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

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The D-Team: Episode 11

In 1972 a crack Dell Rat unit
was sent to prison by the
Unific Court of Love for a
crime they didn't commit.....

These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the York, PA underground.

Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of soul and revivers of rock ‘n roll.

If you have a problem
(with hip hop divas and gangsta rap)...

if no one else can help...

and if you can find them...

maybe you can hire...

The D-Team!

I pity the fool who don't like these songs!

"At the Top of the Stairs" - Formations (March 1968)

Seems to me that Philadelphia is home to more lost soul treasures than any other town. Those two early Delfonics recordings, "You've Been Untrue" and "He Don't Really Love You" immediately come to mind. Well, here's another solid first round inductee into the Shady's Law Hall of Shame,
the imaginary shrine that I created to recognize great
songs that woulda, coulda and shoulda been hits.

It's the Gamble-Huff masterpiece "At the Top of the Stairs," one of only three singles released by a vocal group called
the Formations. "At the Top of the Stairs" is Philly soul at
its best, recognized both here and abroad as a northern classic. Be that as it may, the song's popularity remained concentrated in the Delaware Valley. Go figure!

Originally released in 1967 on the local and highly collectable Bank label, "Stairs" was picked up and rereleased by MGM.

The record took a brief five week ride on the Billboard chart in March and April of 1968 and struggled to its peak position of #83. That's right, America - gotta leave room at the top of the chart for more deserving songs like "They're Coming to Take Me Away, HA-HA."

"I Call it Trouble" - Barbara Acklin (December 1972)

Barbara Acklin
was a brilliant songwriter, a marvelous vocalist and a leading exponent of the Chicago soul sound of the 60's. Over the years I have come to favor Chitown soul over Gordy's Motown, Stax/Volt Memphis and the Gamble-Huff TSOP.
Barbara's Brunswick recordings sparkled with clean, uncluttered production similar to that found on Brill Building pop, i.e. few if any strings attached and I like it like that.

"I Call it Trouble," Barbara's last single release for Brunswick, was one of her best; but sales of the record were sluggish.
The song made it only halfway up the R&B Singles chart. Shady's Law applies big time!




Get ready for the hippest trip in soul!

Let's get some hands together
and give it up, gang, for a
solid sender...

she's no pretender...

you must remember...

Miss Barbara Acklin!

"My Town, My Guy and Me" - Lesley Gore (October 1965)

There are a few artists from the 60's that I never get tired
of hearing no matter how often their songs are played on the radio. Lesley Gore is one of them. Year after year, decade after decade, Lesley's music still sounds fresh to me. It must be that crisp Brill Building production that I keep talking about. Even though she performed as a soloist, much of Lesley's material fits neatly into the girl group category.

In the fall of 1965, Lesley followed her hit record "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" with "My Town, My Guy and Me," an excellent yet seldom heart song that made it into the top 40.

"Everybody's Going" - Eddie Holland (January 1960)

Eddie Holland is best known as the lyricist for the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting and production team that helped turn Motown Records into a hit factory in the mid 60's.

In the late 1950's and early 60's Eddie was singing demo recordings for Jackie Wilson and other artists while releasing his own singles on Mercury, Tamla, United Artists, and Motown.

Eddie produced some excellent sides but his records underperformed on the charts.

Furthermore, Eddie felt uncomfortable on stage in front of audiences and preferred to work behind the scenes, another factor that no doubt limited his success.

"Everybody's Going" is an excellent up tempo recording by Eddie Holland that was recorded in late 1959 and released circa January 1960 on United Artists 191 as the B side of "Because I Love Her."

Listen with eyes closed and you'll swear its Jackie Wilson singing his follow-up to "That's Why" or something recorded by Marv Johnson or Bobby Hendricks.

"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" - Steam (October 1969)

One of my many guilty pleasures, "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" is the quintessential all male, jock rock/frat party anthem. With its boy-loses-girl-and-wants-her-back story line, catchy melody, chanting male chorus reminiscent of the Swingin’ Medallions, percolating drum solo that conjures up visions of a marching band, steamroller momentum and expanded running time, "Kiss Him Goodbye" was a perfect fit for my late teen sensibilities.

After hitting big near the end of the 60's this Steam song became a familiar chant at pro sports venues for decades to come. The song was often played over the P-A system as a way of reminding the opposing team that victory was out of reach and that they might as well head for the showers. “Hey Hey Hey… goodbye!”

Speakin' of goodbye, don't be lookin' for no more episodes of D-Team coz there ain't no more! Hannibal says we done got canceled!
 Look for me on Hollywood Squares, fool!

I love it
when a plan
comes together!

Have a Shady day!


  1. A-Team..i was in love with them...

  2. What a great morning listening to some of the greatest music and seeing my old friends from long ago, The "A" team. I really miss them a lot. That was the only show I know of that you could watch thousands of rounds being fired and no one gets hit. I love it when a plan comes together too Shady.

  3. Man that was some good ass soul music. When I listen to older music, I feel that it indeed has a "soul" to it. I believe as do others as well that music and the arts take you to a place where you transcend the here and now. When I witness good art, it's almost a spiritual experience. Oh and thanx for your insightful comments on blogging.

  4. Katia - The A-Team was one of my favorite TV shows. The cast had palpable chemistry and was a pleasing combination of action, adventure, violence without extremely graphic consequences and, most importantly, loads of humor. Thank you for your comment, dear friend, and have a wonderful day in Italy!

    Odie - I remember you using Hannibal's "plan comes together" catch phrase somewhere else and predicted that you would enjoy this post. It's the 11th and final D-Team Episode and if you're joining late there's no need to worry because, like any good series, they'll be back in reruns. Thanks for your comment and have a fine day way up north in the Carolinas!

    Israel - I can tell that you read my comment on your excellent blog because the comment you posted here is intelligent and thought provoking. Like you I am a lover of art in all of its forms and agree that art has the power to transport the beholder to another place and time. When I listen to music I engage in "deep listening" in which I channel the artist and see, hear and feel what he or she was experiencing at the time it was rendered. Thanks so much for your comment, Israel!

  5. Lesley God was one of my favorites. Barbara Acklin had a cool voice. Loved Eddie Holland's voice and the song. Kiss Him Goodbye kind of surprised me with the long ending - I had totally forgotten that!

    As for "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha Ha," don't forget they were going to take us where, "Life is beautiful all the time." It was a quirky hit, stupid but funny. Thanks for the Shady day.

  6. I agree, Belle! I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats! (LOL) Yes, I loved novelty records, too. I only wish that more of those fine but lesser known soul recordings could have broken through to the top 10 or at least the top 40. Thanks so much for your comment, Belle!

  7. Shady,
    Thanks for reminding me of my two favorite Delfonics records I used to have. They instantly came to mind. I was looking forward to hearing them, as well as my favorite Eddie Holland song, "Leaving Here". You're right, he does sound like Jackie Wilson. By the way, did you know that the Steam recording was just a bunch of studio musicians who were given a song, and later were name Steam when it was issued---like "The Horse" and "Quick Joey Small" were, too. Enjoyed the sounds, and the D-Team. Miss George Peppard. And now Leslie Nielsen is gone, too. "Don't call him Shirley".

  8. Hi, Ron! Thanks for reporting in. It amazes me how many of the hit songs that formed the soundtrack of our youth were recorded by studio groups, session musicians and vocalists who made records using a variety of different names. It's all good in my book because to me, the magic is in the mix and the studio producer was just as much of an artist as the performers themselves.

    Those two Delfonics numbers we both like are embedded in an older post.

    I was sad to learn of the death of Leslie Nielsen. Recently I was recalling his performance in one of my favorite 1950's sci-fi flicks Forbidden Planet. Thanks again for your comment, Ron, and "good luck...we're all counting on you!"

  9. LOVE the music. Its so darned bittersweet it makes me want to cry!! WHY couldnt i have been born in that era!!

  10. "Born Too Late" was the name of a popular 1950's song, LyDe. Knowing what I do about you, the Shady Dell would have been your kind of place and the music of its golden era would have resonated. Thank you very much for your comment!


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