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, November 4, 2011

Brill Building Beatdown: Will the Raindrops Fall to the Jelly Beans?

 As the late, great Philadelphia DJ 

 Joe "the Rockin' Bird" Niagara  

 might have shouted... 

 "47 years 

 ago today, 

 this was 



Let's go back to October and November of 1964 when a sensational girl group recording permeated the airwaves all across WSBA Land. “The Kind Of Boy You Can’t Forget” by the Jelly Beans is a great example of what I like to call the killer bee phenomenon.

New York’s Red Bird and Blue Cat record labels cranked out some of the best girl group, teen pop and soul music of the 60s. For one reason or another many of those excellent recordings sold modestly or poorly.

Red Bird 10-012 "You Should Have Seen the Way 
He Looked at Me" - Dixie Cups (November 1964, 
highest chart position #39) 

Blue Cat #106  "Go Now" - Bessie Banks (March 1964, 
highest chart position #40 Cash Box R&B) 

Vindicated by history, the artists that recorded on Red Bird and Blue Cat came to be recognized in recent years for their immeasurable contributions to popular music.

Today, original 45s on both historic labels remain in great demand among record collectors around the globe.

Fresh out of high school, the Jelly Beans were a mixed voice (one boy and four girl) vocal group from New Jersey. They went to New York and recorded material penned by the prolific Brill Building husband and wife singing, songwriting team of Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. The Jelly Beans earned a top 10 hit with their first Red Bird release, “I Wanna Love Him So Bad.”

In case you're wondering, most publicity shots taken of the Jelly Beans only show four of the five members even though all five were present for their recording sessions.

Red Bird 10-003 “I Wanna Love Him So Bad” 
- Jelly Beans (August 1964, highest chart position #9) 

Greenwich and Barry were one of the three husband and wife songwriting/composing teams that ruled the airwaves of the Kennedy era, the other famous pairs being Gerry Goffin & Carole King and Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil.

Recording as The Raindrops, Greenwich and Barry attained a top 20 hit in the fall of 1963 with “The Kind Of Boy You Can’t Forget.”

 "The Raindrops" 

 Ellie Greenwich 

 Jeff Barry & 

 Laura, Ellie's 

 kid sister 

A year later Greenwich and Barry offered the song to the Jelly Beans as the designated B side of “Baby Be Mine”.

For a while it seemed like the plug side “Baby Be Mine” was destined to become another big hit for the Jelly Beans.

The best laid plans went awry, however, and "Baby Be Mine" fizzled half way up the Billboard and Cash Box charts.

Red Bird 10-011 "Baby Be Mine" - Jelly Beans 
(October 1964, highest chart position #51) 

Some radio stations, including the Mighty 9-10 in York, flipped the single and found a killer bee on the other side.

Katy, bar the door! We be havin' a Brill Building beat down - a playoff between the two versions of “The Kind of Boy You Can’t Forget.”

Click on the links below, have a listen, and determine
which recording you like better. The first is the Raindrops
(Greenwich/Barry) hit released on Jubilee:

"The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget" - The Raindrops 
(October 1963, highest chart position #17) 

Now, here's the Jelly Beans version:

Red Bird 10-011 "The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget" 
- Jelly Beans (November 1964, uncharted B side of 
"Baby Be Mine") 

 Shady Del Knight's Pick to Click 

 is the cover by the Jelly Beans. 

Both records are great, but the JBs add a dash more flava.

I’m sweet on this Jelly Beans confection and consider it to
be one of the greatest girl group sounds of the 60s...

 the kind of song I can’t forget! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Hello Shady- I am partial to the Jelly Bean's version of the song, although the other one was good, too. Great sounds from the 60's!

    I am curious about one thing. Why wasn't the 5th member photographed? Was it the same member each time who stayed out of the picture, or did they rotate that job?

    Also, the info on the songwriting couples was very enlightening. Carole King is such a classic talent.

    Have a wonderful Friday and thank you for such a good post once again!

  2. Hi Tom dear friend. I agree with Shelly, that Carole King was such a fantastic songwriter. My favourite of hers from the 60's was It Might As Well Rain until September. I still love that song. Unfortunately, the only group I had heard of today was The Dixie Cups, and they had a huge hit over here with The Chapel of Love. Really enjoyed listening to the sounds today, even though I hadn't heard them before. Nothing like a good bop around the kitchen on a Friday morning, whilst listening to the sounds of The Shady Dell!! Have a lovely weekend my dear friend.

  3. Shelly - Why did most publicity stills taken of the Jelly Beans show four members instead of five? Your guess is as good as mine. Click the link below to view a picture sleeve showing all five members. None of them have two heads so this remains an unsolved mystery for now.

    Thank you very much for looking and listening, dear friend Shelly, and have a terrific weekend!

  4. Thisisme - I have "It Might As Well Rain Until September" on my CD jukebox as well! Remember Carole King's "It's Too Late" and "I Feel the Earth Move" (under my feet)? The Brill Building was indeed a breeding ground for talented singers, songwriters and composers and the early to mid 60s represent the Brill Building's golden era. Thank you for stopping by, dear Thisisme, and have a safe and happy weekend!

  5. I am with Thisisme today, I had only heard the song from the Dixie Cups today! I'm having a hard deciding on which "the kind boy you can't forget" I like the most but I think that I'm swaying to the Jelly could be that the recording by the Raindrops was a tad bit more clear. Who knows! LOL

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Kristina - Let's bring Wyatt in to cast the swing vote! (LOL) The Dixie Cups are remembered by many as one-hit-wonders for their chart topping "Chapel of Love" but they had a #12 follow-up release with "People Say" and a #20 hit record the following year with a chanting, call-and-response folk song called "Iko Iko." Thank you very much for visiting and commenting, dear Kristina, and have a great weekend!

  7. Oh I do love the Dixie Cups and would have never thought of them as one hit wonders...Iko Iko was verry big on our jukebox!
    I am not sure to be honest if I've heard the Jelly Beans I played some of the tunes they sounded so familiar but the name doesn't. Hmmm???? Maybe my older sisters had those 45's and I was eavesdropping!
    Another toe tapping morning, thank you Tom!

  8. You're very welcome, Sush! That's right, "Iko Iko" originated in New Orleans as "Jock-A-Mo", a song about rival Mardi Gras Indian tribes. The Dixie Cups heard their grandmother singing it, sang it just for fun one day in the recording studio, and eventually it was developed into "Iko Iko" and became a hit record for them. Thank you very much for coming over to read and listen, dear Sush. have a great weekend!

  9. Hi Tom!
    Sorry I've been AWOL this past while. I'm really just battling to keep all the balls I'm constantly juggling up in the air of late. Most of them end up falling on the ground and rolling under the bushes, which makes it even more difficult, because then I have to go crawling about trying to find them...and I'm not having much success with that, either.

    I read everyone else's learned comments on your postings and wish I could contribute something a little more intelligent than my customary ramblings. I do apologise, but somehow you've landed up with a follower who is musically challenged. I do have some good news though! My sister, who lives in Australia and who (along with her husband) has always had a finger on the pulse of all types of music, phoned me today and, during the course of our conversation, mentioned you! She'd read your charming comments on my blog and popped across to check you out. She said she really enjoys your blog. As she prefers to be a silent visitor, you won't receive any comments, but I thought you'd like to know you have an admirer...lurking in the wings of your stage show.

    So, thank you for the music (I know that's Abba!) and, enjoy your weekend!

  10. I love your driftwood ramblings, dear Desiree! It matters not if you have limited knowledge of my music. After all, I knew practically nothing about South Africa before I started following your excellent blog. Blogging gives all of us an opportunity to learn something new every day, not just rehash that with which we are familiar. Blogging is also about making new friends around the world and I can't tell you how excited I am to have you as a friend. I am also delighted to know that your sister and her husband in Australia are finding value in what I'm presenting. I welcome them and I am grateful to have them here even if they prefer to follow privately. Thank you very much, dear friend Desiree, for brightening my day with your visit. Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. I knew I had heard "Go Now" before and looked it up. The Moody Blues sang it too! I really enjoyed "You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked at Me." I remember it a bit. I did recognize the Jelly Beans songs. They were so good.

    For "The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget", which is a terrific song, I think I liked the Jelly Beans version better because of the background music. The drums seemed muted - they were quite loud in the other version. I would have like to own that song when I was young. It is great to hear these bands that I have forgotten. Have a beautiful day in lovely Florida!

  12. Belle - Seems like most people are hearing what I hear in the Jelly Beans version. To me it has more of a full bodied, finished sound whereas the Raindrops version sounds a little like a demo pressing. The Jelly Beans also have a more soulful sound which always scores points with me. I'm glad you mentioned "Go Now" because it's another example of a white act (especially English) covering the work of a black American artist and achieving a bigger hit. Everybody remembers the Moody Blues but how many people remember Bessie Banks? Thank you very much for visiting and for your sweet comments, Belle. They are greatly appreciated as are you. Have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend!

  13. I packed up laughing at your comment left a moment ago on my latest post about restraining yourself from marking territory! You have such a delightful sense of humour, Tom and your comments are always such a treat! I don't know how you do it. You always have precisely the right words to offer all of us. An amazing man. Your wife is exceedingly blessed, but I'm sure you'll answer the same i.e. that YOU are exceedingly blessed by her :)

  14. I know the songs from the Jelly beans albums... I remember that record cover being on my Mothers side table. Big Hugs ♥

  15. Desiree - All I know is that I am exceedingly blessed to have friends like you. It pleases me greatly to know that I can make you smile and laugh. What a wonderful connection we've made! I very much appreciate your follow-up comments. If you're still awake, Desiree, I bid you a good night and pleasant dreams, dear friend!

    Katie - I'm happy to know that you were already familiar with the Jelly Beans. That album cover is distinctive and it's cool that you remember your mother having it. I suspect that she had quite a record collection if it included a rather obscure group like the Jelly Beans. It's so nice of you to come by, Katie. Thank you very much and have a super weekend, dear friend!

  16. Shady ol buddy I have been encountering technical difficulties with the computer here at Linda's cousin's house & even though everything looks like I should have sound it won't happen. I did enjoy reading about the Jelly Beans and will listen when I return home. I also could not respond to your post until I downloaded Google Chrome this morning. If I don't get blown away with the high winds here at the beach I'll be back later. Have a great one.

  17. Odie - Your visit means a lot to me, good buddy. I know all about computer problems because I've had my share including issues with Google Chrome and Shockwave Flash Player which make it hard to operate a blog devoted to music. I'm sorry to learn that your beach weather isn't the best but at least you're getting away for a while and that should help to clear your head and recharge your batteries. Thanks again for being such a great friend and reporting in from your remote location. Take care and have a nice weekend, Odie!

  18. Great post Shady with some interesting music history tidbits. I am shocked sometimes at how few people realize how long Carole King has been around. It seems Tapestry made her so popular that some think that was her first stint! She has put a huge dent into the music industry and I too love the Jelly Beans. (Hey they were from Jersey)!!

  19. Bouncin' Barb - Yessum, the Jelly Beans went over to the Big Apple from Jersey City. I'm glad you made that point about Carole King. Many people, particularly the younger generation, know bands, groups and solo performers only from their most recent material even though their earlier work is as good or better. Singer/songwriters like Carole King also worked behind the scenes for many years producing hits for other people and few people know the full extent of those contributions. Thank you very much for stopping by, dear friend Barb. I hope you're having a fine weekend!

  20. Hi, Shady!

    I enjoyed your tour of Red Bird and Blue Cat Records. I had forgotten about that particular Dixie Cups' song, but I think it's almost as good as "Iko Iko", my favorite of theirs. Also enjoyed another forgotten song, "Baby Be Mine", and hadn't heard "I Wanna Love Him So Bad" in ages. I wondered why Bessie Banks copied the Moody Blues so closely, and had an eye-opener when you said it was the other way around. Raindrops vs. Jelly Beans? I had the Raindrops version and played it a lot, thinking they were a black group, most likely a quintet. Was blown away to see three white singers instead. I liked the Raindrops tempo and loved the drums in their version. However, I thought the Jelly Beans did a better vocal because they weren't overdubbing voices to make them sound like a larger group. My favorite Blue Cat song is still the Ad Libs "Boy From New York City." Enjoyed all the comments and never notice that Desiree is lacking in musical knowledge. Cheers!

    Enjoy your weekend, Shady!


  21. Ron - "Boy From New York City" is probably the Blue Cat label's biggest hit. I'm still partial to Linda Jones' Blue Cat two-sider, the dramatic "Fugitive From Love" b/w the bouncy "You Hit Me Like TNT."

    According to Wiki, Bessie Banks was rehearsing "Go Now" on the day President Kennedy was assassinated. She was in the New York office of Lieber and Stoller, the songwriting/producing team that founded and briefly owned Red Bird. She laid down the actual track a week later and the record was released early in 1964. Before long her version was overshadowed by the Moody Blues cover. In Bessie's words, "America's DJs had stopped promoting American artists." Thanks for your comments, Ron, and I'll see you Tuesday in Dueling Doo-Wops!

  22. Dixie Cups, Raindrops and Jelly Beans ... these are a few of my favorite things! I didn't remember "You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked at Me" but I did like it. Was the first recording of the "Chapel of Love" by the Dixie Cups? "Go Now", by Bessie Banks, I do fondly remember and I was happy to see it posted, Shady. It was good to read the artists of the Red Bird and Blue Bird Labels are being more recognized today. "I Wanna Love Him so Bad" I remembered and always liked it. The Jelly Beans version of "The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget" by the Jelly Beans was the better one for me ... more "full bodied". {kinda made that up :-) but I think you'll understand what I mean}

    Once again I want to remind you how much your work of bringing us music and memories is appreciated! You have such wonderful and faithful friends on here who leave such warm and loving comments. For some reason this post today reminded me of my mother. Most of the time I heard these old songs on the car radio when we were together. Today I was thinking if she were here, I'd call her in to listen to Bessie Banks's song, "Go Now" and ask if she remembered it.

  23. Cindy - Wiki says the Dixie Cups had the first and biggest hit with "Chapel of Love" but two other girl groups, the Ronettes and the Blossoms, recorded it first. "Full bodied" is a good way to describe the finished sound on the Jelly Beans' recording of "The Kind of Boy." I'm glad most of the people who commented were able to hear the difference. I am amazed that you remember the Bessie Banks recording of "Go Now" from your youth because frankly I don't remember it. This post was particularly gratifying to me because of the number of intelligent, thought provoking comments that I received, including yours. This is what blogging can be and should be. You're a delight as always, Cindy. I treasure friends like you and the other people who took time out of their busy day to post these "full bodied" comments. Thank you for coming and have a safe and happy Saturday night, dear friend Cindy!

  24. Good evening, Tom! I have left you a message on my comments page :) I'll not repeat it here, but just want you to know how very much I appreciate each and every one of your visits.

  25. Desiree - You are very sweet for writing that, dear friend! Thank you! As the lyrics of a popular 1950s song proclaimed, "We belong to a mutual admiration society." I really do admire you very much and treasure the connection that we have made halfway around the world from each other. A beautiful friendship is much like Fay's well tended garden. It takes work and commitment. If neglected weeds will soon grow and spoil it. Your kindness nourishes our garden. You are exactly the type of person I want in my world and I am honored to have you as a friend. I wish you a safe and happy week ahead, Desiree!

  26. I can't choose. This isn't really my style of music. Although I found it interesting and odd that one of the members of the Jelly Beans was always left out of their publicity photos.

  27. Ashton - It was anything goes back then. Records were released with typos on the labels and liner notes. The names of recording artists were misspelled. Album track listings got scrambled. With fame a fleeting commodity and the record company on a tight budget it's easy to understand how promotional stills of the Jelly Beans were made with only four of the five members. Maybe the fifth member was ill on the day of the photo opp or was having a bad hair day. Who knows? They probably didn't have the time, money or desire to take more pictures. Thank you very much for coming over, Ashton, and have a great week!

  28. Fantastic! Love to read and listen to the music of the 50's and 60's. I remember The Jellybeans "I Wanna Love Him So Bad". And I remembber The Raindrops. Such great information. I'll have to read on.

  29. Well hello, Susan! I'm delighted to welcome you to Shady Dell Music & Memories! If you enjoy the music of the 50s and 60s, especially the really good stuff that you seldom hear on the radio, then I hope you'll visit often. Good times and friendships await you, I promise. At least two of my most active blog visitors are Texan and there are many other quality people around the world who meet here regularly to have fun, listen to music and exchange information, anecdotes and friendly greetings. Thank you very much for your visit and your kind words, Susan, and please come again soon!

  30. I adore the album covers too, especially the bird logo! Fabulous new week to you dear Shady!

  31. Hi, Lenore Nevermore! I was a record collector for many years and the music itself was only half the fun. The 50s and especially the 60s saw the manufacture and release of some beautiful album art as well as 45rpm record label art. I should have known that somebody like you who has an eye for art and design would notice the Red Bird and Blue Cat logos. Thank you for coming around, dear Lenore, and have a splendid week!

  32. Great post!!!! You had me wondering, thinking and thinking more, and even googling and You Tubing! haha I have to admit, I've never heard of Jelly Beans, now Dixie Cups, why yesssss I have :o)

  33. Michelle - Hello and welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I want to thank you again for choosing to follow my blog. I am delighted to know that my post got you to think and even prompted you to do some research. That's very flattering! Keep in mind that I shy away from posting the obvious million sellers made by the most famous bands, groups and solo artists. Years ago at the Shady Dell we learned that its much more fun to discover quality recordings that didn't become big hits. That's what you'll find here and all of us are learning as we listen, including me. Thank you very much for joining me, my Florida friend, and I hope to see you back here soon!


You talkin' to me?