The entertainment industry, for the past several decades, has evolved alongside and often hand-in-hand with the technology industry. Tom Rush has been a singer, songwriter, and concert and recording artist for over fifty years, in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, Mr. Rush has served as manager, booking agent, producer, and consultant for other artists, and as a result, has become an expert in the entertainment industry throughout its 50 year transformation.
He began performing in coffee houses in the early ‘60s in the Boston/Cambridge area while he was a student at Harvard, majoring in English Literature. He has since been invited back to lecture at Harvard on several occasions, and was asked to produce one of the main entertainment events for its 350th Celebration in 1986. This open-air concert in Harvard Yard, featuring Tom himself, Buskin & Batteau, Peter Keane (a new graduate), Joan Baez, and Bonnie Raitt, was considered by many to be the high point of the weekend.
Known for a keen ear for material (as well as being an accomplished songwriter in his own right), his recordings first introduced the world to the talents of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Jackson Browne. His Club 47 concerts (named in honor of the Cambridge coffee house where he got his start) helped further the careers of then-unknown artists such as Shawn Colvin and Nanci Griffith. His landmark series of concerts at Boston’s Symphony Hall helped re-establish folk music as a major presence in America’s music scene, and his company, Maple Hill Productions, Inc., was booking agent and manager for then-emerging artists such as Christine Lavin, Patty Larkin, and Bill Morrissey.
- He has performed in small clubs (such as the Club 47), stadiums (including Harvard’s), concert halls such as Symphony Hall in Boston, New York City’s Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, as well as doing private and corporate events (as both entertainer and speaker).
- He has lectured at Harvard and other institutions on the role of popular music as a leading indicator of social change.
- He has testified before Congress on the matter of censorship.
- He has produced concerts and recordings as well as performing at/on them.
- He has served as manager, booking agent, and consultant for other artists.
He continues to perform and record today. His most recent album, What I Know, was awarded the Folk DJ Album of the Year award by the International Folk Alliance (despite his protests that it isn’t a folk album), and his comedic YouTube clip, the Remember Song, has garnered over four million plays. His songs have been recorded by artists in many different genres, including heavy metal, hip-hop, rock and country. U2, Emmylou Harris, the Walker Brothers, Midge Ure, and many others have recorded his material. He is currently working on an autobiography-cum-instruction manual for young musicians.