RIP: Tommie TommyGunn1965 Gunn, Gospel Songwriter, Producer

From a press release:

True aficionados of contemporary gospel will count among their favorites gospel greats like Marvin Sapp, Yolanda Adams, CeCe Winans, Fred Hammond, Martha Munizzi, Commissioned, Darwin Hobbs, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, etc. What some fans may fail to realize is that one of the greatest sonic architects of the genre was Tommie TommyGunn1965 Walker with more than 4 million in song sales to his credit.

Sadly, Tommie passed away on February 3, 2017, at 51 years of age, surrounded by family. Tommie passed away after failing to emerge from a medically induced coma brought on by a series of debilitating strokes that also depleted the family’s savings. To contribute to burial and his children’s college fund costs, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/xjrrhw-tommy-walker-memorial-fund.

Funeral services will be on February 20th at 11-12pm at Dunamis Outreach Ministries, located at 13220 Greenfield, Detroit. A who’s who of artists including Lexi, Noel Hall, PamKenyon David, and others are expected to pay tribute.

As Tom told Marie he wanted his memorial to be an “all out and out worship service. I need y’all to worship like never before.” Services will be open to the public. The viewing will be February 18th from 10am to 7pm at Detroit’s Perry Funeral Home located at 5045 Trumbull Avenue.

Tommie was so much to so many. To Marie, he was a devoted husband of 26 years. Having known each other since they were 8-years old, Marie recalls, “It was never you and I. It was always us…I was so loved.” A purposeful father, Tom raised his four equally talented and anointed sons: Tommie III, a music producer and sound engineer; Christian who is studying sound recording; Joshua is studying at seminary; and Ethan is an opera singer majoring in theatre, who were raised to be upstanding men of excellence.

To Tommie’s countless friends and collaborators, Tom was a bear of a man whose quiet, stilted speaking voice and quick laugh masked the fierce and principled convictions of his spirit.

Regardless of the connection, Tom’s strong spirit left an indelible impression. A faithful Christian, Tommie walked the talk as he navigated real world issues. Many of which were discussed through song on his current project The King Is Here. With this masterwork, Tom said his objective was to “speak to … upcoming minstrels that are having a rough time dealing with setbacks and disappointments.” The danger of dealing with such industry-generated turmoil was, said Tommie,“ these things breed doubt in one’s self, doubt in your calling and doubt in God,” against which music remains the antidote.

While Tommie held a degree in electrical engineering and was completing a bachelor of arts degree in film scoring, at Tom’s core, he was an anointed psalmist, songwriter, producer, musical director, and arranger. In 2001, the musical genius was rewarded with a BMI Songwriter of the Year Award for “I Know It Was the Blood,” as performed by Fred Hammond & Radical for Christ.

For Tom, making music was always about excellence, remarked Soul Food Entertainment LLC president Joe Millionaire Smith, “I remember sitting up at Face to Face studio and watching him spend an hour or 2 just looking for sounds BEFORE he ever started working on the track.”

It was that same meticulous musical beast that Tommie unleashed on countless Gospel classics, including Marvin Sapp’s “Do You Know Him?,” “Without Love” by CeCe Winans, “I Need An Angel” by Ruben Studdard,” “More, More, More” by JoAnn Rosario,” “Song of Strength,” “I Will Say” “Blessings and Honor,” etc., by Fred Hammond, and “I Anoint Myself,” with RFC featuring PamKenyon David, “Exceedingly Abundantly” by Lexi, Men of Standard’s “It’s a New Day,” Vanessa Williams’ “Joy,” and so many others.

After months of hospital visits, the family is struggling with medical bills. This, on top of Tom’s sons’ college costs, has caused significant financial difficulties for the family. To contribute to the family’s financial recovery, please visit his GoFundMe page, and buy, rather than stream, Tommie’s music, the family encourages. For a complete listing of Tommie Walker songs and to inquire about song placement opportunities, please visit his website: www.tommygunn1965.net.

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.

2 comments

  1. Dear Sir,

    My family and I are very sad to learn of the untimely passing of a great gospel artist, Tommie Gun1965 or Big Tom as Fred Hammond would introduced him to swarming crowds at his concerts.

    His music has been a blessing to my family especially over the last 4 years when we were living in China and with few opportunities to be in a church or a regular basis. Our house church was made special by Big Tom’s wonderful music.
    Now that we are in Taiwan, we still listen to his music and finding just as much inspiration and encouragement as in the earlier periods in China and back home in the UK.
    We just wish his family can take comfort from the fact that he gave a good witness and enriched the lives of many Christians around the world with his love for Christ and is worship in songs.

    Blessings and Christian love to Big Tom’s family
    The Taylor Family
    Taiwan

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