Crooner swings into town for show-stopping festival gig
TOM Burlinson is a household name in Australian TV and theatre, but he's just a normal guy.
Tom chatted to Pulse earlier this week from his Sydney home, ahead of his Jazz 'n Shiraz show on Sunday, April 20, at the Gladstone Marina Main Stage.
The Man from Snowy River star has had a blockbuster career excelling in many entertainment mediums, but he's humble about his feats.
"I'm really happy to continue to work and provide for my family, that's my main goal - I don't really have an 'I want to achieve this' goal," Tom says.
"I've been very fortunate to work in show biz for 35 years."
You'd think being a celebrity and touring multiple towns across the country would exhaust the former Australia's Got Talent judge, but there's always time for the little ones.
"My kids keep me busy, I've got three kids. Because I work so much on the weekend, I really enjoy being at home during the week.
"I can walk my daughter to school and lots of dads don't get the opportunity to do that. I like to be around to help with homework. We've got a puppy recently, so I don't sit around much!" he laughed.
But the celebrity status that comes with being an actor is one that Tom has never let bother him.
"It's been a part of my life for so long and I'm used to being recognised by people. Australians aren't too over the top; it doesn't intrude on my life at all," he says.
"It's also good as an actor when people still come up to me and tell me they loved the old movies I was in a long time ago. They are still popular years later."
High-profile people also encounter obstacles, but in Tom's case he jumped over the hurdle and turned down a different path.
"Things changed a lot in Australia in the 1980s. I was being cast in lead roles but then the film industry changed, work got scarce in the '90s in TV.
"What it forced me to do was theatre - it led to taking up most of my employment for the next 15 years. My wife and I took a mortgage on the house," Tom says.
"I got to create something, 'Frank - A Life In Song'. It was a risk and I wasn't a renowned singer at the time so I'm proud of that."
Tom's all-time favourite musician is Frank Sinatra, a man whose captivating voice first grabbed Tom when he was just a toddler.
"I've loved Sinatra since I was very, very young. My mum said when I was three I would point to his album and say 'I want to listen to the man with the hat'," Tom says.
"I became an avid Sinatra fan when I was a teenager. I personally believe he was the best in that style.
"Sinatra is a wonderful interpreter of songs, he was also able to sing ballads with great intensity. It sounded like he experienced what he was singing."
The king of swing will bring his act to Gladstone for the highly anticipated Jazz 'n Shiraz where he will play with an eight-piece band.
"I haven't performed there before. There's a trumpet player who travels everywhere with me, his name is Ralph. We will be bringing seven Brisbane musicians there (to Gladstone)," he says.
I've loved Sinatra since I was very, very young. My mum said when I was three I would point to his album and say 'I want to listen to the man with the hat'
"We have two sax players, trombone, bass, piano and guitar players. Everything is live and people appreciate the quality of my musicians."
Tom says his Simply Sinatra and Now We're Swingin'! shows had been received well by jazz fans of all ages.
"I go out after shows, sign autographs and get pictures. I get an immediate reaction from the crowd.
"Without sounding egotistical, it's very, very positive. For older people it takes them back to memories in the 1920s," he says.
"There's younger people whose parents loved and listened to it (Sinatra albums). A bulk of the audience is older, but there's younger people discovering the music too."
The Jazz 'n Shiraz show runs on Easter Sunday, but Tom is determined to juggle both family and work.
"Dad's going to leave on Eater Sunday. We will have our Easter egg hunt in the morning before I come to Gladstone," he laughs.
WHEN: Sunday, April 20, 6.30pm
WHERE: Gladstone Marina main stage
COST: Normal price is $65, table of 10 is $770
OTHER INFO: Bring folding chairs and picnic rugs and nibbles. No alcohol, fully licensed bar operating and food available