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Eddie Thomas

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Information about Eddie Thomas

Profile image of Eddie Thomas

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Music Promoter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
Keep on pushing.

Birthplace

Born:
11/5/1931
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Music Promoter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
Keep on pushing.

Birthplace

Born:
11/5/1931
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Eddie Thomas is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born on November 5, 1931, Eddie Thomas was destined to succeed. In 1957, while attending a local talent show at the Washburne Trade School in Chicago, he met and was asked to manage two vocal groups, The Medallionaires and The Roosters. Moved by their unique sound, Thomas convinced members of The Roosters to change their name to The Impressions and the group's career skyrocketed with the release of their first single, "For Your Precious Love."

Thomas would also find another great talent in the person of Curtis Mayfield, with whom he enjoyed a long association. Together they formed Curtom Records and produced many hit records, including "Keep on Pushing," "Amen" and "It's All Right.” The multitalented Thomas continued to produce new artists and shepherded groups, such as The Independents, to fame. Their first release, “Leaving Me,” sold more than 1 million records.

In the mid-1970s, he created Thomas Associates, a successful record promotion business whose elite list of clients included Ray Charles, Barry White, Quincy Jones, the Stylistics and Johnny Taylor. Later, he formed A-1 Creative Productions company, which produced the video and wrote the theme song for the 1987 NFL World Champion New York Giants. In 1994, Thomas was bestowed broadcasting's highest honor, the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, for his role in the music documentary, The Rise and Fall of Vee-Jay Records. In 2003 Thomas was twice honored, receiving an Award of Honor at the 22nd Annual Chicago Music Awards and a Black Heritage Award from the DuSable Museum.

In February 2005 and July 2006, Thomas was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Poetry from the highly prestigious International Society of Poets. Held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Thomas presented some of his poetry to critical acclaim. He is also the recent recipient of the National Newspaper Publishers Association Music Legacy Award. On August 19, 2005, Thomas received the “Portrait of Achievers” Award from the Probation Challenge, and on October 27, 2006, Thomas was inducted into Wendell Phillips Academy High School’s Hall of Fame. Thomas is featured in the 2008 edition of Who’s Who in America.

See how Eddie Thomas is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eddie Thomas interview and Eddie Thomas' favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eddie Thomas lists his schools
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eddie Thomas recalls his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eddie Thomas describes his father and step-father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eddie Thomas summarizes his entree to the music industry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eddie Thomas describes the jobs, activities, influences and aspirations of his youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eddie Thomas explains how he gave up a slot at West Point to stay in Chicago and care for his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eddie Thomas recounts managing The Medallionaires and The Roosters
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eddie Thomas recalls his early career managing The Medallionaires and The Roosters
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eddie Thomas explains why Jerry Butler left The Impressions for a solo career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eddie Thomas tells the story behind the Impressions' hit 'Gypsy Woman', written by Curtis Mayfield
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eddie Thomas relates why he and Curtis Mayfield started their own label, Curtom Records
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eddie Thomas recounts his trials and successes with his label, Thomas Records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eddie Thomas recalls the Impressions' popularity and financial success and his friendship with Curtis Mayfield
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eddie Thomas discusses his love for the business of record promotion
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eddie Thomas discusses Curtis Mayfield's reputation for stinginess
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eddie Thomas reflects on race relations in the music industry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eddie Thomas shares his opinion of the contemporary music industry and the lasting popularity of 'dusties'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eddie Thomas talks about his continued involvement in the music industry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Eddie Thomas explains the split with Curtis Mayfield
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eddie Thomas lists the original and secondary members of The Impressions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eddie Thomas recalls his split with Curtis Mayfield and Mayfield's later career, paralyzing accident in 1990 and death in 1999
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eddie Thomas details his successes as an independent music promoter
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eddie Thomas expresses pride in how he has helped musicians
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eddie Thomas discusses how better record keeping has made it harder for record companies to cheat artists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eddie Thomas lists others he admires in the music business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Eddie Thomas reflects on his career in music rather than the military
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Eddie Thomas shares his hopes and concerns for African Americans in the music industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Eddie Thomas shares his love of music and his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Eddie Thomas discusses the role of religion in his life and a brush with death
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Eddie Thomas recalls Ray Charles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Eddie Thomas discusses Barry White
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Eddie Thomas reflects on his continued friendship with The Stylistics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Eddie Thomas remembers Donna Summer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Eddie Thomas talks about Quincy Jones
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Eddie Thomas ponders his career and legacy and advises blacks to believe in themselves and 'do it straight'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Eddie Thomas discusses Whitney Houston
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Eddie Thomas expresses his hopes for the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Eddie Thomas talks about how he wants to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with John White, George Busbee, Curtis Mayfield, and Ron Short
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with his son, Alvin, his wife, Verlene, and The Stylistics, Chicago, Illinois, August 7, 1999
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with The Indepedents, ca. 1973
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Certificate from the Deputy Sheriff Recruiting Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Impressions single on Eddie Thomas and Curtis Mayfield's label, Curtom Records
  • Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Cash McCalls' single 'You Mean Everything to Me' on Eddie Thomas' label, Thomas Records
  • Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Jesse Anderson's single 'Mighty Mighty,' on Eddie Thomas and Curtis Mayfield's label, Thomas Records
  • Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - The George Foster Peabody Award for "The Rise and Fall of Vee-Jay," 1994
  • Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with Richard Roundtree, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with The Impressions, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1957
  • Tape: 5 Story: 22 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with Fred Cash and Henry Rush Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 23 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with Quincy Jones, Los Angeles, California, 1974
  • Tape: 5 Story: 24 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with Fred Cash, Dick Clark, Samuel Gooden, and Curtis Mayfield, New York, New York, ca. 1970
  • Tape: 5 Story: 25 - Photo - Dick Clark with The Impressions album, 'The Fabulous Impressions,' New York, New York, ca. 1970
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Photo - Eddie Thomas in an office with Fred Cash and Sam Gooden, ca. mid-1960s, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Photo - Eddie Thomas and Curtis Mayfield in an office, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Photo - Eddie Thomas talking on the phone in his office, Chicago, Illinois, 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - Eddie Thomas and Curtis Mayfield holding up a 45 rpm single, Chicago, Illinois, ca. late 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - Eddie Thomas and Curtis Mayfield at Curtom Records' office in Chicago, Illinois, ca. late 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - Eddie Thomas, ca. late 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with office worker in Curtom Records office
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - Eddie Thomas at a hotel swimming pool, 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Eddie Thomas talking on phone, ca. 1970
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Curtis Mayfield and Eddie Thomas, ca. mid-1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - Eddie Thomas and Sam Gooden in the office of Curtom Records, Chicago, Illinois, 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Eddie Thomas shooting a home movie, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - Eddie Thomas in straw hat, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with a dummy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - Eddie Thomas by a statue of man with a starfish, not dated
  • Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - Eddie Thomas in the back seat of a car, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - Eddie Thomas getting out of car, ca. mid-1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - Eddie Thomas in a pedestrian walkway, ca. mid 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - Eddie Thomas on Monorail platform, Seattle, Washington, ca. mid 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 20 - Photo - Eddie Thomas at the Space Needle, Seattle, Washington, mid-1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 21 - Photo - Eddie Thomas, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 22 - Photo - Eddie Thomas stands beside a tree outside a building, ca. 1960s, location unknown.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 23 - Photo - Eddie Thomas in a swimming pool, location unknown, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 24 - Photo - Eddie Thomas sitting on the edge of a swimming pool, location unknown, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 25 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with a briefcase, standing outside a house, location unknown, 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 26 - Photo - Eddie Thomas wearing a straw hat, location unknown, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 27 - Photo - Eddie Thomas getting out of a car, location unknown, ca. mid-1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 28 - Photo - Eddie Thomas in a recording studio, location unknown, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 29 - Photo - Newspaper article on Robert Williams, Jr., Eddie Thomas's protegé
  • Tape: 6 Story: 30 - Photo - Curtus Mayfield in a wheelchair, 1990s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 31 - Photo - Eddie Thomas with Helen Curry, Chuck Jackson, and Maurice Jackson, Lake Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1970