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, August 31, 2014

Duel in the Shady: The Weapons? 45s! (How The West Was Fun, Part 4)









 The stroke of high noon... 

 It's time for a 

 duel in the Shady 

 using 45s. 

 I'll play sets of the same song 

 recorded by different artists. 

 You, the listener, have the 

 unenviable task of having to 

 pick the winner of each spin-off. 

 Start clicking, picking and 

 tapping your toes... NOW! 


The vocal group the Drifters was formed in 1953 to
showcase the talent of lead singer Clyde McPhatter.
Over the years personnel came and went including
leads Ben E. King, Rudy Lewis and Johnny Moore.
In the late 50s, manager George Treadwell fired
all of the original members and brought in
another group called the Five Crowns
to record and perform as the Drifters.

The lead singer of the revamped Drifters act was
Charlie Thomas and the group's first single with
Thomas on lead was "Sweets For My Sweet"
which hit the top 10 on the R&B chart and
reached #16 on the pop side.

 "Sweets For My Sweet" - The Drifters 
 (Oct. 1961, highest chart pos. #16 Hot 100/#10 R&B


In the summer of  1963, a cover of "Sweets For My Sweet"
became the debut single for the English Merseybeat band
the Searchers. Beatlemania and the British Invasion were
still a few months in the future.  Consequently, the
 Searchers' catchy cover remained uncharted
stateside while rocketing all the way
to #1 on the UK chart.

 "Sweets For My Sweet" - The Searchers 
 (July 1963, highest chart pos. #1 UK, 
 uncharted in the U.S.) 


Several versions of the popular song "Young Love"
were released between Thanksgiving 1956 and
January 1957. The first, recorded by Ric Cartey
 with the Jiva-Tones, missed the chart. Actor
and singer Tab Hunter, on the other hand,
 watched his rendition soar to #1.

 "Young Love" - Tab Hunter 
 (March 1957, highest chart position #1) 


Another version of "Young Love" was released
the same month the Tab Hunter record was on
the chart, this one by the Canadian kings of
cover, the vocal quartet the Crew-Cuts.

 "Young Love" -The Crew-Cuts 
 (March 1957, highest chart pos. #24) 


Alabama native James Loden took the stage name
Sonny James.  Sonny was said to be so polite that
he earned the nickname The Southern Gentleman.
Sonny turned his recording of "Young Love" into
a huge country crossover hit.  James' record
 halted at #2 on the pop chart while topping
the country survey for 9 weeks. My parents
bought the Sonny James 45 and they and I
played it often. It was the only version of
"Young Love" that I remember hearing
as a child. I love it and consider
it the definitive.

 "Young Love" - Sonny James 
 (January 1957, highest chart position 
 #2 Billboard, #1 Cash Box, #1 Country


Nearly a decade later, teen pop idol Lesley Gore
recorded her own version of "Young Love."

Released as a single at the start of spring 1966,
Lesley's cover of "Young Love" made it only
halfway up the Billboard chart.

 "Young Love" - Lesley Gore 
 (April 1966, highest chart position #50) 


Led by Otis Williams, The Charms were a popular
R&B vocal group of the 50s that started their
career recording ballads. It wasn't until they
hopped on the rock 'n' roll bandwagon
that the Charms began a string of hits.

The first was a cover of "Hearts of Stone" which
went to #1 on the black chart and #15 pop.
"Hearts of Stone" was originally recorded
by another black group, the Jewels, and
was also covered with great success by
the Fontane Sisters who took it to
#1 on the pop chart. The Charms
followed "Hearts of Stone" with
"Two Hearts" which made the
top 10 on the R&B chart.

 "Two Hearts" - The Charms 
 (April 1955, highest chart pos. #8 R&B


The Crew Cuts covered "Two Hearts" but let's
not go there again. Instead, here's a downright
decent cover by Pat Boone. I often joke about
Pat and his whitewashed covers of black originals,
but I must admit that I like the squeaky clean singer's
rockabilly interpretation of this particular R&B song.

 "Two Hearts" - Pat Boone 
 (April 1955, highest chart position 
  #16 Hot 100, #14 Cash Box

 Original or copycat... 

 which is better? 

 Now that the shootout's over 

 and the smoke has cleared 

 which 45s are standing tall? 

 Which ones bit the dust? 

 Think twice before 

 you answer, pardner. 

Have a Shady day!


  1. I didn't know Tab Hunter sang! I remember him best for that movie in which he gets darling little Sandra Dee pregnant. A Summer Place? I have to come back later to let the different versions battle it out. I swam for hours yesterday, which means I lolled about in the pool, floating on my back. I have water in my right ear. I put in "swim ear" drops yesterday, but I continue to feel as if I'm underwater. More drops for me. Poor Willy Dunne Wooters watched college football yesterday. His team lost AND in one mad dash to the kitchen for a beer, he caught the back of his hand on a metal strip on the refrigerator. He did an excellent job of slicing open his hand. Fortunately, the wound is small and didn't bleed much so it's within my powers to treat him. I'll be back when I can hear.


    1. Hi, Janie Junebug! I'm sorry to find out you've got swimmer's ear, dear friend. It's one of the most aggravating conditions known to man (or woman) and happens to me every time I take a shower. I am also sorry to learn of WDW's mishap. Isn't it your job to keep him supplied with beer during football season so that he doesn't have to jump up from the TV and risk life and limb? :)

      Aren't you getting hunk Tab Hunter confused with hunk Troy Donohue? Tab Hunter was in Battle Cry, Damn Yankees and Ride the Wild Surf and hosted The Tab Hunter Show. Along with "Young Love," Tab made the chart with the B side of that single, "Red Sails in the Sunset," "Ninety-Nine Ways," "Jealous Heart," "Apple Blossom Time" and a couple of other songs.

      Thank you very much for coming to see me on a Sunday, dear friend Janie. I wish you a safe and happy Labor Day, sweetie!

    2. No, Smart Ass, it is not my job to keep Willy Dunne Wooters supplied with beer. I do have Tab Hunter confused with Troy Donohue. Do they look at all alike? I don't think I've seen any of the movies you mentioned and I didn't know Tab had a TV show. I used to know someone named Tab. When he told people his name he always spelled it because they had a hard time with Tab. I recall that I also had that Tab confused with another man for quite some time. I don't remember the other guy's name. Maybe James.

    3. Okay. I'm back again. I had to take my bra off because the underwire was digging into me. I am in my pink nightie and I feel comfortable enough to listen to music. It turns out that Tab Hunter does not sing. He's flat. I guess his good looks and popularity as an actor sent his record to #1. What part did he have in Damn Yankees? I hope he didn't sing. Damn Yankees is one of the few movie musicals I have never seen. The Crew-Cuts' sound is kind of sticky sweet. They are a grumpy grandma's idea of what's good. I'm sorry, but I can't jump on the Sonny James bandwagon. I find his voice a little twangy. I've been a Lesley Gore fan for a long time. I love the photo of her on It's My Party. That's some beehive hairdo. I like Pat Boone, too. We saw him in The Will Rogers Follies. He was quite good, which I didn't really expect. I knew he could sing and that he'd been in some movies, but I didn't know he could carry a musical on stage. I'll try to remember to Google Tab so I can learn more about him, and I need to see if Netflix has Damn Yankees. Oh, and Shady, get me a beer. Please. I'm going to throw it out the window because I don't like beer.


    4. LOL, you have me falling out of my chair, Janie Junebug! I need to hire a drummer of my own to play some BA-DUM-BUMPS because these two follow-up comments are classics. Thank you for coming back over!

      You wrote:

      << I used to know someone named Tab.>>

      I used to date a gal named Fresca. :)

      You wrote:

      << I had to take my bra off because the underwire was digging into me. >> << It turns out that Tab Hunter does not sing. He's flat. >>

      Better him than you, dearie! :)

      Thank you again for this rambling rant, dear sweet Janie. It's fun playing with you and I hope to see you back here in my sandbox soon.

      Good night!

    5. You make me laugh so hard it's horrible.

    6. I hope I didn't cause you to become incontinent, dear friend. :)

  2. Haha, I love Janie Junebug's first remark..."I didn't know Tab Hunter sang!" He didn't sing well...his version of 'Young Love' presents a flat drawling voice. I'm sorry to be so smug, Tab Hunter was a gorgeous hunk, and a pretty good actor, but he was better off just to stand there and move only slightly with his mouth shut!

    And, the Crew Cuts cut was not so good either.

    I really like the Sonny James cut of 'Young Love' as you and your parents Shady. A handsome man, with personality and talent! I'm giving it up for Sonny!

    You know, I like both versions of 'Two Hearts, Two Kisses'. I think the Charms gave it an upbeat and strong go, and Pat Boone, sure gave it his all and stayed right there with them.

    By the way, Good Afternoon Shady! What a challenge! I do have to give the Drifters my #1 for 'Sweets for My Sweet'. They were another fantastic group that, as you say, produced the great Ben E. King and Clyde McPhatter.

    This is a great post, with great folks of talent. Hope I wasn't too critical of Tab, but he's easier to look at than to listen to, lol! So glad to see you this weekend, have a safe Labor Day! ♫

    1. Hi, dear Suzanne! I hope you don't have carpal tunnel from having to reply to my back-to-back posts. :) I really appreciate you coming over again so soon.

      I knew you'd agree with me and my parents that Sonny James, The Southern Gentleman, gave us the definitive version of "Young Love." I played his record hundreds of times in the late 50s and it was great to hear it again in this post. The recordings by the Searchers, the Crew-Cuts, Lesley Gore and Pat Boone all remind us that covering original recordings is and was a common practice. Sometimes the covers were as good or even better than the originals. However, I can't think of any Crew-Cuts recordings that are anywhere near as good as those they copied. In all fairness, Pat Boone did a good job on some of his early records and "Two Hearts, Two Kisses" is one of them. Another is "Ain't That a Shame."

      I'm very pleased with your comment, Suzanne. I hope your holiday weekend is going great and will continue that way. Stay safe and happy Labor Day to you, Karo and Scootie, dear friend!

  3. Happy Labor Day weekend! After listening to these tunes a couple of times I made my choices. 1) The Drifters all the way which surprised me since I remember the Searchers version. 2) Lesley Gore gets my vote, probably because she's who I remember and grew up with which totally blows away my reason in #1! 3)The Charms over squeakie clean Mr. Boone (that explains why he sells bathtubs!) although it was close. I hope I don't have to go to the OK corral because of my choices! My trigger finger is cramping on the keyboard so I'm going to mosey on...Oh, before I forget, Eddy was here today and sends a big woof to you!

    1. Hi, YaYa! As I told Suzanne, I am grateful to dear friends like you for the repeat visit to my blog within 24 hours. I try to space my posts a week apart but Allie-Mille invited me to submit that post for her blog and that explains the rare log jam.

      I'm thrilled that you picked the Drifters' original version of "Sweets." I think most young'uns your age would stick to the better known British Invasion cover. I can't fault you for selecting Lesley Gore. I bought one of her CD collections a couple years ago and was blown away by her rendition of "Young Love." In this 4-horse race Lesley's version comes in second, losing by a nose to Sonny James. I am also impressed that you picked the version of "Two Hearts" released by Otis Williams and the Charms. Way to go!

      I'm delighted to learn that my old buddy Eddy came over for a visit again today. I hope the weather allowed him to romp around the grounds.

      Thank you again for being a top notch friend, dear YaYa. Once again, happy anniversary to you and Jack. Have a great Labor Day and a wonderful week ahead!

  4. Great songs Shady! I prefer the Searchers version of Sweets For My Sweet, their song Needles and Pins is a real favourite of mine and I like their sound.

    I agree with you and think Sonny James' version of True Love is the better one. I can't pick a favourite for Two Hearts - both versions were equally good!

    Have a great week Shady.

    1. Hi, dear Sarah! I'm very happy to see you! It doesn't surprise me at all that you fancy the Searchers. As you know British groups routinely covered American R&B and the Searchers did it better than most. I have always loved their fresh, clean, enthusiastic sound, especially on Jackie DeShannon's songs "Needles and Pins" and "When You Walk in the Room," the latter also covered nicely by ABBA's Agnetha Faltskog.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Sarah. I wish you a super week ahead!

  5. I'm just going to comment on two:

    Lesley Gore definitely rules on "Young Love" and Pat Boone on "Two Hearts, Two Kisses."

    This is a great post and I love how you provided the links to the songs and absolutely great graphics. that is one of the best things about your blog, Shady.

    Your tales (big, tall or small) inform and enlighten, but having a handy link and a picture to refresh the memory, or introduce an entertainer - perfect.

    Cherdo's brain is equal parts visual and auditory; the Dell blog is great. Thanks!

    (Sorry I didn't stop by yesterday, I was a little under the weather!)

    Have a great Labor Day, Shady!

    1. Hello hello hello, dear friend Cherdo! Thank you for coming over today to take part in my Duel in the Shady (using 45s). I'm sorry to learn that you were feeling poorly yesterday and hope you're doing much better now.

      That makes two votes for Lesley Gore's recording of "Young Love." It doesn't shock me because you and YaYa are both younger that old Shady. I have found that an age difference of only 5 to 10 years can make a big difference in the type of music a person remembers and the kind he or she prefers. Yessum, I'm hinting that there is a generation gap that divides older boomers and younger ones.

      I'm also tickled to know that you enjoyed crooner Pat Boone's rockabilly style rendering of "Two Hearts." I never tire of listening to it.

      Thank you very much for the compliments on the manner in which I compose my posts. Coming from a blogger of your caliber, your kind words mean a lot to me.

      Thank you again for coming by, dear friend Cherdo. Have a relaxing Labor Day and a wonderful week ahead!

  6. Are you taking a poll, Shady? Well, here is MY opinion (since you asked)!
    Sweet's for my sweetie--the Searches
    Young Love, Tab Hunter with Lesley Gore coming in as a close second
    Although not a Pat Boon Fan, I thought he song it best for Two hearts
    What does the consensus say? Am I in the majority or minority?
    It's amazing how different different artist can change a song with a faster tempo or just a completely different voice!
    BTW, Happy Labor Day!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, Toni! Thank you for stopping by, dear friend! You made a good point. If you listen to the four versions of "Young Love" presented here, you will notice that they all have different arrangements and a different "feel." Same with "Sweets." You are in the younger age group that I've been discussing in my replies here and that helps explain why your ears favor the Searchers. I'm glad you agree that Pat Boone did a nice job with "Two Hearts." It's another record my brother bought and I listen to often after he joined the Air Force, moved away and left his collection behind.

      Thank you again for dropping by, dear friend Toni. I wish you a happy Labor Day and a wonderful week ahead!

  7. Howdy and happy labor day!
    as you probably already know, i find it very hard to choose a favorite of anything, ESPECIALLY when i t comes to good music. each one of these tunes you've shared was just an absolute delight to listen to. choosing a winner for any of these is something i have been sitting here for a good while thinking over. please do not think it is a cop-out for me to say that it is honestly hard to choose. each of these songs are wonderful songs, with just enough differences to make them interesting and unique and difficult to compare.
    however, i did get a big kick out of Sonny James' 'Young Love', which is a very special song for me, as i also heard it played by my parents, who heard it played by theirs. while i was reading/listening through this post, i had it tuned up very loud and my mom came in and we were singing along with it and just having a grand old time. His version of Young Love i also remember hearing inside Spangles, (the retro themed, Kansas fast food chain) which i think i have mentioned before.
    Thank you for another round of wonderful old songs!
    -Abigail and Daisy
    P.S. we are also a fan of that great movie, High Noon... what a story!

    1. Hi, dear Abigail and Daisy! I hope all is well in Kansas this Labor Day. Thank you for coming!

      When I publish these music posts it is often hard for me to pick a favorite. I appreciate the different versions of a song and the work each artist, producer, arranger and audio mixer puts into the finished product.

      I am thrilled to know that your parents recognized the Sonny James recording and that you all sang it together. That really makes my day because teenagers and their parents don't usually agree on many things. I do believe Sonny's rendition of "Young Love" is the kind of classic that's shared down through the generations as it was in your family and mine. I remember you telling me about Spangles, the retro eatery. I wish I could find a place like that around here.

      Thank you again, my dear Kansas friends Abigail and Daisy. I hope you're having a great Labor Day and I wish you a very happy week ahead!

  8. Well, this is just too hard for me to make a single call. You always pick the best music, and even if I've never heard it before, I always end up tapping at least a few toes to it. Thank you once again, dear friend, for these well thought, well researched, and always enjoyable posts!

    1. ...and thank you, dear Shelly, for your ongoing friendship and support. I hope by now you have completely recovered from your medical ordeal and are feeling 100% and enjoying your Labor Day.

      I'm glad you enjoyed this selection of tunes and I hope to see you this coming Sunday when I present Part 5 of my series Echoes of the Spectorian Era.

      Thank you again, dear friend Shelly, and have a great week!

  9. Hi Shady. This was so much fun. I love comparing artists. Well, you may be surprised but I like Tab Hunter's rendition of 'Young Love' the best because it felt like he was singing to me, not staged I guess I would say. It just sounded romantic.

    Sonny James has an amazing voice, but it didn't move me like Tab. I didn't know Tab could sing either. I love his voice, although maybe I have a bad ear for music!

    I choose the Drifters because I loved the piano and drum backup and liked the background singers better. I remember both these songs and love them.

    I didn't care for the last song, Two Hearts but I guess Pat Boone's was a bit better. I never liked him when I was a teen. He seemed so boring - like a dad or something.

    As for Lesley Gore; every song she sings sounds terrific.

    1. Hi, Belle! Thank you very much for joining me for the conclusion of How The West Was Fun. It's good to see the votes being split among the various candidates. Tab Hunter's voice reaches you. His "Young Love" single shot to #1 on the chart and it probably had something to do with his handsome features and his popularity as a teen idol and movie star. I'm pleased that you preferred the Drifters' recording of "Sweets" and stated the specific reasons why. Over time I have trained my ears to listen to individual instruments and backing singers on recordings. It makes listening a lot more enjoyable when you get a real sense of all that went into those productions,

      I agree that Lesley Gore is one of those artists who can take almost any song and make it her own,

      Thank you again, dear friend Belle, for coming down for a look and a listen. I hope your week is going splendidly and I can't wait to see you again!

  10. Hi Shady Del Knight,

    Thanks for this musical post, I would have to say Two Hearts, The Charms for me since it has a good tempo to do The Jive to and second place Sweets 4 My Sweets - The Drifters - I love the R&B posts, thank you Shady

    1. Hi, dear Allie-Millie! Thank you for popping back in for another dose of music and memories.

      I am thrilled to know that you fancy American R&B and selected the Charms and Drifters as favorites. The Shady Dell was a mecca for lovers of music performed by black artists and Soul/R&B music authentically covered by white artists. You would have loved the Dell and would have fit right in as a Dellette.

      Thank you again for coming to see me today, dear Allie-Millie. Good night to you and have a wonderful Wednesday!

  11. As an old time Dell Rat, there is not much of a chance that I would like anything by Tab Hunter or Pat Boone! I don't recall they ever made the Dell juke box. I'll stick with the Charms and the Drifters.

    1. Hi, Jerre! Thanks for dropping in, good buddy! Imagine a parallel universe in which Dell rats danced exclusively to Tab Hunter, Pat Boone and Crew-Cuts records!

      (I just threw up in my mouth a little :)

      I take mine black and I know you do too. Thanks for testifying, Jerre. I hope to see you next time when once again we try to achieve that elusive state of ecstasy called...

      Spectorian Splendor!


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