EDDIE AND FRANK THOMAS
Growing up in the small, northeast Mississippi town of Iuka, brothers Eddie and Frank Thomas have spent over 40 years working together as Thomasfilms. New York City and Los Angeles were part of their early professional experience, but the bulk of their careers has been in Iuka focusing on film, video and audio productions that tell Mississippi stories.
Their film, Zeb and Sal, won a Gold Award at The 1993 Worldfest/Houston International Film Festival.
Mangum Speaking was produced for the WTBS Superstation program Nice People.
Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, an award-winning, six-cassette, self-guided driving tour of the Natchez Trace Parkway, and Angels on the Backroads, a 4 CD box set following the musical roots of Highway 61 from Memphis down to New Orleans, highlight the historical significance of Mississippi’s two most famous roads. Angels on the Backroads was featured as a 17-minute broadcast on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday with Liane Hansen.
From 2004 through 2006, the Thomas brothers took their Angels on the Backroads multimedia stage show on three tours of the United Kingdom while presenting another 50 concerts to over 25,000 Mississippi high school and college students.
In three CDs, Maggie’s House, Chasing Butterflies and Pennyland, Eddie and Frank turned the microphone toward their own historical story of growing up baby boomers in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. In 2010, Thomasfilms, Inc. received two Telly Awards for the video, Pennyland. The original songs and stories from these three CDs resulted in a 4th tour to the UK in 2012.
2014 brought a new venture, November Cafe. A little music...a little theater. A place filled with Remagination. That's right, Remagination. Somewhere between remembering and imagining.
After November Cafe came The Boomer Years, an original stage show by Eddie and Frank that chronicled the coming of age of the baby boomer generation. It moved from 1946 through 1964 in an hour and twenty minutes with 50 songs from the era, 250 news headlines and a backdrop of 140 posters and photos.
In 2018, the brothers published 61 Down the Highway. This 240 page book containing over 400 photographs documents their Angels on the Backroads recording adventure beginning to end.
2020 brought a new album, 19 Angels, which again emphasizes the beauty and historical significance of the music of Highway 61, Memphis to New Orleans.
WHO ARE THESE GUYS?
After Frank graduated from Louisiana State University and Eddie from Mississippi State University and The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, the brothers formed a partnership, Thomasfilms.
Prior to incorporation in 1994, Thomasfilms produced the films:
- America’s Spirit - Hyde School, Bath, Maine
- Burke Mountain - Burke Mountain Ski Resort, East Burke, Vermont
- Chase It - Chase Golf and Tennis Camp, Bethlehem, New Hampshire
- Film Parade - WTBS Superstation, Atlanta, Georgia
- Zeb and Sal
- The Changing Face of Mississippi (documentary)
In 1994, Thomasfilms, Inc. expanded into audio production with Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness. It received:
Benjamin Franklin Award - Publishers Marketing Association
Award of Merit - Mississippi Heritage Trust/Mississippi Historical Society
Certificate of Commendation - American Association for State and Local History
A radio program entitled Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, produced by Thomasfilms, Inc. and narrated by Frank, was broadcast bi-weekly in 1996 and 1997 over Public Radio in Mississippi.
In 1995 the brothers conceived Angels on the Backroads. Their on location recording of the 65 songs spanned three years, 1998 to 2001, and they released the Angels on the Backroads 4 CD box set in 2003. The multimedia stage show by the same name toured in the Mississippi Delta and the United Kingdom from 2004 until 2007.
ANGELS ON THE BACKROADS CONCERTS
- Jun 15, 2007 University of Mississippi Geographic Alliance Oxford, MS
- Jun 4, 2007 Delta State University Workshop Crow's Neck, MS
- May 3, 2007 Mid Delta Arts Center Indianola, MS
- Apr 26, 2007 Tippah Co. Development Foundation Ripley, MS
- Apr 12, 2007 Cafe Memories Iuka, MS
- Dec 5, 2006 Delta State University Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall Cleveland, MS
- Nov 13, 2006 Hernando High School Hernando, MS
- Nov 8, 2006 Olive Branch High School Olive Branch, MS
- Nov 7, 2006 Tupelo High School Tupelo, MS
- Nov 6, 2006 Columbus High School Columbus, MS
- Oct 31, 2006 Greenwood High School Greenwood, MS
- Oct 26, 2006 Iuka Middle School Iuka, MS
- Oct 18, 2006 Grenada High Performing Arts Grenada, MS
- Oct 17, 2006 West Tallahatchie High School Webb, MS
- Oct 11, 2006 Muscle Shoals High School Muscle Shoals, AL
- Oct 7, 2006 Banbury Blues Festival Banbury, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
- Oct 6, 2006 Crawley Blues Club Crawley, Sussex, United Kingdom
- Oct 5, 2006 The University of Glasgow Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
- Oct 3, 2006 The Byre Theatre St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
- Sep 30, 2006 Painswick Blues Painswick, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
- Sep 29, 2006 Ripley Blues Club Ripley, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
- Sep 28, 2006 The Deep Blues Club York, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
- Sep 23, 2006 Barrelhouse Blues Club Sturminster Newton, Dorset, United Kingdom
- Sep 22, 2006 The Met Arts Centre Bury, Lancashire, United Kingdom
- Sep 21, 2006 The Fleece Inn Evesham, Worchestershire, United Kingdom
- Sep 20, 2006 The Ralegh Cross Inn Watchet, Somerset, United Kingdom
- Sep 19, 2006 The Wyndham Arms Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerset, United Kingdom
- Sep 18, 2006 The Courtyard East Lulworth, Dorset, United Kingdom
- Sep 16, 2006 Southport Arts Centre Southport, Merseyside, United Kingdom
- Sep 15, 2006 The Tolbooth Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
- Sep 14, 2006 Fletcher Christian Cockermouth, Cumbria, United Kingdom
- Sep 9, 2006 Windsor Arts Centre Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom
- Sep 8, 2006 Worthenbury Village Hall Worthenbury, Wrexham, United Kingdom
- Sep 7, 2006 Cragrats Mill Theatre Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
- Sep 4, 2006 The George Hotel Lower Brailes, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
- Sep 2, 2006 Woolacombe Village Hall Woolacombe, Devon, United Kingdom
- Sep 1, 2006 Pilton Church Hall Barnstaple, Devon, United Kingdom
- Jun 12, 2006 Delta State University Workshop Crow's Neck, MS
- Apr 24, 2006 Blue Mountain College Ripley, MS
- Apr 5, 2006 Jackson Academy Jackson, MS
- Mar 24, 2006 Bramlett School Oxford, MS
- Mar 20, 2006 Faulkner High School Faulkner, MS
- Mar 14, 2006 Caledonia High School Caledonia, MS
- Mar 9, 2006 Alcorn Central High School Corinth, MS
- Mar 3, 2006 Walnut High School Walnut, MS
- Feb 28, 2006 Thrasher High School Thrasher, MS
- Feb 16, 2006 Oxford High School Oxford, MS
- Nov 18, 2005 Myrtle High School Myrtle, MS
- Nov 17, 2005 Ingomar High School Ingomar, MS
- Nov 16, 2005 Washington School Greenville, MS
- Nov 9, 2005 The Musician Leicester, United Kingdom
- Nov 8, 2005 The Hawth Theatre Crawley, West Sussex, United Kingdom
- Nov 6, 2005 The Boardwalk Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
- Nov 4, 2005 Cragrats Mill Theatre Holmfirth, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
- Nov 3, 2005 Alexander's Jazz Theatre Chester, United Kingdom
- Oct 30, 2005 The Crown Hotel Nantwich, Cheshire, United Kingdom
- Oct 28, 2005 Drum Bar Grimsby, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
- Oct 25, 2005 The Black Horse Nettleham, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom