Tommy James Factoids

DID YOU KNOW...?

1. Tommy James' first stage appearance was as a child-model in 1951 at age 4.

2. Tommy formed his first band "Tom and the Tornadoes", in 1959 at age 12 and The Shondells in 1963 - in his hometown of Niles, Michigan.

3. "Hanky Panky", Tommy's first million-seller, was recorded in 1964 at the WNIL radio studios in Niles, Michigan and released on a small regional label, Snap Records. Two years later it exploded out of Pittsburgh on a bootleg label. Tommy then signed with Roulette Records in New York and "Hanky Panky" became the biggest summer hit of 1966.

4. Tommy has had 23 gold singles, 9 gold and platinum albums, and has sold over 100 million records worldwide.

5. During 1968-69 Tommy James and The Shondells sold more single records (45's) than any artist in the world, including The Beatles.

6. Tommy James and the Shondells' "IT'S ONLY LOVE" album cover was the first professional photo shoot by Linda Eastman McCartney. (1966)

7. Tommy James, in 1968, was among the first artists to feature the newly developed Moog Synthesizer with the production of his classic LP "CELLOPHANE SYMPHONY". The instrument was owned by Hall of Famer Whitey Ford of The New York Yankees.

8. The chords and structure of Tommy's smash single "Mirage" were actually the chords to "I Think We're Alone Now" in reverse created when it was accidentally played backwards during a writing session.

9. Vice President Hubert Humphrey asked Tommy to head his "Youth Affairs" commission while performing on his 1968 Presidential campaign. Mr. Humphrey also wrote the liner notes for Tommy's "CRIMSON AND CLOVER" album. They remained good friends until his death in 1978.

10. Tommy and the Shondells were one of the very first groups to produce music videos, starting with "Mony Mony" in 1968 - thirteen years prior to MTV.

11. The title of "Mony Mony" was created from the MONY (Mutual Of New York) Insurance Company building whose logo could be seen from Tommy's Manhattan apartment.

12. Tommy wrote and produced the million-selling smash hit "Tighter Tighter" by the group "Alive 'N Kickin".

13. In 1969, Tommy and the group regrettably turned down the offer to perform at the original Woodstock Festival when his booking agent described the event as "...a stupid gig on a pig farm in upstate New York."