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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Too Much Hanky Panky

Wow. Tuesday was the newsday from you know where.
Kwame goes to slammer for at least 18 months.
The Maze and Blue look black and blue after self-imposed
A Detroit legislator, up to her neck in a fight for a new
bridge between Detroit and Windsor, discovers her tires slashed.
And the Michigan Senate salutes rock singer and Niles
native Tommy James.
If it's all the same to you, let's go with the Tommy James
story for a little breather from all the bad news.
Tommy James and the Shondells made their mark on the music
scene with monster hits such as Mony, Mony, I Think We're Alone Now
and of course, who could forget, Hanky Panky which could be the theme
song for the three stories listed above. But we digress.
Anyhow, the decidedly conservative state senate in this town
decided it was time to honor Mr. James and just before he entered the
chambers he chatted about how he almost wasn't Tommy James.
As he kicked around in Niles with his teen-age rock band, he
came across the tune, Hanky Panky. He asked the good folks at WNIL,
the AM station in town, to tape it and a record was pressed and that
was that.
James was on the road working bars when his two week
"engagement" came to an abrupt end as the bar gave its last, last call
and closed.
"I came back to Niles," he continues this rags to riches
saga. Little did he know that way over in Pittsburgh P.A. a local D.J.
was rummaging through a record store bin when he uncovered Hanky Panky.
He played it and, well you know the rest.
James got a call and dashed out to Pittsburgh where the disc
jockey had "bootlegged" the song and sold 80,000 copies. But James had
no band. It had dis-banded as they often did. So he hooked up with a
local bar band and headed off to the Big Apple to hawk his smash hit.
"Only in America," he smiles.
Just before the senate salute, he was asked to sing the first
"My baby does the Hanky Panky," he started and then stopped.
"If I sing any more, you'll have to pay the royalties," he
Sure beats going to jail, or going on probation or buying
new tires.


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