Return of American soul legend that became a familiar face in the Steel City

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Sheffield became a second home for legendary American soul star Tommy Hunt in the 1970s.

He fell in love with the place and became a familiar face in the bars and restaurants of the city.

His energetic shows became the stuff of legend as he performed to packed crowds at the glitzy Fiesta and Bailey’s venues.

Next month he’s set to play in the shadow of the former Fiesta – at Genting Club Sheffield that stands across the road from the old cabaret building.

Tommy Hunt’s incredible career has spanned seven decades – he first hit the big time with premier American doo-wop stars, The Flamingos, in the late 1950s.

His early success earned him an induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and the band’s ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ single is still in constant demand for film soundtracks and for compilation albums.

Tommy Hunt went solo in 1960 and enjoyed a massive hit in the States with ‘Human’. He followed that by becoming the first ever artist to record the Burt Bacharach & Hal David classic ‘I just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself’, which later became a major hit for both Dusty Springfield and Dionne Warwick.

He was a regular performer at New York’s Apollo theatre alongside such legends as Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, The Supremes and Chuck Berry, many of these who Tommy lists as personal friends.

In the 1970s he was ‘re-discovered’ by the burgeoning Northern Soul scene and found mainstream success in the UK with hit records ‘Cracking Up Over You’, ‘Loving On The Losing Side’. He also discovered his nemesis – Top Of The Pops.

“I hated doing Top Of The Pops”, he admits. “I was used to getting up close and personal with my fans at performances and I found myself having to play to a camera.”

There’ll be no chance of that happening in Sheffield – he’s doing a special meet and greet following the performance to meet friends and fans alike.

Now 83-years-old, Tommy Hunt, is set to play on Friday, April 21st and is joined by a steller line-up of Northern Soul DJs including Melvyn Walker, Danny Rex, Barry KGB Holland, Nigel Filmer, Jonny Monk, Debbi B and Stevlor.

Tickets are £10 and available from www.sivtickets.co.uk, Genting Club Sheffield, Woodseats Soul Club,  LP Record Store, Music Junkee  and the Frog & Parrot.

Poster for Tommy's Sheffield return
Poster for Tommy’s Sheffield return

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