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, March 26, 2010

The D-Team: Episode 6

In 1972, a crack Dell Rat unit was sent to prison by the Unific Court of Love for a crime they didn't commit..... (Death by Disco).

These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the York, PA underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of soul and revivers of rock ‘n roll.

If you have a problem (with hip hop divas and gangsta rap)...

if no one else can help...

and if you can find them...

maybe you can hire...

The D-Team!

I pity the fool who don't like these songs!

"Don't Ever Leave Me" - Connie Francis (November 1964)

By the autumn of 1964, the prolific pop vocalist Connie Francis had sold millions of albums domestically and internationally. Her 45rpm releases were another story. Connie's singles weren't hitting the top of the chart like they did in 1962 and earlier. She had John, Paul, George and Ringo to thank for that. Like many established American artists, Connie was getting lumped in with yesterday's news as young audiences, myself included, became captivated by all things British.

The decline in Connie's chart success had nothing to do with the quality of her work. Connie's fall 1964 recording, the Sedakaesque "Don't Ever Leave Me," fell short of the top 40 but is among her career best! Click here to listen and be sure to click "back" to return to this page.

"Minstrel and Queen" - Impressions (October 1962)

"I'm not worthy," is Curtis Mayfield's lament in this sweet, sad, transitional (doo-wop to soul) recording by the Impressions that deals with the familiar theme of two lovers separated by the class barrier. The song, known in some circles as "Queen Majesty," spent six weeks on Billboard's Bubbling Under chart and finished at #113.

"Minstrel and Queen" was charting in the month of October. As you will see in my upcoming Soul Smackdown series, four of the top five songs on my list of the All Time Greatest Soul Ballads were reaching their peak of popularity during the month of October. Do I detect a pattern?

"Grow Closer Together" - Impressions (February 1962)

Like many other artists of the 60s, Mayfield and company gradually shifted the focus of their music away from traditional love songs and more toward themes of social awareness and activism. Yet, it is the sweet soul output from the group's early years that remains most dear to a Dell rat's heart. Listen now to another Impressions classic from the period....the simple, straightforward, humble, life affirming love song "Grow Closer Together."

"She's a Heartbreaker" - Gene Pitney (May 1968)

Don'tcha love it when a solo artist, group or band breaks out of the mold and succeeds in crossing over? The Platters and The Flamingos, famed for their 1950s doo-wop ballads, reinvented themselves in the 60s and released superb up-tempo northern soul records. Just when I thought I had Connie Francis figured out she surprised me a batch of rock 'n roll and girl group gems. Just when I thought I had the Everly Brothers figured out they hit me with a stone cool version of "Lucille."

Just when I thought I had Pat Boone figured out...

well...let's not go there!

Gene Pitney pulled off one of the biggest transitional surprises of all. In a radical departure from his string of mainstream pop hits earlier in the decade Pitney came roaring back in 1968 with "She's a Heartbreaker," a top 20 stormer that became a staple on England's northern soul circuit.

This is not your daddy's Gene Pitney. The intensity of Gene's soulful vocal treatment keeps the excitement meter pegged from start to finish. "Hearbreaker" is regarded by many as his finest career performance!

"You Wouldn't Listen" - Ides of March (July 1966)

This Chicago area band cranked out two of the best and most refreshingly different songs of the rock era. They were calling themselves the Shon-Dels (hmmm, sounds familiar) until they started thinking outside the box and changed their name to the Ides of March. The group's initial release on Parrot barely missed cracking the top 40 in the summer of 1966. Let's prove the guys wrong and listen to "You Wouldn't Listen."


In the spring of 1970, the Ides of March scored a huge national hit with the bold and brassy "Vehicle."

The Ides rode "Vehicle" in the fast lane all the way to #2 on Billboard and #1 on Cash Box!

Don't miss the next thrill-packed episode of The D-Team, coming soon!

I love it
when a plan comes together!

Have a Shady day!


  1. Not much for Connie Francis, but big on the Impressions. I'm So Proud one of my favorites. Pat Boone picture is a gem. What did ever happen to him, not that I missed him.


  2. Now that Bret Michaels is starring on Celeb Apprentice, Pat Boone has taken over as lead singer for Poison. (LOL) Thanks for your comment, Jerre!

  3. And Poison will "Light Up Your Life" with their new drummer too. I believe she is related to Pat.

  4. Good one! (LOL) I can just picture Pat and Debbie trashing a few hotel rooms!


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