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

Monday, May 23, 2011

That's Cool, That's Trash. That's Sloan and Barri and That's the Way to Make Records!


Listen to this and then we'll talk. 

"Halloween Mary" - P.F. Sloan 
(from the 1966 album Twelve More Times

After listening to that song you can understand 
why singer/songwriter/producer Philip (P.F. 
"Flip") Sloan was sometimes referred to as the 
poor man's Bob Dylan.  Sloan never became a 
household name but he and his partner Steve 
Barri wrote, produced and performed on some 
of the greatest recordings of the 1960s! 

It was Sloan's voice that Jan Berry used as the lead falsetto on Jan and Dean's 1963 smash hit "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena." Sloan and Barri's vocals were also added to the mix on several other Jan and Dean recordings.

Sloan and Barri wrote
"(Here They Come) From All Over the World," the Jan and Dean recording used as the theme song
for the epic 1964
T.A.M.I. Show (Teenage Awards Music International).

"(Here They Come) From All Over the 
World" - Jan and Dean (March 1965, 
highest chart position #56) 

Sloan and Barri achieved a sound similar to Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys when they recorded their own surf rock material using the name The Fantastic Baggys.

"Summer Means Fun" - Fantastic Baggys 
(Summer 1964, uncharted) 

"Tell 'Em I'm Surfin'" - Fantastic Baggys 
(Summer 1964, uncharted) 

At Dunhill Records Sloan and Barri wrote Barry McGuire's
"Eve of Destruction" and Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man" which became the opening titles theme of Secret Agent,
the American broadcast of the British spy series Danger Man.

The pair also scribed two of my favorites by the Turtles, "You Baby" and the Dylanesque "Let Me Be."

"Let Me Be" - Turtles (November 1965, 
highest chart position #29) 

Sloan and Barri penned what I consider to be the best and most listenable of all Herman's Hermits' recordings, the top 10 hit "A Must to Avoid."

"A Must to Avoid" - Herman's Hermits 
(January 1966, highest chart position #8, 
clip from 1966 motion picture Hold On!

Sloan became a session guitarist for Dunhill. He created and recorded the distinctive guitar intro for "California Dreamin'", the first hit for the Mamas and Papas, and played lead guitar on that as well as "Monday, Monday."

Sloan and Barri founded the Grass Roots and wrote their early material including the best song to come out of the groups folk-rock phase, one that I have come to like even more than the Dell song "Let's Live for Today."  It's called "Where Were You When I Needed You."

"Where Were You When I Needed You" 
Grass Roots (July 1966, highest chart 
position #28) 

I saved the best for last. My favorite recording by the P.F. Sloan/Steve Barri duo is the one they made as The Street Cleaners called "That's Cool, That's Trash." The single was released by the Amy/Mala/Bell label group in late 1964 and has a call-and-response structure similar to "That's Life (That's Tough)," a minor hit for Gabriel & the Angels two years earlier.

Sloan and Barri sound a lot like the Kingsmen on this one
and the Pac Northwest band recorded a cover of this song. In addition, the Kingsmen hit "The Jolly Green Giant" which was released around the same time, sounds very similar to the Street Cleaners record. You'll also hear similarities to
the Beatles' "Twist and Shout" at the end of the song.

Listen now to my Pick to Click for the talented team
of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri...
a way cool teen party record that never charted. It lingered on the fringe of my memory all these years and came roaring back to life recently when I discovered it on YouTube.

"That's Cool, That's Trash" 
The Street Cleaners 
(December 1964, uncharted) 

The terms one-hit-wonder and no-hit-wonder are commonly used to describe records that never made it. They are dismissive labels that rarely tell the whole story. Shady's Law reminds us that chart performance had little or nothing to do with quality. "That's Cool, That's Trash" is a lost treasure...
a garage/frat rock nugget that kicks butt all over town!

We also need to remember the unsung heroes of rock n' roll, guys like P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri who spent years working hard behind the scenes and away from the limelight. Sloan and Barri should be the poster boys for Shady's Law. They created many great songs that didn't perform well on the chart along with many others that became major 60s hits for other artists.  Few people made greater contributions to the mushrooming pop music scene during the mid sixties!


Fantastic Baggys..... 

Jan and Dean..... 

Beach Boys..... 

I don't know about you but I'm ready 
for summer, and in my next post I'm 
kicking off a three month long series 
entitled Summer Means Fun!  Gas up 
your woodie... wax up your board... 
smear on the sunscreen and join me! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Good Monday morning Shady and this one from the beginning appeared to one that didn't grab me but it did as I worked my way through. Those guys were so very talented in a lot of ways. One of my treats was on the Jan & Dean tune that looked like they were on the Roy Rogers Show as I saw him on the left briefly. I miss Roy too a lot. Well good buddy, you did it again, taking someone who was relatively unknown to me and giving me a deep appreciation for them. I hope somehow these artists you profile find out how folks are learning about them through your efforts. Thanks & have a great one.

  2. Odie - Your comment is especially gratifying. When you encountered unfamiliar material your first instinct was to avoid it. Instead, you took the time to sample and experience it and you found value. That's the connection that I'm looking for here on SDM&M. Have a fabulous week in Carolina, Odie!

  3. Well, I must admit that I have never heard of Sloan and Barri, but what a wonderful post you did there for them. As you say, they deserve recognition for all the work that they put in on so many hits. Interesting fact about providing the voice on The Little Old Lady from Pasedena, one of my favourite Jan & Dean hits! Amazing too to learn that they penned Eve of Destruction. That was a huge hit over here in England for quite a long time. Well my dear friend, I am really looking forward to your Summer Fun! Woo Hoo!! Hope all is well with you, with no more planned visit to see the Doctor.

  4. Thisisme - How kind you are, dear friend! I predict that my Summer Means Fun series will keep you bopping non-stop for the next three months, with a brief interlude along the way for a certain wedding. Thank you very much for your visit and your generous comments, dear Thisisme!

  5. Hey Shady... I feel like it's been forever since I dropped by here..
    I enjoyed the Fantastic Baggys the best.. They sound like fun! :) :) I'll be looking them up..
    I really should thank you a LOT, because I'm discovering an all new world of music through your blog. Some of them have even found their way into my playlist.. :D (Well, actually, only Floyd Cramer so far, but I think the Fantastic Baggys might be joining him soon.. :D)

  6. PencilGirl - Floyd Cramer and the Baggys make an interesting combination! You have eclectic taste in music, same as me. It delights me to see you here on my blog because I know how hectic your life is at the moment. I hope you will always consider your visits here to be time well spent. Please stay close because there are plenty more summery sounds coming up in the months ahead! Have a wonderful week, P-Girl!

  7. Hey Shady, long time no see! Looks like I've missed a lot of good tunes. Thanks for introducing me to acts that I've never heard of, but are really, really great. Plus you deserve an award for best post titles. They're always interesting! Hope you have a marvelous day Shady!

  8. Alabee - It makes my day to see you back over here, dear friend! I hope that all is well with you these days. I'm glad you liked my post title. Please remember the party rules which are clearly stated in the featured song "That's Cool, That's Trash":

    * no kissin' on the dance floor
    * no dancin' on the kissin' floor

    Thank you very much for your visit, dear friend Alabee, and please take good care of yourself!

  9. I know you won't be surprised that I loved these songs as a teenager. Some of the titles I didn't recognize, but as soon as I played them I remembered.

    I'd never heard of Sloan and Barri but look what they did! So many good songs and I liked the groups they were in too.
    Seeing Herman's Hermits is suits cracked me up. You don't see that too much any more. The Beatles wore suits too.

  10. Belle - I admit that I always feel relieved when a friend actually remembers the songs that I present. It is especially rewarding to know that you not only remember most of these but also love them. I met Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits around 1990 when he came to my television station in Tampa to promote an oldies concert in which he was appearing. I was pleased to find that HQ movie clip of the Hermits performing Sloan and Barri's "A Must to Avoid" in the movie Hold On! which also starred Shelley Fabares. If the man in the cutaway shots looked familiar it was Herbert Anderson who played Jay North's dad in the TV series Dennis the Menace. Thank you very much for your comment, dear Belle!

  11. Halloween Mary is great!thanks for sharing it.
    i'm looking forward to reading your "summer posts"

  12. Halloween Mary is great!thanks for sharing it.
    i'm looking forward to reading your "summer posts"

  13. Katia - I'm glad you liked the Dylanesque "Halloween Mary," a song that I admit I never knew about until I did my research for this post. I hope that you will stick around and join me for Summer Means Fun which begins two days from now! Yes, there'll be the usual suspects (Beach Boys and Jan and Dean), but I'm also presenting artists and songs that you might not have heard in a long time if ever. Thank you for your comment, dear friend Katia, and have a fine day in Roma!

  14. I haven't heard of these guys before but I enjoyed it, thanks for sharing and introducing these folk =)


  15. Leanne Elizabeth - My pleasure, dear Liverpool lady! Little known architects of pop music are fascinating to me and I'll be spotlighting more of them in future posts. Thank you very much for coming by for a visit, Leanne, and have a wonderful day in your part of England!

  16. Woo hoo that song sung by the Turtles is awesome. I was only familiar with their song You Showed Me but I apparently need to listen to more tunes by them. Your fave track That's Cool, That's Trash was equally enjoyable :) Hope your Tuesday is going swell.

  17. It's easy to know why Philip Sloan was referred to as "the poor man's Bob Dylan" after listening to "Halloween Mary". Enjoyed watching Jan and Dean in the video ... their singing and movements. Two favorites were "Tell 'Em I'm Surfin" and "Let Me Be". Seeing those go go boots in "A Must to Avoid" made me ask myself, "Did I really wear those?" Also, I really loved "That's Cool, That's Trash", the lyrics made me laugh ... "new motor scooter with power drive". :-D Another magical blog, Shady! Looking forward to your beach party. Hang ten, Shady!

  18. Amber Blue Bird - By all means familiarize yourself with the Turtles catalog. They had a long string of hits and I think you might groove to "It Ain't Me Babe," "She's My Girl," and "Elenore." I'm also glad you dig "That's Cool, That's Trash" because it's the bitchinest! Have yourself a terrific New England evening, dear friend Amber!

    Cindy - A Nixonette in go-go boots - heart be still! (LOL). Yes, that was a groovy production number in the Herman's Hermits movie and those go-go dancers were the best part of it, in my humble opinion. Cool lady that you are I had no doubt that you'd cast your vote for that killer by the Street Cleaners. Thanks so much for stopping by, Cindy, and join me Thursday when I officially kick-off the Endless Summer of 2011!

  19. Ah, Herman's Hermits. Love 'em.

  20. Joanna - Hello and welcome back, dear friend from Retro Story! May I assume that your parents introduced you to the music of Herman's Hermits? My other favorites by the group were "I'm into Something Good," "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat," "Wonderful World, "Listen People," "There's a Kind of Hush" and "No Milk Today." Thank you very much for coming 'round, dear Joanna, and please visit again soon!

  21. I LOVE Shady's law! As a former performer who really tried and never quite hit The Big Time, I am always in awe of guys like Sloan and Barri who clearly had enormous talent, yet never seemed to break through to stardom. Thanks to you, though, Shady, we have a lovely collection of their awesome work! Thanks so much for sharing these clips, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed them!

    And, may I also say, I am THOROUGHLY PUMPED to read your next beach theme post! I am soooo ready for summer! I'll don my Annette Funicello "tasteful but not too revealing" bikini and long on with baited breath!!

  22. Definitely, Summer=FUN in the sun!
    Leaving my office soon...Have a wonderful evening Shady!

  23. Joan - I am thrilled to find you in my neck of the woods, dear friend! Everybody's stoked now that warm weather's setting in and I intend to keep you singing and dancing all summer long. You're invited to join me and all your friends for three solid months of fun in the sun with Shady! See you Thursday!

    Lenore - Who says there ain't no cure for the summertime blues? I got it and the fun begins two days from now. Please stop by after work...or before...or during! Until then, please take care, my very good friend!

  24. Hi, Shady! I was unaware of Sloan & Barri until now. Interesting about the falsetto on "Little Old Lady". "Halloween Mary" is my favorite, Street Cleaners next. Other songs good. Got "Baby Talk" and "Jennie Lee" running through my head now, early Jan & Arnie, Jan & Dean. Fantastic Baggys good, not quite the Beach Boys, but I don't think anyone really played any groups that had a similar style to the Beach Boys. Loved Jan sidewalk surfin' in the TAMI show. Thumbs up!

  25. Ron - The T.A.M.I. show DVD includes the Beach Boys performances that had been on the cutting room floor for decades. It certainly was exciting to see Jan and Dean sidewalk surfing into the concert venue w/o busting their buns. Thanks for your comment, good buddy!

  26. I'm a big fan of Sloan and Barri (even named my zine after "That's Cool, That's Trash"). they deserve as much credit as all those Brill Building/1650 Broadway songwriters so it's great to see posts like this giving them due credit. Thanks!

  27. Matt - It's great to hear from you and to know that you can relate big time to what's in this post. Thank you very much for your comment and I hope that you'll visit my blog again soon!

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