"Tommy James" (born Thomas Gregory Jackson on April 29, 1947 in Dayton, Ohio) is an American pop-rock musician and singer.
In 1958 at age 11, Tommy's family moved to Niles, Michigan, which he still regards as his hometown. At age 12, Tommy formed his first band called Tom and the Tornadoes. In 1963 they changed their name to The Shondells. In 1964, a local DJ at WNIL radio station in Niles had formed his own record company, Snap Records. The Shondells were one of the local bands he recorded. One of those songs was the Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich song "Hanky Panky", which had been recorded "The Raindrops". The song was a big hit locally but didn't break nationally and was soon forgotten.
In 1965, a Pittsburg DJ found a copy of "Hanky Panky" in a stack of oldies. Not knowing that it hadn't been a real hit, he played it by mistake. To his amazement, delighted listeners wanted to know where they could get a copy of "that hot new single". Sensing a hit, a local bootlegger taped the song off the radio and began pressing copies of it. Within ten days, more than eighty thousand copies had been sold. The Pittsburgh DJ finally tracked down Tommy James and informed h...