Tommy Overstreet, American country singer, Died at 78

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Tommy Overstreet was born on September 10, 1937, and died on November 2, 2015.

Tommy was an American country singer. Often known simply as “T.O.” by fans and radio disc jockeys, Overstreet has five top five hit singles in the Billboard country charts and 11 top 10 singles.

His popularity peaked in the 1970s. He lived in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Tommy grew up in both Houston and Abilene, Texas.

He decided on a singing career when he was very young, influenced largely by his cousin, “Uncle” Gene Austin.

Austin was a singing star of the 1920s and 1930s.

Tommy musical career started when he was 17, singing on country and western star Slim Willet’s television show in Abilene.

In the late 1950s, Tommy started a group called “The Shadows.”

He first recorded at Norman Petty’s studio in Clovis, New Mexico, along with Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs.

In 1960, Tommy recorded in New York City at Roulette Records, with Doc Severinsen on trumpet, Sam “The Man” Taylor on saxophone and the Ray Charles Singers singing backup.

In 1967, Tommy was hired to manage Dot Records in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 1970, he decided to pursue a recording career, quickly establishing himself as a country hit maker that very year with a top five hit, “Gwen (Congratulations),” which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard country music chart.

Tommy made frequent guest appearances on the TV variety show Hee Haw.

His highest charting Billboard hit was 1972’s “Ann (Don’t Go Runnin’),” which went to No. 2.

His other top-20 hits were “I Don’t Know You Anymore” (#5 in 1971), “Heaven is My Woman’s Love” (#3 in 1972), “Send Me No Roses” (#7 in 1973); “I’ll Never Break These Chains” (#7 in 1973), “(Jeannie Marie) You Were a Lady” (#7 in 1974), “If I Miss You Again Tonight” (#8 in 1974), “I’m a Believer” (#9 in 1975), “That’s When My Woman Begins” (#6 in 1975), “If Love was a Bottle of Wine” (#11 in 1976), “Don’t Go City Girl on Me” (#5 in 1977), “Yes, Ma’am” (#12 in 1978, and “Fadin’ In, Fadin’ Out” (#11 in 1978).

Tommy passed away at his home in Oregon on November 2, 2015.

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