Focused on Mississippi: How Tommy Rice became a songwriter

Focused on Mississippi

RAYMOND, Miss. (WJTV) – Tommy Rice and his wife, Deborah, were married for 20 years. And it was a special relationship.

“The foundation was her belief in Jesus. That’s what her life was. We’d start our day in prayer, and I’d go to work, and she would be my biggest cheerleader,” said the songwriter.

Tommy and Deborah enjoyed life. They had each other. And then, for three years, Tommy watched Deborah slowly slip away because of cancer. 

“This was devastating. Life as I know it changed immediately,” said Tommy.

A friend suggested Tommy go to grief counseling. It seemed to help. There were some exercises the counselor suggested that started turning Tommy’s life in a brand new direction.

“Write a short story. I said, a short story. I don’t know anything about that,” said Tommy.

But the story just sort of came to him. Then a poem came along, a poem that Tommy had set to music, ‘Miss Her More Today Than Yesterday.’ Thinking he had done it, set down his grief and his emotions in a story and a song, Tommy thought that was it. Until all of a sudden another song came. And then another at convenient times and inconvenient times.

“And they started poppin’. And these come in my sleep. I can get up at night and write a song. I can be at the office with a customer. I shut the door and write a song. I can be going down the road. It hits me. Pull off the side of the road and write the song. Don’t ask me where it’s coming from. My whole life has been changed by this.”

The day I talked to Tommy Rice, he was up to 86 songs, either finished and recorded, to be recorded or written. And now, there is even a book about the experience. And a web page tommyricemusic.com, where you can hear 25 of the songs he has had recorded so far.

“This is beyond anything I ever can imagine. That has brought me the happiness. That has really helped me get through this,” expressed Tommy.

Tommy is not a professional writer, but the key to successful writing came to him from somewhere. He just writes the truth. You want to be a writer? Write your truth and it will resonate with somebody. 

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