Q&A with veteran musician Thomas Bingham - a hardworking multitalented artist in entertainment industry

"My Hopes are that music escapes from the Quagmire that it is in and true artistry is returned. My fears are that virtual music will become the norm."

Thomas Bingham: The Magic Of Music

Toney Moneye Music in Memphis, TN, founded in 1982 by multitalented musician, Thomas "TONEY MONEYE" Bingham. Thomas Company publishes music and songs for artists, bands, films, TV/Radio, and commercials. Thomas name you’ll find in works of J. Blackfoot, Preston Shannon, Ann Peebles, Solomon Burke, Otis Clay, Otis Rush, Denise LaSalle, Toshio Orito, Robert Cray, Marti Pellow, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Mitchell, Sam Moore and many many others artists.

Thomas says: Actually, I don't consider myself to have a sound, although I and others know when it's me playing on a record. As a writer, a lot of my songs were covered by other artists with producers that put their own signature to my compositions, some I thought were better than I intended, and some not.

Interview by Michael Limnios

What do you learn about yourself from the Soul/R&B music and culture? What does the blues mean to you?

I've learned a lot about how Soul/R&B music can relate to so many facets of people. The Blues is an art form, not always correct or perfectly in tune, but the emotions from it are pristine.

How do you describe Thomas Bingham sound and songbook?

Actually, I don't consider myself to have a sound, although I and others know when it's me playing on a record. As a writer, a lot of my songs were covered by other artists with producers that put their own signature to my compositions, some I thought were better than I intended, and some not.

What characterizes your music philosophy?

Less is more, and know what Not to play when playing and recording music.

Which acquaintances have been the most important experiences?

My association with Willie Mitchell was one of my greatest experiences. Also my study and work with writer George Jackson gave me great experiences in learning to write Blues.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Teenie Hodges told me to find my own groove and guitar sound, took me years to figure out what he meant! (laughs)

"The Blues is an art form, not always correct or perfectly in tune, but the emotions from it are pristine."

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

There are many gigs that were great to me, like playing with Solomon Burke, Ann Peebles, and of course J. Blackfoot, and others..

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I miss originality, everything sounds like it was done from a cookie cutter, you can hardly tell one artist from another, the technology is much better, but most of the “Magic” is not present. My hopes are that music escapes from the quagmire that it is in and true artistry is returned. My fears are that virtual music will become the norm.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I would pull most rap songs off the market that promote ignorance, violence, and stupidity.

What are the lines that connect the legacy of Blues with Soul and continue to Rhythm & Blues, Gospel and Jazz?

All music connects, it's just according to the listener and their perception and tastes.

What has made you laugh lately and what touched (emotionally) you from the music circuits and music industry?

Very little has truly moved me from the music business of today. It's like you feel there is something missing, but you can't quite figure it out unless you base it upon the former model of the business.

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