A Tribute To Tom Petty | 1950-2017
Remembering A Rock and Roll Legend
Tom Petty was born in Gainesville, Florida in 1950. He began his career as a Rock and Roll artist playing bass for a band called the Epics. At 17 years old, he dropped out of school to join a new band, Mudcrutch (which by the way, was named after the farm that two of the band members lived on) #FunFact. As his talents began to shine through, Tom Petty quickly emerged as the lead singer/songwriter for Mudcrutch. The group signed a record deal with Shelter Records, but when their only single didn’t achieve the success that they had hoped for, the band broke up. Nonetheless, Tom Petty’s talents didn’t go unnoticed and Shelter Records offered him a solo deal. After Petty struggled to form a backing band, he contacted some of his old band members from Mudcrutch. Tom Petty’s solo deal was reconstructed to a deal with the now legendary, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. In 1976, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released a self-titled debut album that commenced their rise to stardom which resulted in a resilient, long lasting career in Rock and Roll. This talented group of musicians created multi-platinum projects that featured the now classic singles: American Girl, Refugee, Don’t Come Around Here No More and Learning to Fly.
Head to the Wurrly App to sing one of your favorite hits from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!
In 1989, Tom Petty’s solo career was equally as successful as his work with the Heartbreakers. His first solo album, Full Moon Fever reached #3 on the charts and went multi-platinum. Top hits from the album included, Runnin’ Down a Dream, I Won’t Back Down, and amongst some of Petty’s most well known songs, Free Fallin' which reached #7 on the singles charts!
Tom Petty worked with some of the greatest rockstars of all time such as, Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Johnny Cash! Stevie Nicks’ and Tom Petty's "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (a personal favorite) debuted as one of the top singles in the country, staying #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks. This collaboration will forever be a crowd favorite. July 9, 2017, Nicks and Petty and the Heartbreakers joined the stage together at the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park in London, in what turned out to be their final performance of the song together before Petty's death on October 2nd of this year.
Check out their performance here! *Skip to 6:30 to get to the start of the song*
September 25, 2017, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed their last show of their 40th anniversary tour at the Hollywood Bowl here in Los Angeles, California. A week later, Petty suffered a cardiac arrest in his Malibu home and was rushed to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. He died on October 2, 2017, at the age of 66.
Watch Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform Free Fallin' for the last time together on stage: