Neil Diamond was not a huge star in 1968 but he had gained some attention with a series of hit singles for the Bang Label. During late 1967, he informed the label that he would be leaving and they responded by releasing just about any material they had in the vault as singles.
“New Orleans/Hanky Panky” was released January 6, 1968. While “New Orleans” was considered the A side, but many radio stations flipped it over and played “Hanky Panky.” It may have been due to the familiarity of Tommy James’ number one version.
“Hanky Panky” reached number 51 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart during its six week stay. While it may not have been one of his better efforts, it was a bridge to his time with the Uni Label, where he would become a superstar.