Tommy Hoehn

Last updated
Tommy Hoehn
Birth nameThomas Forbes Hoehn Jr.
Born(1954-11-02)November 2, 1954
Origin Memphis, Tennessee, United States
DiedJune 24, 2010(2010-06-24) (aged 55)
Genres Rock, power pop, jangle pop
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards
Years active1974–2009
Associated acts Prix

Thomas Forbes Hoehn Jr. (November 2, 1954 June 24, 2010) was an American singer, songwriter, keyboard player, and guitarist. Along with Jon Tiven, he led the Memphis power pop group Prix before embarking on a solo career. [1] He also provided backing vocals on Big Star's third album, Third/Sister Lovers , and collaborated with Big Star members Alex Chilton and Chris Bell as well as Memphis power pop group The Scruffs. [2] [3]

Hoehn and Tiven formed Prix in 1975, not long after Hoehn had given Tiven a tape of his material. [1] Enlisting Chris Bell as a co-producer, the group recorded numerous songs in Ardent Studios over a six-month period. [1] While Prix garnered some major label interest, and performed at a Columbia/CBS Records showcase in New York in 1976, the group ultimately only released two contemporaneous singles, and broke up in early 1977. [1] A compilation of eleven songs recorded by Prix, entitled Historix, would be released almost 40 years later. [1]

Following the break up of Prix, Hoehn pursued a solo career, releasing the regional hit single Blow Yourself Up in 1977 on Power Play Records, a local Memphis label. [3] That same year, Power Play Records released Hoehn's first solo album Spacebreak, which contained two of the songs Hoehn had recorded with Prix as well as the Blow Yourself Up single. [3] In 1978, London Records signed Hoehn and released Spacebreak and an additional song as the album Losing You to Sleep. [3] The album was critically well received, with both Billboard and Cashbox giving it highly positive reviews. In Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau described the album as a "romantically inclined sample" of "the concentrated energy of Memphis power pop." [4] Despite the favorable reviews, and despite promotional support, such as a full page ad in Rolling Stone , the album did not sell well.

In 1981, Hoehn released the album I Do Love The Light, which he followed up in 1983 with the EP I'm So Afraid of Girls. [2] Following more than a decade-long hiatus, Hoehn returned to the music business in the 1990s, releasing the albums Of Moons and Fools in 1996 and The Turning Dance in 1997. [2] He then teamed up with fellow Memphis power pop artist Van Duren, releasing three albums in the period from 1999 to 2002: Hailstone Holiday,Cows on the Fence, and Blue Orange. [2]

In late 2009, Hoehn began work on a solo album tentatively titled Pi. [2] However, in December 2009, Hoehn was diagnosed with cancer, and became too ill to sing lead vocals on the album. He died on June 24, 2010, at the age of 55. [2]


Prix ft. Tommy Hoehn
Tommy Hoehn solo LPs
Tommy Hoehn solo singles and EPs
Tommy Hoehn with Van Duren
Appeared on

Related Research Articles

Big Star American rock band

Big Star was an American rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1971 by Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens, and Andy Hummel. The group broke up in early 1975, and reorganized with a new lineup 18 years later following a reunion concert at the University of Missouri. In its first era, the band's musical style drew on the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Byrds. Big Star produced a style that foreshadowed the alternative rock of the 1980s and 1990s. Before they broke up, Big Star created a "seminal body of work that never stopped inspiring succeeding generations", in the words of Rolling Stone, as the "quintessential American power pop band", and "one of the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock & roll". Big Star's first album—1972's #1 Record—was met by enthusiastic reviews, but ineffective marketing by Stax Records, and limited distribution stunted its commercial success. Frustration took its toll on band relations: Bell left not long after the first record's commercial progress stalled, and Hummel left to finish his college education after a second album, Radio City, was completed in December 1973. Like #1 Record, Radio City received excellent reviews, but label issues again thwarted sales—Columbia Records, which had assumed control of the Stax catalog, likewise effectively vetoed its distribution.

<i>Radio City</i> (album) 1974 studio album by Big Star

Radio City is the second album by the American rock group Big Star. Released in 1974, Radio City was recorded during 1973 at Memphis' Ardent Studios. Though not a commercial success at the time, it is now recognized as a milestone album in the history of power pop music. Critically acclaimed upon its release, the record sold poorly, partly due to a lack of promotion and the distribution problems of the band's struggling record label, Ardent Records. The album included "September Gurls" and "Back of a Car", which remain among the most famous Big Star songs; both the Searchers and the Bangles have covered "September Gurls".

<i>Third/Sister Lovers</i> 1978 studio album by Big Star

Third is the third album by American rock band Big Star. Sessions started at Ardent Studios in September 1974. Though Ardent created promotional, white-label test pressings for the record in 1975, a combination of financial issues, the uncommercial sound of the record, and lack of interest from singer Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens in continuing the project prevented the album from ever being properly finished or released at the time of its recording. It was eventually released in 1978 by PVC Records.

Chris Bell (American musician) American singer

Christopher Branford Bell was an American musician, guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Along with Alex Chilton, he led the power pop band Big Star through its first album #1 Record (1972). He also pursued a solo career throughout the mid-1970s, resulting in the posthumous I Am the Cosmos LP.

Tav Falcos Panther Burns American rock band

Tav Falco's Panther Burns, sometimes shortened to (The) Panther Burns, is a rock band originally from Memphis, Tennessee, United States, led by Tav Falco. They are best known for having been part of a set of bands emerging in the late 1970s and early 1980s who helped nationally popularize the blending of blues, country, and other American traditional music styles with rock music among groups playing in alternative music and punk music venues of the time. The earliest and most renowned of these groups to imbue these styles with expressionist theatricality and primitive spontaneity were The Cramps, largely influenced by rockabilly music. Forming just after them in 1979, Panther Burns drew on obscure country blues music, Antonin Artaud's works like The Theater and Its Double, beat poetry, and Marshall McLuhan's media theories for their early inspiration. Alongside groups like The Cramps and The Gun Club, Panther Burns ranked among the contributing influences and progenitors of the Southern Gothic-tinged roots music revival scene that arose during the last two decades of the 20th century and continued into the early 2000s.

Ardent Studios Recording studio

Ardent Studios is a recording studio located in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. Ardent Records/Ardent Music is the in-house label.

<i>Pleased to Meet Me</i> 1987 album by the Replacements

Pleased to Meet Me is the fifth studio album by the American rock band The Replacements, released in 1987 by Sire Records. The album was acclaimed by music critics.

<i>Metamorphosis</i> (Rolling Stones album) 1975 compilation album by the Rolling Stones

Metamorphosis is the third compilation album of the Rolling Stones music released by former manager Allen Klein's ABKCO Records after the band's departure from Decca and Klein. Released in 1975, Metamorphosis centres on outtakes and alternate versions of well-known songs recorded from 1964 to 1970.

Jon Tiven

Jon Tiven is an American composer, guitarist, record producer, and music journalist. He has produced albums by Wilson Pickett, Frank Black and Don Covay as well as a series of tribute albums paying tribute to the songwriting of Don Covay, Arthur Alexander, Otis Blackwell, Curtis Mayfield, and Van Morrison. He was also the co-founder of the Memphis power pop band Prix, as well as the bands The Yankees and The Jon Tiven Group.

<i>Babys Got a Gun</i> 1980 studio album by The Only Ones

Baby's Got a Gun is the third and final studio album by the English rock band the Only Ones. It was originally released in 1980, on the label CBS in Europe and on Epic in America and Japan.

The Scruffs American band

The Scruffs are an American power pop group formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1974 by writer/guitarist/vocalist Stephen Burns along with guitarist David Branyan, bassist Rick Branyan, and drummer Zeph Paulson. Although their line up has changed many times over the years, The Scruffs, centered around Burns, have continued to release records up through the 2010s.

<i>Simple Dreams</i> 1977 studio album by Linda Ronstadt

Simple Dreams is the eighth studio album by the American rock singer-songwriter Linda Ronstadt, released in 1977 by Asylum Records. It includes several of her best-known songs, including her cover of the Rolling Stones song "Tumbling Dice" and her version of the Roy Orbison song "Blue Bayou", which earned her a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. The album also contains covers of the Buddy Holly song "It's So Easy!" and the Warren Zevon songs "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" and "Carmelita". The album was the best selling album of her career, and at the time was the second best-selling album by a female artist. It was her first album since Heart Like a Wheel without long-time musical collaborator Andrew Gold, though it features several of the other Laurel Canyon-based session musicians who appeared on her prior albums, including guitarists Dan Dugmore and Waddy Wachtel, bassist Kenny Edwards, and producer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Asher.

Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) 1978 single by Styx

"Fooling Yourself " is the second single released from Styx's The Grand Illusion (1977) album. On the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart in the U.S., the single peaked at #29 in April 1978. It also hit no. 20 on the Canada RPM Top Singles chart the week of May 6, 1978.

<i>Columbia: Live at Missouri University</i> 1993 live album by Big Star

Columbia: Live at Missouri University 4/25/93 is a reunion live album by the American power pop group Big Star, recorded and released in 1993 by the original Big Star members Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens together with The Posies' members Jonathan Auer and Ken Stringfellow. It was recorded at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.

<i>Black List</i> (Alex Chilton album) 1990 EP by Alex Chilton

Black List is an EP by the American pop rock musician Alex Chilton, released in 1990.

<i>Like Flies on Sherbert</i> 1979 studio album by Alex Chilton

Like Flies on Sherbert is the first solo album released by American pop rock musician Alex Chilton. He had previously recorded a collection of songs in 1969 and 1970, ultimately titled 1970, but this was not released until 1996. Released in 1979, Like Flies on Sherbert was recorded at two Memphis studios, Phillips Recording and Ardent Studios, in 1978 and 1979. Chilton had previously been a member of the Box Tops and Big Star.

Alex Chilton American songwriter, guitarist, singer & producer

William Alexander Chilton was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer best known as the lead singer of the Box Tops and Big Star. Chilton's early commercial success in the 1960s as a teen vocalist for the Box Tops was never repeated in later years with Big Star and in his subsequent indie music solo career on small labels, but he drew an intense following among indie and alternative music musicians. He is frequently cited as a seminal influence by influential rock artists and bands, some of whose testimonials appeared in the 2012 documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.

Dumptruck is an American rock musical group formed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1983 by composers, guitarists and singers Seth Tiven and Kirk Swan.

<i>Bachs Bottom</i> 1981 studio album by Alex Chilton

Bach's Bottom is the second solo album released by American pop rock musician Alex Chilton. Bach's Bottom was recorded in September and October 1975 at Ardent Studios in Memphis.

Prix was an American power pop band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1975 by Tommy Hoehn and Jon Tiven. The group ended up primarily as a studio project. Its recordings were produced by Tiven along with former Big Star member Chris Bell, who also played guitar and sang backup vocals. Alex Chilton also participated in the recordings, along with session drummer Hilly Michaels.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Prix". HoZac Records. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Reager, J.D. (July 1, 2010). "Power-pop musician Tommy Hoehn passes". Memphis Flyer . Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Meher, Bob (June 26, 2010). "Tommy Hoehn, Memphis musician and power-pop scene staple, dies". Memphis Commercial Appeal . Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  4. Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: H". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies . Ticknor & Fields. ISBN   089919026X . Retrieved February 26, 2019 via