Hi, Thomas Wayne is the brother of Luther Perkins, who was a guitarist in Johnny Cash’s band in the Sun Record days. Thomas, whose birth name is Thomas Wayne Perkins was born on July 22, 1940 in Battsville, Mississippi. He had a huge hit record that began its run on the Billboard Hot 100 on January 26, 1959…his classic recording of, TRAGEDY on Fernwood Records, with backing vocals by The DeLons. The single was a huge #5 hit record on the Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 19 weeks. The single crossed over to the Billboard R&B chart where it became a #20 hit. TRAGEDY sold over 1 million copies and was awarded a “Gold Record”. The flip side of the record was the up-tempo tune…SATURDAY DATE, a good song, that did not chart.
The Fleetwoods would record their version of TRAGEDY in 1961 and chart a #10 Billboard Hot 100 hit with the song. Thomas Wayne’s version remains the classic version of this song. The sadness in his voice reflects the meaning of this classic recording. More often than not you will hear The Fleetwoods recording on oldies radio. Thomas Wayne’s original version remains in the vaults in most cases. Both sides of this fine 1959 recording are listed below for you to enjoy. Thomas Wayne died in a car accident in August of 1971, at the age of 31.
Till the next time—Joe