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, September 24, 2010

The D-Team: Episode 10

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!

"Groovy Baby" - Billy Abbott (August 1963)

You married my daughter against my wishes.
You're no good for her.

You're a smug, arrogant s.o.b. just like your brother. You publish a gossip rag... a scandal sheet. You profit from the misfortune of others. You've slept with two-thirds of the women in this town. Let me tell you something, Billy Boy. If you ever hurt Victoria, I will do everything in my power to destroy you! GOT THAT? You have a nice day...

Nope! Wrong Billy.
The Billy Abbott in the D-Team spotlight is the 60's soul singer along with his backup group the Jewels. More about their "Groovy Baby" recording after some history.

A slang expression of the psychedelic 60's, “Groovy, Baby!” was resurrected in the Austin Powers films of the late 90's.

The origin of the term groovy can actually be traced back
to the 1930's and early 40's.

The word was used by jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong to refer to a fine piece of music - music that’s in the groove.

In his tender ballad "Groovy Baby," Billy Abbott uses the words in a different context to describe the special girl that he loved and lost. "Groovy Baby" climbed the Billboard chart in the summer of 1963 and peaked at #55. Billy was robbed because the song belonged in the top 20. Abbott’s sweet, sad, sincere vocals blend with the Jewels’ glorious harmonies to make this one of the best and most powerful transitional (doo-wop to soul) ballads of the early 60's!

"You Didn't Look 'Round" - Lesley Gore (September 1965)

It started in the spring of 1963 with her number one smash and signature song "It's My Party." Over the next four years Lesley Gore released a long string of superb pop songs, successfully competing for chart space with English moptops.

A few of Lesley's Mercury singles carried killer bees on their backs and some of her best material remained unreleased
on 45rpm.

One such gem is "You Didn't Look 'Round," a fabulous track found on Lesley's 1965 album My Town, My Guy and Me.
I love Lelsey's velvet voice and assured vocal styling. Her singing always sounds effortless and that's the mark of a great talent. "You Didn't Look 'Round" was a hit just waiting to happen. In all probability the song would have gone Top 40 had it been released as the A side of a single. Instead this wonderful song remained tucked away in relatively obscurity as an album track. Let's listen to this lost pop treasure.

"Lonely Drifter" - O'Jays (September 1963)

Need more proof of the validity of Shady's Law? Try this one on for size! Throughout the 1960's, the sensational yet underrated O'Jays released one underachieving single after another. In the early 70's, the Gamble-Huff team began to work with the group and turned them into one of the leading TSOP acts of the decade. I'm glad the O'Jays finally got their props. That said, I strongly prefer the purity and simplicity of the O'Jays' 60's output to their slickly produced material on Philadelphia International during the 70's. The same holds true for the Detroit Spinners who gained success but lost their soul when they signed with Atlantic in the early 70's.

The earlier the better I always say, and that's why "Lonely Drifter," the very first release by the O'Jays to make the Billboard chart, is my Pick to Click. "Lonely Drifter" is an exquisite transitional soul recording that parallels the work
of Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions. With an arrangement similar to that of "The Lonely Surfer," the hit instrumental released by Jack Nitzsche a few weeks earlier, "Lonely Drifter" shoulda been a stone smash; yet it only managed to reach #93 on the chart!

From September 1963, the final weeks of America's Age
of Innocence,
here are the O'Jays with their awe inspiring "Lonely Drifter."

"Transistor Sister" - Freddy Cannon (August 1961)

In 1984 I had the pleasure of sitting next to Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon in a restaurant and chatting with him over dinner. Freddy had just finished performing a set of his hit songs in an oldies revival concert that also featured the Chiffons, the Earls and the Coasters, with special guest appearances by original members of the Flamingos and the Tokens, and Jewel "Birds and the Bees" Akens.

I'm a sucker for records loaded with hooks and gimmicks and throughout his career Freddy Cannon made liberal use of them. "Transistor Sister" broke into the Top 40 in the late summer of 1961 and finished at #35.

I never touched that dial when WSBA played this Freddy fave! Let's rock, roll and remember!

A Massachusetts native who first made it big in Bean Town, Freddy Cannon is now 70 years young and residing in Tarzana, California. I can't help wondering why Freddy didn't go by his real name, Frederick Anthony Picarellio, Junior. Kinda rolls off the tongue...

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. I loved Lesley Gore. One of my favorites.

  2. I could listen to Lesley Gore for hours at a time and never tire of her. What a talent! Thank you very much for your comment, Belle!


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