High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, February 7, 2010

SDK Proudly Presents... Cool Covers & Jarring Juxtapositions: Little Bits and Lots More!

A year ago in my first installment of Cool Covers and Jarring Juxtapositions I compared versions of "Boys" by the Shirelles, the Beatles, and Pete Best. It's my pleasure to present a few more great covers. Are any as good as the originals? Are any of them better?


"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" - Walker Brothers (May 1966)

With a wall of sound like a Phil Spector production, "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" by the Walker Brothers went to #13 on the American pop chart. In the UK, the American trio became as popular as the Beatles, and "Sun" hit #1.

"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" - Little Bits featuring Karyl Mann (1968)

Now hear this - the superb uncharted 1968 cover version of the Walker Bros. 1966 hit. This was the lone single recorded for the Dyno Voice label by the no-hit-wonder girl group the Little Bits featuring Karyl Mann.

"Gimme Some Lovin'" - Spencer Davis Group (January 1967)

England's Spencer Davis Group achieved two top 10 hits stateside. "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm a Man" were both popular at the Dell and are ranked #78 and #73 respectively on my Dell's Greatest Hits list. Steve Winwood and his mates sing their biggest hit, "Gimme Some Lovin'" in this exciting performance clip.

"Gimme Some Lovin'" - Jordan Brothers (February 1967)

The Jordans were a trio of brothers from Schuylkill County, PA. Their recording of "Gimme Some Lovin’" is considered by discriminating Dell rats to be the definitive. For decades there has been some confusion surrounding the two versions of "Gimme Some Lovin'"...a song penned by Steve Winwood. While it would seem logical to assume that the Jordan Brothers version was the cover, theirs is actually the original in the USA and the Spencer Davis version the cover.

According to Jordan brother Frank, Philips Records somehow acquired a demo of "Gimme Some Lovin'" with Winwood doing the lead vocal. The record company offered the song to the Jordan Brothers. The boys liked it, recorded it, and it was released as a single in 1966 backed with the killer bee "When I'm With Her." The Jordans' version of "Gimme Some Lovin'" was excellent and had genuine hit potential; yet the record did not see any immediate action on Billboard. Late in the year the Spencer Davis Group released their own 45rpm waxing of Winwood's song and the UK import entered the domestic chart on December 31st.

Three weeks later, in late January 1967, the Jordan Brothers' rendition finally showed up on the Billboard Bubbling Under chart. For two weeks both versions of "Gimme Some Lovin'" rode the U.S. chart simultaneously but with entirely different trajectories. The Jordans' version stalled at #128 while Winwood took his composition all the way to #7 after a 13 week chart run, evidence of America's continuing post-Beatles fascination with all things British.

Although the Spencer Davis Group release of "Gimme Some Lovin'" far outdistanced that of the Jordans, the record by Frackville's finest caught fire in Philly and the power platter rocked Central Pennsylvania. The song went into breakout rotation on WSBA and WLAN and I wore it out on my turntable. At the Dell the Jordans had the joint jumpin' and their take on "Gimme Some Lovin'' eclipsed the S.D.G. version in terms of popularity and jukebox play earning it a prestigious #63 ranking on the Dell Hot 100!

"I'm Blue" (The Gong-Gong Song)" - Ikettes (February 1962)

Ike Turner's Ikettes emerged from the Ike & Tina Revue as recording stars in their own right beginning with "I'm Blue," a song that charted in the early months of 1962 and finished in the top 20.

"I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)" - Newbeats
(September 1964)

In August 1964 our friends Larry Henley and the Newbeats recorded their own excellent cover of "I'm Blue." The Nashville trio's rendition of "I'm Blue" was the flip side of "Bye Bye Love" and both remained uncharted.

I like the Ikettes original but the Newbeats version of "The Gong-Gong Song" blows me away! It's the best cover in the Newbeats' catalog!

"Stormy" - Classics IV (December 1968)

The late Dennis Yost and his vocal group the Classics IV knocked me out with "Spooky." Some say Dennis took his music in the wrong direction after that when he lost his blue-eyed soul and adopted a softer pop style. Be that as it may "Stormy" became a top 5 smash and endures as a baby boomer classic.

"Stormy" - Supremes (January 1969)

I got tired of hearing Diana Ross and the Supremes about 40 years ago. It wasn't Diana's fault that Berry Gordy tapped her to lead the Motown girl group based on her pop vocal styling. What was she supposed to do, turn down the gig? It's just that I prefer my soul music to be a little more... what's the word I'm looking for?....soulful! That said, it is time for me to give Diana Ross her props. I do so enthusiastically, because the version of "Stormy' that Diana recorded with the Supremes in January 1969 is one of the freshest, most listenable of all Supremes recordings. The Supremes rendition of "Stormy" remained unreleased for years until it was added to a Supremes CD compilation. Listen now to this delightful northern soul treasure!

Diana's recording of "Stormy" kicks some serious butt. It is so impressive that I'm designating it as my Pick to Click!
It's one killer kover!

Have a Shady day!

rossfan said:

I love The Supremes cover of "Stormy." That can be found on the CD "Diana Ross & The Supremes - Never-Before-Released Masters." It's out of print, but it may be found on eBay. Of course, I am partial to Diana Ross anyway. I think it would be great if someone would do a mash-up of The Supremes and The Classic IV with their own versions of "Stormy" and post it on YouTube.

Since you brought up Diana Ross, please check out Dick's Diana Ross Website at:


Shady Del Knight said:

The Supremes' interpretation of "Stormy" shot to the top of my leader board in no time and I never tire of hearing it! Maybe the Glee gang will perform the mash-up you suggested. It would be must see TV! Thanks so much for your comment, rossfan!


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