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

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Echoes of the Spectorian Era, Vol. 7: Raising Kane As Long As We're Abel!

 Welcome to vol. 7 of my 17-part series 

 featuring the Wall of Sound recordings 

 of Phil Spector and others who 

 imitated his production style. 


Soul man Malcolm Hayes toured with Little Richard,
opened for Gladys Knight & the Pips and sang at the
famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. With his vocal talent
Malcolm could have been a star, but his career was
derailed by a stroke when he was still in his 30s.

Let's flash back to brighter days. In 1966, 
Malcolm Hayes recorded one of the greatest
Spectorian Northern Soul ballads ever, the
brilliant but uncharted smooth groove
"I Gotta Be With You."

 "I Gotta Be With You" - Malcolm Hayes 
 (1966, uncharted) 


Image courtesy TOKENHIPPIE @
Beverly Williams, age 14, rehearsing with producer Gary Usher


Beverly Williams, a 14 year old with powerful pipes,
waxed Spectorian Splendor in the echo chamber
of Hollywood's Gold Star Studio in the fall of '65.
Overseeing Beverly's recording, "He's Hurtin' Me,"
were two top music industry vets: producer
Gary Usher and arranger Stu Phillips.

Released at the end of February 1966, Beverly's
blissful Decca single failed to chart, but today
it is highly regarded by collectors of girl pop
and girl groups. Just listen to this girl!

 "He's Hurtin' Me" - Beverly Williams 
 (March 1966, uncharted) 



Imagine if you had been a fly on the wall of the
recording studio in 1963 at the moment of this
euphoric exchange between two icons of the
Baby Boom generation:

"That's gold. That's solid gold
coming out of that speaker."

 —Phil Spector to Sonny Bono after listening 
 to the final playback of "Da Doo Ron Ron" 
Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). 
Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 14.

So true, Phil!  Your production hits us in the ear
like a Wallop of Sound and Crystals lead singer
Dolores "LaLa" Brooks delivers the goods on
this, one of the greatest and best known
records to come out of the girl group era.

 "Da Do Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)" 
 The Crystals  (June 1963, highest chart pos. #3 
 Live appearance on Shivaree July 3, 1965 



It's a funny not so funny thing about Akron, Ohio's
Ruby Nash and her male vocal group, the Romantics.
Their first charted single, "Our Day Will Come," was
a #1 smash. Their next release, "My Summer Love"
went top 20. Their third, "Hey There Lonely Boy"
reached the top 30. Do you see the pattern here?
Two years later, when Ruby & the Romantics were
making their best and most exciting records, hardly
anyone was buying them. It's a textbook example
of Shady's Law and the Law of Diminishing Return!

Listen now to the big, bold, brassy sound
of "Does He Really Care For Me," a glorious,
mid tempo recording that was the last
single by Ruby and the Romantics to
reach the Hot 100.

 "Does He Really Care For Me" 
 Ruby and the Romantics 
 (Feb. 1965, highest chart pos. #87) 


The Righteous Brothers' signature song,
"You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” was the first
Phil Spector produced single released by the
blue-eyed soul duo on Spector's Philles label.
A chart topper, "Lovin' Feelin'" earned the
distinction of being the most played record
on radio and television in the 20th century.

I'll be presenting that monster at the end of this
series but, in the meantime, I'm loading some of
the other great Wall of Sound recordings made
by Bill and Bobby.  Here's a favorite of mine,
the follow-up single to "Lovin' Feelin'" and a
top 10 hit, "Just Once in My Life."

 "Just Once in My Life" - The Righteous Brothers 
 (May 1965, highest chart position #9) 



Kane and Abel were promoted to soul radio stations
as the black answer to the Righteous Brothers.
Initially their records generated excitement, but
interest faded when it was learned they were Latin.
Like their race mattered that much? Kane and Abel
were the real deal. At times these guys sound
more like the Righteous Brothers than the
Righteous Brothers sound like the
Righteous Brothers!

Artie Herrera and his brother Big Al were
originally in the Milwaukee R&B group
Little Artie and the Pharaohs. As Kane and
Abel, the brothers waxed a pair of Spectorian,
Righteous Brothers style singles. Producers
Jim Holvay and Gary Beisbier assembled a
makeshift Wrecking Crew that combined 
veteran session musicians with members of
a local high school band. The instrumental
track was overdubbed two or three times
to fill out the sound. When you hear the
Righteous harmony and towering heights
achieved by Kane and Abel, you might
just break down and cry!

 "Break Down and Cry" - Kane and Abel 
 (1965, uncharted) 

 That does it for this edition of Echoes. 

 I hope you enjoyed it. 

 Volume 8 is in the pipeline 

 so stick around for more 

 great Spector Sound! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. This is another great assortment of Spector records and Spector sound-alikes. I never heard of Malcolm Hayes or Beverly Williams but I loved both of their recordings. One thing I find a little surprising is the young age of many of the singers you have presented. It seems like a good number of them were 14 and under. Is that correct? I never heard of Kane and Abel but agree that they did a great job of imitating the Righteous Brothers. It's too bad that they were victims of racial discrimination and their record was not played on the radio as much as it deserved to be.

    Terrific post! I can't wait for volume 8!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks so much for coming by. I am amazed by the maturity of Beverly Williams' voice. "He's Hurtin' Me" sounds like it was sung by a 20-something rather than a 14 year old. To answer your question there were quite a few very young soloists and lead singers that made great recordings during this period. I didn't realize it myself until I did the research. Age 14 is not all that uncommon. I have posted or will be posting records made by 13 and 12 year olds and even a couple of 11 year olds.

      No matter how young or old the artist, a great producer can make magic happen in the studio. That's why I was thrilled to see the quote from Phil Spector to Sonny Bono. I can't imagine how exciting it must have been to complete the mix-down on a record, listen to the finished product and know in your gut that it's going to be a hit. It doesn't get any better than that!

      Yessum, Kane and Abel captured the sound of Bill and Bobby, the Righteous Brothers, and I will be presenting several more such acts in this series, including another great side by Kane and Abel. Stay tuned!

      Thank you for your visit and comment, dear Kathryn!

  2. Dear Shady:

    Wow! Kane and Abel really were the answer to The Righteous Brothers! I love that soulful, deep voice and harmony sound. I always loved the Righteous Brothers, but had never heard of Kane and Abel.

    I heard Bill Medley in the late 80s or early 90s and he still had it then. Amazing voice.

    As a matter of fact, this is one of my all time Shady favorites - I love all these artists, known and unknown.If I had a ranking, The Crystals would be at the top and the middle would be all clumped together with everyone but Ruby and the Romantics - they were my least favorite, but still - liked it!

    I'm glad to see your post because when we didn't hear from you yesterday, I kept checking and checking for a ransom note from some musically twisted polka fanatic. You can't trust know what I'm talking about, you're from Pennsylvania. That is their breeding ground.

    Great job - outstanding! Have a great Tuesday!

    1. Hello and good morning, dear Cherdo! Thanks for coming to my potty. Let's you and I agree to raise Kane as long as we're Abel, okay?

      In 1983, I traveled to Valley Forge to see a live Righteous Brothers show. They wowed the crowd and received numerous standing ovations. 20 years later I was very sad to learn that Bobby had gone to play a gig in Rock & Roll Heaven.

      Wasn't it a great moment in music history when Phil Spector shouted those words to Sonny Bono upon hearing the playback of the final edit of "Da Doo Ron Ron"? That would have made a tremendous movie scene. I wish I'd have been a fly on the wall. Then again, most likely Phil would have swatted me!

      Here's the reason why I published today rather than yesterday. I'm spacing the posts 8 days apart because I am leading up to another blogging break. This coming Sunday, Mrs. Shady and I are flying north. I will be out of town, out of state, (out of my mind) and away from the computer and blogging until Wednesday, Dec, 10. Please understand that I will not be able to visit your blog during that time span. I will be reminding you, Janie and others about my upcoming trip in the days ahead.

      Thank you very much for dropping by, dear friend Cherdo, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  3. Hello Shady, sorry I missed the Thanksgiving week post ( I was away) but, looks like you had many , many other comments!
    There's nothing like the Righteous Brothers with their romantic harmonizing voices--One of my most fav songs of all times, "You've lost that lovin feeling"--Awesome!
    Another "Awesome" was youngster, Bev Williams voice with , "he's hurting me". Enjoyed that one!
    I never heard of Malcolm Hayes --whatta talent!
    Ok, as soon as I heard the Crystals, I heard familiarity from one of my fav movies of the late 80's called, "Adventures in Babysitting". The opening song, with actress Elizabeth Shue singing into her hair brush, the Crystal's song," Then he kissed me", I KNEW it had to be the same girl group that sang, "Da doo ron ron"! Another great post, Shady!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, Toni!

      Thank you very much for coming over to bask in Spectorian Splendor. Isn't is interesting that "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" was determined to be the most often played song of the 20th century? I'd be willing to bet that the #2 song of the century was "I Got Ants in My Pants and I Need to Dance," with "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" rounding out the top 3. :)

      Hey, I'm delighted to know that you enjoyed the bold, mature vocal style of young Beverly Wms. She sounds like she's in her 20s or 30s, doesn't she?

      I'm also glad you were groovin' to the Crystals and that it caused you to remember another Crystals record used in that hit movie. You have a good ear because lead singer Dolores "LaLa" Brooks and her Crystals made both of those recordings. Other recordings credited to the Crystals, most notably "He's a Rebel" were actually sung in the studio by Darlene Love and her girl group The Blossoms. Crafty Phil Spector substituted Love and her group when the Crystals were touring and unavailable to cut new records in the studio.

      Thanks again for coming, dear friend Toni. Have a great week. I hope to see you back here next Wednesday for a special post that all original Dell rats should enjoy. Take care!

  4. i like the Beverly Williams tune. of course, i may be a bit biased because my hair looks like that right now and she's a teenager like me. when i read the caption i was surprised to hear that she was on 14. what a great voice! or 'powerful pipes' as you put it.
    also enjoyed hearing from the Righteous Brothers again. that's a good song! and yeah, talk about clones. if i didn't know better i'd have thought i was hearing the Bros instead of Kane and Abel. but that song is so full of feeling! i love it. You've gotta love it when a vocalist really believes in the words they're singing and all that emotion comes out. like the old blues tunes and stuff. all that sorrow and feelin' down is so real.
    -Abigail and Daisy

    1. Hi, dear A & D! Thank you very much for being here today for Echoes Vol. 7. I agree that Beverly Williams looks like she could be your kid sister. She had a surprisingly mature vocal style compared to many of the other teen girl poppers of the period. There are five more great recordings by Beverly on the import CD compilation Boy Trouble: Garpax Girls which I'm hoping to get for Christmas.

      It really bothers me that Kane and Abel fell victim to discrimination. When black radio stations assumed they were black men, their records got played; but as soon as it leaked out that they were Latino, their platters were pulled from play lists and their career stalled. It's another example in a long list of injustices, bad breaks and tragedies that make the history of rock 'n' roll so fascinating.

      Thank you again for coming to see me, dear friends Abigail and Daisy. Enjoy the rest of your week and I'll be chatting with you again soon. God bless!

    2. howdy!
      this is Abigail and Daisy again, hoping you get that Boy Trouble CD set... you have been good this year, right? wouldn't want Santa to withhold any great music this year!
      I'm also here in response to your comment on my blog about the easy rider mural. i had no idea that Spector was in that film. i haven't seen it myself, but my dad has. (in fact, when he found out i had that picture, had me email it to him so he could forward it on to his friends and such lol.)
      the mural is located in McPherson, Kansas, a mid-sized town south of I-70, north of Wichita. it's a very interesting place.
      hope you're having a wonderful time in the Carolinas!
      -A & D

    3. Hi again, Abigail! I'm just back from my trip to the Carolinas and you are the first person I'm connecting with here in the blogosphere,

      Thanks for giving me the info I requested. I Googled McPherson and found out that the Easy Rider painting is one of several murals in the downtown district. All are funded by the McPherson Convention and Visitors Bureau. What a great way to boost tourism! I think your dad would agree that Easy Rider is one of the greatest and most culturally significant movies of the 20th century. I hope you get a chance to see it soon.

      Thank you again for taking time to reply to my question, dear friend Abigail!

  5. Poor Malcolm Hayes. He had a beautiful voice. I couldn't sing with as much soul as Beverly Williams when I was fourteen. I can't sing with as much soul as Beverly Williams now. I can't remember the name of the great Spector "back-up singer" who is featured in the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. I don't even know if I have the title right. She was brokenhearted because she would turn on the TV and the Crystals would be lip syncing to her voice. She was so glad when her contract with Spector ended. I'm jealous of anyone who heard the Righteous Brothers in concert. I saw your response to Cherdo that says you'll be away for a little while. I hope you get a much-needed break from all the insanity in your life. I can't take a break from insanity. It travels with me.


    1. Hello, dear Janie Junebug! I say EMBRACE the insanity, dear friend. It's the only way. I'm hoping to get a lobotomy for Christmas. :)

      Yessum, Mrs. Shady and I will be flying to the frozen north country this weekend. (Boy, will our arms be tired!) God willing we will be returning by mid week. Please understand that I will not be able to read or comment on blogs or even reply to comments on mine during that time. God willing I'll be back in action Wednesday morning, the 10th of December.

      You got the title correct: 20 Feet From Stardom. I recently watched that documentary and enjoyed it. The now famous session singer you are thinking of is Darlene Love who, with her girl group The Blossoms, made fine recordings for Phil Spector but got a dirty deal when Spector slapped a "Crystals" label on their recordings to improve chances they'd sell and become hits. Unfair? Most definitely, but that's why it's called the record "business."

      Thank you very much for dropping in to see what condition my condition was in, dear friend Janie. I'll be seeing you soon here, there and everywhere!

    2. I remembered Darlene Love's name at about three o'clock the morning after I left my comment. I'm glad she's received the recognition she long deserved.

    3. Yessum, and I also wanted to tell you that Mrs. Shady and I went shopping the day you left your comment, and while she was trying on clothes in a department store dressing room, they played Darlene's famous seasonal song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." I also wanted to remind you that there are excellent Darlene Love CD's available including The Sound of Love and So Much Love. Thank you for the return visit, dear Janie Junebug!

  6. I listened to all these songs yesterday while I was getting ready for my little volunteer gig. Did you take a song off? I thought there was another one that I listened to...

    See ya Shady

    1. Hi, Susie! I'm very pleased to see you and to know that you did some multitasking by playing my tunes while getting ready for your volunteer gig. No ma'am. I did not remove any of the songs. Janie Junebug TRIED to remove all of them but failed. May I assume that you enjoyed what you heard, o ye of few words? :)

      Happy hump day and enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend Susie!

  7. Malcolm could have hung around with the rat pack! Beverly does not sound 14 years old--OMG!
    Nice to hear The Crystals and The Righteous Brothers again. :) Kane and Able are much smoother and don't have that guttural quality of The Righteous Brothers, even though they tried. I would never mistake them.
    This was fun, as usual. :)

    1. Hi, dear Rita! It's always fun for me to have you over for a visit and get your opinion about the various artists presented week by week.

      In this batch of records, The Crystals and the Righteous Bros were the only two acts I knew until recently when I bought the 3-CD series Phil's Spectre which features great Spector sound-alikes that were produced in the mid 60s. These recordings by Malcolm, Beverly and Kane and Abel are included in that set. I discovered the song by Ruby & the Romantics on the CD Tip Your Kapp to the Girls.

      Thank you very much for coming by, dear friend Rita. Please give Karma a smooch for me and enjoy the rest of your week!

  8. Wonderful songs today. I loved Kane and Abel. I thought the lead singer sounded a bit like Elvis and I loved the song. It is sad Malcom Hayes had a stroke. He had a great voice. 'Da Do Ron Ron' is one of the best rock songs from the 60s for sure. I just wish it was longer. C'mon, more verse and chorus!

    Yes, Beverly Williams had a terrific voice, but I have to say I liked Ruby's better.

    I'm glad to see you are going on a little holiday. I'm happy for you. I hope you get lots of rest and you both have fun. It is nice to have a change of scenery. Hugs.

    1. Hi, dear Belle! Thank you for coming down, dear friend. Yessum, I was going to email you and let you know I will be away and out of touch for a few days beginning this Sunday. I will be back home next Wednesday and will resume blogging at that time.

      I'm very happy to know you enjoyed the deep soulful lead voice on that Kane and Abel record. I have another of theirs coming in a later volume of Echoes. I agree they could have imitated Elvis just as easily. What delights me is the story of how the Kane and Abel recordings were made. The production team wanted to mimic the popular Spectorian Wall-of-Sound and they did a fine job of it on a shoestring budget. The brought members of a high school band into the studio to beef up the orchestra. They also doubled and tripled the instrumental track to make it sound like more musicians were playing. It is this, the art of the producer, that has always fascinated me and I was able to practice techniques like these when I produced my own commercials and music videos.

      I'm glad Ruby & the Romantics got your vote, It seems like you have developed more of a taste for soul through years of following SDMM and that makes me very happy, too.

      Thank you again, dear friend Belle. Please take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of your week!

  9. Hey Shady,

    Love Da Doo Ron Ron, I know I have heard several covers of this but I really enjoyed the Crystals and the retro look of the Go Go Dancers. I love 'You've lost that lovin' feeling' and I was hoping you may have featured it here, until next time keep safe :) cheers Allie-Millie

    1. Hello and welcome back, dear Allie-Millie! I'm very happy to see you, my good friend. Fortunately there are many rare vintage clips on YouTube like this one of the Crystals performing on Shivaree. If you browse around you can find other clips that show the go-go dancers of the mid 60s on Shivaree and related music programs including Shindig, Hullabaloo, Hollywood A Go-Go and Where The Action Is. I love the excitement generated when a hot act sings a hit song whilst dancers do their thing in the background, don't you?

      Rest assured that I will be posting the Righteous Brothers' hit "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," at the end of this Echoes series.

      Thank you ever so much for popping in, dear friend Allie-Millie. Please take care of yourself until we chat again. Bless you!

  10. Hi Shady! I'm really, really late in commenting...I've been crazy hospital working busy and getting ready for Christmas. I'm having knee surgery the day after Christmas and have a ton a junk to do before then. I'm behind in my blogging too..sheesh..anyway, I enjoyed the music here very much. Jack strolled by the computer room and laughed when he saw my "chair dance" to "Da Doo Ron Ron" ! Loved the video and the flashback to the good ol days when I was 10 and my knees were too! Everyone (I hope) loves the Righteous Brothers and when I listened to Kane and Abel right after you could really hear the similarities...although I felt like a bit of Elvis was shining through with K &A....anyway, have a good week and I saw from a few comments that your flying up North. If you want to see snow, don't come to's been cool and rainy..and even a bit icy..but no white stuff this month so far. Take care!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you very much for coming over. Gosh, I have mixed emotions about your knee surgery. I wish it wasn't looming the day after Christmas but, at the same time, I know you must be in terrible discomfort and this procedure will enable you to feel much better heading into the new year. I will be thinking about you and praying all goes well.

      You were doing the chair dance? Is that anything like the Cher dance? :) Isn't it interesting that you and Belle both heard an Elvis imitation leaking through that Kane and Abel number? I suppose I make such a strong mental picture of the Righteous Bros. while the K & A record is playing that it blocks out all other possibilities.

      Yessum, I will be flying to the Carolinas for a few days and therefore I will be away from all blogging. Please forgive me if I miss one or more of your posts before I return next Wednesday.

      Thank you again, dear friend YaYa. Please take good care of yourself and watch those icy surfaces on roads, sidewalks, porch steps, etc. I look forward to reconnecting with you next week. If Eddy visits this weekend give him a MilkBone and a pat on the noggin for me. God bless!

  11. Hi Shady, thanks for another great post! I love the Crystals so have heard Da Do Ron Ron but the other songs were all new to me. Hope you're having a good week.

    1. Hi, dear Sarah! I'm delighted to see you, my good friend! I'm just back in town from a three day trip and pleased to see your comment.

      I'm glad you liked this video of the Crystals performing one of their biggest and best hits on Shivaree and hope you enjoyed learning about the other featured artists.

      Thank you again for visiting, dear friend Sarah!


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