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

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mary Mary, Lesley Lesley, Bad Old Days and the Shape of Things to Come!

 I'm Shady Del Knight 

 and I've got proof 

 that old school COOL! 


The Foundations, a mixed race octet from England,
produced an exciting brand of British soul.

Stateside, their single "Back on My Feet Again"
was only a minor hit, halting less than halfway up
the chart in the early spring of 1968, but it's one
of my Foundations faves and I'd like you to hear it.

 "Back on My Feet Again" - Foundations 
 (March 1968, highest chart position #59) 

In the spring of '69 the Foundations had another
minor U.S. hit with "In the Bad, Bad Old Days."

"Bad Old Days" spent 7 weeks struggling to #51
before stalling, but the record was played often
enough on the radio to make a lasting impression.

 "In the Bad, Bad Old Days" - Foundations 
 (May 1969, highest chart position #51) 

"Baby, Now That I Found You" is an often heard
Foundations hit that just missed the top 10 in
the early weeks of 1968. "Build Me Up Buttercup,"
a top 5 hit in February of 1969, has also been a
frequent flyer on oldies radio for decades.

A song that I find more interesting than
either of those is "New Direction," the
obscure, uncharted "B" of "Buttercup."

 "New Direction" - Foundations 
 (March 1969, B side of  "Build Me Up Buttercup") 


Let's welcome back the ever popular Lesley Gore
performing in her very own Scopitone jukebox film!
Scopitones, forerunners of music videos, were filmed
performances of popular singers, groups and bands
that were played on special jukeboxes installed in
hundreds of bars and nightclubs in the U.S., England,
West Germany and in France where they originated.

In this clip, filmed on the campus of UCLA, Lesley
sings "Wonder Boy," the B side of  "Maybe I Know."

 "Wonder Boy" - Lesley Gore  
 (August 1964, B side of "Maybe I Know") 


Nicknamed "Ireland's Beatles," the Strangers
were a Dublin based beat band of the 60s.
 In March 1967, the Strangers released a single
with back-to-back covers of songs from the
album More of the Monkees. On the A side,
the Strangers handle the Neil Diamond song
"Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)."
The killer bee is a groovy version of
"Mary Mary," the Monkees classic
penned by Michael Nesmith.

 "Mary Mary" - The Strangers 
 (March 1967, uncharted B side of  
 "Look Out {Here Comes Tomorrow}") 


The soul group lead by prolific Motown songwriter
Smokey Robinson was still being billed as The Miracles
at the end of 1965 when they placed one of Smokey's
many fine ballads, "Choosey Beggar," on the B side
of "Going to A Go-Go," a single pulled from the
album of the same name.

The up tempo dancer "Going to A Go-Go" stopped
just shy of the top 10 on the pop singles chart.
"Choosey Beggar, a gentle love song, failed to
reach the pop chart but managed to crack the
top 40 R&B. Had it had been released as the
A side of another single, "Beggar" would surely
have been a hit. Do you second that emotion?

 "Choosey Beggar" - The Miracles 
 (from November 1965 album Going to A Go-Go
  single charted January thru March 1966, 
 highest chart position #35 R&B



By the late 60s soulful vocal groups like the
Miracles who sang tender love songs were losing
ground on the U.S. chart to acts with attitude.
Teen pop idols were being eclipsed by edgy
bands that played harder and heavier music.
At the Dell, old school hardliners knew the
times were changing, bemoaning the shift
away from the traditional sweet, innocent
doo-wop, pop and soul that had long been
the Dell’s bread and butter.  Garage rock,
punk, funk, psych, acid rock, hard rock
 and heavy metal were the hot trends...



 "Shape of Things to Come" - Max Frost & the Troopers 
 (October 1968, highest chart position #22, 
 from motion picture Wild in the Streets

 Join me next time 

 for more proof 

 that old school COOL! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Professor Shady, you've educated me so very well! I hadn't heard any of these before, and enjoyed them all, particularly The Foundations.

    And you're not old school, just good school! I'm so glad you're keeping these alive for people like me to learn about and hear about today.

    Have a wonderful week, Professor!

    1. Hi, dear Shelly! The Foundations are one of those bands that slipped through the cracks. Although they made great music and had a decent string of hits in the U.S., they aren't very well known today and usually aren't lumped in with the "British Invasion." "Back on My Feet Again" is a sensational record that deserved to make the top 40, 30, 20 or even top 10. I'm glad you liked this 8-member, mixed race English band as much as I do. Thank you very much for your visit and comments, dear friend Shelly, and have a wonderful week ahead!

  2. Good Morning...up early and decided to take a stroll thru blog city. And, here you are! I never heard any of those songs by the Foundations other than 'Build Me Up Buttercup', not a favorite, lol! And, the song 'New Direction' is just as you say...interesting.

    I always liked Lesley Gore, but have never heard 'Wonder Boy' was really a cool video, and, I would have enjoyed seeing that even years ago! She has such a stellar, one of a kind, voice!

    Smokey Robinson-YAY! Anything he does is ok with me. 'Going to a Go-Go' is such a smooth, cool dance song. This song always brought out the 'suave' attitude in the guys, and, they would just 'slink' around on the dance floor with the coolness and ease of Smokey himself! Total makeovers, and a lot of fun!

    'The Shape of Things to Come' is dynamic! Great vocals and music...even in the midst of things changing, this song always made my day.

    Well, Shady, I'm glad I came by. It is so muggy outside and nice and cool inside. A brisket is on, and there will be fresh green beans with new potatoes and deviled eggs! So, all is well. Thanks so much for your fun post! See you soon!♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne! I'm surprised to see you here this early in the day but delighted that you're up and on and came in for a visit.

      I agree with you about "Buttercup." It is probably the best known Foundations hit but it's my least favorite and I'm tired of hearing it. That's why I didn't include it in this post. I'm glad you liked the other choices including the B side "New Direction."

      I wish more Scopitones had been produced. They were the music videos of their day, colorful productions that were technically superior to many of the clips salvaged from the 60s. It's a shame more major recording acts didn't make them.

      Glad you like this Smokey Robinson B ballad. It must be nice to be so talented and prolific that you have great songs to burn!

      Did you see the exploitation film Wild in the Streets starring Shelley Winters? It was a shocker in its time. Teens and tweens took over the government and elected their own president. People over the age of 30 were rounded up and sent away to rot in detention camps. "Shape of Things to Come," the movie's theme song, was written by the Brill Building team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. It was lip synced by actor Christopher Jones (seen in the video clip) but the vocal was actually performed by Paul Wibier.

      The wind is blowing in from the west and I can smell your brisket way over here on the other side of the Gulf! :) Have a wonderful day and week, dear friend Suzanne!

  3. Tom, I hope you had a lovely weekend, we had a scorcher here in Dublin! I'm not used to this kind of heat! Did you ever see There's Something About Mary? Build Me Up Buttercup was famously used on it's soundtrack!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, Emma! You and I are both enduring the awful heat. I'm sure it will soon cool back down in your vicinity but we're stuck with several more months of it. Yes, I had a great weekend. How about you and Donnacha? I have seen There's Something About Mary at least twice but it was so long ago that I don't remember "Buttercup" being used in it. I'm surprised you didn't mention the Dublin band The Strangers. Didn't you ever hear of them? Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend Emma, and have a great week!

  4. I remember "Build me up Buttercup" but the others were new to me. I enjoy hearing the B side of these but I really like the Leslie Gore video..her clothes were the length I had to abide by..the dancers were wearing what I wished I could in 6th grade ('64)! When I heard "Shape of Things to Come" I could feel the way the times were changing in '68..I wasn't quite ready for them yet! Thanks again for the great lesson and overview of my childhood music! Hope you had a great 4th holiday and hopefully your weather is good too...I saw blue skies today and almost fainted! Ha!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! It was a good 4th down here, thank you. It rained during the day but cleared in time to watch fireworks displays. After weeks of clouds and rain we are currently enjoying blue skies, too.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the Lesley Gore video. The theme of "Wonder Boy" was a familiar one in the early and mid 60s - a girl trying in vain to attract the attention of an "educated fool" - a male bookworm who is more interested in mathematical figures than those of women.

      I'm also happy you mentioned "Shape of Things to Come," even if you didn't see the movie. I still get a chill when I hear that Max Frost record because the movie explored what would happen in a society in which teenagers seized political power. I don't mean to be a spoiler but in the end even teens and 20-somethings were considered too ancient by even younger members of the population, children, who gradually developed ambitions to take over leadership of the country. Makes you think.

      Thank you ever so much for coming by, dear friend YaYa. I hope you have a safe and happy week ahead!

  5. Wow, I haven't heard these songs in forever! I especially liked hearing "Shape of Things to Come." That was one of my favorites back in the day. But it's always good to hear a little Foundations - and who doesn't love Lesley Gore? Nice post!

    1. Hello hello hello, dear karen! The party never starts until you get here and I'm happy to see you. I think you're the only person so far who actually remembers "Shape of Things to Come" as I do. Did you see the movie? I'm glad you liked the Foundations and Lesley Gore, too. I think The Strangers also did a fine job covering the Monkees' "Mary Mary." Thank you very much for taking time to come over to see me, dear friend karen. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  6. Nice playlist, Shady :) Believe it or not, I've actually taken to listening to these type songs while working. It helps keep me calm even when nothing is going right, which as you know is usually the way of things in a newsroom!

    1. Hi, Ashton! I think that Max Frost record would make a great jingle for your station. "The shape of things to come at 5, 6 and 11!" (LOL) I'm happy to see you, dear friend, and I thank you for your visit and comment. It's nice to know that you have discovered the therapeutic value of good music. Stay cool and enjoy the rest of your week, Ashton!

  7. Hi, Shady!

    I don't know where I was when I was 8 or 9 but I guess I wasn't tuning into the radio as much. I knew the Foundations only by their "Buttercup" song. Which I still hear to this day. I don't remember the Strangers or Max Frost. I do remember Lesley Gore. I do love me some Smokey although I never heard of "Choosey Beggar." I really enjoy that song the most!

    1. Hi, Toni! I didn't start paying serious attention to popular music until age 12 or 13 and from then on I collected the WSBA top 40 surveys each week and practically memorized the songs on them and their ranking order. Maybe that's why I was compelled to create my list of the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell. Do you remember "the Dell"? (LOL)

      It seems a shame that the "Buttercup" song is the best remembered Foundations recording. It is certainly not their best.

      I am a little upset today because the original Lesley Gore video I embedded in this post was removed from YouTube overnight and I had to replace it with one that has clear video but poor audio. When you run a week long blog post with 7, 8 or even 15 videos embedded in it, there's always a chance that one or more of your videos will die on you.

      I'm glad you enjoyed Smokey's soul ballad "Choosey Beggar," the killer bee side of the Dell hit "Going to A Go-Go."

      Thank you very much for your visit and comments, dear friend Toni, and c'mon back for my next post on Sunday!

  8. hi Tom, I've just read your comment, hope you enjoyed the lomo saltado in Floida version!
    have a nice day!

    1. I enjoyed it very much, Katia. It was delicious, one of the best meals I ever had and Mrs. Shady loved it, too. Thank you again for a great post and an exciting new recipe!

  9. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJuly 12, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    While I don't remember some of these songs, hearing them and watching the videos reminded me of the epiphany I experienced when I was a 17-going-on-18 latecomer to popular music. I never gave much credence to WSBA before that because I was a classical music nerd spending long hours practicing. When other classmates had pictures of John Lennon on their locker doors, Van Cliburn graced mine!

    My life changed forever when I was asked to design the scenery for our class play, and one of my stage construction crew was the principal's son and a football player. I couldn't believe he asked me out! He was my first boyfriend and all of a sudden "In the Bad, Bad Old Days" seemed relevant. I now had a taste of romance, and I preferred spending time with him to sitting in front of my piano. I cut my near waist length hair into a "flip", began wearing makeup and
    listening to songs like "Baby, Now that I Found You" and singing along.

    That first romance didn't last beyond a few months, and during the agonizing days when I suspected I was losing him to one of my best friends, it seemed that Tommy Edwards was singing, "It's All in the Game" just for me. I still feel the soothing effects of that song whenever I hear it! When that relationship was finally over, Leslie Gore's "It's My Party" was my personal theme song.

    Once in college, Chopin and Rachmaninov became a distant memory. Someone down the hall in my freshman dorm played "Louie, Louie" over and over again so loudly you could hear it through the walls. When I heard that infectious beat, I wished I knew how to dance, but my studies absorbed almost all my time. Anyway, I was way too shy to learn at that point, especially from wrestling team member dates at a few fraternity parties at Lehigh University who wore "church keys" around their necks and were obviously not interested in dancing!

    So I never had the experiences you and other Dell rats had with all this music, but I still recall those first songs that "spoke" to me as I timidly came out of the shadows and entered the world of dating and popular culture. Now at my age, I look at the music you present here differently, combining what I know about all good music. I admire, for instance, the brass instrumentals in "Back on My Feet Again". Am I mistaken to hear similarities in that to some of the Soul Clinic songs?

    Thanks for showing me where I've been, Tom, and helping me catch up on what I missed at the Shady Dell!

    1. Hello, Kathleen! Not much to say today? (LOL) Dell rat got your tongue? (LOL) I deeply appreciate these wonderful anecdotes of yours, dear friend.

      I am surprised to learn that you embraced popular music to the extent you did, because I always think of you as the quintessential bookworm. I mean that in the nicest way because "gentlemen prefer bookworms." That reminds me of the Marilyn Monroe movie The Seven Year Itch and the scene in which Tom Ewell melts Marilyn with Rachmaninov. "Because now I'm going to take you in my arms and kiss you, very quickly and very hard!"

      All my life I have done what you did. I linked the titles and lyrics of pop songs to the events or chapters in my life. I enjoyed reading your stories and finding out which pop songs you use as index cards to recall your memories.

      I certainly agree that the brassy big beat sound of "Back on My Feet Again" is similar to the music of the York band the Soul Clinic. In fact, both the Clinic and the Foundations were 8-member mixed race bands.

      Thank you very much, dear Kathleen, for taking time to respond to this post in your inimitable style. You are a wonderful friend. Enjoy your weekend and say hello to Margaret for me!

  10. Hello again, Shady! I missed your previous post so I thought I'd comment on it here.

    I never knew about Billy Preston playing w/ the Beatles. Awesome! I only knew him from "Will It Go Round in Circles" and other hits. I can remember being in my Grandmother's living room (in GA) watchin' him play "Outa-Space" and my grandma saying, "that sounds like chicken scratch!"

    I never really knew the words to "Jo Jo." I'm sure it was pretty shocking back in it's day. I guess I never really listened to the words. I liked more of the rhythm when I was young.

    Watching the "My Pledge" dance reminds me of the newest dance craze "The Wobble". Those line dances are sooo much fun--as long as you know them!!!

    I always loved the song "Arizona" when I was young. I didn't know it was Mark Lindsay--wow! whatta voice and (whatta hunk back then!)

    Ok, Melanie, I loved, loved, loved that song "Lay Down"!!!!! (Never really liked her roller skate song!) Boy! she can belt it out in that vid!!!! She was like the perfect "flower child" that I looked up to.

    I always enjoy reading about your personal life! The Bryan Adams song was the icing! That song is such a staple for most cover bands, as well as I believe, your theme song!!! What a great way of ending that post! I never heard of (but certainly saw the vid many times) the Bryan Adams "it " girl --and yours, you know the girl who has to do w/ the price of eggs in China, LOL!

    1. Holy smoke, Toni! This is one of your best comments ever and greatly appreciated!

      I'm surprised you remember those Billy Preston numbers. I don't think they're played or discussed very often nowadays.

      As I remember it, the Beatles' "Get Back" didn't shock many people. By 1969, drug references were common and gender bender David Bowie was already on the scene. The Beatles had already shocked us a few months earlier with "Helter Skelter." "Get Back" was melodic and mild compared to that and other edgy songs on their White Album.

      My favorite Mark Lindsay recording is the easy going, soft rock/country rock song "And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind." Remember it?

      I'm so pleased you love the Melanie classic "Lay Down (Candles)." I agree that she really belted out that Woodstock anthem and that she was the embodiment of the perfect late 60s flower child.

      I am also jazzed to know that you enjoyed "Summer of '69" and that you finally learned the i.d. of the "it" girl in all those Bryan Adams videos. Among her many attributes Lysette Anthony possessed bedroom eyes and Harry Hamlin fell hard for her in their racy movie Save Me.

      Thank you very much for making an encore appearance, dear friend Toni. I greatly appreciate your friendship. Stay tuned for another new post coming up this Sunday, then please be here Saturday a week for a very special post - my five year blogiversary!

  11. Hi Shady! Well it was sure good to hear the Foundations. 'Back on My Feet Again' is a wonderful song I've never heard. I could listen to it again and again. 'Bad Old Days' was great and 'New Direction' certainly was music in a new direction for them. It has a completely different sound that might go well in a spy movie or something.

    The Strangers did do well with 'Mary, Mary'. I found it very interesting to learn about 'Shape of Things to Come,' that it was a movie etc. The movie had a bad premise as each generation would have to wipe out the older one as you said! I do remember when some famous guy in the sixties said everyone over thirty should be dead or something. Can't remember the quote - I'm too old! LOL

    1. Hi, dear Belle! These are very interesting comments and I thank you for being here.

      It's exciting to know you enjoy "Back On My Feet Again" as much as I do. The titles of those three Foundations songs can be an inspiration to all of us to persevere through hard times and to embrace change because with it comes new possibilities and growth.

      I'm pleased that you mentioned "Mary Mary" and I thank you for that. I think "Ireland's Beatles" recorded a worthy cover and the video is fun to watch.

      Yessum, the exploitation film Wild in the Streets explored the consequences of a society taken over by youth. The punchline came at the end of the picture when pre-teens decided that anybody over age 12 or 13 was ancient and irrelevant and had to go! It's a lesson for all of us. Respect people of all generations because we're all in this together and everyone has something of value to contribute to society.

      Thank you very much for coming by, dear friend Belle. Stay tuned for a new post tomorrow and my gala 5th year blogiversary celebration one week from today! There'll be jugglers, clowns, hot dogs and balloons for the kiddies!


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