Tommy Roe, ’60s Pop Star, Announces Retirement

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Tommy Roe (bottom right) with the Beatles and singer Chris Montez

The artist who scored six top 10 singles during the ’60s, two of them—“Sheila” (1962) and “Dizzy” (1969)—reaching #1, is hanging up his rock ’n’ roll shoes. Tommy Roe, also scored with the hits “Everybody” (1963), “Sweet Pea” (1966), “Hooray for Hazel” (1966) and “Jam Up Jelly Tight” (1969). He issued the following statement on Feb. 8:

“Today I am announcing my retirement. I have so many great memories of the music and of my fans who have supported me through the years. Fifty-five years, to be exact. What a gift it has been for me to share this time with you. I hope my music will continue to bring a smile to your hearts and joy to your life. With Ron’s help, I will stay in touch through our Facebook page. But for now I am stepping out of the spotlight from scheduled concerts and interviews. Thank you again for your loyal support. I love you all, and may God Bless you. Tommy”

Tommy Roe in a recent shot (photo from his Facebook page)

Roe, born May 9, 1942, offered no further comment on his social media pages or website. His retirement brings to an end a career that has lasted more than five decades. The Atlanta-born singer was one of the rare solo male American pop stars whose career not only survived the British onslaught but thrived during it.

In fact, the Beatles were fans of his, and shared a bill with him on a 21-day tour of the U.K. during 1963. Roe’s popularity in England was such that he moved there for several years even while cranking out the hits. In addition to the six top 10s, he placed 21 other singles on the Billboard charts, the last being a cover of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” in 1973.

Related: What were some of the big chart hits of 1966?

Roe released his most recent album, Confectioner’s, last year, and also published his memoir, From Cabbagetown to Tinseltown.

In announcing his retirement, Roe joins a growing list of rock artists who’ve announced their full or partial retirement since the start of 2018, among them Elton John, Paul Simon, Neil Diamond and Ozzy Osbourne.

Watch Tommy Roe sing “Dizzy”

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