b. Thomas James Hunter, 20 March 1937, London, Ontario, Canada. Hunter developed a keen interest in country music as a child, after seeing Roy Acuff during a Canadian tour, and by his early teens, he had mastered the guitar and was playing and singing locally. He played on CBC radio in 1952 and the following year, he left home to tour in Canada and the USA. In 1956, he became a regular on the Canadian television programmeCountry Hoedown (remaining on the show until 1965) and also presented the dailyTommy Hunter Show on radio. In 1962, it also became a very popular syndicated television programme which ran until 1989. He made his first recordings for RCA / Victor Records in 1956 and the first of many appearances on the Grand Ole Opry in 1965. He later recorded for Capitol and Columbia Records, and, in 1990, he formed his own Edith label.
Curiously, he has never placed much emphasis on the recording aspect of his long association with country music. His recorded output includes many albums but unfortunately few appeared to be readily available outside his native Canada, and although a superstar there, he is far less known in other countries. He remained active into the 90s, regularly performing with his band. He has received several awards over the years, including Canada’s highest civilian award, the Order Of Canada, in 1986 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ontario Country Music Association in 1999.