Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

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August 31, 2013

Tommy James and the Shondells headline free benefit concert Saturday

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part article about a recent interview the Daily News conducted with legendary rock musician Tommy James. James spoke with the Daily News in anticipation of his band’s big show in Columbus this Saturday for Our Hospice of South Central Indiana. Tommy James and the Shondells take the stage at 8:55 p.m., Aug. 31, at Mill Race Park, Columbus. The concert is free of charge, with opening act Groove Essential taking the stage at 7 p.m. For more information, call 812-314-8053.

COLUMBUS — Tommy James and the Shondells will take the stage Saturday night at Mill Race Park for the free, annual Our Hospice of South Central Indiana Concert, bringing with them a playlist that stretches back almost 50 years.

Of course, they cannot possibly play all those songs in the roughly one-hour-and-ten minute set, but James nonetheless anticipates “a fun night.”

“We’ll try to do as many of the hits as we can and maybe something from the movie,” the 66-year-old James told the Daily News. “I love coming back to Indiana; it’s my old stomping ground. I’m a mid-west kid.”

The movie of which the front-man spoke is the currently-in-development big-screen adaptation of his self-written, 2011 autobiography “Me, the Mob and the Music.”

The reference to “the Mob” in the title isn’t symbolic. The band’s first label, Roulette Records – the company with whom they created most of their hits – was a front for the Genovese Crime Family in New York City.

According to James, two-thirds of the book details the band’s tumultuous relationship with Roulette and its owner, Morris Levy.

“The Essence of the book,” James said, “is about us trying to have a career in Rock in Roll with this dark story going on behind us that we really couldn’t talk about.”

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