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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The D-Team: Episode 16

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  







Success breeds success. A great example is "Baby Don't Go" by Sonny and Cher. The record was released in 1964 but stayed under the radar, becoming only a minor regional hit.

In the summer of 1965, Sonny and Cher became household names when their signature song, "I Got You Babe," spent seven weeks at the #1 position on the Billboard chart. In the wake of the couple's massive success "Baby Don't Go" was re-released. This time it became a top 10 hit.

"Baby Don't Go" - Sonny and Cher (October 1965, 
highest chart position #8) 

Many Bob Dylan songs were covered by other artists and turned into hit records. One of my favorites is "All I Really Want to Do," a track from the 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan. In the summer of 1965 "All I Really Want to Do" became the focus of a chart battle between two acts that released versions of the song simultaneously. One version was recorded by Cher who was well on her way to stardom thanks to "I Got You Babe" which charted concurrently.
The other rendition was waxed by the Byrds, a band that had just achieved a #1 hit covering Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Both singles hit the Billboard chart the same week in early July. Spurred on by the popularity of "I Got You Babe," Cher's single peaked at #15 while the one by the Byrds stopped at #40. Cher's recording of "All I Really Want to Do" sounds like another Sonny and Cher duet but it's all Cher!

"All I Really Want to Do" - Cher (August 1965, 
highest chart position #15, #9 UK) 


In the UK the reverse was true. "All I Really Want to Do" by the Byrds became the fastest selling single in the history of CBS Records and out performed Cher's record on the chart, the Byrds' version hitting #4 and Cher's #9. Check out the go-go girl action in the background. It's one of the things that I liked best about the 60s and miss most!

"All I Really Want to Do" - Byrds (August 1965, 
highest chart position #40, #4 UK) 


Around the time of the JFK assassination in late November of 1963, Tommy Roe's single "Everybody" was scaling the chart, well on its way to becoming a top 5 national hit.

"Everybody" - Tommy Roe (November 1963, highest 
chart position #3) 

Tommy's next single release, "Come On," sounded a lot like "Everybody."

 The point is, ladies and gentleman, 

 that derivative, for lack of a better word, 

 is good (sometimes). 

Following up a hit record with a sound-alike was and is a common practice and one that makes good business sense. In their attempt to capitalize on a winning formula, however, Tommy Roe and his handlers forgot to factor in the Beatles. Released at the start of 1964, "Come On" should have been another top 5 smash for Tommy. Instead, it got lost in the shuffle as records by the Beatles and other English artists clustered around the top of the Billboard chart. "Come On,"
a recording that I now like even more than "Everybody," finished its chart run at the lower end of the top 40.

"Come On" - Tommy Roe (February 1964, highest chart 
position #36) 

 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! 


Gene Chandler has his own wing in the Shady's Law Hall of Fame (Shame). That's because he recorded some of the greatest 60s soul but much of it performed poorly on the Billboard chart. Shady's Law teaches us to think nothing about it and just enjoy!

"Think Nothing About It" - Gene Chandler (March 1964, 
highest chart position #109) 

One year after Gene Chandler's "Think Nothing About It" underwhelmed mainstream record buyers, the Duke of Earl laid down another classic Chicago soul track. Once again what should have been a rocket to the moon failed to get
off the launch pad.

"You Can't Hurt Me No More" - Gene Chandler (March 1965, 
highest chart position #92) 


For a long time I had a pesky blind spot where Connie Francis was concerned. I kept lumping her in with country artists, easy listening artists, and singers who recorded in foreign languages. I avoided Connie's music, completely unaware of her significant contributions to rock 'n roll and the girl group sound.

Listen as Connie rocks out on "My Best Friend Barbara,"
a Neil Sedaka composition that includes backing vocals by the Brill Building dream team of Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Mr. Sedaka.  Previously unreleased, "My Best Friend Barbara" turned up in 1990 on Connie's CD compilation Rocksides (1957-64).  It was also included on Growin' Up Too Fast, the Girl Group Anthology.  This record's the ginchiest!

"My Best Friend Barbara" - Connie Francis (December 1963, 
previously unreleased) 

Oh, her lipstick's all a mess
She thinks that she's the best
She's walkin' down the street 

in a tight yellow dress
My best friend Barbara.

 Yo, Mister Neil Sedaka. FOUR ONE ONE! 
 Listen up and listen up good my friend. 

 Looks like I owe you an apology. I made 
 fun of your dancin' last St. Ballantine's day, 
 but dat was before I knew you could write 
 such phat lyrics, aahIGHT?  Take it from 
 me - what the world needs now is more 
 songs about girls in tight dresses with 
 messed up lipstick. When I heard dat, 
 zing went the stringsknow what I mean? 
 As a sincere token of my esteemed 
 symbolic eternal friendship gratitude 
 gesture thingy, I hereby bestow upon you, 
 Mister Neil Sedaka, the honor of receiving, 
 absolutely free of charge, a lifetime 
 membership in the Tracy Jordan Fan Club 
 with all the inherent, implied, implicit, 
 explicit and illicit rights and privileges 
 therein, thereof, and therefore. It's the 
 least I can do! 

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

 I love it 


 a plan 



Have a Shady day!


  1. Yay! I'm the first one here today, and I'm typing this comment on my iPhone, which actually works! Still can't leave a comment using my laptop :( I really enjoyed this post today, as it contained lots of my favourites. Always loved Connie Francus, but had never heard My Best Friend Barbara before. I always smile at your A team posts, and the little comments you write. Loved All I Really Want to Do, by both artistes. Great post and I'm a happy little bunny today after listening to these songs!

    1. Thisisme - Hallo, dear friend! I'm pleasantly surprised to see your smiling face here in the comments section. Where there's a will there's a way, right? Connie Francis was so prolific that there are dozens of excellent recordings of hers that went unreleased for decades. They can now be found on that Rocksides CD compilation as well as the one by the Bear Family, White Sox, Pink Lipstick... and Stupid Cupid (see image). I love both versions of "All I Really Want to Do" and become mesmerized watching those go-go dancers on the Byrds clip. Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end. Thank you very much for finding a way to connect, dear friend Thisisme, and have a wonderful day!

  2. Cher is really something else! With all the publicity her child has gotten lately, it made me wonder if she has some more good music in her. Boy, she really spans the decades, doesn't she?

    It's interesting to think of those artists who might have had much larger careers if they hadn't been caught under the snowball effect of the Beatles. Tommy was one of those, unfortunately. I enjoyed listening to him today.

    And Connie Francis- I think she's been kind of marginalized and misunderstood by a lot of people. She is a very talented woman and I'm glad you shone the spotlight on her today.

    I have a question for you, my friend. Had the Beatles not happened, which artists do you think would have made the biggest splash?

    Thank you, dear friend Tom, for enlightening and illuminating us today!

    1. Shelly - What, you're gonna make me THINK again... before dawn? (LOL) To answer that question I would have to look at the types of recording artists that suffered most because of the Beatles. IMO that would be vocal groups and the teen idol soloists. After the Beatles came ashore Elvis Presley had trouble scoring hit records until his comeback in 1968. Rick Nelson, Bobby Rydell and Frankie Avalon all saw their type of music fading in popularity. The Beatles made bands popular. Therefore, I would say that vocal groups and solo artists (acts w/o wailing guitars) might have held on to their popularity a bit longer if not for the Beatles revolution. Thank you very much for your thoughtful and challenging comments again this morning, Shelly. Make it a great day, dear friend!

  3. Ha Ha! I adore the way you put this together. My husband and I watch old A-Team episodes in bed on dvd at least a few nights a week. I should say we fall asleep to them but we've seen them all. My mom and I used to listen to Sonny and Cher a lot. My favorites were "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves," "Halfbreed," and "A Cowboy's Work is Never Done." Of course, we all know "I've Got You, Babe." My hubby and I still sing that one to each other every once in awhile. We've always enjoyed singing around the house. I don't recall hearing the Connie Francis songs before. I especially enjoyed "My Best Friend Barbara." Found it quite funny, actually. Mrs. Francis sure had a lovely voice. Thanks for adding a little something new to my day. I always enjoy hearing new-to-me music. I do enjoy a little rap (God forbid, I know, LOL!) but mostly not and I don't have any rap or hip hop cds and never felt the compulsion to buy one so I guess I'm not totally lost. :)

    1. Hi, Jenn June! Welcome back, my dear friend! I'm glad you're a fan of the A-Team as was I. My D-Team is a monthly series and I hope it will always make you smile. These days there's a lot of "manufactured" chemistry but I think you'll agree that Sonny and Cher had real, palpable chemistry. You can see it and feel it in that "Baby Don't Go" performance clip. As Richard Harris would remind us, we'll "never have that recipe again." Thank you very much for brightening my day with your visit and comments, Jenn June. Enjoy the rest of your week and I'll meet you back here on Sunday!

  4. I don't have to worry about being a fool since I liked all on the line up today. Who doesn't like Cher who has been on top forever. Have to admit I don't remember Tommy Roe but I do remember his songs and loved them as well as Gene Chandler. Of course I have always been a huge fan of the "D" team so seeing them is a plus anytime. Have a wonderful Tuesday my friend.

    1. Hi, Odie! I loved The A-Team and that's why it became the concept for my D-Team series. As I'm sure you'll agree the A-Team was a terrific action/adventure series laced with humor. It was created by executive producer Stephen J. Cannell who also gave us dozens of other male oriented shows like The Rockford Files, Baretta, Wiseguy, 21 Jump Street, Silk Stalkings and The Commish. Cannell passed away a couple of years ago. I'm glad you enjoyed today's lineup, good buddy, and I thank you very much for stopping by. Have a great day, Odie!

  5. Hi Shady, thanks for taking the time to assemble another great collection! I used to love watching the A Team and remember Sonny and Cher when I was young. In some of the lines of "All I really want to do" Cher sounds exactly like Dylan, especially the phrase "define you."

  6. Jenny - Hello, dear friend! I already mentioned the chemistry that was so evident every time that Sonny and Cher performed. It's important to remember that Sonny was an important behind the scenes figure in the burgeoning SoCal music scene of the 60s. He worked with Phil Spector and was a talented producer and songwriter, actor and, later on, a politician. I liked Sonny because he always knew his place in the Sonny and Cher act. He was willing to let Cher be the center of attention. He was willing to be the straight man and give her all the punchlines. That showed a lot of class. I miss Sonny Bono. Thank you very much for coming by, dear Jenny, and I wish you a happy Tuesday!

  7. I LOVE the Byrds! Did you see the new episode of 30 rock? I'm excited for this season!

    Emma x

  8. Emma - Yessum, I saw the season premiere of 30 Rock and enjoyed it very much. I'm confident that Alec Baldwin's recent scuffle with a flight attendant will not have a major impact on the show's ratings. These days there's no such thing as bad publicity. I can't decide which version of "All I Really Want to Do" I like best because the Byrds' rendition is markedly different from Cher's but they're both great. Thank you ever so much for hopping over for a visit, dear Emma. I hope you're having a wonderful day in Ireland, my good friend!

  9. Good evening, Mr Shady Del Night. Midnight is approaching rapidly, but I could not let the day end without popping my head around the door to say it's good to be back with friends such as you! I see you've been very busy in my absence. I have caught up on those posts I missed and have enjoyed a sneak preview of the musical selection you have lined up for us here. I recognise Cher's songs, but that's not saying much since really, who wouldn't? I also used to love the A Team and enjoy the way you play on their lines in your posts. I hope life has been treating you well thus far into 2012 and that you are sticking to your resolutions. I am trying hard to keep to mine.

    1. Hello, dear Desiree! I am honored to know that you stayed up late to come over for a visit. There haven't been any major disasters in my life so far this year and therefore I consider it a great one. How are Noodle and the gang? It doesn't surprise me that Cher is the artist most readers are talking about. At age 65, Cher remains as famous and popular as ever. She's still performing, having recently wound up a three year show stint in Las Vegas, and she reportedly has a new album coming out this year. We should also remember that Connie Francis continues to make live stage appearances at age 73! Thank you very much for jump-starting our friendship for the new year, dear Desiree. I wish you sweet dreams and hope to connect with you again soon!

  10. You got me on this one today. I have a new song with my name that I've never heard before. Thank you! But that Barbara sure didn't sound like much of a best friend now did she?! hehe. Good memories from Sonny and Cher too!

    1. Hi, BB! That's right, apparently Mr. Neil Sedaka had you in mind when he penned "My Best Friend Barbara!" Maybe he spotted you misbehavin' at The Bowery. (LOL) I still can't believe that great recording was never released as a single. It had hit written all over it. I suppose it's the mark of a great artist when they can afford to keep grade A material in the vaults. Connie's Rocksides CD has a number of rockin' tracks on it, some unreleased, and I'll be featuring more of them later this year. Thank you so much for coming by, Barb. I hope tomorrow's a fabulous day for you, dear friend!

  11. Never knew All I Wanna do was originally a Dylan song. I'm gonna try and find that version and compare but its gonna be hard to beat Cher's tune. I cant believe you werent a fan of Connie Francis!! She is the best. I love her voice and sound.

    1. Amber - Make no mistake about it, I'm a huge Connie Francis fan now. I've posted many of her recordings in the past and there are more in the pipeline. You need to remember that my ignorance of Connie is partly a guy thing. I was steeped in soul music and then made the leap to rock and heavy metal, listening to lovely little ladies like Marilyn Manson and bypassing much of Connie's work. As I told Bouncin' Barb (above) I am discovering Connie's greatness largely through previously unreleased tracks like the one featured here. All I really wanna do is baby be friends with you, Amber Girly Bird, and I'm declaring it "mission accomplished." Thank you again for the blog award and for your continued support. You're the bestest!

  12. I think you are right about the Connie Francis song; it would have been a big hit. I love both renditions of 'All I Really Want to Do.' Our whole family loved Sonny and Cher, my daughter had the Cher doll and clothes. I loved watching the video of 'Baby Don't Go.'

    The Byrds were great. I saw them in Los Angeles once in a limo. They were driving up to a house where the Beatles were staying. I wish they would have invited my friend and I inside! I guess 14 (15?) was a little young! Thanks, Shady for the great time and all the great memories. I miss Sonny too, he was a good man.

  13. Belle - Wow! You had a brush with greatness at an early age, seeing the Byrds driving past you in a limo. That's nothing! I once met Charley Weaver (Cliff Arquette). (LOL) Remember him on Hollywood Squares? I really did meet him once when he made a guest appearance in a parade. Sonny and Cher epitomize all the fun and excitement and hipness that was Los Angeles in the 60s. So much great music, so many good times. Thank you for coming by to reminisce with me, dear friend Belle, and have a wonderful night in Kelowna!

  14. That was a fun little walk back in time - complete with Mr T (I pity the fool...) Loved the old pictures of Cher when she looked young and somewhat innocent. How I envied her outrageous bell bottoms! Wasn't a huge fan of Sonny and Cher but it's fun to listen to now. Loved the Byrds and Bob Dylan though. Connie Francis not so much but maybe I should give her another chance? I'd never heard the Tommy Roe one - I only remember Sweet Pea!

    1. Karen - Hello and welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! Thank you very much for choosing to follow my blog. I appreciate your support and I will do my best to entertain and inform you. You can expect a warm greeting and a personalized reply like this one whenever you are kind enough to visit and comment. Did you ever see the 1967 video in which Tommy Roe and a young girl perform a lip sync to "Sweet Pea" at Santa Monica Beach? Behold one of the rare and great moments in pop music history! I'm glad you can relate to the D-Team. It's an ongoing series designed to offer enough music variety to appeal to everyone. It's great if you remember the artists and songs in a particular post, but it's even better if you don't remember but give them a try and like them. I love to share my favorite music with my friends and I'm already counting you among them. Thank you again for deciding to follow me, dear Karen, and have a wonderful Wednesday in The O.C.!

  15. Ha ha! You always make me chuckle, I am loving the D-Team!
    I am also loving Connie, what a great song. I had never heard it before. I always learn something from your posts.
    Hope you have a lovely week Tom.

  16. Kelly-Marie - That's what makes blogging so wonderful, dear friend. Your posts always teach me something new and leave me smiling and I'm glad to know that you derive the same benefits from visiting mine. I am having a fabulous week, thank you, and I hope you are as well! Happy Wednesday to you, dear Kelly-Marie!

  17. Wow with a best friend like Barbara who would want to ever make friends? I did know a girl like that but let's just say I quickly decided she would not be a friend. I enjoyed all the songs today, but I have a picture of my parents trying to be Sonny and Cher for a costume party so whenever I hear one of their songs I immediately get that image in my head!
    Thanks again for the memories Tom you always amaze me with your creativity and selections!

    1. Hugs to you, Sush! "My Best Friend Barbara" is reminiscent of Connie's earlier hit "Lipstick on Your Collar." As you recall betrayal by a friend was a common theme in pop music. Lesley Gore cried at her party over the actions of Judy and Johnny. Over the years many people have imitated Sonny and Cher and performed their songs on karaoke night, but no one will ever duplicate their unique chemistry. Thank you very much for coming to call, dear friend Sush, and I hope you're feeling better this evening!

  18. Great lineup ... although, I have to say that if my best friend Barbara stole my man like that she wouldn't be my friend anymore!

  19. Ashton - Hello, my productive friend! Let's review this BFF Barbara thing:

    Her lipstick's all a mess
    She thinks that she's the best
    She's walkin' down the street
    in a tight yellow dress...

    I'd say you gotta love her! :)

    Thank you for coming over for a look and a listen, dear friend Ashton, and please visit again soon!

  20. Your posts (and your comments, mais oui!) never fail to put a big smile on my face! I didn't think I'd heard of Tommy Roe but I recognised Everybody when I started to listen. Hope you are well dear Shady - big hugs from us all over here :)

    1. Gawgus - Hello, dearie! I'm a bit surprised that a young lady like you remembers a 1963 record by Tommy Roe. Could it be that you heard it on mum's jukebox? I am well, dear Emma, and very happy now that you've come calling. I hope you had a pleasant Parisian evening and I wish you a good night's sleep. Thank you again for coming all this way to see me and please come again soon!

  21. I can't believe I finally got on here!!! I've been to your last 2 posts a dozen times this week, and could not leave a note! What is going on?

    So, how are you Shady? This is a fun post with Sonny and Cher...they were my idols. We all wanted to look like Cher! I think Sonny did try to get in cahoots with Bob Dylan for a while, in an effort to get some better stuff. And the Byrds were cool, I always liked their stuff and they did a great job on 'All I Really Want to Do'-it's just that Cher was better looking, LOL. Also, Dwight Yoakum and Cheryl Crow did a version of 'Baby Don't Go' which was very good too...Dwight has done some pretty good cover songs, one-'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' by Freddie Mercury.

    And, Gene Chandler! 'Duke of Earl', of course, went totally up in my part of the world. All of the guys loved it-and, fashioned themselves as THE Dukes of Earl, so, it hit topside in Kansas City! I have never heard 'Think Nothing About It', and listened to your record...really liked it.

    Connie Francis was always a favorite of mine and my parents loved her. Her voice was so clear, and, sometimes I think she did her own harmonies.

    So, I'm off for now. Don't trust comment to go...and, maybe I can get back to your tribute to Mr. Ettline, I've been to that post several times, and it just clears me out when I try to leave a not. Have a wonderful weekend 007!

    1. Susan - Hello, my long lost friend! (LOL) Please don't feel bad about having trouble commenting. A lot of bloggers are currently having technical difficulties.

      I knew you'd like Sonny & Cher because you and I discussed them recently. I loved Dwight Yoakum's rockin' New Country cover of "Little Sister." Remember that one? I'm glad you liked my Gene Chandler offerings. You got soul! I'm sure Connie Francis used her voice for overdubbing and harmony tracking on many of her recordings. The technique was commonly used to sweeten the sound, not that hers needed any sweetening.

      Well gee, Susan, I hope these glitches get cleared up so that I can see you here more often. Believe it or not I still can't keep either of your blogs in my system! Frustrating! Please stay in touch, dear friend, because you are very important to me!

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