SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Most of the Upstate knows Tom Crabtree as “the anchorman,” but beyond news he’s spent decades sharing his other talents with the area.
As we celebrate his final week here at 7News, here’s how he got his band together and performed in the western Carolinas for more than two decades.
If you think “Rock and Roll Reunion” was just some side gig for Crabtree, you’d be off key.
“Playing with the band for 25 years now has just been a huge blessing in my life,” said Crabtree.
Crabtree started the band back in 1995, and the first gig was “Spring Fling” in Spartanburg.
Now Rock and Roll Reunion plays year round throughout the Carolinas including the Biltmore and Saluda’s Coon Dog Festival where the show goes on even when rain takes out the electricals.
“Just about every gig we have, I see this seen take place. Two people standing there together talking. That’s Tom Crabtree. No it’s not, yes it is. Playing guitare and singing? Yes,” Crabtree said with a laugh.
Andre Kerr, on the keyboard, said Crabtree is nothing if not dedicated.
“If you know Tom, he’s all business, and he’s ready to get it going. And he puts a lot of time and effort into his band,” Kerr said.
Perhaps the only time Crabtree wasn’t as prepared as usual, was when one of his favorite bands, the Beach Boys, pulled him up on the Peace Center stage.
“I said, ‘Wow! This is great.’ I also learned I didn’t know all the words to Barbara Ann. They stuck a microphone in my face [and] I’m going, ‘Ba ba ba ba, Barabara Ann,'” Crabtee said.
And while his music has helped generate thousands for local charities like Docs who Rock and Mobile Meals, he said sharing his gift has been one of his life’s greatest pleasures.
“To get up there and stand in front of a crowd, holding an electric guitar, looking at the crowd, and going, ‘Look at all those people. Let’s do it.’ I just love doing that, and I hope to continue in that,” Crabtree said.