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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Litter of Kittens, a Snake in the Grass, a Robot Man and a Sailor Boy = a Party!

 I'm Shady Del Knight 

 and I've got proof 

 that old school COOL! 


Sailor boys were a familiar theme in pop music
in 1964. I guess you could say the girls who
made those records were nautical and nice.
(Please don't leave! No more puns, I promise!)

In February and March, Diane Renay's signature song
"Navy Blue" climbed the chart and finished at #6.
In May, Diane's follow-up single "Kiss Me Sailor"
reached the top 30.

In June, a Brooklyn act known as the Sherry Sisters
tried their luck with "Sailor Boy." Not to be confused
with a song of the same name recorded by both the
Chiffons and Goldie & the Gingerbreads, "Sailor Boy" by
the Sherry Sisters is one of the best girl group sounds
of the Sixties. The record had "hit" written all over it,
yet it never even reached the Bubbling Under chart.

It was a different story in Japan where "Sailor Boy"
floated their boats and went on to become a million
seller. Let's hear what American ears were missing.

    "Sailor Boy" - The Sherry Sisters 
 (June 1964, uncharted) 




"Robot Man" is one of the lost rock 'n' roll recordings
by Connie Francis that's included on her Rocksides
compilation. Instead of playing Connie's version I'd like
you to hear an exciting rendition of the song performed
by the girl group Dee-Anne and the Kittens on Oh Boy!,
the first teen music program on British television.
The show originally aired in 1958 and 1959 and was
resurrected in the late 70s in a retro rock format.

Series regular Dee-Anne, now known as Deanne Blazey
of the band Baby Go Boom, was still in her teens
when she appeared on this 1980 episode of Oh Boy!
and did a fantastic job of covering Connie!

 "Robot Man" - Dee-Anne and the Kittens 
 (from 1980 British TV show Oh Boy!

Show of hands..........
Does anybody else see the resemblance between Dee-Anne and actress Haley Mills (at right)? Watch the next clip of Dee-Anne covering a Brenda Lee hit and let me know if you agree.

 "I'm Sorry" - Dee-Anne 
 (from 1980 British TV show Oh Boy!



In 1968 the courtroom was a familiar setting for soul songs.
Judge Shorty Long presided over "Here Comes the Judge."
The Unifics held "Court of Love" and R&B vet Don Covay
confessed: "I Stole Some Love" and was brought before
Judge Cupid for stealin' the love of another man.

 Don - say it ain't so, buddy! 

I remember obtaining this Don Covay record at Woolworth.
It was sold in one of those shrink wrapped bundles that
contained ten 45rpm records and priced at only 99 cents.
Those budget packs were like a box of chocolates.....
you never knew what you were gonna get. In the case of
this Don Covay single I got a double dose of ear candy!

 "I Stole Some Love" - Don Covay & the Goodtimers 
 (October 1968, uncharted) 

On the flip side of "I Stole Some Love" was a killer bee
called "Snake in the Grass."

This sssssidewinder was another sssssizzling
ssssslab of deep fried sssssouthern R&B
from Don Covay and the Goodtimers.

 "Snake in the Grass" - Don Covay & the Goodtimers 
 (October 1968, uncharted B side of "I Stole Some Love") 


They made the rounds of teen music/dance shows
like Shindig and Hullabaloo. Featuring the smooth
and soulful vocals of lead singer Sal Valentino,
the Beau Brummels exemplified the West Coast
folk rock sound of the mid 60s. The San Francisco
band had a top 20 hit with "Laugh, Laugh" and a
top 10 charter with "Just a Little."

My Pick to Click is a record that never reached the top 50,
probably because the Beau Brummels' small label, Autumn,
was going belly up by the time it was released. As I always
preach, chart position has absolutely nothing to do with
greatness, and here's one of the finest, purest folk rock
sounds of the Sixties, "Don't Talk to Strangers."

 "Don't Talk to Strangers" - Beau Brummels 
 (October 1965, highest chart position #52) 

 Join me next time 

 for more proof 

 that old school COOL! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Wow- there is a great resemblance between Haley and Dee Ann! They could be sisters.

    Great, great music for us this morning. It's hard to pick my favorite from our wonderful buffet today, but I think I like Don't Talk to Strangers the best.

    And yes, I fully agree, my friend, that old school is COOL! Have a wonderful day~

    1. Good morning, dear Shelly! I never hear much about the Beau Brummels these days. They seem to have slipped through the cracks and I wanted to correct that because they gave us some excellent recordings. Another fine yet unsuccessful release by the band was their next single, "Good Time Music" which only made it to #97 at Christmas 1965! Thank you very much for listening to my spins, dear Shelly, and have a nice day!

  2. Great line up this Wednesday morning, Shady! I had not heard any of these songs before. I really enjoyed Snake in the Grass and Robot Man. I certainly see the resemblance between Dee and Haley Mills. I remember watching Haley Mills in that Disney movie where she played twins. It's been so long and I cannot recall the name but my mother adored that movie and I saw it more than once.

    I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday, dear Shady! Hopefully it's not too hot in your area today. It's been rainy here and we're getting some sunshine today but it's still a bit chilly. How about I send you a few degrees of cold and you can send me some of that FLA warmth... Deal?

    *Parent Trap!* There it is. I guess the gears in my brain just needed a little loosening this morning. haha... Have a great day, Shady!

    1. Hi, Jenn June! I'm happy to know that you enjoyed this lineup of somewhat obscure songs, especially "Sssssnake in the Grass" which is a fun R&B record with that rattle sound as a hook. You're right! That Haley Mills Disney movie was The Parent Trap (1961) which was remade in 1998 starring LiLo back when she was still a sweet redhead. We are experiencing perfect weather today here in Central Florida. A frontal system pushed through yesterday bringing much needed rain and now we're in the midst of a refreshing cool down. It will be in the lower 70s today (50 degrees below normal LOL) and it will get even cooler as we head toward the weekend. I'm always pleased to hear from you, my good friend. Enjoy the rest of your week, dear Jennifer!

  3. Well, hallooooooooo there dear Shadykins! A very good day to you my friend. I'm afraid it's the Dunce's Cap for me again today, as I hadn't heard of any of those artists. Amazing, isn't it, the difference sometimes between the sounds over here and the sounds over there! Nevertheless, I really enjoyed bopping to the music today, and, like Shelly, have to say that my favourite Don't Talk To Strangers. Hope you're having a good week over there. Take care.

    1. Hallo, dear Thisisme! My goodness, it surprises me that you don't remember the English TV show Oh Boy! It was the first teen music program on British television and aired as a series in the late 50s and again in the late 70s and early 80s. Are you also saying that you never heard of London born English actress Haley Mills? EEEK!!! (LOL) I know you were busy raising a family and perhaps that explains these mysteries. I certainly am glad you had some fun today and enjoyed the song by the Beau Brummels. They were a great band and deserve to be remembered. Thank you very much for coming, dear friend Thisisme, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  4. Awww geez.. If Diane is wearing the Dunce cap today, I'm gonna have to sit in the corner. Because sadly, I cannot even blame it on living halfway across the world. YOU got me this time. Nada, nothing nobody nohow did I know any of these voices! Did love the tunes and do agree the Dee Ann and Haley Mills do look alike! IF I claim to have owned a 45 of Haley Mills do I get a pass????
    Hugs Tom, a great lineup even if it made me a dummy! LOL!!!

    1. Hello again, dear Sush! Recording on Vista, the same record label as Annette Funicello, Disney star Hayley Mills had two hit singles, "Let's Get Together" in 1961 and "Johnny Jingo" in 1962. Do either of those ring a bell?

      I need to keep reminding all my dear friends that I do not expect you to know most of these recordings because many of them are also brand new to me! I never heard of the Sherry Sisters or Dee-Anne & the Kittens until recently when I discovered them while doing my usual digging and research. All that matters to me is that you care enough to come by and say a friendly hello and that you have a good time while you're here and maybe find a tune or two that you like as much as I do. My goal has always been to give you something to think about and something to smile about. I am honored to have you join me again today, dear friend Sush. Thank you!

  5. Hi Shady, a very different sort of lineup today! I don't remember The Sherry Sisters, but you're right about their song. I listened to it,how strange that it didn't go anywhere in the states. I liked it...a very good song, great voices and done well.

    Of course, Navy Blue was VERY well received, that song was played all of the time. LOL on your nautical pun!!! I had not heard of Don Covay, and, I wasn't able to listen to his songs, it kept going off and starting over again...'Snake in the Grass' huh?

    But I do remember the Beau Brummels and 'Laugh Laugh'. Oh, and, I can't forget Dee-Anne and the Kittens. You're truly right my friend, what a resemblance to Haley Mills. And Dee-Anne sings good too. I think she did a really good job on 'I'm Sorry'.

    Don't know where you came up with some of these tunes, but, BRAVO! Have a great evening! Very good to see you!♫

    P.S. Ok...stop the press! Just to see if I could get it to roll, I scrolled back up to 'I Stole Some Love'...WOW! Loved that song, you did get a double dose of ear candy-I'm glad I went for that second chance. Very soulful Shady-truly my favorite tonite!♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne! If at first you don't succeed in getting a YouTube video to play, try try again. It pleases me to know that you were able to hear two of my favorite sides by R&B singer/songwriter Don Covay. As I noted in the text, "I Stole Some Love" was one of three R&B/Soul recordings in 1968 to use a courtroom setting. I might add that all three included spoken dialogue. As I mentioned the other two records were by Shorty Long and the Unifics. It's funny how certain themes become popular for a while. So glad you enjoyed those rare clips from the British music program Oh Boy! Do you remember the American music show Dancin' to the Hits hosted by Lorenzo Lamas? I hadn't thought about it for many years but it popped into my head recently and there are a few clips of the show on Y/T. I hope you and Karo and Scootie are all doing well and keeping warm. Our temperature's dropping like a rock tonight but it feels good for a change. Thank you very much for being here, dear Suzanne!

  6. old school most definitely is cool shady! great tunes, they make long for summer with all those nautical vibes.

    1. Hi, dear Alabee! "Cold, Cold Winter" by our local hometown heroines The Pixies Three was one exception but it seems to me that most girl group sounds of the early and mid 60s had themes that revolved around summer romance and warm weather activities. Several were about soldiers and sailors far away from home or just returned home and reunited with patiently waiting sweethearts. When I listen to records like those I long for summer, specifically the summer of '63 when innocence was "in." Thank you very much for visiting me, dear friend Alabee, and stay well!

  7. I'm with Sush - wasn't really familiar with much of the picks for today. The Beau Brummels - they are the ones I knew. And I agree with you - they were really good. But even though I wasn't familiar with most of the music, it made me wish for those old Dance Party shows on TV.

    1. Hi, karen! Did you watch the music show that I mentioned to Suzanne: Dancin' to the Hits hosted by Latin heartthrob Lorenzo Lamas? Did you watch Solid Gold? Soul Train? How about the older shows like Bandstand, Shindig, Hullabaloo, Where the Action Is, Lloyd Thaxton, Hollywood A Go-Go and Shivaree? You got to see the who's who of popular music on those series. Glad you liked the Beau Brummels who tend to be forgotten in conversations about great bands of the 60s. Thank you very much for stopping by, dear friend karen, and have a safe and happy weekend!

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  9. hi Tom,
    thanks a lot for your beautiful comments and for being a follower on my new blog!
    old school is cool, doubtless! this could be my motto

    1. Hello, dear Katia! I am very happy to see you actively blogging again and very thankful for your visit today. I notice that you posted another chapter of your honeymoon story and I am eager to read it. Have a wonderful weekend, dear friend!

  10. I am so sorry to be joining this late. I loved Dee Anne. What a beautiful, full voice. She does look like Haley Mills, whom I really liked when I was young. Don Covay was a hidden prize alright. I enjoyed his two songs very much, especially I Stole Some Love.

    I've never heard 'Don't Talk to Strangers' but I remember the Beau Brummels. I looked them up and saw that their big hit was, 'Laugh, Laugh' which I remember well. Thanks for the memories and making some new ones today, Shady.

    1. Hey, Belle! I am very pleased that you came over while this post was still on the front page because I thought you'd enjoy it. I'm glad you agree with me about the resemblance between Dee-Anne and Haley Mills and that you enjoyed her covers of Connie Francis and Brenda Lee. Don Covay wrote some great songs in his career and kept a sense of humor which I appreciated in this doublesider of his. I am thrilled to know that you enjoyed it, too. It's too bad tiny label Autumn Records went bankrupt just as the Beau Brummels were establishing themselves as a leading folk-rock band. Thank you very much for coming to see me and for your lovely comments, dear friend Belle. I hope you enjoyed your weekend!

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