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

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sleepless Smackdown Part 1

This is Howard Cosell along with Dandy Don and The Giffer.

We welcome you to an ABC Sports exclusive...the first annual SDKE (Shady Del Knight Entertainment) Raw Rage
in the Cage Sleepless Smackdown...a no holds barred
winner-take-all grudge match between three positively pugilistic platters. Which of these utterly irrepressible insomniac interludes is invincible? We'll find out when our spin-off gets underway in 60 seconds.

This portion of
Sleepless Smackdown
is brought to you by
Hai Karate after shave
and cologne. Hai Karate...
be careful how you use it.

By Gino's Hamburgers...

Everybody goes to Gino's!

And by
Lite Beer from Miller...
everything you always
wanted in a beer...and less.

Howard Cosell back with you now. We're about to kick off the competition, so let's switch from up here in the booth to down there on the turntable. To bring you the play by play, it gives me great pleasure to toss to my distinguished colleague, Shady Del Knight.

Thanks, Howard! You know, I've been collecting records for more than 50 years and one thing's for sure - 45's issued on the Sue label are among the most collectible.

Sue Records was founded in New York in 1957 by “Juggy” Murray, one of the Big Apple’s foremost black record label proprietors.

Sue released some excellent R&B and soul recordings like Baby Washington’s “That’s How Heartaches Are Made,” Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Work Together,” and a string of
hit singles by Ike & Tina Turner, the legendary husband
and wife R&B team.

Ike & Tina signed with Sue at the start of the 60's. At the time, they were playing one night stands in black clubs, a network of venues known as the chittlin’ circuit. Bandleader Ike put together a dynamic stage show called the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. The potent live act consisted of Ike on guitar fronting his Kings of Rhythm band; the screaming, shouting, booty-shaking Tina on lead vocals; and the Ikettes, Tina’s backing singers, who also released some outstanding records of their own.

Tina Turner’s stage performances exploded with raw energy and palpable sexual heat. Some say she was the first female singer in pop history to embody the true spirit of rock ‘n roll. During their long career and rocky relationship, Ike and Tina released records on a surprising number of labels including Sue, Sonja, Loma, Modern, Kent, Philles, Minit, Modern, Innis and Blue Thumb.

“You Should’a Treated Me Right,” the Turners’ last Sue release, was a poor seller and spent just two weeks on the Billboard Pop chart in July of 1962 before dying on the vine at #89. The record might have done better if “Sleepless” had been promoted as the A side.

The antithesis of the slick, sophisticated, polished soul that evolved in the 70's and a refreshing change of pace from the funky, hard-driving southern-style rural rock that fans came to expect from Ike & Tina, “Sleepless” is a rough, primitive, intense ballad with an old time, 50's-style city blues feel.

More Sleepless Smackdown to come right after this message.

Our Sleepless Smackdown continues now with a toss up between "Tossin' and Turnin'" and "Tossing and Turning." Which tossin' tune turns you on and tunes you in?

Released on Beltone, the small Manhattan indie label that was also home to the Jive Five, "Tossin’ And Turnin’" by R&B veteran Bobby Lewis was one of the most exciting records of the pre-Beatles 60's. Bobby charges out of the starting gate like an angry rodeo bull and keeps on rockin' through the fade!

During the summer of 1961, I often heard "Tossin' and Turnin'" playing on the jukebox at Zimmy’s pool in the village of Spry.

The lyrics of the song make an archaic reference to the milkman at the door, bringing back memories of an ancient time when commodities like milk, bread and eggs were delivered to your house by smiling men who knew every member of your family by name.

Why, I'll have you know that in the distant past, even doctors made house calls! Don’t believe me? Look it up!

"Tossin' and Turnin'" became a huge hit for Bobby Lewis. The song entered the Billboard chart in May of 1961, worked its way to the number one position by late July, and was still hanging on at the end of September - a total of 23 weeks on the chart!

I give "Tossin' and Turnin'" an 83. It has a good beat and you can dance to it. I had to knock off a few points because those teenaged dancers looked like thirty-somethings and it creeped me out.

Stay tuned...there's more to come on Sleepless Smackdown right after this public service announcement for beauty sleep.

We're back and our Sleepless Smackdown continues.

In this corner, in the light trunks, The Ivy League - an English trio capable of producing heavenly harmonies.

Four years after the Bobby Lewis record rode the chart the Ivy League released a single entitled "Tossing and Turning." It was not, however, a cover of the Bobby Lewis blockbuster. "Tossing and Turning" by the Ivy League was
a different song entirely.

Although well received back home in the UK (reaching #3
on the chart), the Ivy League's record didn't go far in America. "Tossing and Turning" entered the domestic chart in September of 1965 and floundered around for five weeks...never climbing above #83. Shady's Law applies, because the song is much better than it's poor chart performance suggests.

Part 2 of Sleepless Smackdown is coming up right after this from Hai Karate after shave.

Hai careful how you use it!

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