Legendary Michigan Songs

46.) Crimson And Clover - Tommy James and The Shondells

Artist Name: Tommy James & The Shondells
Year Inducted: 2010

“Crimson And Clover”  (T. James, P, Lucia) - Tommy James and The Shondells;  Roulette label,  # 1 Billboard Hot 100 - 1969.  Inducted in 2010.

Following three months on the road with Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 presidential campaign, Tommy James decided to end his successful association with producers Bo Gentry and Ritchie Cordell. The pair had been co-writers with James on the Top Ten singles: “I Think We’re Alone Now”, “Mirage”, and “Mony Mony”.    

James first big success as both writer and producer came in 1969 with “Crimson And Clover”, the group’s first # 1 single since “Hanky Panky”. In an interview for The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, James said that “‘crimson’ and ‘clover’ were two of my favorite words and I just put them together.  We had the title before we had the song. When I wrote with the Shondells, it was different than when I wrote with Bo and Ritchie – a different energy flow. “Crimson And Clover” was part of the psychedelia of the late 1960’s”.      

In another interview James said said of the recording; “I had a kind of historical sense of the record right from the beginning. I really felt like we were cutting something special”.    

The single sold over 5.5 million copies, and it remains the Tommy James & The Shondells’ best selling single of all time.  It was also the title song of the multi-platinum album, “Crimson & Clover”, released in early 1969 with liner notes by Hubert Humphrey.  In 1982, “Crimson And Clover” was covered by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, who had a # 7 hit single with the song.    

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS0niyiKlcw