Tommy Calton picked up his first guitar at age 12, joined his first band at age 13, and from that
time to the present, has a list of accomplishments and credits that any guitarist would envy.
In 1973, with partner Marc Phillips, he co-founded the Birmingham, AL group "Hotel" which would write
a ballet in 1976, and become MCA recording artists in 1979. The group charted five times on
Billboard Hot 100. Also, doing session guitar for many artists and agencies, he recorded for
Frederic Knight with Juana Records, David Guthrie with Arista Records, and Beth Nielson Chapman. He
also recorded national jingles for Little Debbie, Tony Romas, Barnum & Bailey, Disney on Ice, South
Central Bell, and The Three Musketeers.
In 1982 with Marc Phillips, he co-founded "Split the Dark", a group which won the 1986 MTV Basement
tapes by 77% of the vote. He was also recruited by his hometown's best musicians to co-produce and record
for "Toys for Tots", which include the Temptations Eddie Kendrick, and Count Basie bassist, Cleve
In 1988 he moved to New Orleans and was recruited by the Meters bassist, George Porter Jr., to
become the first guitarist for the band "Runnin' Partners". After two years of performing funky music,
Tommy moved to Orlando, FL, where he met and performs with several great musicians and groups in the
In 1993 Tommy met Charlie DeChant, sax player for Hall & Oates, and Steve Sienkiewicz, to form the
five piece "Charlie DeChant Band" which records and performs original material written by Charlie
DeChant. They also formed a trio called "The Kings". This group performs acoustic and new age music.
Tommy was introduced to Mike Franklin in 1994, and became the guitarist for "The Franklin Brothers
Band", and the oldies Rock-n-Roll band "Rockin' Robin" that was proclaimed the "best rock and roll
band on the planet" by Wolfman Jack. This band backs up many great artists such as the Coasters, the
Drifters, Lou Christie, Del Shannon, Tommy Rowe, Freddie Cannon, Joe Walsh, Fabian, Melenie, Spencer
Davis, Eric Burdon, Leslie West, Edgar Winter, and the list goes on. Tommy has been performing and
recording with the Franklin Music Group since that time.
In 1998, the Hard Rock Cafe Corporation built a 2,600 seat theatre in Orlando, FL, and hired Mike
Franklin as the music director to put together an All Star Band to perform with name artists. This
became the "Hard Rock Live Band", with Tommy as the lead guitarist, Mike Franklin on keyboards, and
Tim Franklin on bass. The band also includes Liberty Devitto, drummer for Billy Joel, Hall & Oates
saxman, Charlie DeChant, Steve Walters, trumpet player for the Temptations and Four Tops, Randi Paul,
singer for The Crusaders, and Mark Clermont, drummer for Ritchie Kicklighter. This band has backed
up such artists as Bobby Kimball, Leslie West, Edgar Winter, Eric Burdon, Spencer Davis and Melanie,
to name a few.
This past year, Tommy started a project with Liberty Devitto, Doug Bare, and Larry Jacoby called
"The Funk Club". Steve Walters and Charlie DeChant were added for good measure, and they began to
record a blend of Booker T and the MG's and The Meters, with a touch of their own spirit to come up
with a real funky sound.
Tommy currently resides in Orlando with his wife Betty. He performs with the Hard Rock Live Band,
Rockin' Robin, The Franklin Brothers, and the Charlie DeChant Band among others. He is also busy
writing and recording for projects, including his own solo acoustic guitar pieces.