Tommy James a.k.a Thomas Jackson (born on April 29, 1947) is a proper Psychedelic rock. He is the lead singer and musician of the popular band Tommy James and the Shondells.
As of not long ago, he had been earning through a live performance in little clubs in the Midwest. However in the 1970s his single “Hanky Panky” — a melodiously slight yet wildly driving rocker — had become an unexpected Rockstar in the Pittsburgh music industry, and out of nowhere James became popular and was demanded more. So he traveled to New York, to check if the music could change his life for good.
Tommy James was born in Dayton, Ohio however he was moved and raised in Michigan. Regarding his parents, Tommy was born to his father and mother whose names are unknown but they played a significant part in the career of Tommy James. While growing up he became a child model and started child modeling when he was just 4 years old. At the age of 10, he was into music and singing and when he turned twelve he formed a new band called The Echoes, and that later changed into Tom and Tomadoes.
In 1964 Tommy changed the band name from Tom and the Tomadoes to The Shondells. That very year, Jack Douglas, a DJ of his locality at WNIL radio broadcast in Niles, established his own record name, Snap Records. He recorded The Shondells at WNIL studios soon after establishing his record productions.
In 1964 after the band changed the name to The Shondells they also released the single titled “Hanky Panky”. After a year later in 1965, the song became popular when a dance promoter started playing it in his dance clubs. Soon after that, a bootlegger started promoting it on local Pittsburgh radio. This promotion significantly raised the sales of their album by over 80,000 in just 10 days.
After the popularity of the song in Pittsburgh, Tommy went to Pittsburgh and met with Mack and Rubin and listed Hanky Panky as a regional hit single all around the USA. Chuck Rubin acted as a manager for the band and took them to Europe for a record deal. However, their visit to New York City was not fruitful initially as major records such as Roulette Records refused to give them any record deals. However, Roulette Records returned and signed James and his band but Tommy’s band was already broken so it was the sole member of the band.
Mack decided to provide the band of his dance club to Tommy but it did not work however the guitarist from the band introduced Tommy to another band called Raconteurs which instantly clicked with Tommy James and became the New Tommy and the Shondells.
Tommy and the Shondells
Tommy and the Shondells band consisted of James, Eddie in Guitar, Mike in Bass, Ron Rossman and Keyboards, and Pete Lucia for drums. After the band was formed they immediately started recording a follow-up song to Hanky Panky and recorded the song titled “Say I Am”. Some of his popular songs on the band were, “Sweet Cherry Wine”, Mony Mony, Shout and Ball of Fire, and many more. In 1970, Tommy left the band and went solo. He released his first two solo albums from Roulette Records titled Tommy James in 1970 and Christian of the World in 1971.
Tommy had two further record hits with “Draggin’ the Line” (#4 in 1971) and “Three Times In Love” in 1980). James has had 23 gold singles, and nine gold and platinum record albums. He additionally composed and produced the million-selling 1970 hit “Tighter, Tighter” for another band name Alive ‘N Kickin’. Tommy James and the Shondells rejoined in a New Jersey studio In October 2007, to reignite their musical career again.
Tommy James was married to Lynda James in 1981. There is not much information regarding him on social media and how he lives his personal life. According to rumor’s he also has one son whose information is not available at the moment.
Tommy James was one of the most popular in the music industry in the 1970s. He became insanely popular along with his fans from his single titled “Hanky Panky”, Tom and the Shandolls was the band that became really popular and James gathered a large amount of worth and wealth. Currently, he has a net worth of approximately $4 Million as of 2021.
- When he was young, Tommy James was interested in modeling and was a child model.
- He started his own band named “The Echoes” when he was 12.
- In 1970, Tommy formed a band named Tommy and the Shondells.