T. Tommy Cutrer - Biography
Thomas Clayton Cutrer was born on June 29, 1924 in Osyka Mississippi. He dreamed of being a professional football player or a boxer, but a bruise gained from playing football in High School turned out to be osteomyelitis and he spent the next six months in bed.
While lying there listening to the radio he began to think about being a broadcaster. He was 18 when he landed his first radio job at WSKB McComb, Mississippi. From there he went to WSDU New Orleans, where he got fired after just two weeks. He landed next at WNOE New Orleans. His colourful career incorporated stints at radio stations in Jackson, Little Rock, Memphis, Houston, Lake Charles and Shreveport.
Tommy was a drummer who had his own band. During the early fifties he recorded several singles for Capitol, RCA Victor, Mercury, Columbia, Million and Dot. He cut Jukebox and gospel material for them, and also recorded for the Army and Air Force. His drumming career was ended when he was involved in a car crash in 1953 that cost him his left leg.
In 1954 Jack Stapp, then program director at WSM, hired Cutrer to host the 'Opry Star Spotlight' from 7.05 pm until the ball game came on at 8. When Eddie Hill, who had been doing the All Night Show, left T. Tommy took over. He did commercials for Martha White Flour, Pet Milk and Ace Gasoline sponsoring a half-hour syndicated series, 'The Cisco Kid', and served as announcer on the Grand Ole Opry until 1964 when he left to purchase his own station, WJQS in Jackson.
Later he bought into Kentucky Fried Chicken and operated fast food restaurants in Bryan, Temple and Killen, Texas. He had his own syndicated radios show, Music City USA, and spent a season as host of an early morning TV show, Nashville Scene.
He was named Disc Jockey of the Year in 1957, and was inducted in the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame in 1980. Always interested in politics, T. Tommy ran for Congress in 1976. He was beaten by Al Gore, Jr. With Gore’s support and endorsement he ran for the State Senate in 1978 and won. He served until 1982 and then worked for the International Brotherhood of teamsters as a field representative.
T. Tommy died on October 11, 1998. On February 8, 1999 a resolution to ‘Honour the memory of senator T. Tommy Cutrer of Cotton’ was entered into the Senate’s records, which paid tribute to all of Tommy’s accomplishments.
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