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Tom Paxton

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Bristow OK, United States (1937 – present)

Tom Paxton (born Thomas Richard Paxton on October 31, 1937) is an American of music whose songs have had enduring appeal (and include modern standards such as “The Last Thing On My Mind”) known for a cynical, often edge. In 2009, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Paxton was born in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest child of Burton and Esther Paxton. The Paxton family moved to Bristow, Oklahoma in 1948, where Tom grew to adulthood and which he still considers home. He attended the University of Oklahoma and majored in drama, developing an interest in music.

After time in the Army Reserves, Paxton moved to New York City where he frequented the city’s Greenwich Village coffeehouse circuit. His early success in Greenwich Village coffeehouses led to an ever-increasing circle of work. He made his professional debut at the Gaslight, the renowned folk haunt that also issued the singer’s first album. In 1962 Gaslight Records would press 2,000 copies of his debut album, I’m The Man Who Built The Bridges.

Paxton also auditioned to join the Chad Mitchell Trio, but although he failed, the group enjoyed a 1963 hit with “The Marvelous Toy,” one of Paxton’s early songs. Paxton performed at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, a performance that would be recorded-and released-by Vanguard Records. Paxton would go on to record a second album with Vanguard-at the Newport Folk Festival the following year - but his association with that record company lapsed, and it would not be until the year 2000 that Vanguard once again released a Tom Paxton album, Tom Paxton: Best of the Vanguard Years.

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  • kaltecutter

    First artist i ever saw live. Thx mom and dad, 4 years old and you drag me to a political folk show. Still have yuppies stuck in my head.

    8 Jun 2013 Reply
  • cabfedhig

    he maintains sincerity on such an impressive range of subjects. what a great singer and writer.

    24 Feb 2013 Reply
  • worst_astronaut

    why so few listeners? :C

    23 Jun 2011 Reply
  • stangraham

    Simply one the best songwriters ever!

    7 Apr 2011 Reply
  • papadex1000

    I have been a fan since the late 50s. He write the most pointed and accurate political songs. However, he writes the tenderest love songs - Even a Gray Day, When Annie Took Me Home, I Give You The Morning. Great singer and a greater song writer.

    5 Apr 2011 Reply
  • stephengary

    I'm trying to liston to outward bound such a beatufull song! But I'm uable to access on my blackberry?

    25 Oct 2010 Reply
  • robertiles

    Looking for "Six" or was it "6"? Great album

    24 Nov 2009 Reply
  • engameur

    Please I would like to have the folk song by Tom Paxton: "What did you learn in school today?'. I need it for my pupils at school. Thanks in advance.

    12 Dec 2008 Reply
  • TheRockers

    God I love the song Ramblin Boy. I play it on repeat over and over again at home and at work in my mp3 player.

    20 Feb 2008 Reply
  • Big_Dip

    Hey, WTF - last.fm doesn't know most of Tom Paxton's albums. What a cryin' shame!

    16 Aug 2007 Reply

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