastromi," and was the bass player in the Johnny Burnette Quintet."

Binghenheimer said Ayres was an essential part of the ambience of the music then, mingling with figures such as T Rex, David Bowie, Bianca Jagger and Joan Jett. Even Elvis came to the club and he liked Tom's Southern hospitality.

Ayres, a Sabine Parish native. served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He worked for Hanna-Barbera Productions, ABC Records, Columbia Records. Kama Sutra Records, Buddha Records and RCA Records. He also worked with the Sir Douglas Quintet and with singers Ultra Violet and Gene Vincent.

A Note from The Family:

Posted July 14, 2000

When Tom "semi-retired" from the business, he returned to his family home on the lake Oil City, LA to help care his mother. Even though reclusive, he keep his fingers in local music and continued to promote local artists.

In additional to Tom's small funeral service in Shreveport, KROQ radio in LA did a tribute to him and a small memorial service for him was held at a local bar in LA. Close friends and business associates attended, including Rodney Bingenheimer, who was Tom's partner and co-owner of Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco in Hollywood.

You will find numerous articles about Tom in past magazines such as Variety, Goldmine, etc. Also books, such as "The Day The World Turned Blue", "The Life and Death of a Rock Legends - Moon" - both US & UK sessions by Tony Fletcher, There are other small mentions in David Bowie's "Alias David Bowie," and others. Of course Tom had many credits to his name - too numerous to mention all of them.

He had recently moved to Shreveport from Oil City after his mother Ms. Bonnie Hicks came to live with us last November, due to a serious illness. And even though Tom had slowed down in the past couple of years he managed to stay busy "wheeling and dealing" with old associates and new talent. He will be greatly missed by all.

Today we came upon some duplicate slides on Gene Vincent from 1960 at the Ballroom in St. Paul, Minnesota. I'm sure they have already been published but I think we will have photos made anyway. These may be of interest to fans.

At Tom's funeral, one of the songs played during the service was "Dance to the Bop." And let me add that he wearing a "Love Gene Vincent and Live" pin when he was buried.

Billy and Karen Ayres

Rockabilly Hall of Fame