Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hanky Panky

Hanky Panky was a huge hit song for Tommy James and the Shondells, and its also a pretty good description of the business practices decribed by the pop singer in his new memoir "Me, the Mob, and the Music." It's a showbiz classic: young musician is thrilled to be signed, then shocked to learn his career is controlled by criminals. He estimates in the book that Roulette Records owner Morris Levy stole over $40,000,000 from him. Along the way are hit records, tours, parties, stars and the expected excesses of life on the road. Of particular interest is the depiction of mob control in the music industry. James is an unpretentious storyteller and the book is an entertaining look at the pleasures and pitfalls of stardom as well as a sharp picture of the music industry in another age.
On CD: Tommy James and the Shondells Anthology

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