Tisdale was born in Fort Worth, Texas. His father, Louis Tisdale, was a well-known pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, serving for 21 years as senior pastor of Friendship Church; After his father died in 1997, the former Osage Expressway in Tulsa was named L. L. Tisdale Parkway in his honor. Wayman’s older brother Weldon has been pastor of the church since 1997.
Growing up, Tisdale was not interested in basketball. When older brothers Weldon and William played pickup games he usually quit before they finished, retreating to the family’s sandbox. However, Tisdale began taking to the sport in the eighth grade when he first learned to dunk.He met his future wife Regina in April 1981 at church. They were juniors at different Tulsa high schools, and she did not know he was one of the most heavily-recruited basketball players in the country. Tisdale called music his “first love”. Throughout his youth, and continuing through his college basketball career, he played bass guitar at his father’s church.Music and church were so important to Tisdale that after recruiting him to the University of Oklahoma, Sooners head coach Billy Tubbs changed the team’s practice schedule. He moved the team’s Sunday practice from the morning to the evening to allow Tisdale to play at morning services in his father’s church in Tulsa.
Tisdale launched his music career with Power Forward in 1995 on the Motown Label. Primarily a bass player, he recorded eight albums, with the 2001 release Face to Face climbing to No. 1 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart.He was awarded the Legacy Tribute Award by the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2002. In an ESPN internet chat Tisdale said his musical influences included the funk bands of the 1970s. His most recent release, Rebound, was written and released after he was diagnosed with cancer.