Tommy James & The Shondells

Tommy James and the Shondells is an American pop and Rock n Roll group that was most active in the 60s. They had two number one singles in the U.S. — "Hanky Panky" (1966) and "Crimson and Clover" (1968) — but also released five other top ten hits, including "I Think We're Alone Now", "Mony Mony," and "Crystal Blue Persuasion". Their iconic hits are often played by 'oldies' and 'classic rock' stations. The band (from Niles, Michigan, USA) initially formed in 1959 as "Tom and the Tornadoes", with the then only 12-year-old singer-songwriter Tommy James as the frontman. In 1963, he renamed the rest of the band "The Shondells", after one of James's idols, guitarist Troy Shondell. Later in 1963, they recorded the Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich-penned song "Hanky Panky" (originally by The Raindrops), which failed to chart. The Shondells disbanded thereafter, until James reformed them early 1966 with Gray, Vale, Rosman and Lucia. Their first single was a re-recording of "Hanky Panky", which surprisingly became a national number one hit in June 1966. At first, Tommy James and his Shondells played straightforward rock and roll (as their first hit proves) but soon became involved in the budding bubblegum pop musical movement. One of their main songwriters these days was Ritchie Cordell who gave them the hits "I Think We're Alone Now" (later a hit for dance pop idol Tiffany and power pop rockers The Rubinoos as well) and "Mirage" in 1967. The former hit, labeled by one critic as the "bu...

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