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

Monday, November 11, 2013

You Find My Blacklist Intriguing, Lizzy?


You see, Lizzy, an old friend of mine 
a long time acquaintance named Shady 
asked me to sub as host of his blog.

I brought you here to serve as my muse 
while I spin some records for Shady's friends, 
thereby proving that old school is cool.

For those of you
who don't know me, 
my name is
Raymond Reddington.

My line of work? 
 A little of this and a little of that.

Alright, let's call a Spader a Spader.

I'm a hat model. Spiffy! 
Now listen and learn, Lizzy.


Kenni Woods was a stage name used by Northern Soul sweet-
heart Kendra Spotswood. During her career, Kendra used several other names to make records including Sandi Sheldon. Fifty years ago, in November 1963, Kendra released a single with
a theme and sound similar to
"My Boyfriend's Back," a #1 hit for the Angels a couple months earlier. Kendra's record, "Back With My Baby" by Kenni Woods, sold poorly as did many great 45s released when the nation was in mourning over
the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

"Back With My Baby" was written and produced by
Van McCoy and featured backing vocals by soul stars
Dee Dee Warwick, Cissy Houston and Doris Troy.
Here is the vastly underrated, under appreciated
Kenni Woods with one of the best girl group
records you never heard, "Back With My Baby."

 "Back With My Baby" - Kenni Woods 
 (November 1963, uncharted) 


In the spring of 1964, the Merseybeat band
the Searchers became the second act from
Liverpool, after the Beatles, to score a
hit in America. They did so with a cover
of Jackie DeShannon's "Needles and Pins."

Stateside, Kapp Records released singles
of "Needles and Pins" by the Searchers
with two different B sides, "Ain't That
Just Like Me" and "Saturday Night Out."
The latter was released as the B side
of the original Pye single in the UK
and was used as the title of a British
musical comedy depicting the early 60s
Swinging London scene. The Searchers
appeared in the film performing the song.

 "Saturday Night Out" - The Searchers 
 (April 1964, uncharted B side of "Needles and Pins" 
 scene from 1965 movie Saturday Night Out


Few vocal groups of the 70s epitomized Philly cool
as much as the Stylistics. Led by Russell Thompkins, Jr.,
the Stylistics scored hit after hit during the decade,
all of them ballads. In 1971 "Stop, Look, Listen
(To Your Heart)" came off the group's self titled
debut album and became their first top 40 hit,
top 10 R&B. You want cool? You got it.

 "Stop, Look, Listen (to Your Heart)" - Stylistics 
 (July 1971, highest chart pos. #39 Hot 100/#6 R&B


From the late 1950s through the mid 60s
Connie Francis was the top female vocalist
in popular music. The Jersey girl was versatile,
achieving hits with tender ballads, mid tempo
material, novelty numbers and rock 'n' roll.
Try this one on for size - a great example of  
the latter, a Sedaka-Greenfield penned song  
called "Fallin'" which Connie took to  
the top 30 in the fall of '58.

 "Fallin'" - Connie Francis 
 (November 1958, highest chart position #30) 

If "Fallin'" sounds familiar it's because you
heard it here on SDM&M last year, the cool
cover recorded by Wanda Jackson.


A surf rock band from Buffalo, New York?
Only in America! The Rebels, a group named
after Duane Eddy's backing band, recorded
an instrumental version of "Wild Weekend,"
a song used by WKBW DJ Tom Shannon
as the theme of his top 40 radio show.
The Rebels eventually changed their name
to The Rockin' Rebels to avoid being
confused with Eddy's group. Their catchy
tune "Wild Weekend" was released as a
single at the end of 1962 and became
a top 10 hit early in 1963.

 "Wild Weekend" - The Rebels 
 (February 1963, highest chart position #8) 

Oh dear me... look at the time. 
I'd love to stick around but 
I need to see a man about a horse.

Before I go, I'd like to thank all of 
Shady's friends for the warm welcome.

I'd also like to invite you to join Lizzy 
and me every week as we do all sorts 
of fun things together... the time we sat on a park bench 
pretending not to know each other 
while engaging in a lengthy conversation 
about top secret FBI stuff.

...or the time she and I pretended to be a
May-December couple out on a dinner date.

F-Y-I, it's not Lizzy. It's Elizabeth, but 
you will call me Special Agent Keen
Now what we are doing here?

Let me ask you this, Lizzy. 

 Ever heard of the old dine and dash?

...or the time she stabbed me in the neck 
when I revealed that I'm her father and  
asked if I could bounce her on my knee
and play "This Little Piggy."

Maggie Gyllenhaal 
never had a problem 
with it.

Well, Lizzy, that wraps up our guest blogger stint.  
Have I proved to you beyond a shadow of a doubt 
that old school is cool?

After all, my dear, I practically invented cool.


Have a Shady day!


  1. What a great playlist there Raymond Reddington (haha so im going to assume that Blacklist is a favourite show of yours Shady?) you look an awful lot like Alan Shore from Boston Legal. Any relation? I did enjoy those Searchers songs - especially Needles and Pins. That got a few turns on the radio when i was a kid and the Rebels too. Great picks!

    1. Hello, dear Catherine, and thank you very much for coming all the way from Australia to sample my Blacklist playlist. You're right. I am a huge James Spader fan. I have seen most of his movies including Pretty in Pink and The Secretary, both of which are referenced in this post, and I loved him in the role of Alan Shore on The Practice and Boston Legal. Spader's new series The Blacklist is my favorite so far this season.

      I'm thrilled to know you liked this Searchers selection taken from one of those movies that gave us a glimpse of the late 50s, early 60s Swinging London lifestyle, and glad you enjoyed the rousing instrumental by the Rockin' Rebels.

      You're a delight, Catherine, and again I thank you for your visit and comment. Good night to you in Sydney, dear friend!

  2. Raymond Reddington, you know your stuff! Great songs today (as they always are) and I loved the accompanying information on each one. I especially liked Back WIth My Baby. What a group of background singers- wow! I haven't seen the Blacklist yet, but I will certainly have to tune in now. And give our regards to our friend Shady, and best wishes on a great week ahead!

    1. Hi, Shelly! Thank you very much for giving a warm welcome to my guest blogger, Ray Reddington. :) It's one of James Spader's most iconic roles to date and I think you'll enjoy the chemistry between Spader and his co-star Megan Boone on The Blacklist, the highest rated NBC drama in many years.

      I'm glad you singled out "Back With My Baby" because it was an excellent "solo" recording classified as "girl group" because the backing singers are an important part of the mix. Given Kendra's talent, the all stars that sang with her and the record's theme, proven popular by the Angels' hit "My Boyfriend's Back," this record should have been a major hit. Instead it never even reached the Bubbling Under chart. The timing of the single's release was unfortunate because it coincided with the JFK assassination. Many great records released in November 1963 suffered a similar fate. They came and went almost unnoticed while the nation was distracted and grieving in the days and weeks following the assassination.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comments, dear friend Shelly. Happy Monday to you!

  3. Be still my Spader heart!!
    You were lucky to have such a glorious place to belong back in the 60s! :)

    1. My goodness, hello Rita! I read that your Ramblings originate from Fargo, North Dakota, the setting of one of my favorite movies. (I'll bet you get that a lot.) I am very pleased to have you over for what I hope will be the first of many visits. I agree 100% that the 60s was a great time to be young and it looks like you're a fan of James Spader, too. You are excellent friend material, dear Rita, and I already consider you one. Let's keep this going, okay? Thank you very much for taking a peek into my world and have a wonderful week up there in Paul Bunyan country, Rita!

  4. Hi Shady!

    Even though I haven't watched The Blacklist, I really want to. You really make Raymond R. funny putting Shady's words and wit in his mouth! So, is he REALLY Lizzy's father???? I love James Spader, loved him in Boston Legal especially but my first encounter with him was in the 1981 movie Endless Love (w/ Brooke Shields) as the mean/arrogant older brother. I also remember Secretary. Whew Weeeee, Hee Hee!!!
    Getting back to the blog, ummhumm, my pick on today's post was "Stop, Look and Listen." Never heard it before but I do love the Stylistics. Great slow dance song along with my Stylistics picks, "You Are Everything" and "You Make Me Feel Brand New."

    Well, THAT was fun!

    1. Hello, dear Toni, and thank you for coming to this week's party! It was easy for me to put my words and wit in Ray Reddington's mouth because I never miss an episode of The Blacklist and because I have seen enough of James Spader over the years to be familiar with his arrogant attitude, his humor and the types of words and expressions he uses. I had completely forgotten that James (credited as Jimmy) Spader was in that 1981 Brooke Shields movie. I haven't seen that one in a long time. I saw Secretary about ten years ago and it stuck in my mind (and apparently in yours as well)). Remember Spader in Sex, Lies and Videotape? Here's one for you: Crash (1996) starring J. Spader and Holly Hunter, another bizarre cult film you won't soon forget. Spader also received critical acclaim for his role in the 2012 film Lincoln which I saw a few months ago.

      I'm thrilled to know that you dig the velvety smooth soul balladry of The Stylistics, one of Philly's phinest vocal groups.

      Well it was certainly fun having you here, dear friend Toni. Thank you so much for contributing to the discussion and have an excellent week ahead!

  5. You sure can pick 'em Shady. Tunes and guest bloggers! ;-)

    1. Ha ha ha! Hello, Bouncin Barb! Yessum, I was beside myself with excitement when the one and only Raymond Reddington consented to be my guest blogger and spin some cool oldies for you. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, dear friend, and I wish you a very happy week ahead!

  6. That "Spader" dude may be the best slime ball ever, but he made my day because I actually knew all the artists except Kenni Woods! However, I've never seen the Blacklist. Shhh..don't tell your guest. You may tell him that he should ask for a wardrobe change...he'd look much prettier in pink. Welcome back from your trip!

    1. Hello hello hello, dear YaYa, and welcome back from your trip as well!

      It certainly is true. James Spader built a highly successful career playing smug, arrogant jerks and slime balls. I'm glad you appreciate this brilliant actor, but golly, I'm beginning to wonder if any of my friends actually watch The Blacklist, one of the highest rated shows of the new fall season.

      Hey, I'm jazzed to learn that you knew all these recording artists with the exception of Kendra Spotswood (Kenni Woods). I hope you agree this groovy girl group record of hers deserved to become a big hit. I originally found "Back With My Baby" (along with "My Boyfriend's Back") on the various artists compilation Growin' Up Too Fast: The Girl Group Anthology, and I've loved the song ever since. Recently it became available for embedding via YouTube and I jumped at the chance to present it to you.

      Thank you very much for your inventive comments, dear friend YaYa. Your visits always delight me. I hope your week keeps getting better and better!

  7. Oh this is such a great playlist, I particularly like Fallin by Connie Francis. I'm glad you featured The Searchers, Needles and Pins is one of my all time favourite songs. Have a great week!

    1. Hi, dear Sarah, and thank you very much for coming over for a look and a listen!

      I can't think of any Connie Francis recording in any style that I don't like. "Fallin', composed by the Brill Building team of Howie Greenfield and Neil Sedaka, was the 4th single of Connie's to chart in the U.S. following "Who's Sorry Now," "I'm Sorry I Made You Cry" and "Stupid Cupid," another rock 'n' roll ditty from Greenfield and Sedaka. For further listening I highly recommend the Wanda Jackson version of "Fallin'" which is also available on YouTube.

      I'm glad you caught this video of The Searchers performing in one of the movies that give us a glimpse of London nightlife in the mid (mod) Sixties. I also love "Needles and Pins" and I'll be featuring the Jackie DeShannon original in an upcoming post.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Sarah. Good night to you and enjoy the rest of your week in England!

  8. Well I made 'same day Sadie' this time Shady! How about that Spader! I love him! I do watch the Blacklist, only because he's on it-even fat and baldheaded now, and, even tho I don't always get what's going on in the show. I just like him and his voice. Yaya is right-he's the biggest slime ball ever! But, with the charisma of the Count of Monte Christo!

    Embarrassingly enough, the only song I know on your review is 'Wild Weekend' by The Rebels. They do have the Duane Eddy sound. That song was pretty popular for an instrumental, and it was played a lot. I do like the Searchers 'Needles and Pins', and Dwight Yoakum does a great cover of it.

    And, who doesn't love Connie Francis. Her voice was so magnetic with everything she sang. But, alas, I did not know 'Fallin'. You really got me this time Shady!

    I hope you and Mrs. Shady had a wonderful get-away last weekend. We were graced with the Scoots and took him home last nite. You weren't on my reading list, but, I knew you were here. Very good post, and, glad to see you!

    Have a great week Shady, and thanks for putting the key under the mat! ♫


    1. Hi, Sadie...uh... I mean Suzanne! Hooray for you for being the first of my friends to let me know you actually watch The Blacklist. I was beginning to wonder where all those millions of viewers got to. I'm glad you're a fan of James Spader, the poster boy for blunt arrogance. I've been referencing some of my favorite Spader movies and I'd like to add a few more: Less Than Zero (with Andrew McCarthy, Rob't Downey, Jr. and Jami Gertz), White Palace (with Susan Sarandon) and Critical Care (with Kyra "The Closer" Sedgwick).

      You wrote:

      << You really got me this time Shady! >>

      My dear, it's my job, my mission, my quest to "get" you. The last thing I want to do with this blog is to adopt an "all hits all the time" format like oldies radio used to do. How boring that would be! What's to be gained? What's to be learned? Why limit the playlist to #1 charting million sellers when there are thousands of great but seldom heard recordings to be discovered? I'm thinking of changing the name of the blog to "Look What I Found!" because I love to invite you over and introduce you to something new. Learning something new every day is important and it's one of the main reasons why I continue to read blogs and publish one.

      Mrs Shady and I had a great trip. We went to the mountains of East Alabama where the daytime high was mid 50s and the overnight low dropped to the mid 30s producing frost on the ground. It was a refreshing change from the relentless heat and humidity here in Florida - PLUS I got to see and touch colorful fall leaves for the first time since 1983! I loved it!

      Thank you very much for coming, dear friend Suzanne, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  9. The Blacklist is a new favorite of mine - I discovered it while visiting Massachusetts! Great post - I do love me some Searchers. Never had heard of Kenni Woods, but what a great find!

    1. As friends go, you're a great find, karen! Thank you very much for swinging by. I feel like I'm on a winning streak now that I've found a second blog friend who watches The Blacklist. It's a good thing you were introduced to the exciting series by the gang in Massachusetts. James Spader's Raymond Reddington grows on you... like a fungus.

      I'm glad you found value in some of my music picks this week, and it's good to know you got home from your cross country trip safely. I'm very sorry your mind was plagued by worrisome events at LAX before your departure from California and just prior to your return. It's good to have you back, karen. Have a wonderful Wednesday and enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend!

  10. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 13, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    Since I'm not the t.v. watcher in the house, I'm sorry to say I didn't know about your buddy James Spader. Bob watches The Blacklist though and gives it a thumbs up for originality, a good story line and great acting. Although I've never seen them in action, I found the contrast between Raymond and Lizzy's faces and expressions intriguing. The interaction between their characters must be a focus of the show. I'm looking forward to the time when I can settle down enough to watch a few episodes.

    As for the music on this post, I liked the sound of all the songs. The Searchers sure sound a lot like the Beatles, complete with the high-pitched trill at the end of a phrase. I agree with your assessment of the Kenni Woods piece. There is a wonderful merging of the girls' voices and I found it's a great song to play while cooking breakfast!

    The melody to the Stylistics' song is smooth listening for sure, but it's the lyrics that especially speak to me. "It's never too late to listen to your heart". What a great thought to guide us through life!

    Even I know and recognize Connie Francis's voice! Once again the metaphorical lyrics ring true for a lot of people I know who seriously need to have their ivory towers toppled. I really love the simplicity of the bass guitar in Fallin'. It's sounds like a conversation with Connie's voice, blending seamlessly.

    Bob and I were talking about how so many songs that become popular have a catchy beat behind the melody. The bass guitar "hooks" you again in the Rebels' "Wild Weekend" instrumental, and the sax is also great.

    It brought back memories of a guy I dated briefly who played such songs while trying to impress me with top speeds on his Corvette. I remember the sound because it accompanied my thinking it might be my day to die as I was being pulled back into the bucket seat every time the car took off! He sounded the death knell of that relationship when he proudly announced that he loved Corvettes more than women. I thought "Then what on earth am I doing here?"

    The thermometer reads 29 degrees with a frigid wind rattling the windows. This music provided a nice warmup for our morning! Thanks as always for the ride. (A safe one!)

    1. Hello, dear Kathleen! I'm so happy you just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in. (Start Googling.) I'm sorry you and I didn't score a match with The Blacklist. I'm glad Bob watches it and I agree 100% with his testimonial about lovable bad boy James Spader's latest television series. Hey, a hundred gazillion satisfied viewers can't be wrong! :) Your instincts are correct. The powerful chemistry and tense interaction between Ray and Lizzy are key elements that make the series enjoyable. I hope you soon find time to join Bob and follow the series. (Just make sure you finish your chapter first! :)

      Yessum, I noticed how the Searchers mimic their fellow Liverpoolians, the Beatles, with the high pitched "woooooo" at the end of a verse. I'm happy to know you appreciate the silky smooth vocals of The Stylistics.

      I'm also pleased that you enjoyed "Fallin'" by Connie Francis, a song written by the talented Brill Building team of Greenfield and Sedaka who were also responsible for Connie's hit "Stupid Cupid" and "Where The Boys Are," the theme from the coming of age movie in which Connie starred.

      I am very familiar with your story about the guy who subjected you to multiple G-forces while taking you for rides in his Corvette. According to Wiki, that young man was none other than the recording artist known as Prince and you, Kathleen Mae Schneider, were the inspiration behind his hit record "Little Red Corvette." :)

      It's cooler down here today with a gusty northwest wind. I couldn't be happier, though, because I was already tired of the Florida heat and humidity by the end of April!

      Thank you again for your visit and another exceptional comment, dear friend Kathleen. Take care of Mother and yourself (and Bob) and enjoy the rest of your week!

  11. Hi there Shady and Raymond! I'm so sorry, I came along first thing this morning and left a comment. Good job I came back, because it's not showing here!! This was such a fun post and really made me smile. You've featured some of my all time favourites here, in The Stylistics, The Searchers and the great Connie Francis. It was so great to listen to all these tunes today , so thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed your road trip with Mrs Shady dear Tom and enjoyed some cooler temps , and even got to see some Autumn colours😊. I arrived back in Devon late on Monday. Quite worried about leaving Emma, because she is still very delicate. Smooches to your dear friend.

    1. Hallo hallo hallo, dear Thisisme! Thank you very much for checking back here to see if your comment was published. I'm sorry it disappeared on you and I am grateful that you returned and posted it again.

      I take it you don't get The Blacklist there in England. If it ever becomes available I hope you'll give it a try. The series offers an excellent blend of action, suspense, mystery and humor.

      I'm delighted to find out that some of your favorite artists are included in this post and I welcome the opportunity to put a smile on your pretty face, especially whilst you are dealing with Emma's medical problems. I was hoping for good news about her condition by now and I'm sorry it is not forthcoming. Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day for your dear daughter. My thoughts and prayers are with her and with you.

      Thank you again for staying up late and being such a great friend, dear Thisisme. Hugs, smooches and blessings to you!

  12. Hi again. No, I've never heard of The Blacklist, which is strange, because we get most of your shows. I will
    Look out for it on DVD!

    1. Good! If you like FBI stories and James Spader I think you'll love this series. It's making quite a splash here in America.

      Here's wishing you and Emma a better day, Thisisme. Thank you again for your visit and comments, dear friend!

  13. Hi Tom! Well, it didn't surprise me that Connie Francis was my favorite today. What a beautiful voice. I didn't recognize any song except for 'Wild Weekend'. Loved 'Back with My Baby & 'Stop, Look and Listen.' Lots of fun today.

    1. Hi, dear Belle, and thank you very much for coming down from Canada! I don't think I ever heard a Connie Francis recording that I didn't like. When she teamed up with Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield, magic happened.

      I'm glad you listened, learned and discovered that you like Kenni Woods and the Stylistics.

      I will assume that you do not watch the hit series The Blacklist in British Columbia. If you like crime fighting heroes vs. super villains and television shows with plenty of action, suspense and just the right amount of dry humor, I think you'd enjoy this latest James Spader vehicle.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Belle. I hope you and your family are doing well and I wish you a safe and happy weekend! (I have a surprise for you here this Sunday!)

  14. Ha ha ha awesome post! Can't believe I missed this one! I follow a fan page for Spader on Facebook and it doesn't surprise me that it has attracted several male fans. He's just THAT cool and talented. I just think he's so sexy and mesmerizing at any age...and he grew up in the town next to mine. Even though I was a teen during the 80s, I was a little late coming to the James Spader party...the first movie I saw him in was Pretty in Pink but truth be told he didn't make a lasting impact on me until I saw Stargate. I love The Blacklist, and I think he has aged into a sexy 50-something man (and man oh man, the wardrobe, hats and glasses are exactly what I was thinking about when I wrote how men dress the opposite today in my "slobs" post...he dresses on and offscreen the way a MAN is supposed to dress.) But I much as I love The Blacklist and Raymond "Red" Reddington, I miss Boston Legal with him (Alan Shore!) and WIlliam Shatner, aka Denny Crane. ("Denny Crane.") That was such a GREAT show and both actors were hilarious and so endearing.

    Let me know what you think after you watch Tuff Turf (I forgot to mention the entire movie is on YouTube, which is where I watched it.) I think only Spader or diehard 80s fans can truly appreciate it. And thanks again, Shady, for the visit and the comments!

    1. Hi, Pam! Thanks so much for coming over to look at my Blacklist post. I'm glad it gave you a laugh. I agree, part of Spader's charm is that he knows how to dress. Both men and women appreciate his dapper style, flair and worldliness. Like you, I first got to know James in Pretty in Pink, plus I watched him every week on The Practice and Boston Legal.

      If Tuff Turf is available on Y/T then it's for sure I'll be watching it soon.

      Thanks again for your friendship and support, Pam. BTW, if you're a fan of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. then you might also enjoy my current post!

    2. OMG, did you watch the season finale? What did you think? THOSE BURN SCARS ON RED'S BACK. But something tells me that would be too obvious (if he turned out to be Lizzy's dad.) I'm missing Red already now that the show is on summer hiatus ("So we have to say goodbye for the summer...")

    3. Hi again, Pam! I recorded the season finale of The Blacklist but didn't watch it yet. Don't worry. You weren't a spoiler with this comment. I am also eagerly awaiting the season finales of Person of Interest and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. two of my other must see dramatic/action programs.

      Thanks for stopping by, dear friend. I always love having you here!


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