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, July 11, 2011

The D-Team: Episode 13

In 1972 a crack Dell Rat unit

was sent to prison by the

Unific Court of Love for a

crime they didn't commit...


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... 


I pity 

the fool  







Led by the prodigious Mary Weiss who was only in her mid teens when they started making hit records, the Shangri-Las were drama queens in the very best sense. They were white teenagers from Queens, New York who made such a soulful sound that they were often mistaken for a black girl group. The Shangri-Las recorded for the legendary Red Bird label and sang songs about bad boys and the sweet agony of young love.

One of the best Shangri-Las recordings was "He Cried," an answer song to "She Cried," a top 10 hit by Jay and the Americans four years earlier. The Shangri-Las remake stalled less than halfway up the chart but many people, myself included, believe that it surpassed the original!

"He Cried" - Shangri-Las (April 1966, 
highest chart position #65) 

Mary's sister Betty was lead vocalist on "Maybe," a worthy but poor selling cover of the Chantels' 1958 hit.

"Maybe" - Shangri-Las (January 1965, 
highest chart position #91) 

Betty also sang lead on the killer bee side of that 45, a cover of the Isley Brothers' R&B classic "Shout." As the story goes Betty became pregnant and couldn't tour with the group until the summer of 1965. In February of that year the remaining trio of girls made a guest appearance on The Lloyd Thaxton Show. In her sister's absence, Mary stepped in and executed a dynamite lip sync performance of the song. Watch and listen as Mary Weiss shouts and turns the joint out.

"Shout" - Shangri-Las (January 1965, 
uncharted B side of "Maybe") 

The Shangri-Las' "Maybe"/"Shout" single landed on Billboard the day after Christmas 1964. Another of the group's singles, "Give Him a Great Big Kiss," started it's chart journey that very same day and was much more successful, cracking the top 20.  In this performance of their hit, apparently from that same episode of Thaxton, the Shangri-Las proved that they had the look, the sound, and all the right moves to achieve girl group immortality!

"Give Him a Great Big Kiss" - Shangri-Las 
(February 1965, highest chart position #18) 


Years before a solo career established him as a superstar of country pop, Kenny Rogers was laying down the psychedelic sound as lead vocalist of the First Edition, a group that evolved from the folk ensemble The New Christy Minstrels.

The First Edition landed a top 5 hit with "Just Dropped In
(To See What Condition My Condition Was In), an edgy recording that featured heavy distortion, reverb, and a distinctive backward guitar intro performed by Glen Campbell. Kenny knew when to hold 'em and knew when to fold 'em, and when subsequent recordings in the same vein fizzled he made the switch to country-rock fusion. Making records as Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, the group struck gold with the top 20 hit "But You Know I Love You" followed by the top 10 hit, "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," the lament of a paralyzed Vietnam vet losing his lady love to another man...or men!

"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" 
- Kenny Rogers & the First Edition 
(August 1969, highest chart position #6) 

"Ruben James," "Something's Burning" and "Tell it All Brother" followed - all hits and all great songs - but my favorite will always be "Just Dropped In," the First Edition's hippest trip.

"Just Dropped In (To See What Condition 
My Condition Was In)" - First Edition 
(April 1968, highest chart position #5) 

Only two things you done 

need to know, fool... 

Ain't Hannibal or nobody else 

gonna get me up in no 

AIR - O - PLANE!!! ..... 

and the D-Team plays 

the best music! 


You might be surprised to learn that my favorite Supremes recordings have somebody other than Diana Ross on lead. "Buttered Popcorn," the second single released after the
girl group signed with Motown, is one of them. This rockin' relic features Florence Ballard as the sole lead vocalist. Ballard, a gifted songbird, was considered "too soulful" for pop crossover obsessed Motown and was soon replaced by Diana.  Listen now to the real sound of young America, Flo Ballard & the Supremes with "Buttered Popcorn."

"Buttered Popcorn" - Supremes
(September 1961, album track from 

Meet the Supremes

I dunno, what can I tell ya? 

Is it just me or was 
Berry Gordy trippin' 
when he claimed 
that there's no 
double meaning to 
"Buttered Popcorn"? 
Gimme a break! 
Any third grader 
knows that the buttered popcorn 
those gals are warbling about is the kind 
served fresh and hot in the back row of 
the balcony with a Tootsie Roll and a pack 
of Handi Wipes. 

Know what folks, that does it. HERE! 

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

I love it 


a plan 



Have a Shady day!


  1. I always learn so much from your posts, Shady. I think of Glen Campbell with a tinge of sadness now for the journey he's on. Thanks for sharing your passion and expertise-

  2. Shelly - Hello, dear friend! I am very happy to see you here again. I wasn't aware of all that was going on with Glen Campbell until I read you comment. It prompted me to go to Wiki and read about recent events in his life. You're right. His journey has taken quite a turn and it saddens me as well. Thank you very much for your visit and your comment, Shelly, and have a wonderful week ahead!

  3. Hi Shady, I've always like the Shangri-las. "Give Him a Great Big Kiss" is a favorite. "Shout" is another. I went to see Kenny Rogers here in Kelowna about a year ago. My daughter got some free tickets because her daughter, Cherish, was singing with a group from her high school doing some back-up for the concert! He didn't look well at all that night, and I thought he should retire and take it easy from now on. But I am sure he loves performing.

  4. Hi dear friend. Another great post today! I always loved The Shangri-Las, so it was good hearing those songs again today. I also loved Kenny Rogers but, I agree with Belle, he doesn't look so good these days!

  5. Belle - That's interesting about Kenny Rogers. You say he didn't look well a year ago, but how did he sound? Maybe he needs to remember the words from "The Gambler": "you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." Thanks so much for coming all the way down here from Canada, dear Belle, and have a fab week ahead!

  6. Thisisme - You second that emotion about Kenny? There must be something to it. There's also the depressing situation with Glen Campbell that Shelly pointed out. Time marches on, doesn't it, dear friend? Thank you very much for coming by, Thisisme, and have a wonderful evening in South Hams!

  7. As I recall, he didn't sound as good he used to, but he still has an okay voice. He almost fell over once and a lot of the time had to hold on to things to keep standing. I don't know if he is just getting old or maybe had a few too many. :)

    I saw Debbie Reynolds perform in Vegas years ago when she had her own hotel and Hollywood Museum. She was outright drunk during her whole performance, but she was fantastic. She was witty and sang wonderfully.

  8. Hi Shady, I was at your site this morning and would like to have left a comment then but time got away from me. Actually I was listening to Kenny when the boss walked in (still early) and we enjoyed listening together first to Kenny then back to the Shangrilas. I think he really enjoyed listening and brought back memories for both of us. Then it was meeting time for work took over. I was amazed to learn that Kenny started with a group as I had always thought of him singing by himself. Thanks for another great one good buddy.

  9. Hi, Odie! You wrote: "when the boss walked in." I thought you meant either Bruce Springsteen or Linda! (LOL) I'm glad you found time for a look and a listen, good buddy, and thank you very much for your comment!

  10. I love your D-Team posts. They're always entertainingly written.

  11. Ashton - How nice of you to stop by! Thanks. D-Team is just a way for me to package a few miscellaneous songs together into a single post. Good news! D-Team has been renewed for another season! (LOL) Have a great day, dear friend Ashton!

  12. I had no idea that the Shangri-Las had so many good tunes under their belts. I will be going on a search for more music by them later today :)

    PS I am already thinking of double meanings for Buttered Popcorn...none of which are PG

  13. Amber Blue Bird - Mary W. and her Shangri-Las are a good fit for you, dear friend. They were an edgy girl group with attitude: young and restless, bold and beautiful, brash and sassy. Thanks for coming by, dear friend Amber, and have a super day up your way!

  14. Just Sunday night Mr. E. asked me if I was gonna "paint my lips and roll and curl my tinted hair?" That started us repeating the lyrics of "Ruby" and then the next morning I see Shady has it featured! Thank you, Shady, for chosing two of my all time favorite songs, "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town" and "Just Dropped In". Not long ago I had searched YouTube to listen to "Just Dropped In". Loved "Shout" by The Shangri-Las and "Give Him a Great Big Kiss". How I would love to see reruns of The Lloyd Thaxton Show. Shady, you also seem to be a mind reader ;~D Thank you, thank you Shady!

  15. Cindy - That's an amazing coincidence about "Ruby!" It's great to know that we're on the same wavelength. I'm also pleased that you remember the late Lloyd Thaxton. I rarely missed his program. You might have noticed on YouTube that there are two different clips of of the First Edition performing "Just Dropped In." One has clear video but low, muffled audio and the other has grainy video and better sound. It's frustrating trying to find quality videos of artists from the boomer years. Imagine how wonderful it would have been to have today's technology back then so that we could have captured all of those classic performances in high def. Thank you very much for swinging by, dear friend Cindy, and have a fun evening in Tennessee!


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