Tommy Roe in 1970
|Birth name||Thomas David Roe|
May 9, 1942 |
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
|Genres||Rock and roll, pop, bubblegum|
|Labels||Judd Records, ABC Paramount Records, Monument Records, MGM Records|
Best-remembered for his hits "Sheila" (1962) and "Dizzy" (1969), Roe was "widely perceived as one of the archetypal bubblegum artists of the late 1960s, but cut some pretty decent rockers along the way, especially early in his career", wrote the Allmusic journalist Bill Dahl.
He had a Billboard number 1 hit in the U.S. and Australia in 1962 with the track "Sheila". A build up of global sales of "Sheila" meant that the R.I.A.A. did not present the gold record until 1969. When "Sheila" became a hit, ABC-Paramount Records asked him to go on tour to promote the hit. He was reluctant to give up his secure job at GE until ABC-Paramount advanced him $5,000.
However in March 1963, the UK music magazine NME reported that he and Chris Montez had both been upstaged by The Beatles and their fans on a 21-day UK tour. Late that year Roe scored a Top 10 hit with "Everybody", which reached US number 3 and UK number 9, and "The Folk Singer" (number 4 UK) written by Merle Kilgore was also popular.
Following a more successful tour of the United Kingdom by his friend Roy Orbison, Roe toured there and then moved to England where he lived for several years. In 1964 Roe recorded a song written by Buzz Cason entitled, "Diane From Manchester Square." It was a story in song about a girl called Diane, who worked in an upstairs office at EMI House, when it was based in London's Manchester Square. Sales of this single in the UK were poor, and it failed to chart. During the 1960s, he had several more Top 40 hits, including 1966's number 8 "Sweet Pea " (number 1 Canada) and number 6 "Hooray for Hazel" (number 2 Canada). In 1969, his song "Dizzy" went to number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, number 1 in Canada, as well as number 1 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. This transatlantic chart-topper sold two million copies by mid-April 1969, giving him his third gold disc award.
Roe guest-starred in an episode of the American sitcom, Green Acres, called "The Four of Spades", which first aired on 8 November 1969, one week to the day before the Hot 100 debut of his final Top 10 single, a track co-written with Freddy Weller, "Jam Up and Jelly Tight", which became his fourth gold record, peaking at number 8 in the U.S. and number 5 in Canada.
A resident of Beverly Hills, California, he is married to Josette Banzet, an actress from France who won a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe Award for her performance in the 1976 television mini-series, Rich Man, Poor Man.
In 1986, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and his pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Although his style of music declined in popularity with the 1970s mass market, he maintained a following and continued to perform at a variety of concert venues, sometimes with 1960s nostalgia rock and rollers such as Freddy Cannon and Bobby Vee.
|Something for Everybody||—|
|1964||Everybody Likes Tommy Roe||—|
|1965||Ballads and Beat||—|
|It's Now Winter's Day||159|
|1970||12 In A Roe||21|
|We Can Make Music||134|
|1990||Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow||—|
|Year||Title / Songwriter(s)||UK||AUS||CAN||U.S.||GER||RIAA Certification|
|1962||"Sheila" (Tommy Roe)||3||1||1||1||9||Gold|
|1962||"Susie Darlin'" (Robin Luke)||37||-||21||35||-||-|
|1962||"Piddle De Pat'" (Tommy Roe)||-||-||21||-||-||-|
|1963||"Everybody" (Tommy Roe)||9||-||3||3||-||-|
|1963||"The Folk Singer" (Merle Kilgore)||4||-||34||84||-||-|
|1964||"Carol" (Chuck Berry)||-||-||-||61||-||-|
|1964||"Come On" (Ernie Hall / Dan Penn)||-||-||23||36||-||-|
|1964||"Party Girl" (Buddy Buie)||-||-||-||85||-||-|
|1966||"Sweet Pea" (Tommy Roe)||-||36||1||8||-||Gold|
|1966||"Hooray for Hazel" (Tommy Roe)||-||30||2||6||-||-|
|1967||"It's Now Winter's Day" (Tommy Roe)||-||-||13||23||-||-|
|1967||"Little Miss Sunshine" (Tommy Roe)||-||-||-||99||-||-|
|1967||"Sing Along With Me" (Tommy Roe)||-||-||-||91||-||-|
|1969||"Dizzy" (Tommy Roe / Freddy Weller)||1||2||1||1||4||Gold|
|1969||"Heather Honey" (Tommy Roe)||24||8||6||29||23||-|
|1969||"Jack and Jill" (Tommy Roe / Freddy Weller)||-||22||10||53||-||-|
|1970||"Jam Up and Jelly Tight" (Tommy Roe / Freddy Weller)||-||4||5||8||-||Gold|
|1970||"Pearl" (Tommy Roe / Freddy Weller)||-||-||17||50||-||-|
|1970||"Stir It Up and Serve It" (Tommy Roe / Freddy Weller)||-||-||-||50||-||-|
|1970||"We Can Make Music" (Lou T. Josie)||-||-||-||49||-||-|
|1971||"Stagger Lee" (Harold Logan, Lloyd Price)||-||-||17||25||-||-|
|1972||"Mean Little Woman, Rosalie" (Richard Laws)||-||-||-||92||-||-|
|1973||"Working Class Hero" (Tommy Roe)||-||-||-||97||-||-|
|1976||"Glitter and Gleam" (Tommy Roe)||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1985||"Some Such Foolishness" (R.A. Wade)||-||-||-||-||-||-|
- Sheila's stage name was taken from the title of her first release, which was a French cover of the song "Sheila".
- In 1991, The Wonder Stuff and Vic Reeves released a cover of "Dizzy" that topped the UK Singles Chart.
- List of artists who reached number one in the United States
- List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart
- List of acts who appeared on American Bandstand
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- The History of Rock & Roll
- Where the Action Is
- List of people from Georgia (U.S. state)
- Bill Dahl (1942-05-09). "Tommy Roe | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 151, 210, 247 & 266. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "The Billboard Book of Number One Hits - Fred Bronson - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 118. CN 5585.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 467. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Song artist 660 - Tommy Roe". Tsort.info. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- [dead link]
- "Tommy Roe | Awards". AllMusic. 1942-05-09. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - January 31, 2014". RIAA. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 457. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Official website
- Video of Roe performing in Palm Springs, California in 2002
- Mini biography at classicbands.com