WACO, Texas – Legendary music producer and Waco native Tom Wilson is set to get his own biopic, Variety announced this week.
Wilson is known as one of the most influential music producers of the 20th century – working with acts like Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, and Velvet Underground – but is widely unknown to the general public.
Keep Waco Loud teamed up with Rogue Media in 2020 to try and fix this – releasing a nine part podcast series titled, Invisible Icon: The Tom Wilson Story.
“Tom Wilson is going to be a household name very soon,” the podcast’s executive producer Jacob Green said.
Wilson produced three of Dylan’s albums in the 1960s – namely “The Times They Are a-Changin’,”Another Side of Bob Dylan,” and “Bringing it All Back Home” – along with the hit single “Like a Rolling Stone.”
“He was huge,” Green said. “He was basically creating what is modern contemporary rock n’ roll. Like a major player in forming what is, today, modern contemporary rock n’ roll.”
Born in Waco in 1931, Wilson graduated from the city’s all-black high school – A.J. Moore High School – before graduating from Harvard University. He is known as the man behind one of music’s most famous (or infamous) decisions, as he gave Dylan the idea to play with an electric guitar.
From their research, the podcasters learned Wilson’s influence stretched far beyond just Dylan.
“It was just like page after page of these iconic and monumental musicians saying, ‘Tom Wilson was the best producer we ever worked with,’ ‘Tom Wilson was the smartest producer we ever worked with,’ ‘Tom Wilson was the most influential producer in my career,’ just over and over and over again,” series narrator Travvis Scott said.
While he is soon to be immortalized on the big screen, he has nothing to honor his memory in his hometown – just a headstone he shares with his parents at the Doris Miller Memorial Park.
“I would say we just started out as just wanting to be cheerleaders for Tom Wilson, and then it sort of snowballed into, ‘Why the heck isn’t he being honored?'” Green said. “We’re going to find out how to honor him.”
The podcasters already have some ideas to cement Wilson’s legacy.
“I would say the most ideal way to start a conversation about who Tom Wilson is, is just getting something named for him that is blessed by the city, and the residents of the city,” Green said.
Wilson died of a heart attack at the age of 47 in 1978. Actors for the biopic are expected to be announced in early 2022.