February 28, 2010 – Tom ‘T-Bone’ Wolk (Hall & Oates) was born on December 24, 1951 in Yonkers, N.Y. and was a state accordion champion by age 12.
Seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, however, led him to bass and guitar—the former influenced by James Jamerson and Paul McCartney. Although he studied art at Cooper Union, most of his youth was spent playing in bar bands, where he first met guitarist G.E. Smith (who gave him the nickname T-Bone—for blues guitarist T-Bone Walker—after Wolk played his bass behind his head during a solo). He attended Roosevelt High School.
By the time he auditioned for and joined Hall & Oates in 1981, Wolk had cracked the studio and jingle scene on the recommendation of Will Lee, and had played on rap’s first gold record, Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks.” As Hall & Oates racked up such Wolk-driven hits as “Maneater,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” “Out of Touch,” “One on One,” and “Family Man,” T-Bone also headed the Saturday Night Live house band, from 1986-1992 with his Hall & Oates bandmate G.E. Smith.
Wolk was a multi-instrumentalist and worked with Daryl Hall, Carly Simon, Jellyfish, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Shawn Colvin and Billy Joel over the course of his career. Downtime from Hall & Oates led to tours with Carly Simon and Billy Joel, and endless studio sessions highlighted by four albums with Elvis Costello and one with Costello and Burt Bacharach.
Wolk died on February 28, 2010, in Pawling, New York from a heart attack at age 58 years.