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Tommy Wiggins

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Biography

Even before singer/songwriter Tommy Wiggins eased onto the national music scene in 1990 with the Nouveau/K-Tel release Cool Saturdays, he had years of recording experience behind him. The Minnesota native made his first appearance on a recording in 1972, when Freeland, the band he then belonged to, put out Headin' Back. Wiggins' solo work began appearing in 1980, when he put out his Expensive Fun album. Three more releases followed before his first Nouveau/K-Tel national release. Black Velvet Elvis appeared in 1984, with Angels of Warsaw coming out in 1987, and followed by Tracers a year later. His musical artistry did not go unnoticed on the local Minneapolis and St. Paul music scene, and he drew nominations from the Minnesota Music Awards, including one in 1983 in the category of Best New Artist, and another five years later in the category of Best Soundtrack LP. Also during the 1980s, Wiggins established his own label, Chilidog Records, which concentrates on alternative music. The singer/songwriter first picked up a musical instrument when he was eight years old. Inspired by Lawrence Welk's weekly television programs that often featured polkas and popular standards, Wiggins turned to the accordion. When the Beatles' hit the shores of the U.S., however, his attention turned to the music of the British Invasion. During his teens, he drew inspiration from such groups as the Youngbloods and the Animals, and most especially the latter group's keyboard player, Alan Price. Beginning at the age of 15, Wiggins made a place for himself in local bands. He went on to work at Minneapolis' Hennepin Technical College in the field of audio recording. After relocating to Ohio with spouse Georgia Wiesner, Wiggins spent time as program director for Cuyahoga Community College's department of recording arts. ~ Linda Seida

Genre
Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s

Contemporaries