Tommy James Factoids
DID YOU KNOW...?
1. Tommy James' first stage appearance was as a child-model in 1951 at
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.
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
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
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
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."