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Download Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James and the Shondells Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James and the Shondells Audiobook, by Tommy James Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (8 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tommy James Narrator: David Colacci Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 ISBN: 9781400186327
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Everyone knows the hits: "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. Tommy James had been performing in rock bands in the Michigan area since the age of twelve. Prompted to record a few songs by a local disc jockey in 1964, Tommy chose an obscurity titled "Hanky Panky," which became a minor local hit that came and went. Then, in 1966, the record was rediscovered by a Pittsburgh DJ who started playing it on heavy rotation, prompting a tremendous response. Soon every record mogul in New York was pursuing Tommy and the band. Then an even odder thing happened: every offer except one disappeared, and Tommy 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 number one; Tommy went on to do much more; and Levy continued to reign. Me, the Mob, and the Music tells 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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “The songwriter shows how bare-knuckled mafia operators made money from rock-and-roll’s turbulent adolescence.”

    Washington Post

  • Colacci's delivery of this musical biography of the sixties is crisp and well paced, and he brings a necessary degree of professionalism to James's narrative. AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Miller | 7/7/2013

    " A walk through the life of a bubblegum star never read so easy. it's length, 215 pages or so, is perfect - it's brief but effective and full of anecdotes, the milk of the memoir - "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lew | 12/19/2010

    " I just loved this book. Aptly named. Tommy James made a lot of great music and this book captures what it was like, with the added insights from the mob controlling the record labels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glenn | 11/29/2010

    " Remarkable career trajectory documented 1st person by a person who is not an author, (so the writing is not great). Great story about the dynamics of the mob's relationship with music biz. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Frank | 10/7/2010

    " I picked this up because I am a big fan of Tommy James's music. I enjoyed bits and parts of the story, but other parts were difficult to read. I enjoyed learning about how the mob was involved in pop music. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 7/28/2010

    " The Mob and Tommy James are not something that seem to go together. He has had such a dorky, squeaky clean image to me. I was surprised by a lot in this book. Very interesting. It had me pulling out my TJ & the Shondell's anthology album. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Douglas | 6/11/2010

    " I don't own any of his music, but the book was surprisingly good.
    I "read" the audio book and the reader is excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wayne | 5/15/2010

    " Short book, not much detail. Allot of band and personal stuff glossed over, like a cliff notes version of his life. Interesting info on the mob influence in the music industry. Not surprising to me but informative. Left me wanting more details. "

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About the Author

Tommy James is the pop-rock star best known as the leader of Tommy James and the Shondells. He began performing locally in Niles, Michigan, when he was twelve and then 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 has earned nine gold and platinum albums. His songs are widely used in television and film and have been covered by such artists as Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Tiffany, Tom Jones, Prince, and R.E.M. Today James continues to record songs and perform around the country.

About the Narrator

David Colacci is an actor and director who has directed and performed in prominent theaters nationwide. His credits include roles from Shakespeare to Albee, as well as extensive work on new plays. As a narrator, he has won numerous Earphones Awards, earned Audie Award nominations, and been included in Best Audio of the Year lists by such publications as Publishers Weekly, AudioFile magazine, and Library Journal. He was a resident actor and director with the Cleveland Play House for eight years and has been artistic director of the Hope Summer Rep Theater since 1992.