Regular listeners to this show know that Tim is a friend and a brother to all of us at the Bob & Tom Show. It is a very difficult day, and we couldn't be more saddened by the passing of a comedy legend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tim's loved ones. Tim's first appearance on the show took place on April 13, 1995. His first bit played on the Bob & Tom Show was "Acid Country."
"Tim is a brother to all of us at the BOB & TOM Show," said Tom Griswold. "He had a comedic voice like none other. He will be terribly missed."
Wilson died of an aparent heart attack at the age of 52.
Wilson was to headline this weekend in Birmingham, Alabama at the The Comedy Club Stardome. The news was first announced by club owner Bruce Ayers. "I am very sorry to report that my dear friend Tim Wilson passed away this evening. I like the entire comedy community am shocked and saddened by this tragic news. Tim was old school, he was on our second show. I just can't tell you how much he will be missed."
Henry Phillips, Drew Hastings, Chick McGee, and Tim Wilson. Credit: Jim Minteer
Georgia-born country comedian Tim Wilson 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.
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. The resulting demo went nowhere, however, and so Wilson instead turned to comedy; immediately he earned a devoted local following, and soon after won a Cinemax standup competition.
A series of television spots followed, 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.
Credit: Jim Minteer
Donnie Baker calls in with a tribute to Tim:
Comedians from across the spectrum have offered tributes. Larry the Cable Guy offered this tribute via Twitter:"
Larry the Cable Guy offered: "Horrible news. Comedian Tim Wilson passed away tonight. I hope you were one of the lucky ones that got to see him preform. One of the best. Tim was a mentor and friend to a lot of us comedians that started in the south, Him, Foxworthy and James Gregory. One of the big 3. Hat off. My heart goes out to his wife and kids. You'll be missed Tim and thank you for all the memories."
Ron White: "I regret to tell you my friends that we have lost comedian Tim Wilson today he died of a heart attack in Nashville he was with his brother. I cannot tell you how much he will be missed in the comedy community. He died on the 20th anniversary of the death of Bill Hicks. FUCK!"
Patti Vasquez: "Heartbroken over the loss of Tim Wilson. Grateful for the laughs and arguments we had. Pissed there won't be more. Truly one of the greatest comedians to grace the stage. Good night Mr. Wilson."
Etta May: "Comic Tim Wilson died a few hours ago. God bless u my friend. I loved and respected you so much. Safe travels!!! — feeling sad"
Kathleen Madigan: "To one of the few who loved the road for the road, a great guy, great headliner n even drinking buddy, RIP Tim Wilson. I'm shocked n sad."
Greg Warren: "Tim Wilson died today. He was flat out one of the funniest comics I've ever seen. Class act as well."
Tommy Johnagin: "The 1st live show I ever saw was Tim Wilson. He was a great comedian. I was lucky to get to know him as a person. He was also a great man. Tim Wilson didn't have a TV show and wasn't a household name he was bigger than all of that. He meant so much to me and many other comedians."
Rich Vos: "I am sadden to hear the depressing news a friend and fellow comic passed away. RIP Tim Wilson you will be missed."
Roy Wood Jr.: "Tim Wilson was the first comic to make me feel like I belonged in this biz R.I.P."
Ryan Singer: "Tim Wilson turned me on to the Drive By Truckers and I loved doing stand up comedy with him, thanks for the laughs & memories."
Listen to Chick's interview with Tim here.
Please enjoy some of our favorite Tim Wilson moments: