(1) Tommy Stewart was born on November 19th, 1939. His mother, a songwriter, vocalist and choir conductor, set him on a musical path and at the age of 10 he was in his High School marching band. He was even voted “most musical” by classmates at graduation time. Stewart taught music as a band director while performing and arranging outside of class. In 1964 he played with Fred Wesley and members of the 55th Army band. He wrote and composed for TV and even played with Blue Note recording artist Duke Pearson.
In 1973 he arranged and composed a musical score called “The Burning of Atlanta” for Buddha Records, another Stewart collectible LP. This roughly marked the beginning of a busy period during which he would work as an arranger, producer, performer or writer for the likes of Clarence Carter, Candy Staton, Johnny Taylor, Major Lance, Eddie Kendricks, Luther Ingram, Millie Jackson, Flip Wilson, Roy Gaines, Tamiko Jones and many others.
However, it is the self-titled 1976 album that most people associate Stewart with, mostly because of “Bump And Hustle Music.”
“It was a last minute song, recorded on the spot,” laughs Stewart. “It was the one we expected would do least well.” He adds.
The band was packing up their instruments after the album recording session. “We had a drink or two, kidded around for a while and then I came up with the bass line,” he remembers humming the instantly catchy 3 or 4 notes.