The Front Porch Go to Mickey Newbury Back Porch
Back Porch


Author:  Craig
E-mail:  not available
Date:  6/13/2006 2:59:57 PM
Subject:  Re: Quote of the day - Jun 13 (foot note)
Message:  This was originally released as the B-side of a 1963 single by the Raindrops, "That Boy John." The Raindrops were composers Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich.
Shortly after the release of the Raindrops' version, 13-year-old Tommy Jackson, who would become Tommy James, slipped into a club in South Bend, Indiana and listened to a local band, the Spinners (not the hitmakers of the '70s) play this. After hearing the song drive the crowd wild, Jackson wanted to record it for his second single (he had released one locally the previous year). Jackson and his group, The Shondells, recorded the song at a radio station in his hometown of Niles, Michigan.
When Jackson recorded this, he couldn't remember all the lyrics, so he made up some on the spot.
This was released on the tiny Snap label, the first issue of the record label owned by a DJ friend of Jackson. It sold well in the midwest, then faded into obscurity. A year and a half later -- in 1965 -- Jackson graduated from high school and the Shondells went their separate ways.
In late 1965, a Pittsburgh DJ started playing the two-year-old single of this and touted it as an "exclusive." Another Pittsburgh DJ played HIS copy of "Hanky Panky" at various dance parties and the resulting demand caused a "Hanky Panky" war. Bootleggers sold an estimated 80,000 illegal copies of the record before Roulette Records bought the original master for nationwide distribution.
DJ "Mad Mike" Metro called Jackson to inform him of the single's popularity and asked if the Shondells could perform it in Pittsburgh. One minor problem - by then, Jackson was a solo act. When he arrived in Pittsburgh, he asked a local band, the Raconteurs, if they would like to be the new Shondells. They accepted the offer and he adopted the new stage name of Tommy James.
James: "One night I was playing for 20 drunks in a bar in Michigan, and the next night I'm playing for 10,000 screaming fans in Pittsburgh. It was literally overnight."

Other songs by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich:

Be My Baby - The Ronettes

Chapel of Love - The Dixie Cups

Da Doo Ron Ron - The Crystals

Doo Wah Diddy Diddy - Manfred Mann

Leader of the Pack - The Shangri-Las

Movin' On Up (Theme to "The Jeffersons) - Janet Dubois and Orin Waters

River Deep Mountain High - Ike and Tina Turner

Then He Kissed Me - The Crystals


 Quote of the day - Jun 13 by Craig at 6/13/2006 2:57:27 PM
 Re: Quote of the day - Jun 13 (foot note) by Craig at 6/13/2006 2:59:57 PM
 Re: Quote of the day - Jun 13 by Joey L. at 6/13/2006 6:32:13 PM
 Re: Quote of the day - Jun 13 by andrew p at 6/13/2006 6:57:16 PM
 Re: Quote of the day - Jun 13 by Joey L. at 6/13/2006 7:57:14 PM