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.

Tragedy – 1959 #5 Hit record

Saturday Date – 1959 Flip side of “Tragedy”

Till the next time—Joe



  1. Amazingly this record never charted here in the UK. It was a particular favourite of my wife and I in the late summer of 1959 ( it was the loveliest summer for over two hundred years here in the UK). Other great favourites of ours then (and still are) ” Sea Of Love”- Phil Phillips, ” I’ve Had It “- Bell Notes, “Sleep Walk”- Santo and Johnny, “Dream lover”- Bobby Darin, “The three Bells”-The Browns, “Living Doll”- Cliff Richard. I used to keep notes on popular music from 1954 to 1963, I still have sixteen exercise books covering these years that I occasionly go back and read now and again. Would you be interested if I posted some of notes on here, if so I would be glad to. Best Wishes, Joe. Mike.

  2. This is the UK Top Ten fifty years ago today. —1) ” Surrender ” – Elvis. 2). ” Runaway “- Del Shannon. 3).”But I Do ” Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry. 4). ” The Frightened City “- The Shadows. 5) ” You’ll Never Know” Shirley Bassey. 6) ” Pasadena”- The Temperance Seven. 7) “Have A Drink On Me”- Lonnie Donegan. 8). “Halfway To Paradise”- Billy Fury. 9) “I’ve Told Every Little Star”.-Linda Scott. 10). “Hello Mary Lou” – Ricky Nelson.

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