NJ Artists Announced for NJ Hall of Fame Class of 2017
Joining the ranks of NJ artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Frankie Valli, and Jon Bon Jovi, NJ natives Connie Francis and Tommy James will be feted on May 7, 2017 at the iconic Convention Hall in Asbury Park.
CONNIE FRANCIS was born as Concetta Franconero in Newark in 1938 and racked up 14 Top Ten hits, toured the globe, and earned numerous movie roles in Where the Boys Are, Follow the Boys, Jamboree, When the Boys Meet the Girls, and Rock Rock Rock. Pictured below, the 45 rpm record sleeve for "Where the Boys Are," and a photo of a long ago meeting with Beach Radio's own Bob O'Brien.
TOMMY JAMES was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1947, but moved to Clifton, New Jersey in the 1970s, and, as of 2000, resides in Cedar Grove. His first record was a one shot with a group called Tom and the Tornados. In 1963, he and the Shondells first recorded a song written by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry called "Hanky Panky." It was not a hit and group members went back to their day jobs. That is, until a DJ started playing the record in 1966 and caused a sensation. That led to six more Top Ten hits with the Shondells, and one huge solo hit for Tommy titled "Draggin' the Line." He also wrote and produced a major hit for Alive and Kicking called "Tighter, Tighter." His autobiography is currently being considered for a silver screen adaptation.