In 1955 he recorded his first single, "Wolf Pack", for Federal Records. However, it was not successful, and other recordings he made for Federal went unissued for many years. After a stint performing in clubs in Wichita, Kansas, where he joined up with Hound Dog Taylor, he travelled to Los Angeles with the idea of emulating the success of Little Richard. There, he met record producer George Motola, and in 1959 recorded the single "Rockin' This Joint To-Nite," which was released on Motola's Transcontinental label. The record has been described as "one of the wildest rock'n'roll discs of all time with Kid Thomas blowing his harmonica and shouting out the lyrics in a frantic frenzy." However, it was not a commercial success.
He continued to perform with a band in Los Angeles clubs, often as Tommy Louis and the Rythm (sic) Rockers or Tommy Louis and the Versatiles. In 1965 he recorded two singles for the Muriel label, "The Hurt Is On" and "Wail Baby Wail", another full-blooded rocker featuring guitar by Marshall Hooks, but neither were hits. His final record, as Tommy Lewis, was "(You Are An) Angel", on the Cenco label in 1969. Finding little commercial success, Kid Thomas worked as a lawn mowing man in Los Angeles in the latter half of the 1960s. On September 3, 1969, while driving his truck he struck a young boy and killed him.
Arrested on a charge of manslaughter, the charge was later dismissed for lack of evidence. However, the boy's father waited outside the courthouse and shot him. Kid Thomas died at UCLA Medical Center, Beverly Hills on April 5, 1970. -Thomas Valentine, commonly known as Kid Thomas (3 February 1896 - 18 June 1987) was an American jazz trumpeter and bandleader. Kid Thomas was born in Reserve, Louisiana and came to New Orleans in his youth. He gained a reputation as a hot trumpet man in the early 1920s.
Starting in 1926 he led his own band, for decades based in the New Orleans suburb of Algiers, Louisiana. The band was long popular with local dancers. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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