Mike Vale

Mike began his musical/recording career in the Pittsburgh area in 1960 while playing with The Sonics and then the Raconteurs, a Saint Vincent College group that eventually became The Shondells. Mike, along with Ron Rosman, George Magura, Joe Kessler and Vinnie Petropauli, joined Tommy James in early 1966 and while the group experienced several personnel changes during its successful tenure, only Mike and Ron Rosman remained a part of Tommy James and the Shondells throughout their long series of classic hits. www.tommyjames.com In addition to playing the bass and singing background vocals while with the Shondells, Mike is credited with either writing or co-writing many of the groups releases. (See compositions at bottom of page.) During the lengthy, successful run of Tommy James and the Shondells, Mike Vale shared the pleasure of performing for crowds of up to 50,000 spectators at some concerts and appearing on a multitude of TV shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show (twice), Joey Bishop, The Dating Game, Dick Clark's Bandstand (twice), Mike Douglas and many more and sharing the stage with the world's greatest rock acts. Asked what he most enjoyed during his association with TJ and the Shondells, he replied: "Well, musically I most enjoyed taking a song from its creation through the recording process and watch it mature into a final product that others appreciated." "From the standpoint of single experience, I especially enjoyed traveling the country with then Vice President Hubert Humphrey during his 1968 presidential campaign and then spending election evening with him and his family in his hotel suite watching the returns come in. What a trip!" In 1970 The Shondells and Tommy James went their separate ways, and The Shondells became Hog Heaven. Mike Vale and Pete Lucia wrote the material for the first album and recruited Jack McNicol, Buddy Cage, Ron Hand and Chuck Demorat for balance of the first album and all of the second when Ron Rosman and Ed Gray left. After a two-year run with Hog Heaven, Mike Vale left the full-time music business for an extended period to fulfill his other dream, becoming a successful entrepreneur. Mike founded and presided over a manufacturing firm called Stellar Precision Components (www.stellarprecision.com) which designs and builds nuclear and aerospace component hardware for the Defense Department and their prime contractors. After approximately 25 successful years, Mike Vale has turned the corporation over to his daughter, Lori and son, Michael who continue to grow the company now employing almost 100 technicians. Additionally, daughter Cari teaches nursing. Daughter Traci went home to the Lord in 1983. During the building of Stellar, Mike kept active in his first love, music, by writing and recording several gospel albums with his friend (and great singer) Bill Monach from Philadelphia under the group name of David's Harp (www.davidsharpgospelgroup.com) Today, Mike is enjoying his wife Val and eight grandchildren and a renewed working relationship with Tommy James writing and producing new material for both Tommy James and Hog Heaven as well as others. TRIVIA: ********************************************************************************** Who is the only member of Tommy James & The Shondells (besides Tommy) to have the privilege of singing lead vocal on one of their 45 RPM single releases? Mike Vale Song - Ya Ya (B side of "It's Only Love") **********************************************************************************