Born Thomas Charles Joseph Bruce, in Stepney, London, Tommy grew up in an orphanage after both his parents died when he was a child.
He worked as a van driver and market porter at Covent Garden Market and served his National Service in Germany.
At the suggestion of his neighbour, songwriter Barry Mason, Tommy recorded a version of the Fats Waller song Ain’t Misbehavin’ in a style mimicking the Big Bopper‘s hit single Chantilly Lace. Released on Columbia Records, the single went to #3 in the UK in 1960.
Backed by Brimimngham’s group The Bruisers, he toured the UK with Billy Fury and others and made a number of television appearances, becoming a regular performer on the ITV variety show Stars and Garters.
His subsequent record releases were less successful, with only Broken Doll and Babette making the Top 50. He subsequently concentrated on cabaret shows, especially in Spain and Malta, and appearances on the nostalgia circuit.
Tommy Bruce died from cancer on 10 July 2006. He was 68.