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Me, the Mob, and the Music
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Everyone knows the hits 'Hanky Panky', 'Mony Mony', 'I Think We're Alone Now', 'Crimson and Clover', 'Crystal Blue Persuasion'. They are nuggets of rock and pop history. However, few know the unlikely story of how these hits came to be. In 1966, Tommy James' record 'Hanky Panky' was re-discovered by a Pittsburgh DJ who started playing it on heavy rotation, prompting a tremendous response. James found himself in the office of Morris Levy at Roulette Records, where he was handed a pen and ominously promised 'one helluva ride'. Morris Levy, the legendary 'godfather' of the music business, needed a hit and 'Hanky Panky' would be his. The song went to #1; James went on to record many more hits; and Levy continued to reign. Me, the Mob, and the Musictells the intimate story of the complex and sometimes terrifying relationship between the bright-eyed, sweet-faced blonde musician from the heartland and the big, bombastic, brutal bully from the Bronx, who hustled, cheated, and swindled his way to the top of the music industry. It is also the story of this swaggering, wildly creative era of rock n' roll when the hits kept coming and payola and the strong arm tactics of the mob were the norm, and what it was like, for better or worse, to be in the middle of it.
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About the Author

Tommy James (born Thomas Gregory Jackson, April 29, 1947, Dayton, Ohio) is the pop-rock star best known as the leader of Tommy James and the Shondells. Performing locally in Niles, Michigan, from the age of 12, James went on to record many top hits, including "Hanky Panky," "I Think We're Alone Now," "Mony Mony," "Crimson and Clover," "Sweet Cherry Wine," "Mirage," "Do Something to Me," "Gettin' Together," "Crystal Blue Persuasion," and "Draggin' the Line." He has sold over 100 million records, has been awarded twenty-three gold singles, and nine gold and platinum albums. His songs are widely used in television and film, and have been covered by Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Tiffany, Tom Jones, Prince, and R.E.M. Tommy James continues to tour the country and record.

Reviews

"This is one helluva story."--Howard Stern "Tommy James' rock & roll education cost him millions, but at least we got this entertaining memoir."--Rolling Stone "A boisterous memoir . . . It's high time that [Tommy James] had a book to himself." -Janet Maslin, The New York Times "Tommy James's story is one of the most interesting of any of the 1960s rockers. . . . His story reads like a music-industry version of 'Goodfellas.'"--Denver Post

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