March 5, 1933|
Springfield, Ohio, United States
January 22, 1982 (aged 48)|
Newark, New Jersey, United States
Tommy Tucker (born Robert Higginbotham; March 5, 1933 – January 22, 1982) was an American blues singer-songwriter and pianist. He is best known for the 1964 hit song, "Hi-Heel Sneakers", that went to No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and peaked at No. 23 in the UK Singles Chart.
He was born Robert Higginbotham, to Leroy and Mary Higginbotham, the fifth of eleven children, in Springfield, Ohio, United States.
Tucker's follow-up release, "Long Tall Shorty", was less successful.
Tucker co-wrote a song with Atlantic Records founder executive Ahmet Ertegün, called "My Girl (I Really Love Her So)". Tucker left the music industry in the late 1960s, taking a position as a real estate agent in New Jersey. He also did freelance writing for a local newspaper in East Orange, New Jersey, writing of the plight and ignorance of black males in America, and the gullibility and exploitation of African Americans in general by the white-dominated media. Tucker currently has four albums selling in Europe and over the internet, through the Red Lightnin' record label.
Tucker died in 1982 at the age of 48 at College Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, from inhaling carbon tetrachloride while refinishing the hardwood floors of his home; though his death has been alternatively attributed to food poisoning.
Robert Higginbotham, a blues and jazz singer who performed under the name Tommy Tucker, died Friday at College Hospital in Newark. Mr. Higginbotham, who lived in East Orange, N.J., was 48 years old. ... A native of Springfield, Ohio, he had lived in East Orange for 17 years. He was a licensed real-estate broker and had been an amateur prize fighter as a young man.