Tommy James & the Shondells Biography
Tommy James and the Shondells are an American pop rock / psychedelic rock band, formed in Niles, Michigan, in 1964 and they are still present till today. They had two No. 1 singles topping the charts in the United States – “Hanky Panky” (July 1966, their only RIAA Certified Gold record) and “Crimson and Clover” (February 1969) – and twelve other Top 40 hits, including five in the top ten of the Hot 100: “I Think We’re Alone Now”, “Mirage”, “Mony Mony”, “Sweet Cherry Wine”, and “Crystal Blue Persuasion”. Tommy James (vocals and guitar), Larry Coverdale (lead guitar), Larry Wright (bass), Craig Villeneuve (keyboards), and Jim Payne (drums) were the initial members of the band.
Tommy James and the Shondells made some of the most memorable music of the late 1960s by successfully mixing the sweet with the psychedelic. Instead of the furious and political rants that dominated the era, the group exhibited an addictive blend of rock ‘n’ roll and pop that allowed them to sell more singles than any other artist for a brief period of time. The group is regarded as an essential addition to 1960s pop, having scored 14 top 40 successes between 1967 and 1969, many of which are still played on the radio 30 years later.
The Shondells made one of the first music videos for “Mony Mony,” in 1968; then “Crimson and Clover,” the band’s most successful single, reached number one on the US charts in 1969; “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” which reached number two on the US charts and sold over one million records, was released in July 1969. Later, the Shondells left to form the unsuccessful Hog Heaven, and Tommy James went on to pursue a solo career in 1970.
Despite the band’s apparently remarkable fortune, the seemingly never-ending string of singles had ceased by 1970, and internal tensions had dissolved the band. The Shondells went on to form the unsuccessful Hog Heaven, while James had some success as a solo singer and a producer. “Tighter and Tighter,” a top ten song for the Brooklyn-based ensemble Alive and Kicking, was released in August 1970. His own solo album, “Draggin’ the Line,” reached the top five the next year.
If it hadn’t been for an unexpected resurrection of their music in the 1980s, Tommy James and the Shondells would have ended up as a major but brief moment in 1960s musical history. Punk rock ‘n’ roller Joan Jett, teen queen Tiffany, and iconic rebel Billy Idol all covered the group’s songs, with their own renditions attaining considerable acclaim.
Jett had a top ten hit with “Crimson and Clover” in 1982, while Tiffany had a number one hit with “I Think We’re Alone Now” in 1987, but Billy Idol’s version of “Mony Mony” knocked it off the chart. These covers introduced Tommy James and the Shondells to a new generation by revisiting their most popular tunes. Tommy James and the Shondells have a radio presence and a noteworthy role in pop music history more than 30 years after their breakup.
|Live! At The Bitter End, New York|
|Crimson & Clover|
|I Think We’re Alone Now|
|It’s Only Love|
Frequently Asked Questions
When Were Tommy James And The Shondells Popular?
Tommy James and the Shondells were popular in the 1960s and 1970s. They are best known for their song “Hanky Panky”, which was a major hit in 1966. Other well-known songs by the band include “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Mony Mony”. The band continued to tour and release new music into the 21st century.
Who Originally Wrote Mony Mony Of The Tommy James And The Shondells?
The song “Mony Mony” was originally written by Tommy James and the Shondells. The band released their version of the song in 1968, and it quickly became a hit. The song has been covered by many other artists over the years, but the Shondells’ version remains the most popular.
How Many Original Members Are In Tommy James And The Shondells?
There are four original members in Tommy James and the Shondells. These include Tommy James, Mike Vale, Ronnie Rosman, and Larry Coverdale. The group has undergone several lineup changes over the years, but these four have remained constant since the band’s inception in 1964. Tommy James is the only member of the Shondells who has been with the band for their entire career.
What Was Biggest Hit Tommy James And The Shondells ?
“Crimson and Clover” was the biggest hit for Tommy James and the Shondells. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1969. The song was written by Tommy James and produced by Jimmy Bowen.
What Year Did Tommy James And The Shondells Start?
Tommy James and the Shondells started in 1964.