Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Me, the Mob, and the Music

Tommy James, the sixties front man for The Shondells, is out with an autobiography which goes into detail on his mobbed-up boss Morris Levy who was behind Roulette Records as reported by Brett Milano for the Boston Herald:
Previous accounts have hinted at Levy's underworld connections. But James spells it out: Levy, who ran Roulette Records and later New England's Strawberries record-store chain, was a key player in the Genovese crime family. James, now 62, came to Roulette as a teenage bar-band leader from Niles, Mich. * * * Levy promised he’d make James a star. In addition to "Hanky Panky," "Mony Mony," "I Think We’re Alone Now" and "Crimson and Clover" were all multimillion sellers. But Levy never promised James would get paid, and he didn't - at least not for his songwriting. "I had an accountant who figured out that I was owed 30 to 40 million dollars," James said. So Morris threatened his life. He grabbed him and said, "Look, you (expletive), you ever use that against me and I'll see you at the bottom of the river." * * * Levy was arrested in Boston in 1984 after getting caught in an FBI sting involving counterfeit records. He died in 1990. "The Sopranos" character Hesh Rabkin was based on him; Levy associate Tony Salerno is said to be the model for Tony Soprano.
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