Tommy Ambrose

Tommy (Thomas) Ambrose. Singer, composer, b Toronto 19 Oct 1939. At 5 he began singing at "Youth for Christ" rallies at Massey Hall, Maple Leaf Gardens, and elsewhere. Until he was 16 he performed on gospel radio shows on CKEY and CFRB.

Ambrose, Tommy

Tommy (Thomas) Ambrose. Singer, composer, b Toronto 19 Oct 1939. At 5 he began singing at "Youth for Christ" rallies at Massey Hall, Maple Leaf Gardens, and elsewhere. Until he was 16 he performed on gospel radio shows on CKEY and CFRB. Turning to popular music he made his CBC TV debut in 1957 on "Cross-Canada Hit Parade" and was host for "While We're Young" (summers 1960, 1961) and for "The Tommy Ambrose Show" 1961-3. He made the LP Young Tommy Ambrose (Chateau CLP-1007) with the Don (D.T.) Thompson Septet during this period.

After several years of nightclub work, accompanied in the late 1960s by Norm Amadio, Ambrose became host for the CBC's gospel series "Celebration," on radio 1971-4 and on TV 1975-6. Blaik Kirby in the Toronto Globe and Mail (8 Dec 1971) wrote of Ambrose's singing: "His lean-sounding voice is invariably in tune, his notes beautifully sustained and focussed. There is a marvelous feeling of security as you listen." In the late 1970s Ambrose performed occasionally in clubs and concerts with a nonet led by Doug Riley; in this setting he made the LP Tommy Ambrose at Last (New Ventures NV-5009).

As a partner 1971-88 with Larry Trudel in Trudel Productions, and through his own PC Productions, established in 1989, he has composed many successful jingles (with Riley, lyricist Gary Gray, and others), theme songs for CITY-TV ("People City," lyrics by Gray) and Global TV, and several scores for CBC TV movies. He was the proprietor 1977-89 of Jingles, a downtown Toronto bar that on occasion presented jazz groups. Ambrose's other recordings include singles for Warner Brothers and RCA Victor and the LPs Fuzzy Love (Kanata 4, with Bruno Gerussi) and Sweet Times (1978, New Ventures NV-5005).


Further Reading

  • Flohil, Richard. "Tommy Ambrose bounces back into the big time," CanComp, 67, Feb 1972

    Batten, Jack. "Tommy Ambrose: Toronto chauvenist in song," Toronto Globe and Mail, 17 Feb 1973

    Blackburn, Bob. "Just like a celebration," Toronto Sunday Sun, 18 Feb 1979