Tommy Smith is a name musicians of the 50s and 60s of Madras would remember. So would people who frequented the clubs or enjoyed the festival dances.
Tommy ran a popular band in the city, played for the big names in the film music world of Vadapalani and when the time was right, migrated to Australia where he is highly respected by the Aussie artistes.
But Tommy has not severed his ties with Madras and his friends across India, some of whom still play jazz and pop at clubs, hotels and studios.
These past few years, Tommy has been flying into India for two reasons. One, to make his pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Vailankanni, near Nagapattinam (dozens of Anglo-Indians from all over the world make a pilgrimage on foot from Madras to this coastal shrine on the eve of the feast in September).
Two, to perform with Anglo-Indian musicians of this city for a concert that raises funds for community projects.
Harry Maclure who runs the 'Anglos in The Wind' magazine from Anna Nagar and his team has managed to brand these concerts very well.
Themed ' Blazing Guitars', the first edition of this concert at Museum Theatre last year was a sell-out and when the last country music song echoed in that 150-year-old hall, it was close to 10 p.m. and few had left the place.
This time, Blazing Guitars' second edition moves to The Music Academy on July 9 evening and in the lead is Barry Rosario and his band who performed last year.
Barry has managed to group some of the best young Anglo-Indian talent in this city and joining them will be veterans like Tommy Smith.
Tommy ducked hiccups in the airline schedules, performed till 2 a.m. last weekend at his regular club shows, got into a hopping flight at 6 a.m. and landed in Madras to keep his date for the Blazing Guitars show.
Truly some amazing support this!
Country music runs deep in Anglo homes and colonies and next weekend's show is bound to be a big hit for anyone who loves music, especially vintage music.
If you want to relive the 60s and enjoy the wonderful Anglo-Indian spirit, be there at the Academy. Dress code ( suggested) - checks and jeans. Don't bring the guns, even if the are just toys.