Tommy James’ road to superstardom began when a nightclub DJ in Pittsburgh discovered a two-year-old record by “The Shondells” and played it at his weekend dances. The crowd response was so overwhelmingly positive that radio deejays started spinning it and an enterprising record distributor bootlegged it, selling 80,000 copies in ten days. By May of 1966 “Hanky Panky” was the number one record in Pittsburgh and Tommy James was a sensation.
Tommy James & The Shondells will rock Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Ampitheater in Downtown Fayetteville on Saturday night, June 29. Gates open at 7.
A Pittsburgh promoter tracked Tommy down at his home in Niles, Michigan and urged him to “come on down!” Unable to put the original group back together, Tommy hired a hot P-burgh R&B bar band to replace them. Two weeks later he signed a record deal with Roulette Records. The label, in turn, put their promotion team to work on “Hanky Panky” and made it the summer smash of ‘66. Thus began one of the longest strings of nonstop hits in recording industry history!
James in his career has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and his 32 Billboard Hot 100 Chart hits include “Mony Mony”, “Crimson & Clover”, “Crystal Blue Persuasion”, “Sweet Cherry Wine”, and “I Think We’re Alone Now.” These hits not only made him famous, but they were also big hits for other artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Prince, Kelly Clarkson, REM, Tom Jones, Cher and more.
James’ critically acclaimed autobiography Me, the Mob and the Music is on Rolling Stone’s Top 25 Best Music Memoirs list, and it is now in production for a film being produced by Barbara De Fina.
James also now hosts his own SIRIUS/XM Radio show called “Gettin’ Together with Tommy James”, which airs on Sundays 5-8 p.m. on the 60s on 6 channel.
Now entering his 51st year in the music business, James has just released a new album “Alive”. The new version of his hit “I Think We’re Alone Now” was released on June 17.
Tickets for the June 29 Tommy James & The Shondells concert in Fayetteville are available online at SouthernGroundAmp.com.