Thomas Alexander aka Bob Alexander began his career playing with The Patchwork Quilt in 1968 to being in Edmonton's first Funk band The Key, rocking with Southbound Freeway, and more recently his solo works.
Thomas Alexander was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in a taxi cab outside the St. Boniface Hospital. He was suppose to be named Robert Thomas Alexander. However his birth certificate only had Thomas Alexander. He used his first name Robert (Bob) during his career. In 1955, at the age of six, he moved with his parents to Edmonton.
His father, a music lover, named Thomas’s brother after Duke Ellington. With music in his blood, Thomas started singing with the band The Patchwork Quilt at the age of 19 in 1968.
The Patchwork Quilt eventually became The Key. The Key was the first funk group in Edmonton and played all over Alberta, drawing from a repertoire that included the music of other funk groups like Sly and the Family Stone, The Buddy Miles Express, Cold Blood, and Tower of Power.
Several of The Key’s band members joined the rock band The Southbound Freeway and Thomas would also join the band when he replaced the prior lead singer. The group toured Canada and the United States. They eventually recorded an album in San Francisco and, in 1973, released the single 'Right Now Good Vibrations', Thomas played with Southbound Freeway from 1971 to 1973 and also in 1975. Richard Osepchuk who played in Southbound Freeway with Thomas Said that “Bob Alexander was a treat to play with”.
Thomas Alexander left The Southbound Freeway to grow as a musician. He joined Red Deer's Gaetz Avenue Dance Band,For five and a half years. Thomas stopped playing with bands and, instead, performed on television and radio; wrote jingles for commercials, and worked on learning different styles of music.
He worked with Force Major from about to 1979 to 1981, based out of Seattle, Washington. They opened for such bands as Kool and the Gang, The Bar-Kays, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Platters and James Brown (the autograph for Thomas read from Soul Brother Number One to Soul Brother Number Two). The group didn't record and, instead, toured Eastern Canada and played at Club Etcetra in New York for a while. From 1981 to 1984.
Thomas is a very fine songwriter and has written many songs including 'Right Now Good Vibrations' which he Co-Wrote with Dwayne Osepchuk. They also wrote 17 others songs together including songs for their group The Blades like 'Do It Right' in 1984.
Thomas left the music scene and gradually got back into music, singing some jazz on television and for the Miss Edmonton Beauty Pageant and making it to the cover of TV Times. He was then invited to go to Japan, nicknamed “The Canadian Bluebird” because his tenor voice was thought to be as beautiful as a song bird’s. In Japan, Thomas did a Las Vegas-style rhythm and blues show.
The Alexanders eventually moved back to Canada. In 1994, Thomas took his country-rock singing talent to the Canadian Country Vocal Star Search contest , where he won a recording contract
Thomas has also sung in Mo' Magic a Motown Tribute with Irene Cara of Flashdance and Fame, Florence Larue - lead vocalist of the 5th Dimension and with Freda Payne of the song "Band of Gold" fame. He also starred .in the world premiere of Music of the Millennium, which featured the music of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. One of his all time favorite musical events was when he played Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Mayfield Dinner Theater
Thomas Alexander continues to perform his music in Edmonton, but he has increasingly turned to playing and writing religious music. Thomas Alexander also sang on the DVD Called Wild Rose Country which was about the Diverse Culture in Alberta.
His family's roots go back to the first Black pioneers that settled in Alberta and because of that he was asked to sing the song" Blue Alberta Blue" which was written by a descendant of the first Black Pioneers.
How did you hear about us?
What is your profession (singer, rapper, songwriter, poet, dancer, model, music fan, etc.)?
How many members are in your band?
Right now I am a solo Artist.
What is your style of music?
Thomas has an amazing musical range singing Jazz , R&B , Country , Pop , Dance , Reggae and Gospel. Thomas Alexander AKA Thomas Alexander is also known as "The Voice" which is a perfect moniker for Mr Alexander.
THANK YOU! to PETE the ROCKER and CJSR THE SHOEBOX for permission in using this interview.
Who are your influences in the music industry?
Thomas was inspired by such musical legends as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Billy Eckstine, and Ella Fitzgerald. His father, a music lover, named Thomas’s brother after Duke Ellington. With music in his blood, Thomas started singing with the band The Patchwork Quilt at the age of 19 in 1968.
The Patchwork Quilt eventually became The Key. The Key, with its brass section, rivalled the popular Brass Drops band in which LeVero Carter played and also the popular horn band Privledge. The Key was the first funk group in Edmonton and played all over Alberta, drawing from a repertoire that included the music of other funk groups like Sly and the Family Stone, The Buddy Miles Express, Cold Blood, and Tower of Power.
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