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, April 10, 2014

Echoes of the Spectorian Era, Volume 3 A Bonofied Classic and Goodies Galore!









Let's begin with a Bang Bang and welcome
Sonny and Cher, the husband and wife duo
that America fell in love with in the 60s, a
Bonofied odd couple that oozed chemistry
and defined cool. In the spring of 1967
Sonny and Cher appeared on The Smothers
Brothers Comedy Hour
and sang their
latest single "It's the Little Things."

I get goose bumps when I watch this clip because
it reminds me how great it was to be young
when they were young. It was late May 1967
and the Summer of Love was set to begin.
We were feelin' groovy and we had our
whole lives ahead of us. Folks, it just
doesn't get any better than this.

 Ladies and gentlemen... 

 Sonny and Cher! 

 "It's the Little Things" - Sonny and Cher 
 (August 1967, highest chart position #50 
 Live appearance on The Smothers Brothers 
 Comedy Hour May 21, 1967) 


Phil Spector loved the Four Tops and in 1967
they loved him back with "Wonderful Baby,"
a castanet clacking Spectorian opus penned
and produced by Motown's Smokey Robinson.

 "Wonderful Baby" - The Four Tops 
 (from July 1967 album Reach Out 
 Released in May 1968 on the B side 
 of "If I Were a Carpenter") 


The Long Island girl group known as the Goodies
were standing in the shadow of the Shangri-las.
Producer Shadow Morton gave the Goodies first crack
at "Leader of the Pack." The Goodies cut a demo but
record company Pooh-bahs demanded that the song
be recorded and released by the more popular Shangs.
The rest is myrmidonic melodramatic history.

Far from being licked, the Goodies gave us a treat
that's delicious, nutritious and Spectoricious,
a Morton produced recording of the Boyce-
Hart-Venet composition "The Dum Dum Ditty."

 "The Dum Dum Ditty" - The Goodies 
 (June 1965, uncharted) 


In the early to mid 60s the Bronx was teeming
with vocal talent. Diane Christian and her girl
group the Darlettes made the rounds of talent
shows, recorded demos and released records.

When the group broke up Diane went solo and in
December 1964 released the Spectoresque classic
"Wonderful Guy" produced by FGG - Feldman,
Goldstein and Gottehrer - the trio that later
made records as a fake Australian band called
the Strangeloves. Diane had a superb voice and
with a break or two could have been the next
Dionne, but her records failed to chart!

 "Wonderful Guy" - Diane Christian 
 (December 1964, uncharted) 


In 1964, soulful songbird Alder Ray released the
doublesider "Cause I Love Him" b/w "A Little Love
(Will Go a Long Way)," both produced by Marshall Leib,
former member of Phil Spector's group the Teddy Bears.

I'll be featuring both sides of the record in this series
beginning with the killer bee.  If these two Alder Ray
recordings remind you of Darlene Love, it's because
Darlene's powerful pipes can be heard on the backing
vocals. "A Little Love (Will Go a Long Way)" is a
lush Wall of Soundalike production that'll leave
you shouting, I can't believe it's not Spector!

 "A Little Love (Will Go a Long Way)" - Alder Ray 
 (August 1964, B side of "Cause I Love Him") 


Texas born pop singer Ray Peterson's biggest hit
was "Tell Laura I Love Her," a 1960 death pop
tear-jerker about a fatal stock car racing mishap.
"Laura" was a top 10 hit for Peterson along with
"Corrine, Corrina," a country blues standard
he released later that year.

"House Without Windows," arguably Ray Peterson's
greatest and most powerful performance, was also
one of his least rewarded. The song, originally
recorded by Roy Orbison, was brought to wax by
Peterson on a single arranged by Ray Stevens.
Ray P's rendition missed the chart and you'll ask
why when you watch this vid from Shivaree.

 "House Without Windows" - Ray Peterson 
 (live appearance on Shivaree April 24, 1965) 




Have a Shady day!


  1. Hello again, Shady!
    I loved Sonny and Cher (music and comedy hr). Can you believe that they made an appearance at the York Fair in the very early 70's. My parents were lucky enough to see them! I was fortunate to see Cher in Vegas a couple yrs ago, btw, she looked fantastic!!!
    I never heard that song, "the little things" but, it was my favorite in this post. Cher always acted so cool, comfortable and confident even in this early fun video.
    Funny, I never heard of any of the other artist (except 4 Tops). My second fav was the sweet song, "Wonderful guy".
    Phil Spector was a "Wonderful guy" in the music world!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, Toni! You're a wonderful gal in the blog friendship world! Thank you very much for basking in Spectorian Splendor with me again this month. I totally agree with you about Sonny and Cher. Your words "cool, comfortable and confident" say it all and this 1967 video brings it all back alive. I wasn't aware that they came to the grandstand at the York Fair in the early 70s. Your parents saw them but you didn't? It's a shame you couldn't go along! Sonny and Cher will be making other appearances here in my two year Phil Spector series so stay tuned.

      Thank you very much for stopping by and for your terrific comment, dear friend Toni. I hope you are having a great Thursday and that you will enjoy a safe and happy weekend ahead!

  2. Another great post Shady, I love all of these songs. I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you very much, dear Sarah! I'm happy to know you enjoyed the latest batch of Spector soundalikes. Take care, dear friend, and have a wonderful weekend, too!

  3. Replies
    1. Hi, Janie! I got you babe (as a bloggy friend). Baby don't do (away so long next time). All I really want to do is baby be friends with you.

      Thanks for coming over in the middle of your spring break, Janie!

  4. Another awesome batch of fun music!
    I have to say i'm with you on the first song. Such a free and happy song that is inspiring and gives a young soul that 'we own the world' feeling. Thats a really good song for summer that i should share with some friends.
    Don't get me wrong, all the others were fun, too. I just never can turn down a good 60s girl group or some lively castanets. Always makes me want to dance!
    ~Abigail and Daisy

    1. Hi, Abigail and Daisy! I'm so glad you enjoyed Sonny and Cher and the other artists in this post. Just imagine - I was your age when Sonny and Cher made this TV appearance singing "Little Things." To give you a mini history lesson, Sonny and Cher started out singing background on some of Phil Spector's recordings, the first being "Be My Baby," the Ronettes' signature song. Cher recorded solo using the name Cherilyn but, believe it or not, suffered from stage fright and asked Sonny to join her on recordings and live appearances. In 1965 the duo scored the huge breakthrough hit "I Got You Babe" and were off and running, later hosting their own popular TV music and comedy show. Cher went on to a successful solo career and Sonny became active in California politics but died in a skiing accident in 1998. Cher is still performing.

      I'd love to see that little bundle of fur dancing to my tunes! :) Thank you very much for your cheery visit, dear friend Abigail. I'll be connecting with you again soon!

    2. Oh! i always enjoy a good history lesson. Imagine that, Cher having stage fright! That's amazing to me.
      I will definitely have to check out more of their music.

    3. I hope you will, Abigail. Cher's long running solo career, in particular, went through a variety of styles and included the great disco dance hit "Take Me Home." Thanks for the follow-up, dear friend. Give Daisy a hug and a kiss for me!

  5. I love Sonny & Cher. I didn't have time to watch all the clips, but I definitely watched that one. It instantly made my afternoon a little brighter. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That's what I'm here for, dear friend Ashton, and it was very kind of you to come by and testify. I'm always happy to see you here. This Echoes post runs 7 more days so come on back if you get a chance and listen to more of these great Spctoresque recordings.

      Thanks again, dear Ashton. Have a good night and a safe and happy weekend!

  6. This was so fun! Watching Sonny and Cher at that time in their career was such a contrast to the way they were with each other on their own show some years later. The youthful fun was replaced by sarcasm and the love was lost. My oldest brother loved them and I remember how excited he was when they showed up at the shopping center by our home and he stood in the parking lot while they entertained everyone....before they were really famous! I used to wear my hair long and wished it would look like Cher's..except for that stinkin' natural curl that even an iron couldn't get out! Ha! I guess I'm focused on S&C because the other songs aren't familiar. Wait! I remember "Tell Laura I love her" plays on sirus 60's quite often! Have a great weekend Tom and thanks for the smiles and memories of my very early teeny bopper days!

    1. The pleasure is all mine, dear YaYa! It's so nice of you to drop in to say hello just before bedtime.

      I figured Sonny and Cher would generate the lion's share of discussion and that's why I led with them. This video of their performance on the Smothers Brothers show electrifies me over and over again. The chemistry between them is palpable but it's also, as you seemed to be saying, their fresh, youthful enthusiasm. It was spring 1967 and clearly they were having a ball riding that enormous wave of popularity. It just goes to show you how attractive it is when you smile and adopt a winning attitude even when things aren't exactly going your way. Everybody loves a winner and we can all be more effective in our personal and professional lives if we act the part.

      Yessum, the deadly ditty "Tell Laura I Love Her" about a stock car race gone terribly wrong is the song we all associate with Ray Peterson, but I'm suggesting that this Wall-of-soundalike, "House w/o Windows," is the greater song and recording even though it was not a hit.

      Gosh I love for you to call me Tom, dear friend. I am thrilled that you and I found our way into this comfortable groove from the very start. You are a cherished friend, Kath. Good night and have a great Friday and a super weekend!

  7. Have you ever interviewed Phil Spector?


    1. Still fishing for clues, Jerre? (LOL) I wish I could see the look on your face when it turns out my big interview is with Disco Tex & His Sex-O-Lettes! :)

  8. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 11, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    The free-wheeling upbeat melodies and lyrics of these songs, and the expansive symphonic sound marked by chimes in the background remind me of several times in my younger years when I experienced the euphoria of falling in love. I'll never forget being nearly blinded by happiness and hope - all hinging on a guy I thought I couldn't live without.

    But then, as "House Without Windows" illustrates, there was a flaw in that thinking, and I sunk about as low as I had risen when things inevitably fell apart. The sheer number of songs describing these roller-coaster emotions must prove this is a universal experience.

    Thank God I survived those few wild and short-lived meteoric relationships before reality and life circumstances slapped me alongside the head and taught me to look beyond the first surface attractions to the substance in another person.

    The "chimes" were still there the last time it happened, but so much more has materialized with maturity. Hearing these songs again makes me celebrate that youthful time when life seemed less complicated, but emotions and hormones ruled. I certainly didn't recognize it at the time while weathering those ups and downs and necessary losses, but they led me to a destiny that's lasted 45 years!

    Thanks for a great post, Tom!

    1. Hello hello hello, dear Kathleen! It's always exciting to be reunited with an old friend from out of my past! :) Thank you very much for coming to spend some quality time in the Shady.

      I'm delighted with your insightful and articulate comments. I agree there are gazillions of songs about the great expectations and dashed dreams we inevitably experience as we play the game of love. I too heard music playing the first time I met Mrs. Shady, but it wasn't chimes. It was a combination of bass drum, sousaphone and kazoo!

      I am especially pleased that you brought up Ray Peterson's (Roy Orbison's) fine song "House W/O Windows." That recording continues to grow on me and it's a shame Ray's rendition completely missed the chart - never even Bubbled Under - another casualty of the British Invasion!

      Thank you again for visiting and for your thought provoking remarks, dear friend Kathleen.

      It's T-minus one week and counting and I hope we're still "GO" for lift-off! Please say hello to Mother Margaret for me and God bless you both!

  9. Another fun trip back in time, Shady. I loved the early memories of Sonny and Cher. I expect that their appearances on the Smothers Brothers (a show I loved) was my first introduction to them. Who knew then the fame that was to come for them.
    Ray Peterson's "Tell Laura I Love Her" was almost to sad for me and "Corinna, Corinna was a song I loved.

    1. Hi, Jeanie! Thank you so much for coming over to bask in Spectorian Splendor! It's sad in a way to watch that video of Sonny and Cher and to know that they weren't meant to last as a couple and that poor Sonny would someday crash into a tree while skiing and kill himself. Youth is something to be cherished and we can keep cherishing it today and tomorrow if we make it a habit to think young. That's what this blog is about, allowing you to step back into your youth and experience it through sight, sound and feeling.

      I was never a fan of death rock. That's why I favor Ray Peterson's "House W/O Windows." It's another sad song but one that's intelligently written and performed, not dripping with adolescent melancholy as was his tale of a tragic stock car race.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Jeanie. Enjoy your Colorado weekend and I'll see you soon!

  10. Hi Shady, it's 'color' me verrry late! It's just been a 'taxing' month for me, and I'm running late and dozing in between!

    But, I did get here, and a couple of pleasant surprises! Sonny and Cher-my favorites! Just loved them, and, oh, love the yellow outfits! They were great, I would always try to copy Cher's voice, but, I was closer to Sonny's, lol! I was so sorry for their split, and sorry about Sonny's death. But, I know Cher is still going strong.

    Gotta love Ray Peterson! Just can't help it. Karo and I did a version of 'Tell Laura I Love Her', and, not too bad. Karo was just interested in trying one of those tragedy tear-jerkers, and we just happened to have that one on a CD. Ray had a unique, whiny, voice, but it kept my interest in his work. Corina, Corina is my absolute favorite of his, Karo has even worked on that one. I'm not overly fond of 'House Without Windows', but thoroughly loved seeing him in your video. Thanks for being another fan of Ray Peterson-don't want him to get lost in the shuffle of tragedies!

    This was great! The Goodies and Diane Christian were both good. 'Dum Dum Ditty' was good, reminded me of the Shang ra Las a bit. Gosh, it's too bad, these singers didn't do better! They could really sing-they didn't just make noise and hope the music drowns out the bad stuff, -you had to have a singing voice in the 60's. Alder Ray was also very good.

    What a treat, Shady, that we have you to dig up great voices and musicians that were very good, but, just didn't get on the charts. Bravo! Hope you and Mrs. Shady are doing well, and the temps are not too stifling! Fort Worth was at 35° this morning. I've gotta tell you...I'm still loving the cool weather. Have a great week's middle and end, and thanks for squeezing this one tardy reader through the door! ♫

    1. Hello, same year Suzie! I vaguely remember you! (LOL) Heck, this post still has two more days to run so you're not too late at all, dear friend.

      I'm especially pleased that you touched on all the artists in this post. You and Karo are a lot more country and rockabilly oriented than me and I think that's why your ears don't hear what mine hear in Ray Peterson's performance of the Roy Orbison song "House W/O Windows." I agree with you that the Goodies were an excellent girl group but languished in the shadow of the better known and more successful Shangri-las. I will be presenting the Shangs' version of "The Dum Dum Ditty" in a future installment of this Echoes series. I'm also glad you appreciated the black artists represented here, Diane Christian and Alder Ray.

      It's hard for me to believe your temps dipped down near the freezing mark again. We've been sweltering most days but a rain system with the potential for some rough stuff is reportedly headed our way Friday.

      Thank you very much for attending this month's Echoes bash, dear friend. There's a very special birthday celebration coming up on the blog this Friday so please mark your calendar and try to be here that day. I thank you in advance.

      Good night to you, dear friend Suzanne, and have a wonderful Wednesday!

  11. Hi there Shadykins. I'm here at long last! The little ones are in their Easter break, and I'm fortunate enough to be spending lots of time with them. Hence my blogging is way behind. I so agree with you - how wonderful it was to be young back in the sixties. The very best of times with the very best if music. I was a huge fan of The Spector sound , and enjoyed all your choices today. So loved Sonny and Cher, and I actually knew of the Smothers Brothers. Their Shows were obviously shown over here as well. We are enjoying a gorgeous spell of sunny weather at the moment. Smooches to you dear friend.

    1. Hallo hallo hallo, dear Thisisme! Thank you very much for coming, dear friend! I was hoping you and Suzanne hadn't made a secret pact to boycott Shady's blog! (LOL)

      I'm excited to know you enjoy basking in Spectorian Splendor in the Shady. I wouldn't have predicted that you know the Smothers Brothers. Vintage clips from their show available on YouTube represent a who's who of rock stars and pop bands of the day. I'm glad you enjoyed this Sonny and Cher performance. Wasn't it great to be young when they were young? We were very lucky to have had music and artists like these to serenade us as teenagers. We can still choose to think, feel and act young and I hope you will continue to join me in doing that here at SDM&M.

      More great weather in Devon? I couldn't be happier about that. Our weather has been unsettled for days with wind and squalls. Friday is expected to be quite stormy.

      As I told Suzanne above, this Friday is a very important day here on the blog (another special person's birthday) and I do hope you will come back over that day and spread some cheer.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comments, dear friend Thisisme. Hugs, smooches and God bless you!

  12. I'm afraid I'm late also. Seeing Sonny and Cher in their yellow outfits was a treat. They look so young and happy. When they had their own show my daughters fell in love with them and I bought them Sonny and Cher dolls the size of Barbie. They were so excited. I love the song they sang on the video.

    The 4 Tops were amazing as usual and the Goodies were cute, but I loved Diane Christian. That song was as good as any #1 song out there at the time. Her voice was lovely. Alder Ray's song was fun and fast. I think if I listened to 'House Without Windows' a few more times I would like it more and more as you do. The ending was spectacular. I do love the 'wall of sound' in music and these were great. Love and hugs.

    1. Hi, dear Belle! What a wonderful comment, my special friend, and very much appreciated!

      Thank you for helping me recall the fun and excitement of the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, a weekly must see TV event during the early 70s. Remember the show's recurring sketches - the Fortune Teller, Sonny's Pizza and the Vamp Sketch? Remember little Chastity joining them at the end of each episode to sing "I Got You Babe"?

      I am thrilled that you picked out the recording by Diane Christian. I totally agree with you that "Wonderful Guy" was hitworthy. With a break or two Diane could have become the next Dionne Warwick but, as you know, fate is fickle in the record business and everywhere else.

      Thank you very much for being here for this edition of Echoes, Belle. As I reminded Thisisme (above) tomorrow (Friday) is a very special day, a birthday celebration for a good friend of ours. I hope you can return tomorrow and say a few words for this lovely lady. Thank you, dear friend Belle. Have a great Thursday!

  13. some more beauties to add to my Phil Spector playlist! Wonderful post yet again!

    1. Thank you, Cat! I have at least 75 more Spectorian relics to present this year and next and I hope you enjoy them. Thank you very much for popping in, dear friend. I hope you are having a marvelous weekend.

  14. I loved watching the Sonny and Cher video, they just looked like they were having so much fun! I've never heard of the Goodies or Ray Peterson but both songs were so great. I feel like as I go through your blog I'm going to have so many new artists to listen to!

    1. Hi, sweet friend! I agree that this Sonny and Cher performance video captures the fun and excitement of youth in the Sixties. I wish you could have been a teenager back then and experienced it first hand because you would have been living a dream.

      As you comb through my blog you will notice that I present my favorite recordings from the 50s, 60s, 70s 80s, 90s and even a few that were released in the new millennium. I love to discover rare, obscure, little known artists and songs and introduce my readers to them because most of us have heard the chart topping hits a million times and are tired of them. Therefore, it is important for you to remember that you and I are on the same journey of discovery here on SDM&M.

      Thank you for another great comment, dear friend Amia!


You talkin' to me?