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

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snow White and the Seven Soul Sistas

 As I introduce today's play list 

 I will avoid trite expressions 

 like all killer and no filler. 

That would be gilding the lily.
You'd take it with a grain of salt
and that would be a fine kettle of fish,
but doggone it, if the shoe fits....

If truth be told, in the final analysis,
in the long run, it goes without saying
that I'm head over heels for these songs.
When you hear them you'll be over the moon
in seventh heaven, too. Without further ado
and before I get cold feet, it's time for you to
face the music and be wowed in one fell swoop.








The Bronx gave birth to many fine soul sistas
and Doris Troy was one of them. Nicknamed
"Mama Soul" by her fans, the veteran R&B
singer and songwriter worked with greats like
Solomon Burke and Dionne Warwick, provided
backing vocals for rockers like the Stones,
Pink Floyd and George Harrison and was signed
by the Beatles to their Apple Records label.

In the summer of 1963, Doris Troy scored
the biggest hit of her singing career with a
song she co-wrote, the top 10 charting
R&B classic "Just One Look."

 "Just One Look" - Doris Troy 
 (July 1963, highest chart position #10) 


Soul sista Nella Dodds hails from Havre de Grace,
Maryland, just a hop skip and a jump down the road
from York and Lancaster. Nella recorded in Philadelphia
and released six singles on the NY based Wand label.

Nella's first release, waxed at the age of 14,
was "Come See About Me," a cover of the
 Holland-Dozier-Holland song found on the
 Supremes' album Where Did Our Love Go.
When Berry Gordy learned that Nella recorded
the song, Motown rush released the Supremes
version on a single to compete with Nella's.
The Supremes were riding high, coming off
back-to-back #1 hits with "Where Did Our
Love Go" and "Baby Love." Success breeds
success and Diana's divas trounced Nella,
gaining their third consecutive chart topper
while Nella's version died on the vine at #74.

She was standing in the shadow of Motown,
but I think Nella's is the more exciting record.
Listen to a Northern Soul classic and a monster
on the Belgian Popcorn circuit - Nella Dodds'
killa dance floor filla, "Come See About Me."


 "Come See About Me" - Nella Dodds 
 (November 1964, highest chart position #74) 



Formed in 1958, this Bronx girl group, originally
called the DeVaurs, was heavily influenced by the
Chantels. They won talent show, cut a few records
and became busy session singers.

The group was renamed Baby Jane and the Rock-A-Byes
and also released records under several other names
including Henrietta & the Hairdooz, the Elektras
and the Lullabyes. These Baby Jane girls, by
any other name, sound the same - terrific!

 "Half Deserted Street" 
 Baby Jane and the Rock-A-Byes 
 (1963, uncharted) 


My last soul sista was born Dione LaRue.
That would have made a cool stage name
but she changed it to Dee Dee Sharp.
In the early 60s, Dee Dee helped create
the early Sound of Philadelphia and in '67
married one of the principal architects
of the Philly Sound, record producer
Kenny Gamble.

Dee Dee Sharp had a string of top 10 hit
singles based on current dance crazes,
the last of which was the frenetic
"Do The Bird."

 "Do The Bird" - Dee Dee Sharp 
 (April 1963, highest chart position #10) 


Now let's hear the sweet chirps of Cricket.

No, not Cricket Blair...Cricket Blake!

It's Connie Stevens, breakout star of the
TV detective series Hawaiian Eye.  Connie,
who played a professional photographer and
hotel lounge singer, had already achieved a
top 5 hit single in 1959 a few months before
her series began. She hooked up with Edd
Byrnes of 77 Sunset Strip fame to record
the novelty record "Kookie Kookie
 (Lend Me Your Comb)."

Connie used her acting fame as Cricket to launch
a career as a solo recording artist. Her biggest
hit was the list song "Sixteen Reasons" which
also went top 5 and spent nearly half a year
on the Billboard Hot 100!

 "Sixteen Reasons" - Connie Stevens 
 (April 1960, highest chart position #3 
 from the album As Cricket in the 
 Warner Bros. series "Hawaiian Eye"

 Keep your pants on and 

 your ear to the ground. 

 I'm on the ball, busy as a bee, 

 and I'll put a bug in your ear 

 (along with tunes that are 

 fresh as a daisy) next time! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. fantastic selection! i was dancing around my living room! I didnt know many of these ladies, so thank you for bringing them to my attention! Have a great Thursday!!

    1. Hi, Catherine! Thanks for coming by just before bedtime in Australia to bop to my tunes. I'm glad you enjoyed my selection. Good night and have a happy Friday and a great weekend, dear friend!

  2. I REALLY like Doris Troy and Nella Dodds! Once again, you've opened new doors for me and have expanded my musical tastes. I'm headed off to find these on itunes. I hope you all are staying warm over there- it's getting mighty cold in Texas!

    1. Hi, Shelly! Really? Another cold snap in Texas? It's a rough winter over there but not so much here. I have the air conditioner running at the moment.

      Hey, I'm very happy that you came over for a look and a listen. It's especially nice to know you enjoyed a couple of these including my Pick To Click and that you were prompted to go in search of them for your own collection.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear friend Shelly. I hope you have a great Thursday, a better Friday and a super weekend!

  3. Well Shady, looks like SDS has come to call. I'm off work for a four day weekend, and we've got snow dusting around with 17° so I'm staying in for now. Shelly's right-a tad bit cold in Texas!

    I always loved Connie Stevens. She was a great actress and songstress! I got to see her perform one time in the late 70's at a dinner club in Hot Springs, Arkansas and really enjoyed her voice and vitality...she was great!

    Ok, now I'm sorry but I had to pass on the Baby Janes... their song just moved too slowly for me. And, I think 'Come See About Me' was the same, not enough spunk. So, I moved on to Dee Dee-she was great! I really enjoyed seeing her and hearing duets she and Chubby Checker did-'Slow Twistin', and her Mashed Potato Time. You picked a good one there, Shady!

    But, my number one choice is Doris Troy! Love, love, and love that song! I was glad to hear it again, because I couldn't remember how the intro on the piano began. I do have some guitar tabs for the song, and have used them to pick it out on my keyboard. Will have to get back to working on that one!

    Well, I do want to thank you again for the Liebster awards to me and Karo. We will work on your questions, and post them strategically on our blogs. This was a great post Shady. Have a wonderful week and weekend. See you soon! ♫

    1. Hi, SDS! 17 degrees in Fort Worth? Is that a typo? It's at least 67 here, dear friend. Now that I look at the U.S. map, however, I can see that your city is more than two lines of latitude north of mine. No wonder it's so much colder where you are!

      I'm glad you enjoyed Cricket Blake. You don't like Cricket Blair as much? :) This is only the second time I've featured Connie on the blog. The first time was a couple years ago when I posted her novelty record "Kookie Kookie, (Lend Me Your Comb)" with Edd Byrnes. The good news is that I have three more Connie Stevens recordings coming up in my 17 part Echoes series, so stay tuned!

      It's amazing to me how your ears filter some music differently than mine. To my ears, the Nella Dodds recording has more spunk and soul than the Supremes version, but I always value your honest opinion and you never hesitate to give it. I'm glad I pleased you with Dee Dee Sharp and I'm especially happy that you threw your support behind Doris Troy and her original of "Just One Look," a song far too many people know only from the Hollies cover.

      You are so very welcome for the Liebster Award, dear friend. If Scootie Potter had a blog, I would have given him the award, too! :)

      Thank you very much for dropping your coins into the SDMM jukebox and trying my tunes, dear friend Suzanne. Bundle up, stay safe and I'll talk to you again soon!

  4. Woo hoo! what powerful voices, those gals have got it goin' on! Gotta love that early 60s beat and they way some of the words were echoed. So much fun, these were. Thanks for sharing, I love when friends introduce me to 'new' music :)

    1. Hi there Abigail! Thank you very much for coming to this week's platter party. I suppose I have a weakness for powerful female singing voices because I feature many of them on the blog. I am delighted to introduce friends of all ages to "new" old music. I want you to know that many of the lost gems I present are as new to me as they are to you. We are learning about them and enjoying them together. I wish you could have been a teenager back in the Sixties. I know you would have had a ball.

      Thank you again for your visit and kind comment, dear friend Abigail. Enjoy the rest of your Thursday and give Daisy a biscuit and a pat on the head for me!

  5. That's all it took: just one look, and I was in love with you, Shady. But Baby Jane? Now that's the name for me.


    1. Hello hello hello, Janie Junebug! The love bug must have bit you, kiddo. 'Tis the season. I'll have you know I've got Sixteen Reasons why I be bloggy lovin' you. I hope you enjoyed listening to some of these wax wonders today. Hopefully they got your toes tapping and your heart fluttering.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear Janie. Have a good night, a great Friday and a wild and woolly WDW weekend!

  6. I think I was too gaga over the British invasion in the early 60's to have appreciated these tunes by these fantastic ladies. I do however remember Connie Stevens and 77 Sunset Strip. I really need to get my brother Phil over here and see if he recognizes any of these artists since I know he loved MoTown...I was only a nuisance of little sis back then, but I remember the albums and the record player going full force! (before he kicked me out so he would still be "cool" with his buddies!) Have a great weekend and I'm working on the Liebster Award questions! Thanks again for that honor!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! You girls are all the same. You all went mushy goo-goo over cute and cuddly Beatle Paul. Heck, take away Paul's boyish good looks, his charm, his vocal and instrumental talent and his billions in the bank and whattya got?

      Answer: Shady! :)

      You're very welcome for the Liebster, dear friend. Please remember to share your award with Eddy. Maybe you can give him a little doggie statue to put on the mantle. :)

      I do believe your brothers would flip their lids if they heard this terrific ton of tuneage, especially if they appreciate underrated black artists and girl groups. I'd be very interested to know which version of "Come See About Me" they like better, the one by Diana's Divas or Nella Dodds' killer kover. {sic}

      I'm glad you know Cricket and remember her lounge singing on Hawaiian Eye and her collaboration with 77 Sunset Strips's Kookie Byrnes.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comments, dear YaYa. Good night and have a wonderful Friday and weekend.

      P.S. - In case you haven't heard, the groundhog predicts six more weeks of winter! :)

  7. Again, wow! Nella Dodds may be my new favorite singer. Thanks again for broadening my musical repertoire xx

    1. Hi, Deb! Thanks for coming, dear friend! I'm thrilled to find out you enjoy Nella's record. It's exciting whenever an artist can take a great Motown H-D-H song to the next level of soulful coolness. That's what I believe Nella and Weldon McDougall 's Dynodynamic Productions achieved. Yet the Supremes had all the money and fame riding on them and their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show enabled their #1 hit to return to the top of the chart after it had already begun to fade, illustrating the power of shows like Sullivan's (and Bandstand) to turn records into hits and performers into stars.

      Thank you for your comment, dear friend Deb. Good night and enjoy your weekend in Australia!

  8. Good songs Sir Shady! You are the maestro, maestro. Can I be honest? I would have been content just staring at that beautiful Chevrolet as I would have listening to the tunes. Now that's a car!

    1. Hi, Bouncin' Barb! Welcome back, dear friend. Your timing is perfect because you can use these tunes and kick off your Florida weekend. Too bad the weather's been so dreary lately, huh?

      I'll tell you this. Many YouTubers who upload oldies like these are putting together nostalgic slide shows that include vintage automobiles, old print ads and illustrations. The images enhance the songs and I'm loving it. Glad you are, too.

      I'll never forget the night my dad and brother drove up to the house with our brand new 1955 Chevy. What a beautiful car!

      Thanks so much for your visit and comment, dear Barb. Have a safe and happy weekend!

  9. SHADY!!! Just wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting my blog! I can't tell you how terrific it was to see your name and kind words posted in the comment section! Thank you, what a wonderful treat you've given me! And I'm so glad I dropped by, your blog is as fun as ever! Cheers, my friend!

    1. Hi, Joan! Thanks for coming over, dear friend! I was extremely happy to find you back on your blog looking and "sounding" so well, and just in time for Valentine's Day I fell in love with your Dottie. Through love and commitment, you transformed her life and your own. Dottie's "rags to riches" success story is one that translates to our relationships with the people in our lives - spouses, parents, children, siblings and strangers, especially the homeless and downtrodden who desperately need help and would thrive on love.

      Thank you again for visiting SDM&M today, dear Joanie. I hope you will come again soon. You are one of my oldest blog friends and I treasure you!

  10. Hi Shady, I did enjoy those soul sistas! My favorite was, "Just One Look". I am VERY familiar with that song (only with Linda Ronstadt singing the vocal). I also knew and enjoyed hearing "Come See About Me"!
    I was wondering if your "Bird" (dance craze) and my "Bird" (dance craze) was the same. I use to do the "Bird" dance only it was by Morris Day from the movie Purple Rain!!!
    I love how you throw in pics of your favorite Soap, Y & R, into the mix. I use to be an avid watcher of that show but had to give it up. Have a wonderful day in sunny FL!

    1. Hi, Toni! Thanks for showing up and getting down with Snow White and the Seven Soul Sistas! I love how some YouTubers are putting classic top 40 radio intros at the beginning of their videos, as was done by the person who uploaded this one by Doris Troy. Those jingles and station i.d.s bring back the glory days when radio was fun, exciting and had a personal touch.

      I can't picture Dee Dee Sharp's Bird dance but I do remember Morris Day's. Coincidentally, I listened to his "Oak Tree" last evening while working out.

      Leave it to you, dear friend, to appreciate my latest Y&R reference. Can you believe how young Cricket and Nina are in that picture? It must have been taken when they first joined the cast. I'm sorry you had to give up watching Y&R Lately there are almost as many ghosts as there are live characters on the program! :)

      Thank you again for making time to visit and comment, dear friend Toni. I hope you are in the midst of a wonderful weekend and that you will return for my V-Day post. Take care!

  11. Great songs Shady! Once again you've introduced me to some new artists. I hope you have a wonderful week!

    1. Hi, Sarah! Two out of the five recordings in this post were brand new to me as well. It's hard for me to believe how many great ones I missed the during my youth. Thank goodness for companies like Ace Records UK (and Kent and Charly) that are compiling obscure recordings, remastering and reissuing them on CD.

      Thank you very much for your kind visit and comment, dear friend Sarah, Take care of that knee and have a wonderful week yourself!

  12. Shady, Shady! How come I missed this post of yours!! I thought it was ages since I'd seen you over here, so decided to look in this evening. Thank goodness I did dear friend. I am SO sorry. I can't imagine how that happened. Some great choices of music for us today , and I loved every one, but my favourite pick of the pops just had to be Just One Look by Doris Troy. Fantastic song! Gosh, I remember Connie Stevens. She was SO pretty! Wasn't that car just to die for?! Awesome! They don't make them like that any more! I was so sorry to hear about Margaret, and I am continuing to pray for her. She must be getting quite weak now I would think. Take care dear friend and thank you for your always erudite and funny comments over at my place! Smooches.

    1. Hallo hallo hallo, dear Thisisme! I'm drying my tears, relieved to know you haven't been boycotting my blog! (LOL) Dear friend, I never doubted you'd be along eventually. I know you've been busy producing your annual countdown to Valentine's Day which all of your friends look forward to and enjoy . (Psssst - be sure to visit Suzanne at KKK if you haven't already.)

      "Just One Look" seems to be the favorite with most readers and I'm not about to argue since I love all the music I post. As I mentioned before, the vintage radio jingle that precedes the song in that Y/T clip gets the listener excited and primed for pleasure. I miss those days of top 40 DJ's.

      Yessum, Connie Stevens was a beauty and underrated as a singer. I'll be posting more of Connie's recordings in my Phil Spector series.

      Good news about Margaret! I received word from Kathleen that her mother is returning home from the hospital this afternoon. What a blessing that is. I know this good news will send you off to bed a little happier. Please continue your prayers as Margaret continues onward and upward.

      It is always a pleasure to chat with you, Thisisme, and I thank you very much for thinking about me today. Please take care of yourself. Good night, dear friend Thisisme. Hugs and smooches and have a terrific Tuesday!

  13. Just popped over again before I go to bed! You do make me smile my dear friend, and always leave the most wonderful comments , both here and when you visit our blogs. You never fail to visit either. What a loyal and faithful supporter you are! Yes, I visited our Texan friend this evening and saw your comment about the tea party (LOL). Well, that is good news about Margaret. What an incredible lady she must be. I will certainly continue to pray for her. God bless you Tom.

    1. :) Thank you very much for the kind words, dear Thisisme. You know how much I cherish our friendship.

      Yessum, Margaret is proving herself to be an Iron Lady, isn't she. Bless her heart! I'm sure our prayers helped her survive this latest scare.

      I hope you get a good night's sleep, awake refreshed and have a very happy Tuesday. Good night, dear friend!

  14. That's a shame about Nella Dodds song being put out the same time as the Surpremes. Her version is wonderful. Interesting facts about Doris Troy and I've always loved that song.

    Connie Stevens was an idol of mine. I collected photos of her and watched Hawaiian Eye. I also saw her movies. I thought she was wonderful and had a beautiful voice.

    1. Hi, dear Belle! Thank you very much for coming down for a look and a listen. I'm glad you agree with me about that Nella Dodds version of the Supremes hit. By late 1964 the Motown hit factory was running in high gear and it was hard for an unknown teenager to compete against the super Supremes. Coincidentally, I just received the Nella Dodds CD in the mail today and am very eager to listen to all her Wand recordings.

      Connie Stevens certainly did fit the description of a teenage idol. It's interesting that she began her acting career appearing in some of the low budget teen exploitation B movies that were popular in the late 50s including Young and Dangerous, Eighteen and Anxious and Dragstrip Riot. Jerry Lewis noticed her in the latter and gave her career a boost by casting her in his movie Rock-A-Bye Baby.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comments, dear friend Belle. I hope you and your family are all doing fine these days. Please know that I think about you every day and that I care about you. God bless!


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