The Hit Men

The Hit Men

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Legendary Performers with Frankie Valli, Carole King, Cat Stevens & more!

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Carly Simon, Elton John, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Carole King, Cheap Trick, Sting, Paul McCartney, Three Dog Night, Christopher Cross and Alan Parsons were among the most influential pop music artists of the second half of the 20th century, and all share a common denominator: at some point during their careers, each had at least one of THE HIT MEN playing behind them on the road or in the studio.

THE HIT MEN - a supergroup consisting of Lee Shapiro, Jimmy Ryan, Jeff Ganz, Russ Velazquez and Steve Murphy - either played, sang or peformed on stage with one or more of these artists, creating or recreating live, some of the most memorable hits of the era, including "Who Loves You," "Oh What a Night," "You're So Vain," "The Loco-motion," "Anticipation," "Mony Mony," "Joy to the World," "Don't Stop Believing," and many more, on which they used their musical alchemy to spin songs into gold and platinum.

Lee Shapiro is a producer, arranger, singer and musician who not only arranged some of the Four Seasons biggest hits, but also collaborated with artists ranging from Barry Manilow, Tony Orlando, and Tommy James.

Jimmy Ryan began his career in the 1960s as lead guitarist, singer and a songwriter for The Critters. He was Carly Simon's music director for twenty-one years, and his guitar is heard on works by Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney and Elton John and many others.

Jeff Ganz is a bassist and singer who has worked with an eclectic array of artists including Blood Sweat & Tears, Johnny Winter, Cheap Trick, Lou Reed, Dr. John, Vanilla Fudge and jazz greats including Gerry Mulligan, Tito Puente and Larry Coryell.

Russ Velazquez is a singer, composer and arranger whose credits read like a musical Who's Who. He has collaborated with everyone from Sting, The Ramones, and LL Cool J to Luther Vandross, Korn and Paula Abdul. He has earned four Emmy Award nominations for his songs on Sesame Street and his song "2BA Master" hit the top of the children's music charts on Radio Disney.

Steve Murphy is a drummer, singer, producer and engineer who has toured with The Alan Parsons Project, Jack Bruce, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals), Dave Mason, Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), The Turtles, Mickey Dolenz, Gary Puckett, Mitch Ryder and over a dozen more major artists from the '60s, '70s and '80s.

THE HIT MEN connect with audiences on a level rarely seen by today's musical artists. From the classic songs we all know and love (such as "Oh What a Night" & "You're So Vain") to the backstage stories never told until today, a HIT MEN show is like no other, as they combine the music & the memories alongside exciting multimedia footage & visuals, evoking an unforgettable musical and visual experience. "We can say whatever we want about our legacy with complete legitimacy," Lee Shapiro said. "We have an emotional connection with the audience that tribute bands and soundalike bands can't have. Whe we share our experiences and tell stories, we aren't reciting a script. We were there. When we tell you how Warren Beatty got thrown out of Carly Simon's dressing room at the Troubador in LA in 1971, we know it's true because Jimmy Ryan was the one who did it!"

Reliving the magic they created on stages around the world & in recording studios with some of the greatest and most famous of the royalty of rock, when THE HIT MEN take the stage today, it's easy to see why their music has transcended generations. Now touring across the country, they have performed at prestigious theatres such as Town Hall in New York City, the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Ft. Myers, FL, the Gallo Theatre in Modesto, CA and with symphony orchestras in Grand Rapids, MI, Allentown, PA, Birmingham, AL, and Des Moines, IA.

Press Releases

July 25, 2018
CLASSIC ROCK'S LEGENDARY SIDE MEN RETURN TO THE FOREFRONT AS THE HIT MEN ANNOUNCE FALL U.S. TOUR

The Hit Men (credit: Bobby Bank)

The Hit Men, L-R: Jeff Ganz, Russ Velazquez, Jimmy Ryan, Lee Shapiro, Steve Murphy (credit: Bobby Bank)

After decades performing or recording with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, The Who, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Cheap Trick, The Ramones, and dozens more, THE HIT MEN have become a Supergroup like no other

"The Hit Men are musicians in a class all their own" - M Music & Musicians Magazine.

NEW YORK - True to the name of their latest album, Don't Stop, THE HIT MEN, classic rock's unique Supergroup of legendary side men, will be back on the road this Fall with an extensive U.S. tour aimed at delivering the hits they first played with the original superstars.

Following some late summer warmup dates at the Jersey Shore, in the Thousand Islands, and elsewhere, the Fall tour kicks off in earnest Oct. 12 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, NY, and continues through the Northeast, Midwest, and further west into Utah and Texas through the holiday season, before wrapping over New Year's Eve with a three-night celebration at the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, MN.

After decades performing or recording with classic rock superstars Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, The Who, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Cheap Trick, The Ramones, and dozens more, THE HIT MEN have become a Supergroup unlike any other. What the Wrecking Crew meant to the pop music revolution of the '60s, THE HIT MEN have meant to some of the most indelible hits of the '70s, '80s and beyond. It's only now that the evolution of THE HIT MEN'S story - fueled, in part, by their countless first-hand experiences as eyewitnesses to rock history - has become a revelation.

As the Associated Press recently noted, "Nostalgia Fades but the 'Hit Men' Play On."

THE HIT MEN recently took another major step toward stardom on their own terms, with the release of their first original music video from their first original single, "You Can't Fight Love," off the DON'T STOP album.

From transistor radios, vinyl, 8-track tapes and cassettes to the Sony Walkman, CD's, digital downloads and the Apple iPod, THE HIT MEN - Jimmy Ryan (lead guitar/vocals, and Carly Simon's longtime musical director), Lee Shapiro (keyboards/vocals, and Frankie Valli's former musical director), Jeff Ganz (bass/vocals), Russ Velazquez (vocalist/keyboardist/percussionist), and Steve Murphy (drummer/vocalist) - have seen and heard it all. And they have the stories to go with it! The Don't Stop U.S. Tour, having already criss-crossed the U.S. with an all-new production featuring the most recent chapters in THE HIT MEN's "Hits-tory," resumes in August.

THE HIT MEN continue to recreate their classics while proving again and again that you absolutely can teach old dogs new "tracks."

THE HIT MEN "DON'T STOP" 2018 TOUR DATES
August 9: Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY
August 15: Cape May Convention Center, Cape May, NJ
August 18: West End Cruise Night & Classic Car Show, Long Branch, NJ
September 29: Friends of the PAC, Middleton, WI
October 12: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
October 13: State Theater, Easton, PA
October 20: Vinegar Hill Music Theater, Arundel, ME
October 27: Honeywell Center, Wabash, IN
October 28: The Holland Theater, Bellefontaine, OH
November 10: GSU PAC, University Park, IL
November 15: Cox Performing Arts Center at Dixie State Univ., St. George, UT
December 2: Katherine Hepburn Theater, Old Saybrook, CT
December 29-31: Black Bear Casino, Carlton, MN

More dates to come!

July 20, 2018
Cat Stevens at 70: His voice in the recording studio was 'instant magic,' recalls The Hit Men's Jimmy Ryan

Jimmy Ryan of The Hit Men, left, and Cat Stevens.

Jimmy Ryan of The Hit Men, left, and Cat Stevens.

'Real Deal' Musicians to the Classic Rock Superstars Resume 'Don't Stop' Tour in August

"The Hit Men are musicians in a class all their own" - M Music & Musicians Magazine.

NEW YORK (July 20, 2018) - As Yussuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens turns 70 this weekend (July 21), Jimmy Ryan of THE HIT MEN, who played guitar on 1974's multi-platinum Buddha and the Chocolate Box album, recalls how Stevens' voice back then had a "transformational" ability in the recording studio to turn a track into "instant magic."

A primary example of Stevens' wondrous studio flow, Ryan explains, was during the session for the song "Sun-C79". Ryan wanted to write out a rough chart of the song's multiple chord and mood changes.

Stevens had other ideas.

"He wouldn't have it," recounts Ryan now lead guitarist of THE HIT MEN, the popular "real deal" musicians who've separately delivered dozens of hits to the classic rock superstars of the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. "He kept saying 'just follow along,' as he loosely wandered from half singing/speaking it, sometimes with a guitar, often while holding a guitar and not playing. His approach was for us to 'get' the song emotionally first, then work out the details later."

After quite a few rounds of this, recording began and a coherent track eventually emerged. Not amazing, by Ryan's standards, but OK. Ryan discretely whispered that opinion to Jean Roussel, the keyboardist, who knowingly smiled back and said to just "wait for it." Stevens then stepped up to the mike, the track started rolling, the engineer pressed "record," and ...

"... I was a witness to instant magic," says Ryan. "His voice brought the song up to a whole new and unexpected level, creating that amazing sound and sung story telling he is so famous for. I've never seen a track transformed so quickly and thoroughly by anybody since! For me, that summed up the artistic genius that is Cat Stevens... and the Billboard charts agree."

In the ensuring months, Buddha and the Chocolate Box was Certified Platinum (over 1 million units sold), and the artist known now as Yusuf/Cat Stevens cemented his place in music history as a Rock 'n Roll Hall of Famer!

After decades performing or recording with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, The Who, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Cheap Trick, The Ramones, and dozens more, THE HIT MEN have become a Supergroup unlike any other. What the Wrecking Crew meant to the pop music revolution of the '60s, THE HIT MEN have meant to some of the most indelible hits of the '70s, '80s and beyond. It's only now that the evolution of THE HIT MEN'S story - fueled, in part, by their countless first-hand experiences as eyewitnesses to rock history - has become a revelation.

From transistor radios, vinyl, 8-track tapes and cassettes to the Sony Walkman, CDs, digital downloads and the Apple iPod, THE HIT MEN - Jimmy Ryan (lead guitar/vocals, and Carly Simon's former musical director), Lee Shapiro (keyboards/vocals, and Frankie Valli's 1970's musical director), Jeff Ganz (bass/vocals), Russ Velazquez (vocalist/keyboardist/percussionist), and Steve Murphy (drummer/vocalist) - have seen and heard it all. And they have the stories to go with it! The Don't Stop U.S. Tour, having already criss-crossed the U.S. with an all-new production featuring the most recent chapters in THE HIT MEN's "Hits-tory," resumes in August.

THE HIT MEN recently took another major step toward stardom on their own terms, with the release of their first original music video from their first original single, "You Can't Fight Love," off the DON'T STOP album.

The Hit Men (credit: Bobby Bank)

The Hit Men (credit: Bobby Bank)

THE HIT MEN continue to recreate their classics while proving again and again that you absolutely can teach old dogs new "tracks."

THE HIT MEN "DON'T STOP" 2018 TOUR DATES

August 9: Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY
August 15: Cape May Convention Center, Cape May NJ
August 18: West End Cruise Night & Classic Car Show, Long Branch, NJ
September 29: Friends of the PAC, Middleton, WI
October 12: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
October 13: State Theater, Easton, PA
October 20: Vinegar Hill Music Theater, Arundel, ME
October 27: Honeywell Center, Wabash, IN
October 28: The Holland Theater, Bellefontaine, OH
November 10: GSU PAC, University Park, IL
November 15: Cox Performing Arts Center at Dixie State Univ., St. George, UT
December 2: Katherine Hepburn Theater, Old Saybrook, CT

More dates to come!

June 14, 2018
COMMENTS ON DEATH OF ELVIS DRUMMER DJ FONTANA By THE HIT MEN: The 'Real Deal' Musicians Who've Delivered the Hits to the Superstars since the '60s

The Hit Men

The Hit Men

NEW YORK - Members of THE HIT MEN, the popular "real deal" musicians who each helped deliver dozens of hits to the superstar artists of the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s, offered the following comments on the impact of the passing of longtime Elvis Presley drummer DJ Fontana.

Said keyboardist/musical director Lee Shapiro, Frankie Valli's "kid" musical director in the '70s:

"DJ Fontana influenced the way I write for a rock rhythm section - he was solid, steady, and sparse. Most drummers were intent on displaying their technique and mastery of the instrument. DJ played his role perfectly. The heartbeat of Elvis' show, the anchor, and the battery who powered it. I learned from DJ that it doesn't take a million notes to be a great rock drummer. It takes feel, and he had it."

Said drummer Steve Murphy, whose credits include Elton John, Jack Bruce (Cream), Dave Mason and Todd Rundgren:

"It's indisputable that his drumming laid the foundation for rock and roll. He's the one who started it all. Even though John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and Jeff Porcaro of Toto influenced me while I came of age in the '70s and '80s, knowing that Robert Plant was the biggest Elvis fan on the planet when he and Bonzo were previously in Band of Joy together, I can't imagine that Bonham was not a huge DJ fan, too. I would bet my family on it."

Drummer Steve Murphy of The Hit Men

Drummer Steve Murphy of The Hit Men

June 12, 2018
MANILOW IN VEGAS: EXCLUSIVE RESIDENCY, OPENING THIS WEEK, REMINDS THE HIT MEN'S MUSICAL DIRECTOR OF CO-PRODUCING ATLANTIC CITY EXCLUSIVE: 'BARRY MANILOW PRESENTS COPACABANA'

Lee Shapiro, former music director Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, recalls Manilow as "a true professional and mensch. ... one of the most versatile and generous talents of anyone I've worked with."

Lee Shapiro of the Hit Men with Barry Manilow when they co-produced "Barry Manilow Presents Copacabana" exclusively for Caesars in Atlantic City from 1990-91.

Lee Shapiro of the Hit Men with Barry Manilow when they co-produced "Barry Manilow Presents Copacabana" exclusively for Caesars in Atlantic City from 1990-91.

"The Hit Men are musicians in a class all their own"
- M Music & Musicians Magazine

NEW YORK (June 12, 2018) - Barry Manilow's highly anticipated return to Las Vegas this week to premiere his exclusive new stage extravaganza, "The Hits Come Home!," reminds THE HIT MEN'S musical director of their experience together co-producing another residency, "Barry Manilow Presents Copacabana," the original early '90s stage production derived from Manilow's signature hit song, "Copacabana," exclusively for Caesars in Atlantic City.

The hour-long stage show ran from 1990 to 1991 in Caesars' Circus Maximus Theatre with a cast of 20 singers and dancers. It played to over 100,000 people in its first six months to rave reviews as the "must-see casino show" in Atlantic City. Manilow's Vegas show opens Thursday in the International Theater at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

Lee Shapiro, who ignited his considerable show biz pedigree 15 years earlier as Frankie Valli's "kid" musical director and Four Seasons member during their 1970s resurgence, recalls Manilow as nothing short of "a true professional and mensch. ... one of the most versatile and generous talents of anyone I've worked with."

Shapiro is now musical director and keyboardist of THE HIT MEN, the popular "real deal" musicians who each helped deliver dozens of hits to the superstar artists of the '70s, '80s, and '90s. He got his first taste of Manilow's unique abilities when they went into a New York studio to create a live recording session with two dozen musicians for a soundtrack album that, 27 years later, remains unreleased. Shapiro still marvels at how deftly Manilow delegated roles even though "he could have done anyone's job."

"He's well versed and proficient at orchestration, arranging, recording, songwriting, and playing piano on a level I've never experienced," Shapiro notes. "At one point he wanted to hear a change in the orchestration from me. This is how he handled it: 'Would everyone please leave control room except for me and Lee?' And then he said 'Lee, open the score.' I opened it and he pointed directly to the bar. 'You see this right here? I'd really like it to be brought down an octave.' He could have said that in front of everybody, but he didn't want to embarrass me by drawing questions to my choices. And that's typical of how he collaborated with those on his support team. I wish him good health and success in his Vegas residency. 'Copacabana' was one of the best experiences of my career."

After decades of helping deliver dozens of hits with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN have taken their next major step toward stardom on their own terms, with the release of their first original music video from their first original single, "You Can't Fight Love," off the new album, DON'T STOP.

The Don't Stop U.S. Tour, having already criss-crossed the U.S. with an all-new production featuring the most recent chapters in THE HIT MEN's "Hits-tory" from the '70s, '80s, and '90s, resumes later this summer.

The Hit Men (credit: Bobby Bank)

The Hit Men (credit: Bobby Bank)

What the Wrecking Crew meant to the pop music revolution of the '60s, THE HIT MEN have meant to some of the most indelible hits of the '70s and beyond. It's only now that the evolution of THE HIT MEN'S story - fueled, in part, by their countless first-hand experiences as eyewitnesses to rock history - has become a revelation.

From transistor radios, vinyl, 8-track tapes and cassettes to the Sony Walkman, CDs, digital downloads and the Apple iPod, THE HIT MEN - Shapiro, Jeff Ganz (bass/vocals), Jim Ryan (lead guitar/vocals), Russ Velazquez (vocalist/keyboardist/percussionist), and Steve Murphy (drummer/vocalist) - have seen and heard it all. And they have the stories to go with it!

THE HIT MEN intersperse their stories - and many more - with lighthearted affection on stage, engaging audiences of all ages in self-deprecating fashion as they continue to sign up new members of THE HIT MEN "faithful" wherever they've played since coming together in pristine harmony hundreds of shows ago.

THE HIT MEN bring the hits on stage - and in the studio - with astounding vibrancy, from so many rock greats ... and legends. Aside from the previously mentioned Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN also count Lou Reed, Foreigner, Sting, Barry Manilow, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Cheap Trick, Chicago, and yes, even LL Cool J, in their collective canon. Combined, THE HIT MEN have played on some 85 albums, many of them gold and multi-platinum.

Indeed, THE HIT MEN are hardly steeped in the past. But thanks to their illustrious pasts, they sure know good songs when they hear 'em, and are especially attracted to well-written songs with great melody and hooks. No wonder the members share a fondness for contemporary stars like Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, John Legend and Jason Mraz.

As the Associated Press recently noted, "Nostalgia Fades but the 'Hit Men' Play On."

THE HIT MEN continue to recreate their classics while proving again and again that you absolutely can teach old dogs new "tracks."

THE HIT MEN "DON'T STOP" 2018 TOUR DATES

August 9: Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY
August 15: Cape May Convention Center, Cape May, NJ
August 18: West End Cruise Night & Classic Car Show, Long Branch, NJ
September 29: Friends of the PAC, Middleton, WI
October 12: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
October 13: State Theater, Easton, PA
October 20: Vinegar Hill Music Theater, Arundel, ME
October 27: Honeywell Center, Wabash, IN
October 28: The Holland Theater, Bellefontaine, OH
November 10: GSU PAC, University Park, IL
November 15: Cox Performing Arts Center at Dixie State Univ., St. George, UT
December 2: Katherine Hepburn Theater, Old Saybrook, CT

More dates to come!

June 5, 2018
TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN: THE HIT MEN FONDLY RECALL DONNA SUMMER SESSIONS AS THIS WEEKEND'S TONY AWARDS SHEDS 'WELL-DESERVED' NEW SPOTLIGHT ON 'ONE OF THE BEST SINGERS EVER'
Jeff Ganz of the Hit Men with Donna Summer at an early 90s charity event they played.

Jeff Ganz of the Hit Men with Donna Summer at an early '90s charity event they played.

"The Hit Men are musicians in a class all their own"
- M Music & Musicians Magazine.

NEW YORK (June 5, 2018) - Members of THE HIT MEN, the "real deal" musicians who each helped deliver dozens of hits to the superstar artists of the '70s, '80s, and '90s could not genuinely be happier to see their former collaborator, Donna Summer, posthumously enter the Tony Award spotlight this Sunday with a pair of nominations for "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical."

"This is so well-deserved. She was truly one of the nicest people I've ever worked with, and one of the best singers ever," says HIT MEN bassist Jeff Ganz, whose stellar resume includes sessions or live work with Cheap Trick, Lou Reed, Dr. John, Johnny Winter, and many more. "It's such a shame she's not here to enjoy it. She would have loved to have seen it."

To illustrate his point, Ganz recalls asking the Disco Queen about performing his all-time Summer favorite, "There Will Always Be You," a deep track ballad from the Bad Girls LP.

"Her eyes got real big with amazement, as she says, 'Oh my, that was the first song I ever wrote!,'" Ganz relayed. "She could not have been more excited to hear how much I loved it."

The HIT MEN keyboardist and musical director Lee Shapiro got a quick sense of Summer's sweetness when Franke Valli and the Four Seasons shared the bill with her on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve in the mid-'70s. Shapiro was Valli's "kid" musical director and keyboardist during that resurgent decade of his career.

"She was generous with the spotlight, musically perfect, and a true star while remaining unassuming," IN the fainale of the TV show, I played the bass part of "Love to Love You Baby and she spun around and gave me a big hug and said, "That's my song."

After decades of helping deliver dozens of hits with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN have taken their next major step toward stardom on their own terms, with the release of their first original music video from their first original single, "You Can't Fight Love," off the new album, DON'T STOP.

The Don't Stop U.S. Tour, having already criss-crossed the U.S. with an all-new production featuring the most recent chapters in THE HIT MEN's "Hits-tory" from the '70s, '80s, and '90s, resumes later this summer.

The Hit Men (credit: Bobby Bank)

The Hit Men (credit: Bobby Bank)

What the Wrecking Crew meant to the pop music revolution of the '60s, THE HIT MEN have meant to some of the most indelible hits of the '70s and beyond. It's only now that the evolution of THE HIT MEN'S story - fueled, in part, by their countless first-hand experiences as eyewitnesses to rock history - has become a revelation.

From transistor radios, vinyl, 8-track tapes and cassettes to the Sony Walkman, CDs, digital downloads and the Apple iPod, THE HIT MEN - Ganz, Shapiro, Jim Ryan (lead guitar/vocals), Russ Velazquez (vocalist/keyboardist/percussionist), and Steve Murphy (drummer/vocalist) - have seen and heard it all. And they have the stories to go with it!

THE HIT MEN intersperse their stories - and many more - with lighthearted affection on stage, engaging audiences of all ages in self-deprecating fashion as they continue to sign up new members of THE HIT MEN "faithful" wherever they've played since coming together in pristine harmony hundreds of shows ago.

THE HIT MEN bring the hits on stage - and in the studio - with astounding vibrancy, from so many rock greats ... and legends. Aside from the previously mentioned Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN also count Lou Reed, Foreigner, Sting, Barry Manilow, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Cheap Trick, Chicago, and yes, even LL Cool J, in their collective canon. Combined, THE HIT MEN have played on some 85 albums, many of them gold and multi-platinum.

Indeed, THE HIT MEN are hardly steeped in the past. But thanks to their illustrious pasts, they sure know good songs when they hear 'em, and are especially attracted to well-written songs with great melody and hooks. No wonder the members share a fondness for contemporary stars like Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, John Legend and Jason Mraz.

As the Associated Press recently noted, "Nostalgia Fades but the 'Hit Men' Play On."

THE HIT MEN continue to recreate their classics while proving again and again that you absolutely can teach old dogs new "tracks."

THE HIT MEN "DON'T STOP" 2018 TOUR DATES

August 9: Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY
August 15: Cape May Convention Center, Cape May, NJ
August 18: West End Cruise Night & Classic Car Show, Long Branch, NJ
September 29: Friends of the PAC, Middleton, WI
October 12: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
October 13: State Theater, Easton, PA
October 20: Vinegar Hill Music Theater, Arundel, ME
October 27: Honeywell Center, Wabash, IN
October 28: The Holland Theater, Bellefontaine, OH
November 10: GSU PAC, University Park, IL
November 15: Cox Performing Arts Center at Dixie State Univ., St. George, UT
December 2: Katherine Hepburn Theater, Old Saybrook, CT

More dates to come!

January 22, 2018
THE HIT MEN LEAP FURTHER FROM THE SHADOWS TO SET NEW STANDARDS AMONG ROCK'S GREAT SIDEMEN WITH FIRST ORIGINAL MUSIC VIDEO

'YOU CAN'T FIGHT LOVE' VIDEO PREMIERES ONLINE IN M MUSIC & MUSICIANS MAG AS STELLAR 'MUSICIANS TO THE STARS' LAUNCH ALL-NEW 'DON'T STOP' U.S. TOUR

"THE HIT MEN are musicians in a class all their own"
- M Music & Musicians Magazine.

NEW YORK (Jan. 22, 2018) - After decades of helping deliver dozens of hits with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN - the music industry's "youngest senior citizens" - have taken their next major step toward stardom on their own terms, with the release of their first original music video from their first original single, "You Can't Fight Love," off the new album, DON'T STOP.

No other group of sidemen from rock's golden era - not even the revered Wrecking Crew - can make such a bold claim.

Premiering exclusively today through M Music & Musicians Magazine, the music video arrives as the stellar "musicians to the stars" announce their Don't Stop U.S. Tour with an all-new production featuring the most recent chapters in THE HIT MEN's "Hits-tory" from the '70s, '80s, and '90s. The excitement began here in New York last week with a pair of standing-room-only industry preview showcases at the APAP (Association of Performing Arts Professionals) Conference.

"THE HIT MEN'S new show takes you back to the time when hit songs were on vinyl, lyrics were memorable, melodies were singable, and life was a rock 'n roll celebration," says Lee Shapiro, the group's keyboardist/founder and '70s member of Frankie Valli's Four Seasons. "The real guys you saw in concert and heard on the radio in the '70s and '80s, are still rocking the house today... and making everyone who comes to the theater feel like they are 23 years old again!"

The Don't Stop U.S. Tour officially kicks off in the Philadelphia market (Feb. 17) before THE HIT MEN head to Florida for the next month, with a dozen shows throughout the Sunshine State, followed by shows in Alabama and Louisiana, along the East Coast, in the Midwest ... and more to come!

Jimmy Ryan, THE HIT MEN'S lead guitarist/vocalist/founding member (and Carly Simon's musical director for 21 years), produced, directed, and edited the music video for "You Can't Fight Love," and tapped students from the Maharishi University of Management film school in Fairfield, Iowa, to help achieve the feeling he was seeking: "I wanted to create the same romantic angst as the lyric," he says, "without necessarily acting out every single word." Ryan's son, Ian, appears in the video with his then-girlfriend, Rachel Raymond.

What the Wrecking Crew meant to the pop music revolution of the '60s, THE HIT MEN have meant to some of the most indelible hits of the '70s and beyond. It's only now that the evolution of THE HIT MEN'S story - fueled, in part, by their countless first-hand experiences as eyewitnesses to rock history - has become a revelation.

From transistor radios, vinyl, 8-track tapes and cassettes to the Sony Walkman, CDs, digital downloads and the Apple iPod, Shapiro, Ryan, and the rest of THE HIT MEN - Russ Velazquez (vocalist/keyboardist/percussionist), Steve Murphy (drummer/vocalist) and Jeff Ganz (bassist/vocalist) - have seen and heard it all. And they have the stories to go with it!

THE HIT MEN will be interspersing their stories - and many more - with lighthearted affection when they hit the road, engaging audiences of all ages in self-deprecating fashion, as they continue to sign up new members of THE HIT MEN "faithful" wherever they've played since coming together in pristine harmony seven years and hundreds of shows ago. Watch what the fans say here.

THE HIT MEN bring the hits on stage - and in the studio - with astounding vibrancy, from so many rock greats ... and legends. Aside from the previously mentioned Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN also count Lou Reed, Foreigner, Sting, Barry Manilow, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Cheap Trick, Chicago, and yes, even LL Cool J, in their collective canon. Combined, THE HIT MEN have played on some 85 albums, many of them gold and multi-platinum.

Indeed, THE HIT MEN are hardly steeped in the past. But thanks to their illustrious pasts, they sure know good songs when they hear 'em, and are especially attracted to well-written songs with great melody and hooks. No wonder the members share a fondness for contemporary stars like Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, John Legend and Jason Mraz.

As the Associated Press recently noted, "Nostalgia Fades but the 'Hit Men' Play On."

Indeed, THE HIT MEN continue to recreate their classics while proving again and again that you absolutely can teach old dogs new "tracks."

THE HIT MEN "DON'T STOP" 2018 TOUR DATES
February 17: The Broadway Theater, Pitman, NJ
February 19: Ocean Reef Theatre, Ocean Reef, FL
February 20: Century Village, West Palm Beach, FL
February 21: Century Village, Pembroke Pines, FL
February 22: Century Village, Boca Raton, FL
February 23: The Sunrise Theatre, Fort Pierce, FL
February 24: Century Villages, Deerfield Beach, FL
March 2: The Flagler Auditorium, Palm Coast, FL
March 3: Coral Springs Center for the Arts Coral Springs, FL
March 4: Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL
March 5: Artis PAC, Naples, FL
March 10-11: Lake Sumter State, Leesburg, FL
March 13: Polk Theater, Lakeland, FL
March 15: The Manship Theatre, Baton Rouge, LA
March 16: Oxford PAC, Oxford, AL
March 24: Wild Rose Casino, Emmetsburg, PA
April 13: The Paramount, Peekskill, NY
April 28: The Playhouse on Rodney Square, Wilmington, DE
May 11: Diamond Jo Casino, Dubuque, IA
May 12: Sondheim Center, Fairfield, IA
June 2: Downtown Cabaret - 2 shows!, Bridgeport, CT
Aug. 9: Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY
Oct. 13: State Theater, Easton, PA
Oct. 20: Arundel Music Theater, Arundel, ME
Dec. 2: Katherine Hepburn Theater, Old Saybrook, CT
More dates to come!

September 29, 2017
THE HIT MEN BOLDLY GO WHERE NO OTHER GROUP OF ROCK'S GREAT SIDEMEN HAS GONE BEFORE

Stellar Musicians to the Stars Leap from the Shadows to Release Original Track and Music Video

"You Can't Fight Love," the Single, due for Release Oct. 20; 'Don't Stop,' the Album, to Arrive Nov. 2

NEW YORK (Sept. 28, 2017) - After decades of helping deliver dozens of hits with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN - the music industry's "youngest senior citizens" - have finally taken several large steps toward stardom on their own terms, with original music that bears no other names but theirs.

"You Can't Fight Love," the HIT MEN's first original single and music video, are set for release Oct. 20. The song will be featured on THE HIT MEN's upcoming album, DON'T STOP, slated to follow Nov. 2. No other group of sidemen from rock's golden era - not even the revered Wrecking Crew - can make such a bold claim.

What the Wrecking Crew meant to the pop music revolution of the '60s, THE HIT MEN have meant to the some of the most indelible hits of the '70s and beyond. It's only now that the evolution of THE HIT MEN'S story - fueled, in part, by their countless first-hand experiences as eyewitnesses to rock history - has become a revelation.

From transistor radios, vinyl, 8-track tapes and cassettes to the Sony Walkman, CDs, digital downloads and the Apple iPod, the members of THE HIT MEN - Lee Shapiro (keyboardist/founder), Jimmy Ryan (lead guitarist/vocalist/founding member), Russ Velazquez (vocalist/keyboardist/percussionist), Steve Murphy (drummer/vocalist) and Jeff Ganz (bassist/vocalist) - have seen and heard it all.

And they tell all about it, with lighthearted affection, in their new YouTube video series, "Stories from the Road":

  • Jeff Ganz delivers a classic tale about his first rehearsal with Chuck Berry and how the recently departed rock 'n' roll pioneer prepped his back-up band for that night's show in Buffalo with just 19 words.
  • Jimmy Ryan tells of two insanely memorable days at George Martin's AIR Studios in London, involving Paul McCartney, while recording with Carly Simon for her 1972 No Secrets album.
  • Russ Velazquez recounts his meeting with David Bowie at the St. James Theatre in NYC.
  • Jimmy Ryan offers a poignant tribute to Jim Croce, originally Ryan's college bud at Villanova, on what would've been Croce's 74th birthday.
  • Lee Shapiro shares a comical tale of a show at Radio City Music Hall as one of Frankie Valli's legendary Four Seasons.

THE HIT MEN will be interspersing these stories - and many more - when they hit the road on a fall tour to support DON'T STOP that travels the East and West Coasts, with stretches in the Midwest, South and Southwest. Along the way, they'll be engaging audiences of all ages in light-hearted, self-deprecating fashion, as they continue to sign up new members of THE HIT MEN "faithful" wherever they've played since coming together in pristine harmony seven years and hundreds of shows ago.

"One main reason our singing and playing is so strong is that none of us ever stopped, so we didn't get rusty," says Jimmy Ryan. "Our voices have remained kind of young. We honestly don't sound like we look."

THE HIT MEN bring the hits on stage - and in the studio - with astounding vibrancy, from so many rock greats ... and legends. Aside from the aforementioned Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN also count Lou Reed, Foreigner, Sting, Barry Manilow, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Cheap Trick, Chicago, and yes, even LL Cool J, in their collective court. Combined, THE HIT MEN have played on some 85 albums, many of them gold and multi-platinum.

Indeed, the HIT MEN are hardly steeped in the past. But thanks to their illustrious pasts, they sure know good songs when they hear 'em, and are especially attracted to well-written songs with great melody and hooks. No wonder the members share a fondness for contemporary stars like Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, John Legend and Jason Mraz.

As the Associated Press recently noted, "Nostalgia Fades but the 'Hit Men' Play On."

"We're the youngest senior citizens there are," proclaims fellow HIT MEN founder Lee Shapiro. And truth be told, with ages ranging from 52 to 70, most of the HIT MEN are not yet officially seniors.

They might be "old dogs" but, says Shapiro, "All of us are still living our dream."

THE HIT MEN prove you absolutely can teach old dogs new "tracks."

THE HIT MEN "DON'T STOP" FALL 2017 TOUR DATES

Oct. 7: The Franklin PAC, Franklin, IN
Oct. 13: The McAnnich Arts Center, Glen Ellyn, IL
Oct. 14: The Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
Oct. 15: The Shea, Wm. Patterson University, Wayne, NJ
Oct. 21: The Strand. Lakewood, NJ
Nov. 5: The Maryland Theatre, Hagerstown, MD
Nov. 11: The Harris Center, Folsom, CA
Nov. 12: The Redding Civic Auditorium, Redding, CA
Nov. 17: Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY
Dec. 15: The Cerritos PAC, Cerritos, CA
Dec. 31: The Texan Theater, Greenville, TX

The Hit Men

Randy Alexander

President & CEO
906 Jonathan Lane
Marlton, NJ 08053
856.596.1410

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