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

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rockin' Report Card: All A's and B's!

 Your grades are posted, missy. 

 Pass or flunk? 

 The teacher sent your 

 report card home, mister.

 Getting fitted for a dunce cap? 

 No! You both done good! 

 All A's and B's! :) 



Dell rats identified with the Eric Burdon and the Animals. They shared the English band's blue collar, industrial working class sensibilities. Eric Burdon and his mates were champions of the underdog. Their songs expressed anger, defiance and determination to rise above.

Penned by the famous Brill Building songwriting husband and wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" was recorded by the Animals and became at top 15 hit single in America as well as a popular anthem among American Armed Forces serving in Vietnam. Yet the original version of the record that Americans had come to know and love suddenly disappeared, arbitrarily pulled out
of circulation for almost 40 years while an alternate version played on the radio and was used on Animals reissues and compilations.

 I know what 


In 1965 the two different versions of "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" were recorded during the same studio session. One version featured an angrier, more intense Eric Burdon vocal and slightly different lyrics. Somehow the weaker take with a less powerful Burdon performance was declared the "official" recording, was sent to the UK, and was the only version of the song ever released there.  It gets better. In another mixup, the clearly superior version was "mistakenly" released in the USA and was the one to which Americans were exposed. When Allen B. Klein acquired rights to the Animals catalog he directed that the kinder, gentler "correct" UK version be used in all future American reissues and compilations. (Nooooo!!!) Fans of the bold U.S. original were outraged. They spent decades listening to the anemic, eviscerated UK rendition and waited impatiently for the familiar American version to be released on CD. In 2004 it finally was.

Eric Burdon and the Animals performed their Americanized version of "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" in the 1967 movie It's a Bikini World.

 "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" (October 1965, 
 highest chart position #13, scene from 1967 movie 
 It's a Bikini World

One of the Animals most exciting recordings was "Inside-Looking Out," in which a prison inmate describes the torture and torment of confinement, the yearning for freedom and the need to be reunited with his woman. "Inside-Looking Out" brushed the top 10 back home in the UK but struggled to reach the top 40 stateside. Eric Burdon and his band turned in a great performance of "Inside-Looking Out" in this 1966 television appearance.

 "Inside-Looking Out" - Animals (April 1966, highest 
 chart position #34) 

"See See Rider," a shouting version of a traditional blues dating back to the mid 1920s, was the last Animals single released before the band broke up, reformed with new members, and officially became Eric Burdon and the Animals. Although they had not yet disbanded at the time "See See Rider" was released, the name was already changed to give Eric Burdon top billing.

 "See See Rider" - Eric Burdon & the Animals 
 (November 1966, highest chart position #10) 

"Help Me Girl," the next American single credited to Eric Burdon & the Animals, was actually an Eric Burdon solo backed by the Horace Ott Orchestra that appeared on his 1967 solo album Eric is Here. It didn't matter to me which personnel produced the sound. All I knew is that I loved it. "Help Me Girl" became my favorite Eric Burdon performance with about a dozen of his other recordings tied for second place.

 "Help Me Girl" - Eric Burdon & the Animals 
 (January 1967, highest chart position #29) 


Memphis born soul man Homer Banks spent three years working in the record shop attached to Satellite Studios,
the hit factory belonging to Stax Records. He was denied the opportunity to record for Stax but was hired as a songwriter. In 1968, as part of a three member writing team, Banks penned "Who's Making Love" which became a smash for Johnnie Taylor and the biggest hit ever for the Stax label. Banks also had a hand in writing Luther Ingram's 1972 R&B chart topper "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right."

While writing for Stax, Homer Banks made one of the most exciting R&B stompers you'll ever hear. (Ain't That) "A Lot of Love" was released in 1966 on Minit Records, went uncharted stateside, but became a favorite in England's Northern Soul clubs as well as on my own turntable. Listen and you will recognize the riff that was later used by the Spencer Davis Group (and Jordan Brothers) on the hit "Gimme Some Lovin'."

 "(Ain't That) A Lot of Love" Homer Banks (1966, uncharted) 


Motor City Madman Ted Nugent logged the first hit of his career with his Detroit band the Amboy Dukes. Nugent, one of the rare rockers who openly stated that he didn't drink alcohol or smoke tobacco or marijuana, claims he never knew that the song "Journey to the Center of the Mind" was about drug use. Really Ted? Deny...deny...deny... all the way to the bank.

 "Journey to the Center of the Mind" - Amboy Dukes 
 (August 1968, highest chart position #16) 


 She was Young and Restless... 

 Bold and Beautiful... 

 Brash and Sassy... 

Sultry, seductive soul sister LaVern Baker is best known for her string of fine R&B recordings on Atlantic.

In recent years, I discovered a lost treasure that LaVern recorded later in her career
on Brunswick, Chicago's legendary
soul label.

Feast your ears on a genuine gem of northern soul. It's a power packed track recorded in the late 60s and locked in the vault for decades until recently released for the first time on CD.

Listen now to LaVern Baker's "Wrapped, Tied, and Tangled."

 "Wrapped, Tied and Tangled" LaVern Baker (late 60s, unreleased) 


"Watch Out" is an atypical Abba recording. It's one of the tracks on the Swedish pop super group's second studio album and the rockin' B side of their top 10 hit single "Waterloo." I owned this Atlantic 45 and found myself playing "Watch Out" more often than the hit A side! Watch out... here comes Abba with a refreshingly different sound!

 "Watch Out" - Abba (July 1974, uncharted B side 
 of "Waterloo") 


Finally, in honor of a very special lady and a very special friend on her special day, I present this popular recording by the Bachelors. Founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1957, the group originally played harmonica instrumentals and were known as the Harmonichords. In 1962 they change their name to the Bachelors just in time to join the British Invasion, appearing on Hullabaloo London and other teen music programs of the period. In the USA, the Bachelors had hits with "I Believe," "No Arms Can Ever Hold You," "Chapel in the Moonlight" and "Marie" but my favorite remains their first hit, the top 10 charting "Diane."


 "Diane" - Bachelors (May 1964, 

 highest chart position #10) 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Yes, and I fully agree on the wonderful wishes for our dear friend thisisme! I was just on Facebook and saw some of her birthday bounty- I know they are celelbrating well.

    On another note, I actually had that 45 by Abba, too, and I don't remember Side B at all, so I'm glad you showcased it here. I don't think they were recognized for being as special as they were at that time. I love Mama Mia, and the only thing that would make it better would be for ABBA to reunite and perform in it themselves.

    Thank you for the other great tunes this morning, Shady- you know how to educate and entertain us!

  2. Shelly - WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! Oh, sorry about that. I'm still half asleep! (LOL) Yes, it's dear Thisisme's big day and I hope all our friends around the world will acknowledge this wonderful woman whom we dearly love. ABBA could rock, that's for sure. They were more versatile than many people think. I doubt they'll ever convince Aggie to do a reunion tour. Even at the height of the group's popularity she was opposed to the rigors of touring. Thank you very much for your early bird visit, dear Shelly. Have a wonderful weekend and PLEASE mark your calendar and be here next Wednesday (April 18th) for another VERY important birthday salute!

  3. Hi dear Tom. Thank you SO much for that little tribute ! I've always loved that song - of course ! I love Abba and the Animals, so a great post for my birthday. The family arrived last night as a surprise . Hubby bought me a new car. I was so shocked!! Thank you again and thank you for your friendship. Hugs to you .

  4. Thisisme - A new car??? Wow, that must have been quite a surprise. Congratulations, and once again, happy birthday to you, dear friend. I hope you're having the best day ever with your wonderful family! God bless!

  5. Good morning, Shady! This post was fabulous, just as I've come to expect from you. I found the story of "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" very interesting, indeed. I grew up listening to that song and I never knew that I was listening to a milder version. It certainly is a catchy tune and I still really enjoy it. I've heard "See See Rider" many times also but wasn't familiar with the rest of the songs you shared so I thank you, once again, for broadening my musical knowledge.

    I'm going to go send Thisisme an email now and tell her happy birthday and congratulate her on that new car! Wow, that is quit an amazing birthday surprise!

    I hope you have a wonderful day, Shady! I'm on my second cup of coffee. I wonder how many pots you've consumed so far, my friend..;)

  6. Hey, Jenn June! I'm delighted to see you, dear friend! I'm on my second pot of strong black coffee and still groggy! (LOL) Yep, that original American version of "We Gotta" was noticeably edgier and more soulful than the one that replaced it for decades. Our dear friend Thisisme is a treasure and I'm sure she will appreciate hearing from you (as did I). Thank you very much for your friendship and support, Jenn June, and have a safe and happy weekend!

  7. Happy Friday the 13th good buddy. Loved all your selections this morning and especially the one dedicated to Diane. This is certainly her special day waking up to a new car in the driveway. What a way to celebrate her 65th. Thanks for all you do to make our lives happier. Have a fabulous weekend.

  8. Odie - That's right! It's Diane's b-day and also Friday the 13th! I betcha Thisisme's cruising around Devonshire in her new Rolls Royce at this very minute! (LOL) Well, I'll tell you, good buddy, you also do your share to make lives happier and you are appreciated. I hope Aunt Katie's doing better today and that Polly is receiving good care in her absence. Thanks for coming over, Odie, and have a great weekend!

  9. Mr. Homer Banks is sounding smooth as butter. I have to look up more tunes by him. Of course LaVern Baker is another delight. Her song Tweedlee Dee is a favorite of mine. I have a mix I play when I'm cleaning and that song is number one! Hope you have a spectacular weekend filled with great friends and great music :)

  10. Amber Blue Bird - You got soul, miss lady! I'm glad you singled out those two black artists because they deserve their props. I once owned the Atlantic R&B Anthology which starts back around 1947. I loved listening to all those raw, primitive, bluesy recordings produced by artists like LaVern and the early Drifters. You are quite an educated young woman and I'm learning what's cool from you, too! Thanks for coming, Amber. I hope you and your little family have a fun filled weekend!

  11. Taking a break and elevating those huge ankles of mine so thought I'd say hi neighbor. Loving FL so far. Great to be so close to everything I need. I loved this post. The Animals are always a favorite of mine. Monk is too! Ted Nugent's piece was good too. He's one weird dude outside of music! Always good to read your posts my friend. OK...need to unpack another crate!

  12. Hi, Barb! I'm glad you're getting settled here in the Sunshine State! Thanks for mentioning Monk and Ted Nugent because no one else did. Nugent's video for "Little Miss Dangerous" was popular on the MTV station where I worked in the 80s. Frankly I don't know how Ted was able to get away with some of the questionable images of girls used in the clip. I doubt that a video like that would be deemed acceptable by today's standards. Thanks so much for coming to the record hop, Barb, and enjoy your new life as a Floridian!

  13. That was a lovely song for Diane, Shady. It is especially apt because of her beautiful smile! A new car - how wonderful.

    Loved seeing the Animals as I always do. I had no idea about two versions of my favorite song of theirs. I always felt, "I gotta get out of this place, when I was a teenager. LOL Love the piano in 'Inside-Looking Out'. Don't know it but it is classic Animals. Ted Nugent was one of my sister's favorite singers. After watching the clip, I can see why. Never heard the Abba song, but I have always thought they were one of the best bands ever. Loved the movie 'Mama Mia'. When I was in my twenties I used to exercise to my Abba tape. Great songs, great bands! Love and hugs to you.

  14. Belle - Love and hugs to you, sweet friend! I'm so glad YouTube offers so many great performance clips of the Animals. I tried to post the cleanest and clearest of the bunch. That's also an exciting clip of the Amboy Dukes, isn't it? I saw the movie Mamma Mia! a couple of times and enjoyed it very much. Amanda Seyfried has been a favorite of mine ever since. Have you ever seen Muriel's Wedding? It's also loaded with ABBA songs and I've seen it two or three times. Here's a link:

    Thank you for very much for being here and helping me observe Thisisme's birthday, dear Belle. Have a safe and happy weekend and God bless!

  15. A great little birthday feast you had for us, Shady! I'm a fan of Eric Burden (and the Animals) and Abba - although I had kids by the time they came along! The rest was just fun deliciousness - new treats to enjoy. Except for Ted Nugent. A fun fact about The Nuge: my husband used to be a graphic designer for a small publishing company that included such blockbuster magazines as "Bow and Arrow Hunting." The Nuge is/was a regular contributor to that one, writing a monthly column on his hunting adventures - basically the ramblings of Ted Nugent. It was hilarious. The editors actually went out to his house and hunted with him, swapping stories later. Another person who worked in sales was Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen the drag racing star. I got to meet him and was immediately brought back to the 60's and the ads for the big drag races - "Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!" - between him and Don "The Snake" Prudomme. Anyway, thought you might enjoy that little tidbit.

  16. Hi Shady...what fun. And, a sweet birthday greeting to Thisisme! I remember the song 'Diane' very well. And, LaVern Baker-I knew of her, but didn't really know her music. The song you offered is really good!

    Now, 'Journey to the Center of the Mind', I heard a lot and liked the song, just didn't remember who did it. I like the video, as I didn't know what they looked like.

    And, of course, Eric Burdon is so special. I've heard some other lyrics of 'We Gotta Get Out of This Place', too. And, I have wondered about it...but wonder no more, eh? I have a song book with that song in it, and the words don't match what I knew. They would play that song at the dance club I went to, and, I just loved it.

    We're rearranging in our house, it's a little chaotic right now. Our music room got too small for the equipment, so we've switched and moved it into our living room. Will have to post some photos once it's done. The Abba song is really good, you're right-a different sound for them, exciting tho, and brings out some hidden talents!

    Well, we're past Friday the 13th, no broken bones or mirrors, lol. Am glad I was able to get here today. Happy Dell weekend Shady!☺

  17. Hi, super k! I am aware that Nugent is an avid hunter and gun rights advocate. Drag racing was very big in York, home of the U.S. 30 Drag-O-Way. Those SUNDAAAAAAY radio ads ran every spring and summer throughout the 60s and 70s, promoting appearances by racing legends like The Mongoose, The Snake and Big Daddy Don Garlits. I'm so happy to see you, karen, and glad you enjoyed some of these tunes. Have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend!

  18. Susan - Hello, dear friend! I almost missed you there. Yessum, we all made it through Friday the 13th, didn't we? I'm glad you've heard the subtle differences between the versions of "We Gotta Get Out of This Place." I cringe whenever I hear the lame UK version. I am eager to see pics of your home modifications when they are completed. I'll be watching for updates on both of your blogs now that they're a permanent part of my reader (I hope). So great to see you, dear Susan. Have a wonderful weekend and please join me here Wednesday for a very special birthday surprise!

  19. This is a great post, Tom! I enjoyed it very much, and I was taken back by your featuring Miss Lavern Baker on here too! I just discovered her two days ago and I really like her! Well, I hope you have a super swell weekend my friend!

  20. Hi, Presley! So nice of you to drop in. I'm surprised and delighted to know that you recently discovered the dynamic songstress LaVern Baker! She had a long career and her catalog is loaded with released and unreleased gems. Your visit makes me very happy, dear friend, and I hope you are having a terrific weekend. Please come again soon, Presley!

  21. Dear Tom,
    Thanks for making all of us honor students today! And Happy Birthday to Diane, one of my very favorite people in this world.
    I had no idea you worked for MTV in the 80's. Those were my teen years, when kids were wearing their bangs straight up in the air and rockers loved to jump in front of the camera wearing wide vertical striped spandex. (I'm not that nostalgic about it). And Nugent is crazy! I once heard a rumor that he avoided military duty by not bathing for months. If not drugs, then what? Something has surely altered his perspective.

  22. Breaking news From York,Pa. A large number of Dell Rats were seen Sat. at the new Shady Dell. This is said to be the most Rats seen at the Dell In years, all elder Rats agree that Toni has a winner. More News to follow. A Dell Rat All Ways

  23. Hi, Jenny! I did not actually work for MTV. I helped launch a new MTV-style television station that broadcast music videos 24 hours a day. We hired a staff of veejays who hosted 4 hour blocks around the clock. As production manager for the station I hired models and actors and produced and directed commercials, promotional presentations and music videos. It was loads of fun and I got to meet and interview many of the prominent rock and heavy metal bands of the day including Kiss and Poison. Thank you very much for coming by with birthday greetings for dear Diane. Enjoy your Sunday, dear friend Jenny!

    Greg - Gosh, good buddy, that's a great piece of reporting! I hereby appoint you Assistant Violet Hill Bureau Chief and Junior New Delli Correspondent. I already saw some pictures from the day one of the big event and I am ecstatic to know that so many rats ran up the hill to see their home away from home, the Shady Dell. I hope it happens again today! Thanks for reporting in, Greg, and I hope to hear from you again at the end of day two!

  24. Hi Tom,
    Sheesh....I babysit for the grandsons and am late for some fantastic tunes! I love all your selections today. Some were new but most were real favorites! Thanks for some blasts from the past and I'm so glad you had Diane for ThisIsMe's birthday!

  25. Hi, Sushie! From the look of her new blog post it appears that our dear Diane had a stellar birthday celebration. I'm so glad you found time to swing by for another listening session. Hugs and smooches to you, dear friend, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  26. Hi, Tom!

    First of all, a happy belated birthday to Thisisme! And enjoy that new car! I enjoy reading your input in these blogs and am sure you had a wonderful birthday, what with your family dropping in. I was hearing "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" just the other day in my head, but didn't realize it was because it was on the new post. The definitive Eric Burdon song, and Dell song. I'm looking forward to seeing many pictures that Greg took at the Dell, not just of the place but the people, too! Including the first Dell Rat. I enjoyed all the Animals songs, as well as the rest of your lineup, Tom. Steppenwolf and the Animals were both heavy contenders in those days, both favorites. I was unaware that Homer Banks was the original "Lotta Love" recording. I hadn't heard that record, although I knew of Mr. Banks. I first heard the song on the Sam & Dave album "I Thank You". The first single release I was aware of was the Fabulous Thunderbirds. I discovered even Three Dog Night had recorded it. It's a great song by anyone, but Mr. Banks' is excellent. Ted Nugent is so talented musically, but I would be hard pressed to sit down and have a beer or coffee with him. Abba was a pick hit at the "Disc" beginning with "Waterloo" and that is a winning B-side. I think everything Abba and Laverne Baker did was good. Especially "Money, Money, Money" and "Bumblebee" respectively. Have a great week, Tom. I'm looking forward to your next blog, and I wanna know if the car was a Rolls.


  27. Hi, Ron! I'll be sure to pass along your b-day wishes to Thisisme. Presently the Grand Dame of Devonshire is out negotiating the curves in her Mini Cooper. I'm glad you like "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" as much as I do. I was pleased to find Burdon's badder (and better) Americanized version in that performance clip from It's a Bikini World, winner of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, By the way the award for Best Supporting Role went to Lori Williams' halter. Ted Nugent would not want to have a beer with you. He swears that he does not drink. Shootin' critters? You're on! Thanks for being here, Ron, and get set for a sensational Spring of Surprises beginning with my very next post on Wednesday!

  28. Hi dear Tom. Just wanted to touch base again and thank all your lovely readers who mentioned my birthday in their comments. I was particularly touched that Dell Rat Ron also choose to mention it!! Thanks again for your sweet birthday thought . It was so kind of you. Hugs and smooches from the Grand Dame of DevOnshire. LOL ! I will be tuning in on Wed for an even more important birthday!

  29. Hi, Thisisme! It was sweet of you to check back again. I'm glad you did so that you can see how much you are loved by people around the globe. I'll be chatting with you soon, dear friend. God bless!


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