Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29 - Tommy James

Happy 66th birthday to Tommy James – real name Thomas Gregory Jackson – of the 1960s rock band Tommy James and the Shondells. He formed a band as early as 1959, when he was age 12. The group had two No. 1 singles, "Hanky Panky" (1966) and "Crimson and Clover" (1968), and charted another 12 Top 40 hits, including five in the Top 10: "I Think We're Alone Now" (1967), “Mirage” (1967), "Mony Mony" (1968), "Sweet Cherry Wine" (1969), and "Crystal Blue Persuasion" (1969). Tommy also went solo and had a hit with "Draggin' the Line" in 1971. As many people suspected, the title of “Mony Mony” was indeed inspired by a large Mutual Of New York sign, many of which were prevalent in the Eastern United States at the time. The mellow, organ-driven “Crystal Blue Persuasion” was a departure from the band’s previous tendency toward psychedelic rock. The Shondells were in Hawaii at the time they turned down an invitation to play at the Woodstock Festival in the summer of 1969.

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