The Hit Men

The Hit Men

Video

The Hit Men Promo

Bio

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

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

High-Res Images