In 1961, Troy Shondell's "This Time (We're Really Breaking Up)" rode the charts for four months. Within the first week of the single's release, lovers of his swamp pop sound snatched up 10,000 copies of the record. In a single year, sales rose to more than three million copies. Shondell's influence rippled through the young rock & roll community. Up-and-coming bands named themselves after him. Tommy James, at the time a guitarist in Michigan who would later score with "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Mony Mony," had the Shondells. In Illinois, Jim Peterik, later known for Survivor and the Ides of March, dubbed his group the same. Recording for La Louisianne, Warren Storm and Rod Bernard also tipped their hat to Shondell when they named their act after him. But the million-seller was not Shondell's first shot at stardom. An earlier attempt was cut short in 1960 on Halloween when a heart attack killed his father and brought Shondell home to help his mother run the family business. Until then, he'd been making steady headway on a musical career that started while he was still a teenager in Fort Wayne, IN. The label Smash released his first single, "My Hero," which he recorded as Gary Shelton, his real name. The Mercury Records release "Kissin' at the Drive-In" came out the following year.