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George Tomsco

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Biography

Heard most often in the Fireballs, George Tomsco's nimble guitar work was influenced by rockabilly, country & western, and Latin music. Although few fans would recognize his name, he was one of the most popular and influential instrumentalists of Tex-Mex styled rock music, finding particular favor in Britain with the Shadows, who covered some Fireballs songs. In addition to playing with the Fireballs (who also recorded with vocalist Jimmy Gilmer), Tomsco played on numerous sessions in the late '50s and 1960s, often working at the Clovis, NM, studios of Norman Petty, famous for producing several Buddy Holly hits. Although he was most frequently heard as a session player on instrumental records that bore some similarity to those of the Fireballs, or with vocalists who were trying to imitate Holly, he was versatile enough to also contribute to sides by folksinger Carolyn Hester and soul artist Arthur Alexander. He didn't record on his own often, but a 30-song anthology consisting mostly of tracks he did with the Fireballs and as a session musician, The Tex-Mex Fireball, was issued under his name in 1998. ~ Richie Unterberger
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