Tommy James doesn’t need any introduction to the music lovers. He is one of the legends in the music industry. You might know him as Tommy Tadger as well. Tommy has a very long career. Matter of fact, he started his career in 1959. And, in that sense, his career is over 62 years. That is impressive, to say the least.
Tommy is known for his psychedelic rock, pop rock, and soft rock music. You might also know him as the leader of his rock band Tommy James and the Shondells. This post is all about Tommy James. So, if you want to know about Tommy James, you can keep reading the rest of the post.
So, let’s dive right in…
Tommy James Net Worth
You can see that Tommy has a legendary career of over 50 years. He is not only a singer, but also a songwriter, record producer, and even multi-instrumentalist.
In the meantime, he also had a band. Also, Tommy still has a solo career. His songs were used in hundreds of TV shows, films, and other occasions. Many famous artists even have sampled his songs.
He has been signed to more than 5 record labels. Matter of fact, he is active to this day. You will find him on tour on a regular basis. In short, you can say that he is a true veteran in the music industry.
During his long career, he has garnered millions. But due to various issues, he has lost it as well. In addition, the first record label he was signed to was ‘Roulette Records’.
This was run by Morris Levy, who was a gangster and conman during that time. According to Tommy, he is still yet to receive over 40 million USD from that record label.
Reportedly, at the moment, Tommy has a net worth of over 2 million USD. But it might not be accurate information as Tommy wants to keep all of this private.
Tommy James Early Life
Tommy was born on April 29, 1947, in Dayton, Ohio, USA. As a result, he is 73 years of age at the moment. Also, his sun sign is Taurus. Later, Tommy’s family has moved to Niles, Michigan. Since his childhood, he was passionate about art. Matter of fact, at the age of 4 he was a child model.
Later, when he was a teenager, he formed a band named ‘The Echoes’. After a while, they have changed the name of the band to ‘Tom and the Tornadoes’. Later, in 1964, he again changed the band’s name to The Shondells.
With this band, he recorded his famous song ‘Hanky Panky’. But it was not a hit instantly. Rather people forgot the song altogether.
You could say that at the age of 12, he started his music career. And, it is still going on. Tommy’s real name is actually Thomas Gregory Jackson. He acquired ‘Tommy James’ as his professional name somewhere between 1960 and 1966. Since then, he is known as ‘Tommy James’ or ‘Tommy Tadger’.
Tommy James Career
As we were saying that the ‘Hanky Panky’ song was not a hit. Yet, one day, a DJ named Bob Mack played this song on some dance clubs in Pittsburgh accidentally.
And, people started to ask him about this song. Later in 1965, the song had become no. 1 on Pittsburgh radio stations. And, music trade papers like Cashbox, Billboard, and Record World sated to list the song as a regional breakout hit.
Because of their popularity, they went to New York looking out for a record deal. They have contacted many record labels but to no avail. At last, they have gone to ‘Roulette records’ but they have not received any response from them as well. So, Tommy and other members of his bands were in shambles.
Later, Jerry Wexler from the ‘Atlantic Records’ told them that Morris Levy the CEO of ‘Roulette Records’ have actually told every other label to not sign them. Because he will sign them to his own ‘Roulette Records’.
For the record, Morris Levy was a feared gangster and mobster during that time. And, every other record labels were scared of him. So, later, Tommy and his bandmates were signed to ‘Roulette Records’. They have released multiple albums under that record label.
After a few years, Tommy’s other two bandmates left the band. And, then Tommy recruited new members to his band. According to Tommy, the band ‘Tommy and the Shondells’ had 22 members in total. That means this band has changed a lot over the years. But, Tommy was always there. The current band members are in the band for more than 20 years.
Tommy and his bands’ songs were used in many films and TV series. Matter of fact, still many brands, and companies are using some of their songs.
Some famous movies and TV Series where Tommy’s songs were used:
- The Simpsons
- Extra Ordinary
- American Animals
- Battle of the Sexes
- 10 Cloverfield Lane
- Almost Human
- Breaking Bad
- The Expendables 2
- Sons of Anarchy
- Forrest Gump
- Malcolm in the Middle, and more
Some of his and his band’s popular songs are:
- Dragging the Line
- Mony Mony
- Crimson and Clover
- Sweet Cherry Wine
- Crystal Blue Persuasion
- Hanky Panky
- I Think We’re Alone Now, and more
Tommy left Roulette Records in 1974. He even went solo before that. Two of his solo songs reached the top 20 in the Billboard Hot 100. In 2010, Tommy published an autobiography named ‘Me, The Mob, and The Music’. In this book, he talks about many of the secrets on the ‘music and the mob’ topic. Also, he talks extensively about the relationship between him and Morris Levy.
According to him, Morris Levy was like a father figure to him. However, their relationship was not good most of the time. Still, he gave credit to Morris for signing them up. And, also he said that Morris gave the freedom to create the songs to their liking.
But Morris would not pay the artists. In addition, Morris would forcefully add his name as a songwriter on many songs of many singers. As a result, he could take a percentage of the total royalty fee without any real work.
|Real Name||Thomas Gregory Jackson|
|Birth Date||April 29, 1947|
|Age||73 Years as of 2021|
|Birth Place||Dayton, Ohio, USA|
|Profession||Singer, Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist, Record Producer, and more|
|Height||in feet inches – 5’ 10” – in Centimeters – 181 cm|
|Weight||in Kilograms – 76 kg – in Pounds – 167 lbs.|
|Chest Size||Not Known|
|Waist Size||Not Known|
|Biceps Size||Not Known|
|Shoe Size||Not Known|
|What is Tommy James’s Marital Status?||Married|
|Is he Having any Relationship Affair?||No|
|Is he Gay?||No|
|Who is Tommy James’s wife?||Lynda James|
|How many children does Tommy James have?||1 Son|
|Band||Tommy James and the Shondells|
Tommy James still performs. He is a real dedicated artist. At the moment, he has a radio program on Sirius XM Radio. It is aired in the 60s on 6. And the name of the show is ‘Gettin Together with Tommy James’. Even though he was raised in Niles, USA. He has moved from place to place a lot in his lifetime. Right now, he resides at Cedar Grove. Back in 1970, he moved to Clifton, New Jersey.
During that time, a ‘mob war’ broke out between the gangster families in New York. And, Tommy was also a target of mobs. So, his boss Morris Levy suggested him to leave New York in order to save his life. And, he left New York for a new place. After leaving New York, he still continued to make music.
Tommy is a very private man. He doesn’t want to share much of his private life. Still, we know that he is married to Lynda. And he has a son named Brian.
Tommy was addicted to drugs. In fact, he collapsed at one of his concerts in 1970. And, he was pronounced dead even. Later, he decided to take a break from music. During those times, his band recorded 2 albums without him. Tommy is still touring the country. You will find all the schedules on his official website.
- Tommy was pronounced dead when he collapsed in a concert in March 1970. Luckily, he was taken to hospital and survived. It was because of drugs
- His real name is Thomas Gregory Jackson
- He was inducted into the ‘New Jersey Hall of Fame’ in the ‘Performing Arts’ category
- Tommy’s songs were covered by over 300 singers all over the world
- His music can be found in 39 TV shows and over 55 films
There is no doubt that Tommy James is a legend in the music industry. He has been in the industry for over 50 years. And he is still going strong. Matter of fact, he also has his own shows on SIRIUS/XM radio named ‘Getting Together with Tommy James’.
Tommy still tours the country. You can find about the tour dates on his website. He has already received the ‘Pittsburgh Legend Award’. He has also released a new album named ‘Alive’ back in 2019. If you are a fan of Tommy James, you can give it a listen. You will definitely enjoy it.
We hope now you know a lot more about Tommy James. Similarly, if you want to know more about any of your other favorite celebrities, you can let us know in the comments below!