Tom Howard Passes Away (1950-2010)

Tom Howard | View from the Bridge | 1977       Tom Howard in 2008

Christian musician, Tom Howard, passed away yesterday (January 29, 2010). He was hiking with his wife at Edwin Warner Park in Nashville when he had a heart attack and could not be revived. He was 59 years old. Tom was a great pianist, composer, arranger, singer and songwriter. I first heard his music back in 1977 with his View from the Bridge project released through Larry Norman on Solid Rock Records. Here are two of my favorite songs from View from the Bridge. Enjoy, and please keep Tom’s family and friends in your prayers.

“One More Reason”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Click “►” button to play | Length: 5:20

“All Through the Day”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Click “►” button to play | Length: 4:16

Update: Obituary notice from The Tennessean on February 1, 2010

Thomas L. “Tom” Howard
HOWARD, Thomas L. “Tom”: Composer, Arranger, Producer, and Musician. Born February 23, 1950. Died January 29, 2010. Survived by his wife, Dori; two children, Katie and Joseph and sister, Susann (John) Anderson. Memorial Service 2 p.m. Wednesday, the 3rd day of February at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 4800 Belmont Park Terrace, Nashville, TN 37215. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Bartholomew’s. MARSHALL DONNELLY COMBS, (615) 327-1111.

Related links:

40 Comments

  1. ba says:

    Thank you; both these songs had a meaning for me at that time. “One More Reason” was an amazing tune that I shared with a number of folks to show there was quality in CCM, and ” All through the day” was actually used at a Camp I worked at to close the evening devotions. All I can think right now, is that he and Larry Norman are jamming “In Another Land”!

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    ba – I would love to be a part of that jam session! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for posting One More Reason. My all time favorite worship song ever. Seriously.

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Paul – I’m with you. I find myself singing it to the Lord all the time.

  5. Rick Young says:

    Ray, I was blown away when my pastor called me to tell me of Tom’s going Home. I met Tom when he played at Ps. Loren Decker’s wedding. When Katie graduated collage, Loren called me to see if I could help Tom move her. We had a wonderful trip in my RV coach, Tom and I. He was such a humble man. We have lost a great friend. His music will live on. He is now playing a truly Grand Piano!

  6. Julie Paleen says:

    Tom is my cousin. He lived his calling. I will always admire him for showing us all how to do that. He and I grew up together…I remember the stars on his bedroom ceiling…now, he’s with them.

    Play with the greatest now, my cousin! You live on.

    Julie Paleen

  7. Paul Keeble says:

    All Through the Day was sung at my wedding in 1980.

  8. Mike from NY says:

    Thanks for the info on Tom Howard. I was impacted in a positve way from all the “street-level” artists, including Tom.

    He will be missed!

  9. Ray Fowler says:

    Rick, Julie, Paul and Mike – Thanks for sharing. I have been singing Tom Howard songs all day long today.

  10. Kathy Spector says:

    The extraordinary music of Tom, my cousin has given me hope in times of sadness and joy. As a musician and violinist I continue to share his legacy in music with others. I am extremely saddened with the news of Tom’s passing, yet grateful for all he has given to the world.
    Blessings because of Jesus!

  11. Ray Fowler says:

    Kathy – Thank you for sharing, and please accept my condolences at the loss of your cousin. His music has meant a lot to me over the years, but I know that you and others knew him personally and the loss must be great.

  12. Marv Baty says:

    Tom was instrumental in my life as a youth leader for Youth at Calvary Baptist Church in Roseville, Minnesota. His music and his gentle way of expressing the Lord’s love won our hearts. We will miss him but look forward to seeing and hearing him in heaven.

  13. Ray Fowler says:

    Marv – How neat to have known Tom as your youth leader! Thank you for sharing.

  14. Debbie Campbell says:

    Well I must be the last person to get to know Tom and his music.I have seen him on Facebook and was informed tonight of what has happened to him. I trust his spirit is resting with the Lord and look forward to rejoicing with him in Heaven ! What a gift God gave ! Debbiejoy!

  15. Ray Fowler says:

    Debbie – Thank you for stopping by and sharing. Tom touched many people with his music.

  16. Erich Aseltine says:

    Thank you for posting, “One More Reason.”
    I read about Tom Howard passing away on Marty Goetz website.

    The song “One More Reason” I have not heard for 30 years, but I love it and remembered the words!

  17. Ray Fowler says:

    Erich – “One More Reason” has always been one of my favorites, too.

  18. Pierre says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Tom’s passing away. I have always enjoyed his playing and arranging. I especially enjoyed his solo piano work on Marantha. His orchestrations were always so interesting. They had a certain “signature” or sound to them where you knew that Tom had his hand in it. I am surprised that on the Wiki page (where I found out about his death) there was no mention of his work with Marty Goetz.

    I was just listening to my (legal) cassette recording of Beyond the Barriers. I was inspired to track down Tom and tell him how much I enjoyed his music…that’s when I found out about his death.

    I pray his family is doing okay

  19. Wow, I was a kid in 1977 (9 years old) and my sister bought “View from the bridge.” I listened to it heaps over the next few years in my home in Wellington, New Zealand. I was driving home tonight (I’m now 42) and the words from one of the songs on the album popped into my head: “If to live means dying, to myself it’s true; I will follow, after You”. So I Google Tom’s name and hear the news of his passing. May God continue to bless the legacy of his music and comfort his family. If just one of my songs ministered to just one person in the way they did tonight, I would be truely grateful that my small musical gift was a blessing.

  20. Mark Nemier says:

    It is September 3, 2010 and I am just learning of the loss of one of the most wonderful musicians in all of Christian music. To say that I truly sad would be stating it mildly.

    I became familiar with his first solo album, A View from the Bridge, and other early career efforts. I always found his compositions inspiring and many of his musical arrangements very compelling. As a musician as avocation, I always appreciated his unique sensibilities that expressed themselves in compositions that were deeper and more complex that the standard pop offerings of the day. I thought his later instrumental works on Myrrh, I think it was part of the Colors series, were wonderful. He was a treasure that all too few people knew of. I appreciated all his works but the original albums are still among my favorites and I would love to get my hands on them again if I could.

    To me Tom Howard was a uniquely creative talent who offered compositions outside of the mainstream pop music and carbon copy top 40 charts, but who could also write and perform songs with popular appeal. My most sincerely condolences to his family.

    The world lost one of its best artists. I can only hope that in eternity we will once again enjoy his wonderful gift.

  21. Ray Fowler says:

    Mark – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Tom and his music. I agree with you – Tom had a special depth to his arrangements that always stood out. Hopefully Solid Rock will release View from the Bridge sometime soon. In the meantime, Amazon has two of his CDs available: Scenes from the Life of Christ (orchestral), and Piano Christmas (solo piano). Both are very nice.

  22. Paul Schreiber says:

    Like Mark above, today, October 27, I just heard about Tom Howard passing away. What a brilliant and gifted artist! Musically, lyrically, technically ~ View From The Bridge was a supreme contribution to early contemporary Christian music ~ way ahead of its time, even by today’s standards. There’s no telling how many times I listened to this album in junior college and for years afterward. It was always near my turntable. God sure does give good gifts.

    All the best to the Tom Howard family. Through his music, his life lives on in this world, even as he lives on in the next.

    Thank you.

    PS ~ Thanks to keeszon for posting the album on YouTube. I haven’t heard some of these tunes in years.

  23. Ray Fowler says:

    Paul – Thanks for sharing. I feel the same way about Tom’s music and especially View from the Bridge.

  24. John Peters says:

    Just found out the news concerning Tom. Somehow, I felt I knew him without ever having met him. That album “View from the Bridge” was one of the many (new Christian rock) records I clung to in the 70′s for exiting the worldly rock delights. Thanks Tom and family for bring me life during those treacherous times. God Bless! “One more reason to praise your name” “The Sky is singing the earth proclaim”, “Dwell in his promises, walk in his light”, “Darkness will flee at his command”, “All through the day and night we are in his hand”…

    Jesus is peace and he loves us.

  25. Ray Fowler says:

    John – That’s a great testimony concerning Tom’s music. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Robert Gowdey says:

    Tom inspired as a child in 1985 to teach myself how to play piano and I thank him to this day for his testimony and music.

  27. Ray Fowler says:

    Robert – Thank you for sharing. Tom’s life and music had an impact on so many people, and it is nice to hear how his music inspired you.

  28. Ray and all–Thanks so much.

    I just found out about Tom’s death. We live in France. I heard Tom and met him once when he sang at our small church circa 1980 in Culver City California. He was a gentle sensible profound guy. I have been singing some of his songs that I can remember from time to time. I googled “the blue pacific on a summer’s day…” and found your seb site. Thank you so much This is very meaningful and encouraging to me and my wife. A big hug to Dori and family. I would love to find this other song of Tom’s that is burrowed in my soul–with words like ‘real simple pleasures are everywhere in great measure i just open my eyes and I can see the richest things in life are free…’

  29. Ray Fowler says:

    Kelly – Actually that is a John Fischer song off his classic “Still Life” album. Perhaps you heard Tom sing it in concert. Here is a link to the album and lyrics: Still Life. Sadly the album is out of print, but you can find a used copy through Amazon or eBay.

  30. Thanks Ray–ah great musicians! John’s song Simple Pleasures has such a feel like One More Reason by Tom, and vice versa. It has been about 25 years since I heard these two songs, until today.

  31. Ray Fowler says:

    Kelly – I also found a link to the song online. If you have Real Player installed on your computer you can listen to it here: Simple Pleasures (And if you don’t have Real Player, it is a free download.)

  32. Byron Escalante says:

    Me acabo de enterar de la murte de Tom. Vivo en Guatemala y hace unos años comense a escuchar sus Discos que han venido a ser de gran bendicion a mi vida, siempre voy a admirar a Tom un gran musico, que me inspiro a tocar el Piano. Su musica me invita a buscar y a amar al Señor mas y mas. Un abraso a su familia que reciban fortalesa de lo alto… Dios les bendiga.

  33. Brian Ho says:

    Tonight, I felt led to google Tom Howard’s name in Amazon and then looked up the song title ‘To Learn by Living’. Went onto youtube and listened to the song. Saw the comment ‘ Tom’s body died January 29, 2010.’ Was sad to hear the news. One thing led to another and I found your web site from wikipedia. The song “to learn by living’ was a turning point in leading me to accept Christ as my Saviour. Now as I listened to the song, tears flowed to my eyes. Am sad by news of his passing but yet renewed by Tom’s words in the song. His legacy lives on…

  34. Don Grant says:

    I just stumbled across the news of my friend Tom’s death and am saddened. Although I haven’t seen or spoken to him since we went to high school together @ Washington HS in St. Paul, MN, (class of ’68..) I’ve known of his work and am proud of him. We were in several plays together. We also played on our HS football team for 3 yrs together. He was voted the “Most Talented” in our class, so I wasn’t surprized to hear of his musical success. I’m a pastor in New Richmond, WI not far from where we grew up. I pray God’s comfort on his wife and family. Tom was a special person.

  35. Roger Maxwell says:

    It’s hard to hear that the Lord took Tom so early in his life. But I guess his work was done and now he’s in Glory and although we who remain miss him very much, he’s in a much better place, and we all should be jealous! I was “introduced” to him via his first record that my brother had, and saw him in his concerts, many with Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill… I still have his first two albums but I haven’t converted them to mp3, and I can’t find those albums on CD. I’m grateful to hear two of his songs again. Thank you for posting them. Do you know if his first two albums will be on CD?

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Christian Musician Tom Howard « Thinking Out Loud
  2. Christian Musician Tom Howard « Christianity
  3. Dana Key Passes Away (1953-2010) at Ray Fowler .org
  4. Weihnachten 2010 - Die CD-Neuerscheinungen | Der Kultur-Channel | News, Kritiken, Fotos aus Musical, Theater und Pop-Culture

Leave a Reply