Sunderland musician who worked with Free legend Paul Rogers dies

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TRIBUTES were today paid to a popular singer-songwriter and “unsung hero” after his sudden death.

Guitarist Tommy Morrison, from Herrington, worked with the legendary Paul Rodgers, lead singer of 1960s and 70s rockers Free and Bad Company, as well as writing songs for veteran vocalist Elkie Brooks and a host of local performers.

He also recorded a string of tracks of his own, many of which were produced in the North East, as well as in studios across the country.

The dad-of-one died suddenly. He was 67.

His wife Barbara, 60, from Fulwell, said: “He was always very easy going. He was well loved.

“He was cheeky, very upbeat and loved a good laugh.

“A lot of people have said they were proud to have known him.”

During his career, Tommy often worked with fellow musicians Paul Jackson, from Grangetown, and Jim Smith, from Pennywell, who will be among artists taking part in a performance after his funeral on Wearside.

“Tommy was an amazing guy to work with,” said 56-year-old Paul.

“He was so creative in the studio, a real life force, and he’d worked with so many talented people over the years.

“Paul Rodgers co-produced one of his albums.

“Paul was even best man at his wedding and he lived at Paul’s house in Guildford for a good few years.

“But he was always very unassuming.

“He would never publicise the things he’d done. He was a real unsung hero.”

Music pals are now planning to make new recordings of Tommy’s work as a tribute to him.

“We’re trying to get together as many people who have worked with Tommy as possible,” he said. “Anyone who wants to get in touch can email me at

“We’ll then donate any money from the sales to the RSPCA.

“Tommy always loved animals.”

A funeral service will take place at Sunderland Crematorium on Monday at 11.30am.