For those who are of my generation, you’ll remember the song “Hanky Panky” for sure. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, take a listen to the song and see what fun it is with a great beat. It was this song that made Tommy James and the Shondells famous as the song hit number one on the charts in 1966. There is an interesting story behind how the song became popular.
After it was recorded at a record shop the song actually just sort of faded away. Then some two years later in 1965 a disk jockey in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called “Mad Mike” discovered the single “Hanky Panky” in a record store bargain bin. He took it and played it on the air and the response was such that bootleggers made up 80,000 illegal copies and put them up for sale at record stores.
It was then that Tommy James was informed about this turn of events and was invited to Pittsburgh to perform the song. Even though he was ready to go none of the other Shondells agreed. When James arrived in Pittsburgh he found a new group of Shondells. In a local club, he heard Mike Vale, Pete Lucia, Ronnie Rosman and Eddie Gray performing as The Raconteurs. They agreed to sing with James and they performed the “Hanky Panky” as Tommy James and the Shondells and it became their very first number one hit.