Press Kit   
 

  • JOAN JETT & TOMMY
    @ the R&R HoF 2015
  • 15 Best Moments at the
    Rock -n- Roll HoF
    2015 Induction
  • "Inside Tracks"
    Episode 7
  • HI-FI
    Re-released
    2014
    Available
    Worldwide
  • FEATURED VIDEO "GO"
  • One Helluva Ride
    with
    Tommy James
    and
    The Shondells
    Autographed
    Paperback Edition
    $19.98
    DIRECT
    FROM
    TOMMY
  • ME
    MOB
    MUSIC
    THE
    AND
    THE
    Produced By Barbara De Fina
    An Interview w/ Barbara De Fina
  • Tommy James & The Shondells
    Year Singles Collection
    40
  • AVAILABLE HERE
  • HOLD THE FIRE



Tommy James Website Bio Revised and Updated 7/31/14
Print TJ's Biography (Press)

* A major Hollywood movie in development based on his bestselling autobiography Me, The Mob & The Music.

  National ad campaigns for the likes of Nissan and Kohl’s; featured movie and television soundtrack placements in everything from Moneyball, Pirate Radio, Austin Powers, We Are Marshall, The Italian Job, Cape Fear, and Forrest Gump to Almost Human, Fringe, In Plain Sight, Boston Legal, Life On Mars, My Name Is Earl, Men of a Certain Age and Criminal Minds.

* "Crystal Blue Persuasion" scored big-time on the 2013 season finale of Breaking Bad and The Simpsons BB parody episode.

* Hundreds of cover recordings and live performances of his songs by Bruce Springsteen, Kelly Clarkson, Prince, Dolly Parton, Santana, R.E.M., Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Billy Idol, Tom Jones, The Killers and many others.

* His own YouTube channel: Inside Tracks with Tommy James.

* Over a hundred million records sold worldwide. Five BMI “Million Air” awards in recognition of 22 million broadcast spins of his songs.

*    *    *    *

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.

A Pittsburgh promoter tracked Tommy down at his home in Niles, told him of the success tale of “Hanky Panky,” 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 become the Shondells. Two weeks later he and this new group signed a record deal with Roulette Records in New York. 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.

The Shondells promptly followed “Hanky Panky” with two more million selling singles - “Say I Am (What I Am)” and “It’s Only Love” - and the Hanky Panky album, which went gold just four weeks after its release.

With three hits under his belt, Tommy brought in producers Bo Gentry and Ritchie Cordell who, over the next two years, produced seven more back-to-back smash singles: “I Think We’re Alone Now“, ”Mirage”, “I Like The Way”, “Gettin’ Together”, “Out Of The Blue”, “Get Out Now”, and the party rock rave-up “Mony Mony.” The Gentry/Cordell/James team also produced three platinum albums.

In 1968, Tommy and The Shondells became one of the first acts to experiment with music videos, creating a mini-film around “Mony Mony” for theatrical showings, thirteen years before MTV hit the airwaves.

After spending three months on the road that year with Vice President Hubert Humphrey's presidential campaign, TJ and company took over the creative reins of their career by writing and producing their next record, the groundbreaking “Crimson and Clover” single and the accompanying album. Released in early 1969, it went multi-platinum, and spawned two more monster hits for the group: “Do Something To Me” and “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” A fourth song from the LP, “Sugar On Sunday,” rose high on the charts in a cover version by The Clique.

The Shondells followed up the Crimson and Clover album with Cellophane Symphony, which featured the newly developed Moog Synthesizer and included yet another Top Ten single, “Sweet Cherry Wine.”

Tommy James and The Shondells were on a roll! Not only did the total sales of “Sweet Cherry Wine” and the band’s other three hits in 1969 top those of the Beatles that year, their second volume of greatest hits - The Best Of Tommy James and The Shondells (featuring “Ball of Fire”) – also appeared, and ultimately sold over 10 million copies.

Alone among his 1960s contemporaries, Tommy had successfully made the transition from a Top 40 pop singer to a respected classic rock album artist.

In 1970 the group released the gritty rock ‘n’ roll Travelin' album which contained the gold singles “She” and “Gotta Get Back To You.” Thought by many to be the band's best work, this innovative concept album was the last LP Tommy made with the 1960s Shondells. After four hectic years, both he and the band decided to take a break.

When Tommy returned, he did so as a solo act, writing and producing the million selling single “Tighter, Tighter” for the group Alive And Kickin'. Over the next four years Tommy scored an additional 12 chart singles, among them “Come To Me”, “Ball and Chain”, “I’m Comin' Home”, and “Draggin' The Line”. During that time he also produced the albums Tommy James, Christian Of The World, and My Head, My Bed And My Red Guitar; the latter of which he recorded in Nashville with an all-star cast that featured ace guitarist Pete Drake and Elvis Presley sidemen, Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana.

Meanwhile Tommy’s songs had become pop culture classics and were being covered by everyone from punk rockers to country icons. In 1987, Tiffany and Billy Idol’s versions of “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Mony Mony” respectively battled for the top spot on the pop chart for a solid month, each eventually going number one. It was the first time in music history that two cover versions of songs by the same artist went number one back-to-back.

In 2006, Tommy marked the start of his fifth decade as a recording artist with the release of a fan-pleasing, career-spanning retrospective 40 Years: The Complete Singles Collection (1966-2006), which included all 48 of his singles. Next came his I Love Christmas album on CD and a special collector’s vinyl edition.

His autobiography – Me, The Mob and The Music – became a bestseller for Simon & Schuster, garnered rave reviews from critics and industry insiders, and was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 25 greatest rock 'n' roll memoirs of all time (#12).

This thrilling tale of Tommy’s career and his tumultuous relationship with the “Godfather” of the music industry, Morris Levy, is on its way to becoming a major motion picture: a project helmed by producer Barbara De Fina, whose credits include Goodfellas, Casino, Cape Fear, Color of Money, The Grifters, The Age of Innocence, and Hugo. With a top Hollywood screenwriter now on board, Tommy’s story has taken a critical step forward in the always-lengthy film development process.

Today, Tommy’s career is still in high gear. With the signing of a new distribution deal with Allegro, his entire recorded catalog will be available around the world.

Tommy has also signed an agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing to represent Tommy’s self-published songs and the accompanying masters. This move means that all of Tommy’s songs from 1962 onward are now being pitched for film, television, advertising and other uses by the world’s largest music publishing house.

On the road, he and his Shondells are still rockin’, performing their many timeless hits to sellout crowds across the country. When not on the road, Tommy continues to craft new music geared toward film and television, and develop new business opportunities for his company Aura Entertainment Group.





  • TOMMY JAMES &
    THE SHONDELLS
    "MERCH" BAG


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    Official Merchandise Carry Bag

  • ME, THE MOB,
    AND THE MUSIC
    (AUTOBIOGRAPHY)


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    ME, THE MOB, AND THE MUSIC
    (AUTOBIOGRAPHY)

  • HANKY PANKY

    1966

    HANKY PANKY
    1966 - Roulette Records

    "We were the wrong act... with the wrong record... at the wrong time!
    Where did we go right?" -TJ

    As funny as that sounds, in many ways it's true, but the meteoric rise of Tommy James & the Shondells that summer of '66 was surely one of the greatest "Cinderella Stories" in rock history.

  • HANKY PANKY T-SHIRT


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    Hanky Panky T-SHIRT

  • IT'S ONLY LOVE

    1966

    IT'S ONLY LOVE
    1966 - Roulette Records

    IT'S ONLY LOVE was Tommy James and the Shondells' second chart album. Released in the fall of 1966 on the heals of the million selling HANKY PANKY LP, it was essentially the group's third gold single.

  • I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW

    1967

    I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW
    1967 - Roulette Records

    "I Think We're Alone Now" was the 4'th smash hit single in a row for Tommy James & The Shondells, and marked a major evolutionary step in both the sound and style of the group. It also began a long-term relationship between Tommy, producers Bo Gentry and Ritchie Cordell and musical arranger Jimmy Wisner.

  • I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW
    T-SHIRT


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    I Think We`re Alone Now T-SHIRT

  • GETTIN' TOGETHER

    1967

    GETTIN' TOGETHER
    1967 - Roulette Records

    It was June of '67, the "Summer Of Love" - exactly one year since Tommy James and The Shondells burst onto the music scene - and what a year it was!! Voted Billboard Magazine's "Top Male Artists of 1967," their record sales and Top 40 radio success exceeded all expectations.

  • SOMETHING SPECIAL

    1966

    SOMETHING SPECIAL
    1967 - Roulette Records

    SOMETHING SPECIAL: THE BEST OF TOMMY JAMES AND THE SHONDELLS was, of course, a tremendous milestone for the group... their first "Greatest Hits" LP.

  • MONY MONY

    1968

    MONY MONY
    1968 - Roulette Records

    "Songs Like Mony Mony aren't really written, they're sort of hanging in space - waiting to be found - I'm just thankful we found this one." -TJ

  • MONY MONY T-SHIRT


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    Mony Mony T-SHIRT

  • CRIMSON & CLOVER

    1969

    CRIMSON & CLOVER
    1969 - Roulette Records

    CRIMSON & CLOVER must be considered quintessential Tommy James and the Shondells and was certainly the most important LP of their career.

  • CRIMSON & CLOVER T-SHIRT


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    Crimson & Clover T-SHIRT

  • TJ & S w/ ED SULLIVAN
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    TJ & S w/ Ed Sullivan Classic Collectable
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)

  • CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION T-SHIRT


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    Crystal Blue Persuasion T-SHIRT

  • CELLOPHANE SYMPHONY

    1969

    CELLOPHANE SYMPHONY
    1969 - Roulette Records

    CELLOPHANE SYMPHONY was unexpected and shocking to many TJ & S fans. It was a bold step forward for a group that had only recently crossed over from AM Top-40 to FM radio and, before the dust settled, became one of their most highly acclaimed works.

  • SWEET CHERRY WINE T-SHIRT


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    Sweet Cherry Wine T-SHIRT

  • THE BEST OF TOMMY JAMES
    AND THE SHONDELLS

    1969

    THE BEST OF TOMMY JAMES
    AND THE SHONDELLS

    1969 - Roulette Records

    THE BEST OF TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS, released in the fall of 1969, was the group's second Greatest Hits LP and is by far their biggest selling album (over 10 million copies to date).

  • TRAVELIN'

    1970

    TRAVELIN'
    1970 - Roulette Records

    The TRAVELIN' album was considered by many to be Tommy James and the Shondells' finest work.

  • TOMMY JAMES

    1970

    TOMMY JAMES
    1970 - Roulette Records

    Tommy's first solo album titled simply "TOMMY JAMES", was released in the fall of 1970.

    "It was a bit strange and a little scary making music without the Shondells... but it gave me a chance to experiment with a lot of new sounds and ideas". - TJ

  • CHRISTIAN OF THE WORLD

    1971

    CHRISTIAN OF THE WORLD
    1971 - Roulette Records

    CHRISTIAN OF THE WORLD was a total departure from anything Tommy had ever done before. While it's true, other 'mainstream' pop and country performers had, on occasion, recorded traditional Gospel music...no other rock artist had ever attempted anything as bold as an album of new 'Christian oriented' songs.

  • DRAGGIN' THE LINE T-SHIRT


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    Draggin` The Line T-SHIRT

  • MY HEAD, MY BED
    & MY RED GUITAR

    1972

    MY HEAD, MY BED & MY RED GUITAR
    1972 - Roulette Records

    MY HEAD, MY BED & MY RED GUITAR, recorded in Nashville in the summer of 1971, was hailed as a masterpiece by Rolling Stone Magazine. This album was still another example of Tommy's willingness to put himself in new and unusual musical settings to see what would happen.

  • IN TOUCH

    1976

    IN TOUCH
    1976 - Fantasy Records

    IN TOUCH was the first of two albums Tommy produced for the San Francisco based FANTASY RECORDS. Recorded in the autumn of 1975 at the Fantasy studios in Berkley, it represented not only a geographical change for Tommy, but also a chance to explore new musical territory.

  • MIDNIGHT RIDER

    1977

    MIDNIGHT RIDER
    1977 - Fantasy Records

    MIDNIGHT RIDER was the second Tommy James album released by Fantasy Records. This time the setting and the sound was vintage, 70's LA and Tommy turned the entire production over to legendary songwriter/producer Jeff Barry.

  • THREE TIMES IN LOVE

    1980

    THREE TIMES IN LOVE
    1980 - Millennium

    "As much as I loved living and working in California, I found I really missed the energy and edge I got from being in New York." - TJ... And so in 1979, at the age of thirty-two, Tommy moved back to the East coast and signed a new deal with Millennium Records.

  • ANTHOLOGY

    1988

    ANTHOLOGY
    1988 - Rhino Records

    In 1988, Roulette Records president Morris Levy, sold Roulette and its entire catalog of masters including all the Tommy James recordings from 1966 through 1974.

  • THE SOLO YEARS:
    1970 - 1981

    1989

    THE SOLO YEARS: 1970 - 1981
    1989 - Rhino Records

    With the 1988 purchase of Roulette Records by Rhino and EMI and the release of the blockbuster Tommy James and the Shondells ANTHOLOGY album, it was only natural that the next TJ - Rhino package would be a collection of his solo works.

  • TJ w/ Guitar (STANDING)
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    TJ w/ Guitar (Standing)
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)

  • HI-FI

    1990

    HI-FI
    1990 - Aegis Records

    Because Tommy had continued a vigorous recording schedule throughout the eighties and stayed on top of the new digital technologies that were transforming the music industry, he was ready when longtime friend and record exec Ron Alexenberg asked him to do a new album for Aegis Records. The result was HI-FI: an artful mix of lush, synthesized orchestrations offset by hard driving guitars and percussion .... and of course, nine great new TJ songs.

  • TJ at the WTC (ARCHWAY)
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    TJ at the WTC (Archway)
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)

  • TJ at the WTC (LIMO)
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    TJ at the WTC (Limo)
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)

  • TJ at TIMES SQUARE
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    TJ at Times Square
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)

  • T.J. DISCOGRAPHY:
    DEALS & DEMOS '74 - '92

    1993

    TOMMY JAMES DISCOGRAPHY:
    DEALS & DEMOS '74 - '92

    1993 - AURA Records

    The first AURA release was a "double CD box set" highlighting the best of Tommy's post-Roulette career. It was called TOMMY JAMES DISCOGRAPHY: DEALS & DEMOS '74 - '92, and was a collection of all his singles and best album cuts from the five labels he had worked with since leaving Roulette... MCA, Fantasy, Millennium, Polygram/21, and Aegis.

  • TJ w/ SUNGLASSES
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    TJ w/ Sunglasses
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)

  • A NIGHT IN BIG CITY

    1996

    A NIGHT IN BIG CITY
    (An Audio-Movie)
    1996 - AURA Records

    "A NIGHT IN BIG CITY was an idea that had been rolling around in my head for a couple of years... an experiment from beginning to end. I guess you could say it was a DVD without the 'DV'." - TJ

  • TJ w/ GUITAR
    (IN THE STUDIO)
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    TJ w/ Guitar (In The Studio)
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)

  • TOMMY JAMES
    GREATEST HITS LIVE!

    1997

    TOMMY JAMES
    GREATEST HITS LIVE!

    1997 - AURA Records

    Now, finally, all Tommy's fans can experience this unforgettable night - it's all here - the show, the crowd, the excitement and energy...everything!

  • TJ & S LIVE AT
    "THE BITTER END"
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    Live at "The Bitter End"
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)

  • LIVE! AT THE BITTER END
    DVD


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    Live! At The Bitter End DVD

  • I LOVE CHRISTMAS (Single)

    2004

    I LOVE CHRISTMAS (Single)
    2004 - AURA Records


    TOMMY JAMES
    &
    THE SHONDELLS

  • SWEET CHERRY WINE (Single)

    2005

    SWEET CHERRY WINE (Single)
    2005 - AURA Records



  • ISN'T THAT THE GUY (Single)

    2005

    ISN'T THAT THE GUY (Single)
    2005 - AURA Records


  • LUPE & JOE (Single)

    2006

    LUPE & JOE (Single)
    2006 - AURA Records


  • LOVE WORDS (Single)

    2006

    LOVE WORDS (Single)
    2006 - AURA Records


  • HOLD THE FIRE

    2006

    HOLD THE FIRE

    2006 - AURA Records

  • I LOVE CHRISTMAS
    THE ALBUM

    2008

  • TJ w/ Guitar (SITTING)
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    TJ w/ Guitar (Sitting)
    (AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO)

  • 40 YEAR SINGLES
    COLLECTION 1966 - 2006

    2008

    TOMMY JAMES
    40 YEAR SINGLES
    COLLECTION 1966 - 2006


    2008 - AURA Records

  • 40 YEAR ANIVERSARY T-SHIRT


    Tommy James & The Shondells

    40 Year Aniversary T-SHIRT

  • I LOVE CHRISTMAS
    VINYL LP

    2012

  • HI-FI

    2014

    HI-FI
    2014 - Aegis Records

    As the 1980's unfolded, Tommy's music went through a renaissance. Besides being a staple on classic rock and oldies stations, his songs began popping up everywhere... in films, on TV and cover recordings by other artists. Joan Jett had a smash hit with her remake of "Crimson & Clover" while Tiffany and Billy Idol had back-to-back number one records with "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Mony Mony" respectively... his catalog was getting hot.


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