CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
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
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Puffin' With Pickettywitch Polly Brown!


 P I C K E T T Y W I T C H 


The late 60s/early 70s English pop group Pickettywitch
was led by Polly Brown (also Browne), a witchy woman
who sang sunshine pop laced with a little bit o' soul.


No one seems certain where the name Pickettywitch
came from. Some say it was the name of a village
in Cornwall through which Polly and her sister once
passed.  (Cool! Maybe she also spent some time
in Portwenn and met Doc Martin and Louisa!)
Others think the band's name came from a
tavern called the Picketty Witch Inn
located in Yeovil, Somerset.


The origin of the band's name isn't as important as the
great music they produced. Blonde beauty Polly Brown
usually sounded like she was singing with a head cold,
but it was that distinctive nasal quality that set her
apart, endeared listeners and invited comparisons
to America's sultry soul siren Dionne Warwick.

 "Days I Remember" - Pickettywitch 
 (from 1970 album Pickettywitch




Songwriter/producer Gerry Shury described Polly Brown
as "a cross between Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick."
I hear Diana in some of Polly's recordings but my
favorite songs by Pickettywitch are the ones
in which Polly channels Dionne Warwick.
"Days I Remember" is one example
and "There He Goes" is another.

 "There He Goes" - Pickettywitch 
 (from 1970 album Pickettywitch, 
 released on single February 1971 as 
 B side of "Waldo P. Emerson Jones") 




The Pickettywitch band's breakthrough record
and biggest hit was "That Same Old Feeling."


The song was previously recorded and released on a 1968
album by Britain's integrated soul band The Foundations.
Early in 1970, the Pickettywitch version of "That Same
Old Feeling" was released on a single, vaulted to
#5 on the UK chart (#67/#40 U.S.) and led
to regular appearances on Top of the Pops.

 "That Same Old Feeling" - Pickettywitch 
 (February 1970, highest chart position #5 UK 
 June/July 1970, highest chart position 
 #67 U.S. Hot 100/#40 Cash Box  
 Live on Top of the Pops




That same year, Pickettywitch landed two more
of their singles on the UK chart. The delightfully
infectious "(It's Like a) Sad Old Kinda Movie"
cracked the top 20.

 "(It's Like a) Sad Old Kinda Movie" - Pickettywitch 
 (June 1970, highest chart position #16 UK 
 Live on Top of the Pops





The next Pickettywitch single "Baby, I Won't Let
You Down" penetrated the top 30 later that year.

 "Baby, I Won't Let You Down" - Pickettywitch 
 (November 1970, highest chart position #27 UK) 




The last Pickettywitch single with Polly Brown on lead vocal
was the early 1972 release "Number Wonderful" backed
with an even better B, "Point of No Return."

 "Point of No Return" - Pickettywitch 
 (February 1972, B side of "Number Wonderful") 





 S W E E T  D R E A M S 


When Pickettywitch failed to catch on in America and
started to sputter at home in England, it was time for
Polly Brown to move on to other projects.


In 1974 Polly teamed up with Tony Jackson to form a
duo called Sweet Dreams.  The pair had an international
hit with a worthy cover of the ABBA's "Honey Honey."

 "Honey Honey" - Sweet Dreams 
 (August 1974, highest chart position #68 U.S. 
 #10 UK/#14 Ireland/#42 Germany 
 Live on Top of the Pops 





 P O L L Y  B R O W N  

 ( B R O W N E ) 


The following year, as a solo act, Polly scored a much bigger
hit in America with her signature song, the thumping,
pre-disco dance favorite "Up In a Puff of Smoke."

 "Up in a Puff of Smoke" - Polly Brown 
 (September 1974, highest chart position #43 UK 
 March 1975, highest chart position 
 #16 U.S. Hot 100, #3 Disco







The proof's in the puffin' and in the grooves of these pleasing platters. You are a very good witch indeed, Polly Brown!

Have a Shady day!

37 comments:

  1. Kathryn AndersonJuly 12, 2014 at 3:20 AM

    Great stuff, Mr. Shady. First thank you for reminding me that we have another season of Doc Martin to watch. I didn't know any of the songs in this post until I got to the end. I remember Up in a Puff of Smoke but didn't know it was by Polly Brown or that she was in a band called Pickettywitch. She does sound like Dionne Warwick and Diana Ross. I enjoyed listening to her and seeing her and her group perform. Once again you did a wonderful job here. I learned a lot and the music made my day.

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    1. Top o’ the morning, Mrs S. For that matter, Top of the Pops! :) Thank you for coming by to sample my Pickettywitch brew.

      I can't think of any performer who sounds more like Dionne Warwick than Polly Brown does on some of these selections. When I close my eyes I see Dionne singing them. In recent years I've developed a fondness for sunshine pop, and Pickettywitch, one of the UK's favorite Age of Aquarius bands delivers it in a most pleasing manner. I dare say even the grumpy Dr Martin Ellingham would be smiling and tapping his toes if he heard these sweet tunes from Polly's pipes.

      Thank you again for taking time to read and listen, dear Kathryn. I wish you a very happy weekend!

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  2. I hadn't heard of Pickettywitch before, my parents would probably remember them though as the 70s is their era!

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    1. Hi, Sarah! Thank you very much for swinging over, dear friend! I hope you'll check with your parents because Pickettywitch and Sweet Dreams made frequent appearances on TOTP in the early to mid 70s. I hope you enjoyed the sounds, Sarah. Thank you again for your visit and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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  3. What a great name for a band. I wish I'd thought of it. Polly sounds so much like Dionne. I wish they had sung together. Thank you for a great post, Sir Shady.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hello, Janie Junebug! The prodigal daughter returns! (LOL) It's good to have you back, dear friend. You've been missed. I need you here, Janie!

      I'm glad you agree that Polly B's vocal style is a close match to that of Dionne W. It surely would have been cool for them to perform and/or record something together. There's still time for that to happen because both ladies continue to sing in the new millennium.

      Thank you again for your visit, your comment and your loyal friendship, dear Janie. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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    2. I really don't know what happened, Janie. I suppose you were busy all last week and forgot about my post that included Darlene Love and the Blossoms and other artists inspired by Spector's Wall of Sound. I was hoping you'd comment because you and I had just been discussing the documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom. I watched it this afternoon and enjoyed it tremendously. I agree that Darlene Love got a raw deal at the hands of Spector and never became the star she deserved to be. I also loved Merry Clayton, Mable John, Claudia Lennear and the other featured women. Merry Clayton's "Gimme Shelter" segment gave me goose bumps!

      Anyway, Janie, I'm sorry you missed my post. Please remember that I appreciate and need your friendship and look forward to your comments. I hope you enjoy the week ahead, dear friend!

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  4. I'd never heard of Polly Brown...I know I'd remember that band name! If I had heard her on the radio I probably would have thought it was Dionne W. My sound is fixed (thanks to my computer savvy son!) so I really enjoyed listening to each song. She's beautiful and it would be fun to see and hear her today....I see from your previous comment that she still performs. Thanks for a good class today Prof. Shady! P.S....Eddy is back to his old self..eating and everything. He came for a visit the other day and he still enjoys going to the Creepy Woods and drinking from his favorite spot in the creek! Have a good weekend!

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    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you very much for coming and bringing a double dose of good news.. I am relieved to know that Eddy is adjusting and eating and that he made a return visit to W.P. and the C.W. and the A.S. (Abominable Snowman :) I am also thrilled to know that you got your sound fixed in time to enjoy the Dionnesque song styling of Polly Brown. I have Dionne Warwick's Greatest Hits and the Pickettywitch compilation mixed together in my CD changer. The other day a song came on and I was absolutely stumped, not knowing for sure if it was Polly or Dionne (or live or Memorex). I needed to look up the disc # in my notebook to be sure. It turned out to be Miss Warwick but that's how identical their voices are. I wish Polly had recorded an album of Burt Bacharach songs sung Dionne style. It would have been a smash.

      Thank you again for coming and for making my weekend with your great news, dear friend YaYa! Take care, dearie!

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  5. I love this band. Polly Brown's voice is beautiful. I can definitely hear Diana Ross and Warwick in there.

    I knew I had heard another version of 'That Same Old Feeling,' so I listened to the Foundations but that wasn't it. Then I found the Fortunes and that was the song I heard when I was young. I actually like it the least of the three. It is a great song. I liked all the songs today; they are catchy tunes. Thanks, Shady!


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    1. Hi, dear Belle! Thank you very much for coming down to hear Polly Brown. I'm happy to know you agree that she is a wonderful singer who sounds like Dionne and Diana. By the way, Polly also did a cover of the Diana Ross hit "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)."

      I learned something from you today. I never knew the Fortunes recorded "That Same Old Feeling." I don't remember hearing it played on my local radio stations in Pennsylvania. When I consulted my research book I noticed that the Fortunes and Pickettywitch landed their versions of the song on the U.S. Billboard chart the same week, May 16, 1970. The Pickettywitch record enjoyed an impressive 12 week chart run and finished at #67 (#40 Cash Box). The Fortunes single placed a little higher on the Hot 100 at #62 but only lasted 8 weeks. Next, I listened to the Fortunes version on YouTube and it sounded like a lame karaoke sing-along compared to the exciting performance by Pickettywitch. It just goes to show how an established act can rush release a cover version and limit the success of a new act with a far better record. It happens all the time.

      Thank you very much for joining me and contributing to the dialogue about Pickettywitch, dear friend Belle. Enjoy your Sunday!

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  6. Hi Shady Del Knight,

    Thanks for posting about Polly Brown and Pickettywitch. I loved the interpretation of 'Honey, Honey.' Truly a band from the Age of Aquarius where lots of self expression resulted in great music as even today we feel benefits as musicians cite the 60s as a period of great influence on their creations. Thanks again and I look forward to your other features at SDMM, yours Allie-Mille @ writing the rapids

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    1. Hi, dear Allie-Millie! Thank you so very much for coming all the way from Australia to visit me and experience my Pickettywitch post. I think you'll agree that witchy woman Polly Brown has a soul satisfying vocal style and the brand of sunshine pop produced by Pickettywitch measures up to that of any other act of the period and still sounds fresh and exciting today. I agree that the Polly Brown - Tony Jackson duo Sweet Dreams recorded a worthy rendition of the ABBA hit "Honey Honey." Wasn't it great to see all those nicely preserved videos of Polly on Top Of The Pops?

      I'm very pleased to see you again, my faithful friend. Thank you again for coming by. Stay tuned. I'll be showing you a picture of Shady Del Knight at age 2 coming up in my next post one week from today. Have a wonderful week, dear Allie-Millie!

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  7. Good Morning Shady, this is certainly a pleasant surprise! I have not heard of 'Pickettywitch', what a wild and interesting name for a group. When I see the group photos, I think of Abba, and some of the 60's and 70's groups like Fleetwood Mac. Looks like in her early days, Polly's voice and style was so much like Dionne Warwick. My goodness the similarity is amazing! But, it seems later that she developed a more controlled sound and style. I prefer her early work with the foggy, soulful and sultry voice, more so than her later mid-70's sound.

    She did evolve though, and it looks like she did very well in the US too. I really am impressed with the group as a whole, and their early look! She is quite attractive and talented and the videos are great.

    I had to come back a second time, to get the videos to play. You know sometimes they're just buffering! This was really enjoyable, Shady-you're the one who can dust the shelves and bring on the bright lights, and, you do it with so much grace and finesse!

    Have a great Sunday, Shady and stay cool-YES, I'm talkin' to you! ♫

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    1. Hello, dear Suzanne, and thank you very much for coming to my Pickettywitch Polly party! (I know... say it, don't spray it! :) By the way, do you remember who used to say "Bless your little pea pickin' heart"?

      I'm thrilled to know that you are hearing what I'm hearing in Polly's early recordings, a striking similarity to Dionne Warwick. Both women sounded like they had stopped up noses, but it produced a unique and pleasing vocal quality - smoky, sultry and soulful. That's what set Polly and Pickettywitch apart from run of the mill sunshine pop and soft rock groups of the era. You're right. Polly's vocal style changed over time and lost the distinctive quality that you and I and many other fans find so endearing.

      I'm sorry about the slow loading videos. For some reason YouTube videos are not loading and playing as well so far this weekend.

      You are so sweet, Suzanne. Thank you very much for the kind remarks. Hey - important! One week from today marks my 6th blog anniversary. As soon as I publish that post I am taking at least three weeks off from blogging. Mrs. Shady and I are traveling to California to visit family. I promised her I would break free of blogging and emailing and social networking while we're vacationing. Therefore, if you (or the other Suzanne or Karo) publish any posts during that three week period, please understand that I will not be available to read and comment. I plan to resume active blogging early next month.

      Thank you again for visiting and for your wonderful comment, dear friend Suzanne. Have a great week and I hope to see you back here next Sunday!

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  8. Hi Shady,
    What a shame Polly didn't catch on in the U.S. in her earlier days. I really enjoyed her! My fav, "Same old feeling". I also really liked her version of 'Honey, Honey". But, in my disco era (as a disco queen) I DO remember her "Puff of Smoke" song although, I don't remember doing the Hustle to it!!! She really does sound like Dionne Warwick with a cold--but . . . that's a good thing!
    Toni Deroche

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    1. Hi, Toni! Thanks for coming over to get down with Polly Brown. Seeing as how you are a member of the younger generation, :) I figured you would have something to say about the Sweet Dreams cover of "Honey Honey" and Polly's international pre-disco hit "Up in a Puff of Smoke." As I'm sure you noticed, "Puff of Smoke" has a pounding beat quite similar to that found on Gary Glitter's early 70s smash "Rock & Roll Pt. 1 and 2." I admit that I pretty much ignored "Puff of Smoke" back in the 70s when it was popular but am loving it now that I have discovered the rest of Polly Brown's recordings.

      Thank you again for making time for a visit and for your generous comments, dear friend Toni. I wish you a safe and happy week ahead!

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  9. This group is new to me but I have certainly liked hearing their music (I missed a lot in the early '70 I think because I had 2 new babies).
    So nice to hear from our friend Belle, above.

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    1. Hi, dear Jeanie! Thank you very much for coming to Polly's platter party. It doesn't surprise me when one of my female friends tells me she has a blind spot for some of the music I present because she was busy raising kids at the time. I am delighted to learn that you liked what you heard today from Polly Brown in her various incarnations.

      Yessum, our old mutual friend Belle continues to be a faithful follower long after she stopped publishing her Tales blog. As you might recall, that's where you and I first "met." I was impressed with you as a person and thought that you and I would make good friends. I'm so glad it turned out that way.

      Dear Jeanie, as I've been telling others, I am taking a 3 week break from blogging after next Sunday's post. I'm leapfrogging over Colorado to visit family in California. If you happen to publish posts during that time please excuse me for not being available to read and comment. I will be completely out of touch for those 3 weeks. Thank you for understanding, dear friend, and have a wonderful week!

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  10. Interesting - I too, am among the many who hadn't heard of her until this post. I graduated HS in 1972 and lived just south of San Francisco. Perhaps it was just the times we were in, and the other genre of music that was popular - her music style could only be heard by a few. So many at that time, were trying to hit it big - some were only one-hit wonders. She at least, had a few songs. I wonder where she is now?

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    1. Hi, dear Coffee Lady! Thank you very much for dropping in to party with Polly Brown and Pickettywitch. It doesn't surprise me that you never heard of the band or lead singer Polly. Soft rock, sunshine pop, Jesus rock and crossover country were all going strong in the pre-disco early 70s and Pickettywitch would have fit right into that scene. Good as they were, however, they failed to gain a foothold on the U.S. chart and indeed never lived up to their potential back home in the UK.

      Thank you again for coming and for your continued loyal friendship, dear Coffee Lady. I invite you to be here next Sunday for my 6th anniversary post after which I will be taking a much needed 3 week break from blogging. I will catch up with you and other friends early next month. Until then, please take good care of yourself!

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  11. This post totally enlightened me! I was not aware of this group, though I did hear the song "Up In a Puff of Smoke" during the wild and crazy disco years. I confess that I didn't know the name Polly Brown at all.

    Now I have to hang up my crown of rock trivia. Wow. That thing was starting to feel comfortable on my noggin, too.

    I love, love, love the music stuff. Keep it coming, SDK.

    Hope you enjoyed your weekend - I'm a bit late (under the weather, but back!).

    Cherdo
    www.cherdoontheflipside.com

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    1. Hi, Cherdo! Thank you very much for staying up late to pay me a visit. I'm sorry to learn that you spent the weekend under the weather. Hope you'll be 100% snarky again real soon, dear friend.

      So I "stumped the band" with this one, huh? Don't worry. I won't ask you to step down from your post as Dean of the College of Musical Knowledge or trade in your crown for a dunce cap. Most of the music I present year in and year out is little known and seldom heard. I did not know about Pickettywitch until I got interested in British pop a few months ago. Like you I remembered Polly's big solo hit "Puff of Smoke." All the rest was brand new to me until a few weeks ago.

      I'll be repeating this on your blog later in the week but I just wanted you to know that this is my last week of blogging before I take a much needed 3 week break to do some traveling. I will be unplugged, disconnected and unavailable to read blogs or comment. Please know that I look forward to returning to you in early August to pick up where we left off (if you'll have me).

      Thank you again, dear Cherdo, for your friendly visit and comment. Get well soon and let's have a fun week!

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  12. You're right. She does sound like she's got a head cold! I'm not really familiar with this type of music, and I must confess that it all sounds very similar - to me, at least. Hope you're doing well, friend!

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    1. Hi, Ashton! Thank you very much for reporting in. (That's a television news term :) I agree that all these songs share similarities, specifically the soul satisfying lead vocals of Polly Brown. To me similarity is a good thing in this case because I love Dionne Warwick and Polly Brown sounds a lot like her. Her vocal style and quality has also been compared to Diana Ross and to Jean Terrell who replaced Diana as lead singer of the Supremes.

      Yessum, I'm doing well, thank you, and hope tou are, too. Let me take this opportunity to tell you that I am taking a 3 week break from blogging starting this weekend. I wanted you to know that in case you publish during that period and wonder where I am. I will return to full time blogging around the second week of August.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Ashton, and take care until we meet again!

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  13. aw! i love that first album cover! i'm sure you noticed those cute little fluffy dogs as well. do you know much about them? perhaps they were the band dogs, or maybe just used for the pictures. whatever the story, i'm sure they made many dog lovers of all ages smile.
    i love this amazing collection of tunes from Polly. not only that but the hazy, dreamlike quality of the videos are so beautiful and inspiring, like a magical place.
    -Abigail and Daisy

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    1. Hello, dear Abigail & Daisy! I've been missing you both. Thank you very much for coming by.

      I'm not sure what the story is with those shaggy dogs. They might have belonged to Polly or a band member but there's also a good chance they were added by the record company to ratchet up the cuteness factor and give the band a clean, wholesome image like the Partridge Family.

      I agree there is a magical quality to the songs and videos. One interesting tidbit I didn't reveal in the text is the fact that when Polly Brown formed the duo Sweet Dreams with Tony Jackson, they attempted to appeal to dark skinned record buyers by having Polly take a different stage name, Sara Leone, dye her hair dark and even use a dark shade of make-up on her face so that she resembled a person of color. I fail to understand why they or their record label saw the need to go to that extreme.

      Anyway, I am very thankful to have you back, Abigail, and I'm glad you enjoyed these tunes by Pickettywitch Polly. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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    2. Interesting. That whole skin color thing does seem rather extreme. Thank you for always sharing interesting tidbits.
      Also thanks for the noticevof your upcoming absence. I think i read in another comment that this will be your first break in six years? Amazing! You certainly deserve a break and some recognition for all your hard work and dedication.
      Rest assured you wont miss too much by way of my blog, for i myself will be leaving soon for a weekend bluegrass festival and will then be out at the farm for over a week. (There is no internect connection or wifi and ill becworking hard in the hot sun, but it will feel like a vacation to me.)
      Im sure youll have an amazing time and know that we'll think of you and i pray for your safe travels.
      -Abigail

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    3. This is very sweet and kind, Abigail, and I appreciate it more than I can express. I sometimes worry that it could be case of "out of sight, out of mind" when I take my long break and that I might lose some of my friends while I'm gone. Your friendship and support are very important to me and it's great to know you will think of me and be here to resume our friendship when I get back.

      I think it's safe to say that few people your age would regard hard farm work in the blazing sun as fun, but you are very special and it makes sense that you see honest hard work as a pleasurable experience. I'm sure you will be posting about the festival and your week on the farm and I look forward to reading those posts when I return.

      Thank you again for being a devoted friend, dear Abigial. Please take good care of yourself and Daisy until we meet again!

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  14. Hi Tom! Once again you're educating me on music I have never heard before, what a voice Polly had and what a looker too! Hope you and Mrs Shady are doing well and that you are looking forward to your break!

    Emma x

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    1. Hi, Emma! Thank you for popping in from Ireland, dear friend! I'm happy to know you enjoyed getting an education about Polly Brown, Pickettywitch and Sweet Dreams. I agree that Polly had the voice and the look but not the luck. Sadly, she was an underachiever in the UK and in the U.S.

      I'm glad you noticed my announcement about taking a 3 week blog break. It will be my first such blogging hiatus in 6 years so I'm overdue.

      Please take good care of yourself, dear friend. I look forward to getting back in the swing of things early next month. Good night, Emma, and enjoy the rest of your week!

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  15. Ooh yes I can hear that nasal twang! It is quite nice though and it suits her! A lot of these songs sound similar to the sweet pop that also used to be featured in Eurovision around that time, which makes my wonder why they never entered, they could have won! I also must say, her outfits, make up and hair are all to die for! I love the outfit for "sad old kind of movie". That's an impressive set of curls the stylist gave her

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    1. Hi, dear Catherine! I was hoping you'd pop over to experience Pickettywitch - the sound and the look. I knew you would appreciate Polly Brown's English early 70s fashion style and I'm happy to know you enjoyed her performances. You brought up a good question about Eurovision. ABBA used it to launch their career and perhaps Pickettywitch could have seen greater success had they entered. They made #5 on the UK chart with "Same Old Feeling" but that hit single was left off their album, a tradition in England at the time although it makes absolutely no sense to me. In the U.S. an album often consisted of an artist's big recent hit and a lot of filler, bland covers and throw-away recordings to fill up the long-play. Millions of people, mainly older ones, bought albums like those just to get the big hit because 45 rpm singles were primarily aimed at the youth market. I agree that Polly Brown was adorable and I am smitten.

      Thank you very much for your faithful friendship, dear Cat. As I've been telling others I am taking a 3 week blog break starting this weekend and will not be able to read or comment on other blogs whilst traveling about the country. I will get back in touch with you when I return home early next month. Until then, please take good care of yourself, dear friend!

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  16. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJuly 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Thought I better get over here lickety-split to comment about Picketty Witch before she disappears. I won't use a lot of gobbledygook (That name just invites more nonsense words, doesn't it?), but will just say Mother and I like Polly's "smoky" voice and songs - no abracadabra needed to stoke our curiosity and enjoyment of this group. I cranked up the volume so Mother could hear the songs and enlarged the screen views so she could see the visuals and videos. We had a great time!

    She thought the photos of solo Polly at the end of the post looked like Jean Harlow, an actress she remembers from the 1930s. I also thought the fella on the far right of the album cover for That Same Old Feeling looks like Edgar Allen Poe, albeit with hairy earphones! : )

    Mother thought it was "just nice music" and really seemed to enjoy the post. I guess the overall feeling I get from listening to this selection of tunes is calmness and relaxation. The melodies are sweet and soft in nature, but still danceable. Even the lyrics are reassuring and utterly compatible with the 70s era Holly Hobbie fashions.

    It's different for me to see musicians focused completely on their music and barely moving, instead of some newer bands I've seen and heard. I won't mention any specific ones - you know, like the one that has "Dolls" in its name... ;) - that make me think they will require a defibrillator before the end of the song!

    These songs come to me from one of my favorite times of the past - when I was a new mother experiencing the roller coaster life with two-year-apart toddlers. (It's good I didn't have arthritis then. I couldn't have kept up with them!)

    I agree that Sunshine Pop is a good reference title for Picketty Witch's style of music. There are no 'thunderstorms' in their sound! Even "Point of No Return" elicits a kind of calm acceptance of breaking up with a lover. "Puff of Smoke" is downright contagious. Mom was keeping the beat with her feet on that one!

    I'm curious where the brass and strings are coming from on "That Same Old Feeling" and some of the other songs. Was there a backup orchestra off camera or was it a pre-recorded track playing?

    As I listened to the lyrics of "Same Old Feeling", it occurred to me that it could be the background music for a documentary devoted to old Dell rats revisiting what was left of the Shady Dell in recent years! I also think I hear the song often on the loop they play at my local supermarket, although it's been 'wallpaper-ized' and not sung by Polly and crew.

    By the way, they also play the original "My Sharona", to which - thanks to you - I always sing and keep the beat. Once, while I was checking out my grocery order and the song came over the PA system, I kind of bopped along like I usually do whenever I hear it, singing under my breath as I unloaded my items onto the counter.

    Looking somewhat bemused at someone my age doing this, and truly not making fun of me in the least, the teenage clerk and another young bagger said "Great song!" suggesting it was by Green Day. I was SO happy to gently correct them! They of course never heard of the Knack, so I offered my sincere sympathy and told them to look the band up on uTube! As they say, "Old teachers never die, they just lose their class!"

    Thanks for these great harmonies and sounds, Tom, and an introduction to another new-for-me band. Mother and I wish you and Mrs. Shady a relaxing and well deserved vacation. We'll be here when you return, waiting patiently for more great music and memories.

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    1. What's the matter, Kathleen... cat got your tongue? You usually leave a much longer comment. :)

      Well tweedlee dee, dear friend, I am very excited to see you and amazed to learn that you shared the post with mother Margaret and that she actually enjoyed Polly Brown and Pickettywitch. (I know she prefers Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath :) I agree that Polly seems to be made up and posed in such as way as to resemble Jean Harlow. Mother has an excellent memory and that was an astute observation on her part.

      Yessum, Pickettywitch performed their songs in a straightforward, no nonsense manner and I doubt they ever smashed or set fire to their instruments at the end of a show. Those clips are from the British television series Top Of The Pops. I have the Pickettywitch CD and the Pickettywitch performances sound exactly like the studio recordings. Therefore I'm pretty sure they lip synced their songs on the program.

      How cool that your supermarket plays "My Sharona." My Piggly Wiggly plays Weird Al's version "My Bologna" as shoppers pass by the meat department, a clever subliminal marketing trick that motivates people to buy cold cuts! :)

      Your story about correcting the young clerk and bagger ranks up there with the story about the time you entertained a car full of college boys with music blasting from the radio of your Corvair! :)

      Thank you (and Mother) ever so much for making my day with your delightful comment, Kathleen. I will miss you both while I'm away and will get back in touch the moment I return. In the meantime, please take good care of yourself and Mother.

      Oh, hey - remember to stop by this Sunday for my 6th blog anniversary extravaganza featuring a 1952 picture of Shady Del Knight. There'll be hot dogs, balloons for the kiddies and the one and only Mr. Whipple will be on hand to squeeze the Charmin!

      God bless you, dear friends Kathleen and Margaret!

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  17. I always learn so much music history from these posts. She does have a distinctive voice...with a hint of Dionne in that back of the throat quality. Another musical adventure with Shady! :)

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