Morning Edition

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When Tommy James covers dominated the charts

"Mony Mony" by Billy Idol was number one on the Billboard pop chart 30 years ago today. It was the second straight cover of a song first recorded by Tommy James and Shondells to top the charts. The previous week Tiffany had a number one hit with the Tommy James song "I Think We're Alone Now." Ritchie Cordell had a hand in writing both of them. He says the title for this one was inspired while he was in Manhattan and saw the Mutual of New York building. It was adorned with the company's initials: M-O-N-Y.