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Posthumous discovery leads to scholarship

12/4/2000
December 4, 2000

Shortly after the death of artist and Austin Peay employee Tom Malone, his mother found two carefully sealed packages in the closet of his boyhood bedroom. Inside were two reels of tape dating back more than a decade and containing musical recordings.

The first tape was titled “Open Windows.” The second simply “Tommy's Recording, Tape #1.”

Both contained works composed, performed and recorded by Malone--using instruments he created or salvaged. Many of the songs combined musical instrumentation with the sounds of nature.

“Tom was the most unique individual I've every known,” says Sally McGraw, Malone's former wife. “Sounds in nature were just as interesting to him as sounds made by musical instruments, and he often incorporated them into his music.”

As gifted as Malone was musically, he was an even more gifted visual artist. After his death of an aneurysm at the age of 45, his family wanted to find a way to honor his memory and continue his creative legacy.
With digital mastering assistance from John Breglia, they produced a CD of Malone's compositions. His artwork appears on the cover.

The family has made the CD available to anyone who makes a $15 or more contribution to the Tom Malone Memorial Art Scholarship fund. Scholarships will be awarded to studio art majors pursing a concentration in painting or sculpture.

“We wanted to continue Tom's legacy with something he loved, to help students who, like him, wanted to pursue their dreams,” says Charlsie Haliburton, Malone's sister.

Tom Malone's CD, titled “Open Windows,” is available at the following locations: Mary's Music, 305 Riverside Dr.; Old National Bank, 25 Jefferson St.; the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, 200 Second St. and the APSU Book and Supply Store, located in the Memorial Health Building.

For a man whose creativy, in the words of his former wife Sally McGraw, “extended to every aspect of his life,” the CD and the establishment of the Tom Malone Memorial Art Scholarship fund are a fitting tribute indeed.