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TOMMY ROE


BIO:
Roe was raised in Atlanta where he attended Brown High School.[2] After graduating, he landed a job at General Electric soldering wires. He had a Billboard #1 hit record in the U.S. and Australia in '62 with the track "Sheila". A buildup of global sales of "Sheila" meant that the R.I.A.A. did not present the gold record until 1969.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] Late that year Roe scored a Top 10 hit with "Everybody", which reached US #3 and UK #9, and the critically acclaimed "The Folk Singer" (#4 UK[5]) 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 self-penned song, "Diane From Manchester Square", with his backing group at the time, the Roemans. 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. In 1965, he and Jerry Lee Lewis combined with Orbison to create an album for the Pickwick International label. During the 1960s, he had several more Top 40 hits, including 1966's #8 "Sweet Pea" (#1 Canada) and #6 "Hooray for Hazel" (#2 Canada).[2] In 1969, his song "Dizzy" went to No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart,[5] #1 in Canada, as well as to Billboard's #1 in the U.S. This transatlantic chart-topper sold two million copies by mid-April 1969, giving him his third gold disc award.[2] In 1969 he Guest Starred in an episode of Green Acres: The Four of Spades. His final Top 10 single, a track co-written with Freddy Weller, "Jam Up and Jelly Tight", was his fourth gold record, peaking at #8 in the U.S. and #5 in Canada.[2] 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.

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