After leaving the Army, Tom studied for a year at Bethany Fellowship Missionary Training Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. Torn between missionary service or one of the world of entertainment, Tom struggled with the decision, then he recalled the unique manner in which Pat Boone had combined the two. From that day on, he was determined to be the kind of performer that provided both entertainment and inspiration to others.
He is dedicated to his work in the hope that he can bring some pleasure and inspiration to people. He chooses songs that relate to all ages and tries to encourage his audiences to be happy with themselves.
Tom's testimony of his becoming a Christian at the age of 21, as well as his gift of music, has been a poignant addition to the Billy Graham Crusades, Robert Schuler's Hour of Power and The 700 Club.
Tom appeared in an outdoor musical pageant The Medora Musical, in Medora, North Dakota. The owners of the show, Sheila and Harold Schafer, arranged for Tom to meet Lawrence Welk in Bismarck, where Tom had the opportunity to sing for him. As a result, Welk invited him to join his musical family at the St. Paul Civic Center a few weeks later, where he found himself facing an audience of 19,000. Tom was so well received at the concert that Welk invited Tom, on stage and in front of everyone, to join his television show. From then on, things moved quickly in Tom's career.
Tom made his first appearance on the "Lawrence Welk Show" at Christmas, 1973, and performed for over 8 years to audiences of 35-40 million each week. The show went into syndication and it is now seen every week on 270 PBS stations across the country. Tom's fans continue to enjoy his performances and remember those years with nostalgic affection. See Pictures.