Thomas R. Paxton was born October 31, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest child of Burton and Esther Paxton. The Paxton family moved to Bristow, Oklahoma in 1948, where Tom grew to adulthood and is a place he considers home. He attended the University of Oklahoma where he majored in drama and developed an interest in folk music.
After time in the Army Reserves, Tom moved to New York City where he frequented the city's Greenwich Village coffeehouse circuit. Tom Paxton made his professional debut at the Gaslight, the renowned folk haunt that also issued the singer's first album. His early success in Greenwich Village coffeehouses led to an ever-increasing circle of work.
Paxton also auditioned to join the Chad Mitchell Trio, but although he failed, the group enjoyed a 1963 hit with "The Marvellous Toy', one of his early songs. The following year Paxton was signed to Elektra Records for whom he recorded his best known work. Then in 1965 he made his first tour of the United Kingdom -- the beginning of a still-thriving professional relationship that has included at least one tour in each of the succeeding years.
He and his wife, Midge, have been married since 1963 and have two daughters, Jennifer and Kate. All three women have served as inspiration for many songs, and now three grandsons, Christopher, Sean, and Peter are adding to the sources of inspiration.
In addition to songwriting, Tom Paxton has written many critically acclaimed children's books, some of which where inspired by his songs for children. Adults and children enjoy his wonderful children's albums. They remind us all of the child inside.
He has performed thousands of concerts around the world in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Scandinavia, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland and Canada. Paxton enjoys an enviable relationship with countless fans throughout the world. That those fans continue to seek him is a testament to the quality of his newest material and the enduring power of modern standards like "The Last Thing on My Mind," "Ramblin' Boy," "Bottle of Wine," "Whose Garden Was This," and "The Marvelous Toy."