Tommy James, born Thomas Jackson, was born on April 29, 1947 in Dayton, Ohio.  He was raised in Niles, Michigan.  He formed the pop group The Shondells at the age of 12.  In 1964 at 17 he recorded…HANKY PANKY  on the Snap Records label (102).  Then on Red Fox Records (110) in 1966.  Credit on the record was given to The Shondells.  The original master was sold to Roulette Records after a DJ in Pittsburgh began playing the record and it became very popular.

Tommy who was now living in Pittsburgh, put together a local group, The Raconteurs to become the official Shondells.  Members included Eddie Gray, Ronnie Rosman, Mike Vale and Pete Lucia.

On June 4, 1966  HANKY PANKY  on Roulette Records (4686) made its Billboard Hot 100 debut.  The single became a huge hit charting at #1 on the Hot 100 and crossing over to the Billboard R&B chart at #39.  HANKY PANKY  sold over 1 million copies and Tommy James And The Shondells were awarded their first “Gold Record”.  HANKY PANKY  was written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich.  The flip-side of the single was…THUNDERBOLT,  it did not chart.

Tommy James And The Shondells would chart 19 Billboard Hot 100 single records between 1966 and 1970.  CRISMSON AND CLOVER  released in December of 1968 would become the groups second #1 hit record.  In 1970 Tommy James would began a solo career that included 13 more Hot 100 hits, a total of 32 charted hits.  He charted a #4 hit single in 1971…DRAGGIN’ THE LINE  and in 1981 he charted a Billboard Adult Contemporary, #1 hit…THREE TIMES IN LOVE  on Millennium Records (11785), it charted at #19 on the Hot 100.

Between 1966 and 1981  Tommy James And The Shondells and Tommy James solo charted 3 #1 hit singles, 9 Top 10 hits and 18 Top 40 hits…in a fabulous career…One of the biggest groups of the late 1960s, Tommy James And The Shondells…their music lives in the, “GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.

Tommy James & The Shondells – Hanky Panky #1 Hit Record 1966

Till the next time—Joe



      • Joe, just discovered your blog, its 2 am in the uk at the moment and i have to work tomorow so i am
        finishing up on research tonight. i am compiling a list of hit records (us and uk top 40) 60’s only. that were made with just one take. such as animals house of the rising sun micky most quoted they only in studio for 15 mins, and beatles twist and shout, george martin quote johns voice went half way through the second take. etc etc you get the drift. i read somewhere, not sure where, that tommy james and shondells hanky panky was such a record. seems its could be true when you read the history but can you confirm as you seem to be the right person to ask. also can you think of any records that fulfill the criteria above. many thanks in advance.

      • joe, hi and thanks for your positive comment. there is a great radio programme here in the uk called sounds of the sixties, it airs uk time 0800 – 1000 every saturday on bbc radio 2. i guess you must know about it , its available on bbc i player. they have a spot called three in a row where you guessed it 3 records are played back to back with some link. well i now have my three so will put these in for an air. knowing how long requests take i may be pushing up daisies before its played but if it is i will let you know. thanks for confirmation. great site, just discovered you . keep the music alive!!

      • joe, yes log on to follow the link in the top right hand corner ie. listen now. only problem is it would be around 2am i guess your time. if you click on shows and scroll down to the sounds of the sixties logo (thats the one with the smiling brian matthew a legend in sixties culture in the uk) you will then see the last show broadcast. there is a listen again tab which is running for seven days from the shows first broadcast. so the last saturday show will figure there. click on that and you can see if you can access that from outside the uk. i know that users can listen to live shows as the presenters here often say they have a request from someone in kuala lumpur or even des moines iowa where ever that is! i dont know however whether the listen again is available outside uk, only one way to find out. good luck. eric

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