Tom Brown (Tommy to his friends) was born just outside of Roswell, New Mexico Air Force Base in a hospital that also saw the earlier birth of John Denver and the later birth of Demi Moore. None of them saw UFOs. He moved at age four to Tupelo with his parents. They did the driving. A proud product of the Tupelo Public School System, Tom attended
Lawhon, Thomas Street, Milam, Carver and Tupelo High School (when it was in the cool building on Varsity Drive.) He spent most of his time in band, playing saxophone and in the theatre department, playing.
Tom entered showbiz as a teenager with his first job: projectionist at the Malco Theatres. (Yes, he thinks the Lyric is haunted) After graduating (to his surprise and his parents relief) from Tupelo High, Tom attended the majority of his classes at Northeast Mississippi Community (Junior!) College where he spent every evening watching Johnny Carson. Then it was on to Ole Miss and a major in theatre arts. Tom’s dream was to be Johnny Carson. (But that was not a major that was offered.) His career in television started after graduation when Tom got a job overnights at WTVA in Tupelo. Soon he was being mentored by on air talent Buddy and Kay Bain and station announcer Ed Bishop. He credits them with all the lessons of broadcasting he has since forgotten. At WTVA, Tom shot commercials, local sports highlights and hosted the live on-air “Wheel of Fortune” giveaways. “Spinning and winning!”
Continuing in television now as an entertainment reporter, Tom moved to Shreveport and St. Louis where he also served as a radio morning co-host and reporter.
For over ten years he traveled to Los Angeles, New York City and all over the country, conducting interviews with hundreds of celebrities. His favorites to interview were Tom Hanks, Robin Williams and Burt Reynolds. Then came his big break with a job as a reporter on the much anticipated “Rough Cut” entertainment magazine show based in Los Angeles on the TNT Network. When the ratings for “Rough Cut” didn’t match the anticipation, Tom began 17 years at Turner Classic Movies in Atlanta as the Vice President of Original Productions, overseeing the Robert Osborne studio unit and all original long form productions. Multiple Emmy nominations followed. (No wins, but it’s an honor to be nominated!)
A thread that has been woven throughout Tom’s life is his love of Elvis Presley. He produced multiple Elvis projects for TCM and has worked over 19 years with Elvis Presley Enterprises hosting live events and the Youtube series, “Gates of Graceland.” Tom also hosts the Tupelo Elvis Festival and co-produces and hosts the Nashville Elvis Festival. He’s been called “The Johnny Carson of the Elvis World.” So, in a way, he made it!
Tom is happy to be back where he comes from in Tupelo with his wife Lisa and their three dogs The Nash, Maxine and Millie. He spends his free time watching Johnny Carson on Youtube.