Acclaimed rock keyboardist takes tuneful tour through music museum

Tom Stephenson took a moment during his tour of the National Music Museum in Vermillion last Thursday to play a few chords on the Hammond organ thats part of the local institutions collection of instruments. (Photo by David Lias)

Do you remember Poco? Or Gary Wright, and his hit song, Dreamweaver? Or The Eagles? Or Joe Walsh? Or Eric Clapton?

Acclaimed keyboardist Tom Stephenson has played a role in the success of those performers. He has either played with or toured with all of those bands/musicians and many others.

Last Thursday, July 28, he took a very special musical tour through the National Music Museum in Vermillion accompanied by a museum staffer and local guitarist T. Wilson King.

In the midst of viewing the museums acclaimed collection, Stephenson spied the museums Hammond organ an instrument built in 1961, and donated to the collection housed in Vermillion by a Omaha man.

With permission from a museum staffer, Stephenson was soon flipping switches and adjusting knobs and waiting for the organ to warm up. When everything was ready, he sat down at the keyboard and began filling the hallways of the museum with beautiful music.

He stopped playing, looked over the beautiful workmanship of the instrument, and simply stated, There is no other sound in the world as beautiful as a Hammond organ.

Stephenson has also toured and/or recorded with Tommy Bolin, Eric Clapton, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel (from The Band), Joe Cocker, B.B. King, Albert King, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker, Paul Butterfield, Blondie Chaplin, The Pointer Sisters, Big Moma Thorton and Chuck Berry.

Throughout his lengthy musical career, he has received 15 Gold & multi-Platinum albums.

Stephenson stopped by Vermillion while spending last weekend in Sioux City, IA, where he performed at the Tommy Bolin Music Festival last Saturday.

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