George Tomsco


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Job Title

George Tomsco formed the influential rock band The Fireballs with several of his high school friends.  The band became known for its instrumental recordings, which were very popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Many of the band’s best known songs were written by George, including “Torquay” in 1959 and “Bulldog” the following year.  The instrumentals, with a strong focus on the electric guitar, became the inspiration for the Surf Guitar movement.  When the Beatles became popular, according to George, it was the end for instrumental bands, so the Fireballs added a vocalist.  The newly formed band, known as Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs had a smash hit with their first single, “Sugar Shack” in 1963.  Today, George is still on the road with a band playing his hits and loving to fulfill requests for his instrumental hits!