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Meet The DJ: Tom Gillam

1. Where were you born and raised?

I am originally from a small place in NJ across the bridge from Philadelphia, PA called Deptford. Although it is a very bustling place these days, when I grew up it was more rural, lots of farms and open land which started to be developed in the late '70s and early '80s.

We had very few neighbors back then and lived across the street from Deptford High School which is where I received my education…in and out of the classroom. My brother and I formed our first band with our only close neighbor when I was in 8th grade, I haven’t stopped for a day since.

2. When did you move to New Braunfels & When did you start at Radio New Braunfels?

I met Mattson Rainer in 2001 when my 1st national album “Dallas” was released and Mattson was one of the first radio programmers in the country to play my music. When we toured in TX for the first time, we visited the station and became fast friends. I would visit at least once a year to play the Americana Jam or the Wine Fest.

He suggested I move to Texas which seemed like a pretty good idea, he even got Ray Wylie Hubbard to suggest I do it to seal the deal. My wife and I moved to Austin in 2008 and thought it might be a better place to network for my music career but still spent a lot of time and made quite a few friends in New Braunfels. I was offered the morning show in (I believe) 2012 and commuted back and forth each morning until last year when we found a place here in town.

3. What did you do before working at Radio New Braunfels?

My entire life has been spent making and playing music until Americana adopted me and my “Neo-Classic Rock” sound in 2000. I still continue to write, record and tour when I can although being on the air every day is quite satisfying.

4. Do you have any hobbies?

Music is my life

5. Have you ever been in a band?

Uhh, yes. I believe I have...

6. What item on your bucket list have you accomplished?

Believe it or not, doing a radio show has been on my bucket list as far back as high school. 

In the '80s, I became friendly and remained friends with a lot of the DJ’s at WMMR and WXPN—two of the biggest radio stations in Phila. I got to see and experience what goes on behind the scenes. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to do this every day. I still get butterflies in my stomach right before I go on the air the same way I do before a show. As a matter of fact, I consider my morning show a performance in the best of ways and I always want to keep my Early Morning Risers happy and entertained 

I consider it an honor to be the first voice they hear each day. Or as I like to say “If I am the voice you wake up to each day I am equal parts flattered and apologetic.” 

7. Lastly, the best breakfast in the world is…

I start each day with: 2 hard boiled eggs, avocado mixed with artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes and black olives sprinkled with “everything bagel” and a 20oz coffee. My beautiful wife, Caroline Breedlove-Gillam, packs it for me every morning. (I am a very lucky guy!)  


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