Saturday Matinee: Hanky Panky


Okeydokey, they’re my favorites again for a few minutes. The 5678’s with Hanky Panky (careful with your speakers, it’s loud).

Tommy James and the Shondells’ version with invisible drums. His baby does the hanky panky, too, but she doesn’t move much (you can turn your speakers back up for this one).

Regarding the Original Version:

This was originally released as the B-side of a 1963 single by the Raindrops, “That Boy John.” The Raindrops were composers Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. Shortly after the release of the Raindrops’ version, 13-year-old Tommy Jackson, who would become Tommy James, slipped into a club in South Bend, Indiana and listened to a local band, the Spinners (not the hitmakers of the ’70s) play this. After hearing the song drive the crowd wild, Jackson wanted to record it for his second single (he had released one locally the previous year). Jackson and his group, The Shondells, recorded the song at a radio station in his hometown of Niles, Michigan.

When Jackson recorded this, he couldn’t remember all the lyrics, so he made up some on the spot.

That explains A LOT. Here’s a photo of The Raindrops (from this glorious site):


Rockin’ hard in 1963. It is intuitively obvious to the casual observer that the babe on the right does the hanky panky, the one on the left says she does, but she really doesn’t, and the guy in the middle does it by himself most of the time. You can download their version here, but only if you really really want to. (I really really didn’t.)

The next best thing, relatively speaking, is from the excellent Tube Number 1. Tico & the Triumphs’ “Cards of Love.” Have at it.

[If that’s not enough, here’s “Shining Boots” courtesy of Finicky Penguin. If you need “Help,” Miss Cellanea will tell you where to go.]

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