Louise Tomberlain passes

Louise Tomberlain, featured singer with Carl Tipton and family for about 40 years, passed away Friday, January 21, 2022, at the age of 89. She had been in declining health for a little while, struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.

Louise Leonard Tomberlain was born on September 25, 1932, in Clay County, Tennessee, and spent most of her life in the Murfreesboro area of middle Tennessee.

In 1947 she started singing with her sister Evelyn ‘Sophie’ and Carl Tipton, whom Sophie married in 1949, on WGNS radio in Murfreesboro. They appeared on Tipton’s early morning country and bluegrass show on Nashville’s WLAC-TV (later changed to WTVF). 

Tipton was best known for his long‑running early morning television show which aired for 25 years on WHTN (Channel 39), Murfreesboro. 

Tomberlain can be heard singing on an episode of The Carl Tipton Show from the mid-1980s, taped at Alvin C York Veterans Hospital, Murfreesboro. She sings Over The Tide at 4:45, and If Teardrops Were Pennies at 16:36.

As well as during the 1985 Christmas episode of The Carl Tipton Show (TV-39, Murfreesboro), singing Beautiful Star of Bethlehem at 10:16.

After Carl Tipton passed in 1989, Louise and Sophie sang as a duo, and in the late 1990s did a Sisters of the South Tour with her grandson Mickey Harris, currently the bass player with Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, (mandolin), John Rice (guitar) and Greg Blaylock (banjo and reso-guitar). 

The sisters continued to perform together beyond Tomberlain’s 80th birthday. 

She was a long-time volunteer, music judge, and one of the Sunday Gospel sing coordinators at the Uncle Dave Macon Days Festival.

R.I.P. Louise Tomberlain. 

Visitation with the family will be on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Woodfin Memorial Chapel in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 27, also at the Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a memorial donation in her memory to Stones River Manor, assisted living accommodation where she resided for the past seven years, or to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.