A born ham, he developed a talent for doing impressions of teachers and anybody he saw on television which got him involved in numerous talent shows. "My mother would take me to her school sometimes and I would entertain her classes with this act I had put together. I actually did my first pro show when I was about 11 at some soldier at Fort Bennings' birthday party and I got paid 15 dollars for it, which was double what we would all later get paid at The Improv in New York."
Tim was a born funnyman, delivering dead-on impressions of his teachers while still in elementary school; he later MC'ed his high school's talent shows, but after taking up guitar as a teen he instead aspired to a career in music. Tim started writing songs about all the girls who wouldn't go out with him. There were a lot of songs! Tim decided he wanted to be in the music business. "I was playing football and running track and dragging around a guitar and listening to every record I could get my hands on. Eventually I became a huge fan of Clapton and a bunch of Southern Rock groups: mainly Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Atlanta Rhythm Section."
Wilson attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina as an English major. While in college he accepted a job as a sportswriter, later convincing his editors to allow him to review local concerts as well; at an Atlanta Rhythm Section date, Wilson passed along his demo tape to the group's drummer, Roy Yeager, who agreed to produce a session at his Georgia studio. "So I'm renting this bullshit apartment in Atlanta, but mostly sleeping on Dean Daughtry of ARS's couch, working a job at a one hour eye wear store that Roy's wife Laine had found for me and I drive this girl I work with home one day and pass something I'd never heard of: A COMEDY CLUB. I show up on open mic night and am informed that you can make more money telling jokes than you can selling glasses. So I go up and do three jokes I'd written and my impression of Richard Pryor's MudBone. I meet my manager Chris DiPetta the same night and here we go. Suddenly Songwriter Boy is a Comedy Man."
Tim has been in a series of television spots, including an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; in 1990, he also teamed with the duo of Pinkard & Bowden to write the song "Arab, Alabama," and its success convinced him to include music in his standup act. In addition to a series of LPs for the independent Southern Tracks label, including Tough Crowd, Waking Up the Neighborhood, Low-Class Love Affair, and Tuned Up, Wilson scored a hit single with his "Garth Brooks Ruined My Life," also co-writing Jeff Foxworthy's smash "The Redneck Twelve Days of Christmas." Upon signing to Capitol, he released his major-label debut, It's a Sorry World, in early 1999; Gettin' My Mind Right followed later that same year. In 2000 he issued Hillbilly Homeboy, which was helped by the success of its first single, "The Ballad of John Rocker," and waited three years to follow it up with his first funk concept album, Super Bad Sounds of the '70s. Three more traditional albums -- Church League Softball Fistfight (2005), But I Could Be Wrong (2007), and Mr. Wilson Explains America (2009) -- followed.
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ON DECEMBER 30-31, 2011
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