In 1972 a crack Dell Rat unit
was sent to prison by the
Unific Court of Love for a
crime they didn't commit...
(DEATH BY DISCO).
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...
Led by the prodigious Mary Weiss who was only in her mid teens when they started making hit records, the Shangri-Las were drama queens in the very best sense. They were white teenagers from Queens, New York who made such a soulful sound that they were often mistaken for a black girl group. The Shangri-Las recorded for the legendary Red Bird label and sang songs about bad boys and the sweet agony of young love.
One of the best Shangri-Las recordings was "He Cried," an answer song to "She Cried," a top 10 hit by Jay and the Americans four years earlier. The Shangri-Las remake stalled less than halfway up the chart but many people, myself included, believe that it surpassed the original!
"He Cried" - Shangri-Las (April 1966,
highest chart position #65)
Mary's sister Betty was lead vocalist on "Maybe," a worthy but poor selling cover of the Chantels' 1958 hit.
"Maybe" - Shangri-Las (January 1965,
highest chart position #91)
Betty also sang lead on the killer bee side of that 45, a cover of the Isley Brothers' R&B classic "Shout." As the story goes Betty became pregnant and couldn't tour with the group until the summer of 1965. In February of that year the remaining trio of girls made a guest appearance on The Lloyd Thaxton Show. In her sister's absence, Mary stepped in and executed a dynamite lip sync performance of the song. Watch and listen as Mary Weiss shouts and turns the joint out.
"Shout" - Shangri-Las (January 1965,
uncharted B side of "Maybe")
The Shangri-Las' "Maybe"/"Shout" single landed on Billboard the day after Christmas 1964. Another of the group's singles, "Give Him a Great Big Kiss," started it's chart journey that very same day and was much more successful, cracking the top 20. In this performance of their hit, apparently from that same episode of Thaxton, the Shangri-Las proved that they had the look, the sound, and all the right moves to achieve girl group immortality!
"Give Him a Great Big Kiss" - Shangri-Las
(February 1965, highest chart position #18)
Years before a solo career established him as a superstar of country pop, Kenny Rogers was laying down the psychedelic sound as lead vocalist of the First Edition, a group that evolved from the folk ensemble The New Christy Minstrels.
The First Edition landed a top 5 hit with "Just Dropped In
(To See What Condition My Condition Was In), an edgy recording that featured heavy distortion, reverb, and a distinctive backward guitar intro performed by Glen Campbell. Kenny knew when to hold 'em and knew when to fold 'em, and when subsequent recordings in the same vein fizzled he made the switch to country-rock fusion. Making records as Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, the group struck gold with the top 20 hit "But You Know I Love You" followed by the top 10 hit, "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," the lament of a paralyzed Vietnam vet losing his lady love to another man...or men!
"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town"
- Kenny Rogers & the First Edition
(August 1969, highest chart position #6)
"Ruben James," "Something's Burning" and "Tell it All Brother" followed - all hits and all great songs - but my favorite will always be "Just Dropped In," the First Edition's hippest trip.
"Just Dropped In (To See What Condition
My Condition Was In)" - First Edition
(April 1968, highest chart position #5)
Only two things you done
need to know, fool...
Ain't Hannibal or nobody else
gonna get me up in no
AIR - O - PLANE!!! .....
and the D-Team plays
the best music!
You might be surprised to learn that my favorite Supremes recordings have somebody other than Diana Ross on lead. "Buttered Popcorn," the second single released after the
girl group signed with Motown, is one of them. This rockin' relic features Florence Ballard as the sole lead vocalist. Ballard, a gifted songbird, was considered "too soulful" for pop crossover obsessed Motown and was soon replaced by Diana. Listen now to the real sound of young America, Flo Ballard & the Supremes with "Buttered Popcorn."
"Buttered Popcorn" - Supremes
(September 1961, album track from
Meet the Supremes)
I dunno, what can I tell ya?
Is it just me or was
Berry Gordy trippin'
when he claimed
that there's no
double meaning to
Gimme a break!
Any third grader
knows that the buttered popcorn
those gals are warbling about is the kind
served fresh and hot in the back row of
the balcony with a Tootsie Roll and a pack
of Handi Wipes.
Know what folks, that does it.
Don't miss the next thrill-packed episode
of The D-Team, coming soon!
I love it
Have a Shady day!