Whistling Tom began whistling as a child to pass the time. It
came naturally to him. People always commented on
his whistling, so he stuck with it. By the age of 30,
people began calling him "Whistling Tom" and that
name has stuck with him.
In Philadelphia, when he
was tending bar on South Street, customers would
specifically visit the bar just to hear him whistle their
requests. Philadelphia-based Evening Magazine and
its national affiliate PM Magazine invited him to do
segments on their shows. After that he performed
often in Philadelphia and, at one time, established a
telephone answering service called Whistling Tom's
24 hour Hot Line for Listenin' to Whistlin' where he
would receive an average of 1200 calls per day from
people throughout the United States & Canada.
Key West Whistler
Tom regularly performed for the Elder Hostel in Key West. Tom also sang
second tenor with the Keys Chorale and sometimes whistled to add additional flavor to the
In the summer of 1998, he whistled his way around Europe, spending three months traveling by train and performing in many countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, France,
Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands. He performed both on street corners and in the various
"busker" festivals that are popular in Europe during the summer months.
There are various types of whistlers such as
the pucker whistler, the tongue & teeth
whistler, the tongue and palate whistler, and the
ventriloqual or throat whistler. The usual
range of the average whistler is an octave and
a half. Most whistlers whistle only on the out
breath but some whistle both in and out, and
still retain pitch and tone ... as does Whistlin
Tom lived aboard his sailboat, a 44' CSY cutter rigged sloop (Pieces
of Eight), in the Caribbean for several years in the early nineties
and earned money for rice, beans and diesel fuel by whistling in various
towns in the Virgin Islands. Tom had a 100 ton Ocean Masters license and
also worked as a charter boat captain.
Whistling and leading a Key West Parade.
Tom was named Whistling Entertainer of the Year 2007.
Tom Accepting championship whistling award
from Fred Newman, the author of "Mouth Sounds.".