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, September 7, 2014

Echoes of the Spectorian Era, Volume 5: Bjorn to Scale the Wall of Sound!

 Welcome to Vol. 5 of my 17-part series 

 celebrating the Spectorian era - 

 majestic Wall of Sound recordings 

 produced by Phil Spector and 

 those influenced by him. 


The Teardrops were a quartet of teenage girls
from Cincinnati. You know the drill. A record
exec discovered them playing local venues and
signed them to a record contract. Soon the
girls were releasing singles and opening for
the Beach Boys and Sonny and Cher.

In the fall of 1965 the Teardrops released their
best known single, "Tears Come Tumbling."
"T-C-T" is a classic - Spectorian Splendor
and Girl Group Nirvana rolled into one fab
45. Unsolved mystery: why wasn't it a hit?

 "Tears Come Tumbling" - The Teardrops 
 (November 1965, uncharted) 

Now let's hear from the blue-eyed soul duo
that reached its peak of popularity
with Spector-produced recordings.


The Righteous Brothers ballad "Unchained Melody”
played in heavy rotation on WSBA York in the
summer of 1965 and was one of my favorites.

I wrote "was" (past tense) because Hollywood
ruined “Unchained Melody” for me.  It happened
in 1990 when the love song became the theme of
 the movie blockbuster Ghost and suffered a bad
case of media overexposure.  The ghostly tie-in
corrupted my original memory of the song.
Before Ghost, "Unchained Melody"
reminded me of floating on a raft
in my backyard pool listening
to the radio.

Now, every time I hear it,
my mind conjures up images
of teary-eyed Demi and that
blasted blob of clay!

 "Unchained Melody" - The Righteous Brothers 
 (August 1965, highest chart position #4) 


One of the most prolific songwriters of
the Baby Boom generation, Ellie Greenwich,
along with her husband and writing partner,
Jeff Barry, composed many of the songs
that turned into hits for Phil Spector's
recording acts.  Greenwich and Barry
penned and produced some of the
best records of the 60s and helped
define the Brill Building sound.

Ellie Greenwich was also fine singer.  She provided
the female vocals for the Raindrops, a group that
she and husband Jeff fabricated to release singles
for the teen market in the early to mid 60s.

The Raindrops landed 5 singles on the Hot 100
and Ellie as a solo artist achieved one. Her best
single, "You Don't Know," remained uncharted
because she simply didn't have time to travel,
make personal appearances and promote it.
She and Jeff were too busy making hit records
for other artists and earning their induction
into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

 "You Don't Know" - Ellie Greenwich 
 (August 1965, uncharted) 



Now hear this - a superb yet uncharted cover
of the Walker Brothers hit "The Sun Ain't Gonna
Shine Anymore" recorded by an obscure
girl group called The Little Bits.

Featuring the lead vocals of Karyl Mann, 
The Little Bits rendition of "Sun" was 
released on the Dyno Voice label in 1968.

The Little Bits were no-hit-wonders but this
soulful recording of theirs deserves to be heard.

 "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" 
 The Little Bits featuring Karyl Mann 
 (1968, uncharted) 


Pop singer Karen Kelly recorded in Nashville
on Sound Stage 7, the soulful subsidiary
of Monument Records. Karen's first single,
released in 1964, was a song she wrote
called "Nobody's Girl."

With clean, powerful vocals by Karen
and dynamic Spector style production,
"Nobody's Girl" had the potential to
become a major girl group style hit.
Instead, it missed the Hot 100 and
didn't even make a dent in the
Bubbling Under chart. Listen
to this lost nugget and you'll
wonder why Karen Kelly
never became a star.

 "Nobody's Girl" - Karen Kelly 
 (October 1964, uncharted) 


Phil Spector's influence was far reaching.
It extended across oceans and decades.

In January of 1973, the Swedish pop group ABBA
went into a Stockholm studio and recorded "Ring Ring."
Producer and studio engineer Michael B. Tretow was
hopped up on Spector at the time and decided to
give ABBA's single the Spectorian Wall of Sound
treatment. He recorded the backing track twice
with the overdub slightly off speed, producing the
effect of a full orchestra. It marked the first time
the technique was used on a recording in Sweden.

By the following year ABBAmania was spreading
throughout Europe.  The guys and gals were on the
brink of international stardom when they made this
live TV appearance on the Tommy Cooper Show.

 "Ring Ring" - ABBA 
 (February 1973, highest chart position 
 #1 Belgium, #2 Norway, #2 Austria 
  Live on The Tommy Cooper Show, 1974) 


 That wraps up this edition of Echoes. 

 Part 6 is in the works 

 and coming soon. 

 Please be here! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. For 49 years I thought it was Da Doo Run Run.
    Have a nice Sunday, Shady.

    1. Thanks, Susie! I decided to go with a variation of Fred Flintstone's famous cheer.

      Have a great Sunday and a wonderful week ahead, dear friend Susie!

  2. I always enjoy these posts Shady. Hope you had a great weekend!

    1. Hi, Sarah! I'm happy to know you are enjoying my Echoes series. There are still a dozen more volumes to come so stay tuned.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear Sarah. I hope you had a delightful weekend and I wish you a safe and happy week ahead!

  3. I love Unchained Melody. I've blocked that stupid sequence from Ghost. I never thought it was sexy. I had no idea Spector was associated with ABBA. I've learned from you yet again.


    1. Hi, Janie Junebug! Blogging gives us the opportunity to teach as well as to learn. I'm happy knowing you learned something new from my post. Glad you agree that the iconic clay scene from Ghost was a bit too obvious and not as hot as it was meant to be.

      I hope your day was a good one, dear friend, and I wish you an even better week ahead!

  4. Hi Shady...Sundae Sue here! I know how much you like ABBA. They were so great, but I had not heard 'Ring Ring' before. It was a pretty good song, sort of had an older late 60's sound, and they really evolved from there.

    I'm sorry that the movie Ghost ruined a great song for you, and I know where you're coming from. It's almost as though the song doesn't exist without that movie, but, yet it was light years ahead of it! Loved those two guys!

    I wasn't overly fond of "Nobody's Girl'. It was kind of whiny, and The Teardrops were pretty good...too bad they couldn't go further. Oh, here I am, being a critic again.

    My absolute surprise and favorite is Ellie Greenwich-'You Don't Know'! Love that song and her sharp, clear voice with a little bit of grit! Thank you so much for this song! You just don't remember until you're reminded, do you? All of the dynamics and instruments compliment her voice, and sends chills all over!

    And, as for the Little Bits, I also just loved the 'Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore'! What a wonderful job Karyl does on that one...the song in itself can bring tears to your eyes, and sure rings true!

    Well, I loved this post Shady, and wish I could stay longer, but I've got Scootie here by my side waiting his turn for his PBS Kids site.

    Love this post, have a great week...see you soon!♫

    1. Hi, sweet Sundae Sue! Thank you very much for the excellent comment. I don't expect you to always agree with my ears and I take comfort knowing that you enjoyed most of these Spectorian selections.

      Along with Ghost overexposing "Unchained Melody," I could point to the Dan Aykroyd - Jamie Lee Curtis movie My Girl using the Temptations hit of the same name, The Big Chill borrowing several other boomer classics, most notably Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" which was used in the opening title sequence, and the Meg Ryan - Andy Garcia film When a Man Loves a Woman hijacking the Percy Sledge hit. This makes no mention of all the music we loved being corrupted by people who turn them into jingles for TV commercials.

      I'm so pleased you hear the greatness in singer/songwriter Ellie Greenwich's recording and that you also liked Karyl Mann's Little Bits a whole lot.

      Please say howdy to Scootie Potter for me, dear friend. Thanks again for being here on day one and have a wonderful week, Suzanne!

  5. Hello Shady,
    Thanks for bringing some more Spector magic (and newbies for me) to your blog.
    My pic on this post is Ellie Greenwich," you don't know". It reminded my of Leslie Gore's , "you don't own me". Their voices sound similar--love that song!
    Ghost was one of my favorite movies, I love that potter's wheel moment when "unchained melody" is played! I think that movie brought new life to that song (for younger generations).
    It's funny, I'm an ABBA fan but never heard, "ring, ring" but enjoyed it a lot. Also, really enjoyed the Teardrops, "tears come tumbling" and yes, it IS a mystery why it wasn't a hit??? Fun post once again!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, dear Toni! Thank you for coming over to bask in Spectorian Splendor! I'm thrilled to know you enjoyed Ellie Greenwich. If she hadn't been so busy writing hit songs and recording demos for other artists, including Phil Spector's, she might have become a major name as a solo recording artist.

      Mrs. Shady likes the movie Ghost mainly because of the goofy ghost character at the train station, the one who runs, jumps and dissolves inside a speeding train as it races by. You make a good point. Movies like Ghost that utilize boomer classics introduce them to a new generation and thereby help to immortalize them. I suppose we should be grateful.

      "Ring Ring" is one of ABBA's earliest recordings and not as well known as the ones they released in the years that followed. Glad you dig the Teardrops, a fantastic girl group that should have become famous.

      Thank you again for being here for the fun this week, dear friend Toni. Please take care, have a wonderful week ahead, and I hope to see you back here next Sunday!

  6. Shady, dear Shady:

    We've been on the run this weekend, so I'm just getting to read this. I hope it was scheduled, 'cause you're too young to be up a 2 a.m.

    We're both on the same page about Unchained Melody - Ghost totally ruined it for me. I've never been a Demi Moore fan (sorry, Demi).

    Likewise, the movie Mama Mia! Oh, sweet Zeus' sciatica, what were they thinking and how did that get to be a Broadway hit?? It can't be...noooooooooo....

    The Teardrops are new to me, yet there is an air of familiarity when I listen to the audio.

    I did love the girl groups of the 60s, though. I'm a sucker for three-part and four-part harmonies, even to this day. I'd make a sad, sad groupie for One Direction at my age...

    Hope you're having a great weekend - be well!

    1. Hi, sweetie pie! Thank you very much for coming by, Cherdo. First of all, you need to remember that Blogger's time stamp is Pacific time, so the post was actually published at 5 am Eastern. Nevertheless, it was indeed scheduled and I was still snoozing when it went live.

      I'm glad that you and I agree about Ghost. I also wholeheartedly agree that the world was given a massive overdose of ABBA in movies and on Broadway. Did you ever see Muriel's Wedding? Enough!!!!!!!!!!

      You might not make a good groupie for One Direction but you make a super groupie for Shecky Shady & the Rats. I am very thankful to have you aboard.

      I very much appreciate you taking time to swing by, dear friend Cherdo. I hope you had a great weekend and that the coming week will be even better! Bless you!

    2. Now that you mention it, I loved Muriel's Wedding! It was a bit of a sleeper when I first saw it, but Toni Collette was great in that flick.

    3. Yessum, the movie was released before everybody and his mother started milking the ABBA craze to death. I rather enjoyed it.

      Thanks for the follow-up, dear Cherdo!

  7. what a wonderful collection of pretty songs that you've shared this evening! Such beautiful do-wop tunes so full of feeling and good looking band members are always fun. the ladies are always good for outfit and hairstyle inspiration while the guys are cute and charming with their suits and ties and 50s hair.
    i enjoyed all of these video songs, but i think the one i loved the most was Abba. WOW, all those colors and just just can't beat a good 70s/80s soft rock song. Thank was an interesting one that brought a smile to my face.
    thank you, friend Shady! Happy Trails for your week ;)
    -Abigail and Daisy

    1. Hi again, dear Abigail & Daisy! Thank you very much for coming over to sample my latest batch of Spectoresque recordings.

      You brought up a good point. Images and video clips like these are not only entertaining, they are also educational. Like Mad Men and other period television series and movies, they give today's young people a glimpse of the fashion trends and hair styles popular in those years,

      I love ABBA. I have featured them on the blog before and I will in the future. The Swedish super group of the 70s and 80s offered the perfect blend of style and substance. I thank them for the music and I thank you, Abigail, for spending some time in the Shady with me. I wish you a safe and happy week ahead, dear friend!

  8. Hi Shady, I remember my daughters loved the movie Ghost. I wasn't a fan. I guess 'Pretty Woman' comes to my mind in the same way as yours. I owned that song as a teen and loved Roy Orbison. However, I wasn't crazy about how the song brings memories of the movie now. I am glad though that it brought him to the attention of a whole new generation.

    I certainly loved Karen Kelly's voice. Not a bad song, but I really didn't like 'Ring, Ring' by Abba. I do like most of their songs. My daughters and I used to play their Greatest Hits and sing and dance in the living room.

    The 'Little Bits' did a good job on their song. They sound great as did the Teardrops. You never know if someone will make it big or not. Ellie Greenwich did have a nice voice, but I'm glad she made it big as a songwriter. I think you can make money for many years on hit songs. Thanks for the fun today!

    1. Hi, dear Belle! Thank you for coming down! Pretty Woman is another good example of having your original memories of a song sabotaged and corrupted years later by its use in a hit movie. Thanks for reminding me of that one.

      I'm glad Karen Kelly gets at least one vote other than mine. I think she's great and I will be posting another of her recordings in a future volume of Echoes. Karen has a YouTube channel and leaves comments like the following when other YouTubers upload her recordings.

      Karen wrote:

      "I still live in the (Nashville) area and have written many songs over the years. I wrote one of Johnny Paycheck's first songs on Little Darlin Records in early 60's. "The Girl they talk About" Was married to Tommy Allsup of Buddy Holly fame 32 years."

      What Karen is referring to in that last statement is her link to one of the most tragic events in rock 'n' roll history. Her husband, guitarist Tommy Alsup, is the man who lost the fateful coin toss with Ritchie Valens and gave up his seat on that ill fated plane the night it crashed killing Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper - an event that became known as "the day the music died."

      Thank you again for dropping by, dear friend Belle. You always brighten my spirits with your visits and comments. God bless!

  9. I agree with you that Ghost really changed and ruined that beautiful song. I still love to hear it, but have to consciously put lovely images into my head so that movie doesn't pop up into it. And Abba? Abba is one of my all time favorites, always, all times! Love them!

    1. Hi, Shelly! I'm glad you agree with me that Ghost burned into our brains images of that clay scene, making it the first thing that comes to mind whenever we hear that song.

      You've been with me long enough to know that I love ABBA, too, and have featured their recordings a few times over the six years. Hard to believe Aggie will be 65 next spring. There's also a special anniversary connected to ABBA coming up a year from now and it boggles my mind. Stay tuned!

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear friend Shelly. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  10. I feel like I've slid late into music sorry to comment this late but I've enjoyed the music here tonight! I love the Righteous Brothers and I did like the movie "Ghost"....sorry! I'm not as familiar with the other artists featured but I really thought Karen Kelly had the sound going around in the early 60's..I'm glad you featured her and I think I would have enjoyed her when I was 11! Then there's ABBA....I've always enjoyed ABBA. We had a Doc who also loved them and would ;play their music in surgery constantly until we fired him...wait, I think he left of his own accord..anyway I'm not too fond of "Ring Ring" and the movie that featured all ABBA songs...can't think of it's name right now, but I hated that and especially Pierce Brosnan's singing voice...all that has not turned me against ABBA however! Am I sounding negative tonight? I hope not because I always learn something new when I visit! Thanks for the lesson tonight and I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! I think every year when 9-11 rolls around it understandably affects our mood. I agree that we were given an overdose of ABBA a few years ago on stage and screen. In 2007, I was "Head Over Heels" for the Swedes. I collected all their hits compilations and all of Agnetha's solo albums. I listened to ABBA and nothing but ABBA that entire year until I finally had enough. Today I listen to their songs only occasionally. It was the same with my heavy metal phase a year or so ago. I listened to nothing but gothic European metal for nearly a whole year. When my taste began to change again I moved on. For the last year I have been focused on American and British girl pop and girl groups and the Spector sound. This phase is taking longer than usual to "wear off."

      With that in mind, I am very pleased that your ears hear what my ears hear in that girl group style recording made by Karen Kelly, Please check my reply to Belle's comment to get the compelling true story of Karen's connection to "The Day The Music Died."

      Thank you very much for taking time to visit, listen and comment, dear friend YaYa. I wish you a peaceful and enjoyable weekend.

  11. Kathleen Mae SchneiderSeptember 13, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    Here I am, late again, but I must add my two cents anyway. I'm with YaYa - I liked Ghost - and it didn't ruin Unchanged Melody for me. I had no images and experiences up to that point that it negated. Probably some would feel the same way about "You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling" in the final scene of Top Gun. For me, it was new exposure to a vaguely familiar song within the appropriate context of a story. It made perfect sense, so I can still enjoy it when I hear it. It's all about our life's associations, isn't it?

    As for the clay scene - I must respectfully and personally expand on that blob of clay you mentioned. I probably relate to the Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze characters because I've watched a number of hunky potters with rippling muscles throw pots on the wheel as part of my training and at craft venues. I've also had the marvelous opportunity to do it myself, both learning how to do it in college and perfecting my skills when we had a potter as the first artist-in-residence in our school. I was fortunate to have been given a kiln and hope to someday enjoy ceramic design again.

    So forgive me as I indulge my inner art geek self here! Being able to center the clay that you've spent a half hour wedging (kneading for plasticity) onto the wheel, then having enough strength in your arms and shoulders to keep it in place on a spinning wheel and actually form it into a vessel of uniform thickness and structural integrity - that ventures from the skill realm into a magic one for me.

    I haven't even mentioned the sensation of the pliable and submissive clay yielding to your every touch. What was basically mud is transformed, once it's fired, into not only a useful object, but more importantly, a final imprint of your hands and creativity. It ultimately is a very sensuous experience! I do need to mention, however, that I never had the likes of Patrick Swayze "helping" me as I worked! :)

    Abba has always been a favorite of mine, so I was happy to hear them again. I need to listen to the other artists again when I've got more time, before I venture an opinion. Alas, the post will be gone by then!

    Thanks for the opportunity to vent and for all the time you put into posts such as this. Your creativity and skill, much like a potter's, shows in the final product.

    1. Hi, dear Kathleen! Thank you very much for making time to come by and experience the latest edition of Echoes.

      Goodness gracious, after reading about your intimate experiences with clay I kneaded a cold shower! (LOL) Thanks for the tutorial. You taught me more than I ever thought I'd know about the fine art of pottery making.

      It's true. Exposed primarily to classical music in your youth, you were in a unique position, having few original memories of top 40 songs to be contaminated by their later use in movies, TV shows and commercials.

      My dislike of Ghost is mainly a guy thing. I am not fond of chick flicks and date movies and that's why I reacted so strongly when "Unchained Melody" became irrevocably tied to that romantic scene at the pottery wheel.

      Thank you again for seizing a window of opportunity to visit, listen and comment, dear friend Kathleen. I hope all is well with you and with Mother. Please tell her I said hello and that I love her.

      Next post is tomorrow and I hope you can stop by again in the coming week. God bless!

  12. Kathleen Mae SchneiderSeptember 13, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    P.S. Bob says the only thing that "ruins" a song for him is when Kenny G plays it!

    1. Ha! Tell Bob I'm sure there are many many MANY Kenny G fans out there. The only thing is I never met a single one. :)

      Thanks again, dear Kathleen. Please take good care of yourself and Mother.

      God bless!

  13. Excuse me, Shady. I was wondering if you could do me a favor.

    1. I'd feel a lot better if the total number of comments was a nice round number like 30.

      Can you help me out?


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