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 30, 2015

Season 8 - Episode 17: Mr. Monk and the Liverwurst..... or is it Liverbest?

Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Natalie Teeger.

Welcome to the SDMM-BOTB-VIP Awards Banquet.
Tonight, special guest Mr. Adrian Monk will announce
the winner of last Monday's spin-off. Two UK acts
 covered original recordings by U.S. artists and
voters picked the UK cover they liked more.

As you can see, Natalie, I'm well suited for the role
of presenter. That's..... a little joke there.....

If I may call your attention to the projection screen
you will see that this week's contestants are as follows...

Just a minute, Natalie. The projection screen is... be seen. Okay, now we're good.

Lulu covering
Little Eva's "The Trouble With Boys"

and The Liverbirds covering
Sir Douglas Quintet's "She About a Mover."

I have just been handed a note from Mr. Shady Del Knight that reads: "Madam Chairwoman... I..... Shady Del Knight..... representing the proud state of pandemonium..... do hereby cast my entire block of votes, all one of them, for solo songbird Lulu. The Liverbirds all girl garage band did a nice job of covering Sir Douglas Quintet's 'She's About a Mover,' renamed 'He's About a Mover' and rendered from a female P.O.V. However, I don't care much for the song itself no matter who sings it, and I especially disliked the faster tempo used by the L-Birds. I enjoyed Lulu's rendition of 'The Trouble With Boys' much more. It starts with a great song and 'The Trouble With Boys,' a Jack Keller - Gerry Goffin composition, is just that. Fifteen year old Scottish lass Lulu performed the song in the innocent, immature style of Little Eva and U.S. girl groups of the early 60s. Lulu's vocals combined with a top notch studio orchestra and exciting arrangement to yield an ear pleasing Brit girl cover. I am a fan of Brill Building songs and the Brill Building sound. 'The Trouble With Boys' is a great one and my vote goes to Lulu!"


This was an exciting, dramatic contest that reminded
me of the race in the fable The Tortoise and the Hare.
The Liverbirds jumped out to an early lead, receiving
the first 5 votes in a row. It looked like a blowout
was in the making but, in the hours and days that
 followed, Lulu's legions showed up at the polls.
Lulu rallied, chipping away at the Liverbirds'
advantage until she and the L-Birds were
running neck and neck and heading
toward a photo phinish. Did Lulu
manage to overcome that huge
deficit, or was it too little too late?
Don't ask me because I don't know.
Just like you I'm on the edge of my seat
awaiting the official announcement
from Mr. Adrian Monk. :)


Going into this round of the BOTB, Anne O'Leary,
host of O'Leary Miniatures, was the only reader friend
whose votes matched mine in all three previous contests.
Did Anne match my vote again? The answer is YES!
Anne voted for Lulu, extending our winning streak
to 4 games!  (I assure you that Anne and I do not
compare notes in advance to make sure that our
votes are in sync! :) Can Anne and I make it
five matches in a row? Find out in my next
BOTB when Led Zeppelin takes on
Fez from That '70s Show. :)
Natalie, back to you!

And now, here once again with
the results of the vote and the
announcement of the winner... 
is Mr. Monk.




(Write-in vote for "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly")

But... oh my..... this is not good.
It would have been so much better if
the battle had ended in a tie... a nice...
equal amount of votes for each artist.

I know what happened.

The Liverbirds look a lot like the Beatles. Subconsciously, people who voted for the Liverbirds were voting for that famous Liverpool boy band when they voted for this Liverpool girl band.

Subconsciously, people who voted for Lulu were voting for the sweet innocence of youth and the safer world that we once knew.

But this final score of 12 to 10... it's... really... not... good. It's... it's... actually... ungood ... that we don't have a tie. I was hoping the vote would end up nice... and even... like 10 to 10... or 20 to 20... or 100 to 100 would have been... so... perfect. Please Shady, it's not too late to make this right. Withdraw your vote and throw out one of the other Lulu votes to make the score 10 to 10.  Or maybe Natalie and I could still vote for the Liverbirds and both artists will have an even dozen.  Please do the right thing, Shady, so that we can all sleep tonight!  And don't get me started about that Burl Ives song!!!

C'mon, Mr. Monk. let's get you home.

I'll turn you loose on the lawn and you can
make sure every blade of grass is the same height.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hey Get Yer Battle of the Banned Here! Pick the Peachy Plum From Two Pears - No Melon-choly Soul Grapes Allowed!



It's the sweet fruit of my labor...
the latest installment in my series

Battle of the Banned.

You'll be pleased as punch to know that once again
there are two UK acts competing against each other.
However, instead of performing the same song,
the contenders will be singing different songs,
each covering a U.S. original. Cherry-pick
(vote for) for the UK cover that you
enjoy more. (Don't freak. The two
contestants are clearly labeled.)

The battle acts are waiting to take the stage.
They are berry berry eager to perform.
Prepare to pick the peachy plum
from two pears!
(Say that 5 times fast!)


In the summer of '62, Little Eva sprang from obscurity
working as a maid and part time babysitter for Carole
King and Gerry Goffin and achieved widespread
fame, topping the chart with the dance ditty
"The Loco-Motion."

As one of the so-called Dimension Dolls,
Eva released five more singles for the label
but her popularity steadily declined and
she never again reached the top 10.

In the summer of 1963 Little Eva released
a mediocre single with the long, cumbersome
title "What I Gotta Do (To Make You Jealous)."
Eva's record never rose higher than the
Bubbling Under basement. A great
song, "The Trouble With Boys,"
went to waste on the B side.

 "The Trouble With Boys" 
 Little Eva {August 1963, B side of  
 "What I Gotta Do (To Make You Jealous)"} 

Little Eva's recording is ineligible.
Do not vote for her... or else!



Scottish star Lulu is best known for appearing in
the hit 1967 British film To Sir, With Love and
singing the title song which rocketed to #1 that
fall. Three years earlier, in the fall of 1964,
15 year old Lulu released a self titled EP
that included "The Trouble With Boys."

 "The Trouble With Boys" - Lulu 
 (November 1964, B-2 side of Lulu EP) 


Founded by Doug Sahm, the San Antonio band
Sir Douglas Quintet is best known for their hit
"She's About a Mover" voted The Number One
Texas Song by Texas Monthly. The single went
to #15 in the UK, attracting the attention of
the Liverbirds, the act that you'll hear next.
First, let's listen to the SDQ original which
penetrated the top 20 stateside in 1965.

 "She's About a Mover" - Sir Douglas Quintet 
 (May 1965, highest chart position #13) 

The Sir Douglas Quintet is ineligible.
Do not vote for them... or else!



The Beatles redefined the vocal group by
playing their own instruments. An all girl
Liverpool band called the Liverbirds
did the same for girl groups.

Influenced by the Rolling Stones, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry
and the Motown sound, the Liverbirds achieved popularity in
Germany playing at Hamburg’s Star-Club and their records
made the German chart. By 1966 the band was drifting
away from its R&B roots and performing other kinds
of material such as "He's About a Mover," a cover of
"She's About a Mover," the garage rock song made
famous by the Texas band Sir Douglas Quintet.

 "He's About a Mover" - The Liverbirds 
 (from 1966 album More of The Liverbirds

 Okay, you heard the two 

 UK covers, one by Lulu and 

 one by The Liverbirds. 

 Pick the peachy plum 

 from the two pears. 

 You may vote for: 

 "The Trouble With Boys" 

 by Lulu 


 "He's About a Mover" 

 by the Liverbirds. 

 Which one is the  

  apple of your ear? 

 Which is second banana 

 and deserves 

 a nice Hawaiian Punch? 


Stay tuned for my follow-up post 6 days from now
in which I will cast my vote, count the ballots
(including hanging chad and dimpled chad)
and announce the winner.

After voting here, please swing over
and visit my partner in grime

and cast your vote in his 
Battle of the Banned!

Have a Shady day!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Echoes of the Spectorian Era, Vol. 8: Special "Wendy and Me" Edition!

Hello. I'm George Burns and you're not.

I got that one from Chevy Chase.

Welcome to Part 8 of Echoes,
a salute to the Phil Spector sound,
this episode starring Wendy and Me.

Nice girl, Wendy. Cute. Funny.

A little ditzy. Reminds me of Gracie.

Good singa. Used to sing jazz and pop
standards at the Shell Bar in Honolulu.

Now she sings rock 'n' roll.

I can give you sixteen reasons
why I hate rock 'n' roll.

Rock 'n' roll I don't get.
It's meshuggah!  When kids like
Wendy listen to it, they hear music.
All I hear is noise.

The other day I was having lunch in a
cafeteria. I always have a prune danish
for dessert. Keeps me regular.

The waiter dropped a tray
of dishes on the floor.
Two young couples got up to dance.

This modern rock 'n' roll wouldn't
play well on the Borscht Belt.
When I was Wendy's age there was
good music on the Hit Parade...

          1) Turkey in the Straw
          2) My Old Kentucky Home
          3) Battle Hymn of the Republic
          4) When Johnny Comes Marching Home
          5) John Brown's Body... 

I'm not saying I'm old...
but when I was a boy the Dead Sea
only had the sniffles.

Wendy's married to Jeff. He's a pilot.
Danny is Jeff's co-pilot. Danny's a
bachelor, has a little black book
and chases women.  Wendy thinks
Danny should get married
and settle down.

I told Wendy the
 definition of a bachelor.
A bachelor is a fella who never
makes the same mistake once.

Wendy changed her name to Connie Stevens
and made terrific Spector style records.
Here are three of Connie's Spectorian
specials along with a couple of
Wall of Sounders by other artists.
I don't know what any of that means.
I'm just reading the cue cards.


Connie Stevens released a pair of Wall of Soundalike
singles for Warner Brothers beginning in the summer
of 1963 with the doublesider "Little Miss-Understood"
b/w "There Goes Your Guy."  These gems sparkle!

 "Little Miss-Understood" 
 (August 1963, uncharted) 

 "There Goes Your Guy" - Connie Stevens 
 (B side of "Little Miss-Understood") 


Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys became
obsessed with Phil Spector and regarded
the producing legend as one of his chief
rivals in the music business.  Many of
Brian's recorded productions reveal
a Spector influence.

"You're So Good To Me" could have been
an A side hit. Instead, it was released on
a 1965 Beach Boys album and again
a year later as the B side of a 45.
Wouldn't it be nice to be so
talented that you have
songs to burn?

 "You're So Good To Me" - The Beach Boys 
 (from July 1965 album Summer Days 
 {And Summer Nights!!} Rel. April '66 
 as B side of "Sloop John B") 


Over the years there were quite a few vocal groups
called the Love Notes or Lovenotes. The Lovenotes
girl group that recorded "Baby, Baby, You" on Cameo
was another name used by Candy and the Kisses,
the act that recorded the Philly dance hit "The 81,"
with one additional member, Harriet Laverne.

Originally titled "You Baby," the song "Baby,
Baby, You" was composed by Barry Mann and
Cynthia Weil and brought to wax by Spector
for his Ronettes. As you might recall it was
the Ronettes version of "You Baby" that
kicked off this 17 part series in 2014.
Listen to the intro of this Lovenotes
record and notice the similarity to
the B-Boys' "You're So Good To Me."

 "Baby, Baby, You" - The Lovenotes 
 (July 1966, uncharted) 


Nine months after releasing her first Spector style
single on the WB label, Connie Stevens put another
in play. Like her first doublesided sizzler, this one
should have been a hit but was a total miss.
Just goes to show... a girl never knows!  

 "A Girl Never Knows" - Connie Stevens 
 (April 1964, uncharted) 

Wendy's worried about her cooking.
Doesn't want to disappoint Jeff.
Last night she burned dinner -
chicken and dumplings.
I gave her some advice.

If at first you don't fricassee...
Fry, fry a hen.

It's always nice to find a
joke older than I am.

Thanks for joining Wendy and Me
for this episode 
of Echoes,
sponsored by the cigar industry.

Wanna live to be 100? Smoke cigars!

Monday, August 10, 2015

BOTB Beatdown "And the Winner Is..."

Dear friends,

Last night I was shocked and saddened to learn
that pro football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford has
died a week shy of his 85th birthday. In an eerie
coincidence, Frank is included in today's post,
a humorous piece that I wrote and produced a
couple of months ago to be used in conjunction
with this week's BOTB. My first instinct was
not to publish this post today. However, after
giving it some thought, I decided to go ahead with
it because it reminds us that, after hanging up his
cleats, Frank Gifford went on to become a great
sports announcer. I was a loyal viewer and huge
fan of ABC's Monday Night Football and the
dream team that hosted the program in its
glory years - Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford
and "Dandy" Don Meredith.  Fond memories
of that series and of those three sports
icons, who are all gone now, were the
inspiration behind this post. Thanks
for the memories, Frank.  Thanks
for being a solid pro at all times
and may you rest in peace.

This is Howard Cosell
along with Dandy Don and The Giffer.

Welcome to this ABC/SDMM exclusive - BOTB Beatdown,
the long awaited, eagerly anticipated declaration of a
winner in this week's Battle of the Banned contest.

The contenders, both hailing from the United Kingdom:
 Sarah Collins singing "I'm Gonna Run Away From You",
and Kiki Dee performing same song - different title -
"Why Don't I Run Away From You?" You, the voters,
have determined which of these postively pugilistic
practitioners came out on top. The results are in
and the champion will be crowned shortly.
I'll be back in 60 seconds.

BOTB Beatdown is
brought to you by... 
Hai Karate after shave
and cologne. Hai Karate... 
be careful how you use it...

By Gino's 15-Cent Hamburgers...

Everybody goes to Gino's!

And by...
Lite Beer from Miller...

everything you always
wanted in a beer...and less.

Howard Cosell back with you.

It's time to anoint the BOTB champion, so let's switch
from up here in the booth to down there on the turntable.
It gives me no great pleasure to toss to my distinguished
colleague, a man who is a legend in his own mind...
the inimitable, indefatigable, Shady Del Knight.

Thanks, Howard!  This week's Battle of the Banned featured two UK singers, Sarah Collins and Kiki Dee, each covering Louisiana born soul thrush
Tami Lynn's recording "I'm Gonna Run Away From You."




I voted for Sarah Collins because she's an underdog
and I love underdogs. Sarah courageously battled back
from a life threatening brain tumor.  Today she delights
untold numbers of fans with her live club shows and
YouTube videos singing covers of Motown and
Northern Soul classics. Sarah's shot-at-home
karaoke style vids are basic. She doesn't
have the advantage of a recording studio
with all of its bells and whistles. To me
that makes her performances all the
more impressive. Kiki Dee's version
is one of the great Brit pop recordings
of the Sixties but Sarah Collins stole
my heart and my vote by singing
"Run Away From You" with
joy and soulful authenticity.

Kiki Dee jumped out to an early lead in
the BOTB and for a while it looked like
Kiki might "Run Away" with a win, but
the tide turned and, in the hours and
days that followed, a greater number
of people voted for Sarah Collins.



 KIKI DEE 11  

   (write-in vote for "Rappin' Rodney")   

Congratulations to Sarah Collins, winner of this week's
BOTB Beatdown, and thank you all for voting!


After completing three BOTB contests I was curious
to determine which friends continued to vote the
same way I did. At the end of the last round
there were five.  Now there is only one:
 Anne O'Leary.  Congratulations, Anne.
You're a sista O'Shady from another lady!
How long can Anne keep matching my
vote? Which new followers will keep
their perfect scores and join Anne
as my matchmates? Stay tuned.

It will be fun to find out.

That's it from here, Howard, back to you.

Thank you, Shady Del. You're a friend,
a gentleman and a scholar...correction!
As the banal colloquialism suggests...
two out of three ain't bad.

That wraps up this broadcast. Join me Saturday
when ABC's Wide World of Sports presents... live
from Madison Square Garden... a celebrity pro-am
tag team exhibition wrestling match. Be here as
my good friend Muhammad Ali and his partner
Woody Allen take on on the dream team of
Betty White and Gorilla Monsoon.

Trust me, ladies and gentlemen, the outcome of that
persistently ballyhooed grappling contest is assured.

It's a foregone conclusion!
This thrilla will belong to Gorilla!

That's Saturday at 5 Eastern, 4 Central
on most of these ABC stations. Till then,
this is Howard long for now!

BOTB Beatdown has been sponsored
in part by Hai Karate after shave and cologne.

Hai careful how you use it!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hey Get Yer Battle of the Banned Here! Version Sacrifice 2: Kiki Meets Sarah - Which Will "Run Away" With a Win?





Welcome to


It's the latest post in my new series

Battle of the Banned.

Version Sacrifice might sound disturbing
but it's merely a friendly competition
that let's you be the judge.

In today's spin-off, two Brit birds compete
for your vote, covering the soulful recording
of a U.S. artist. Listen to both covers, decide
which one you like more and cast your
vote when you leave a comment.

The contestants are waiting in the wings
and ready to perform... so let the
  Battle of the Banned begin!


New Orleans soul bird Tami Lynn sang back-up
for A list acts like the Rolling Stones, Wilson
Pickett and Sonny & Cher. As a solo artist,
Tami got her props, not in the U.S.
but across the pond.

Tami's original recording of
"I'm Gonna Run Away From You," written by New York producer Bert Berns, remained uncharted after its 1965 U.S. release, but the single enjoyed much greater popularity in the UK where it was released three times over a ten year period. On the second UK go-around, Tami's tune peaked at #4 on the chart and was a hit with fans of Northern Soul. The single was reissued in 1975 and cracked the UK top 40. Listen to Tami's terrific take!

 "I'm Gonna Run Away From You" 
 Tami Lynn (March 1965, uncharted) 

Tami Lynn's original is ineligible.
Do not vote for it... or else!
The two contestants in this battle are a
pair of English thrushes performing their
own fine renditions. Vote for one of them.


Now hear this. What a find!

It's Sarah Collins of North Yorkshire, England.
Sarah, a mid 30s mother of two, battled back
from a brain tumor and now fronts an 8 piece
soul/funk/reggae/ska/northern soul band called
Vinyl Groove. In addition Sarah has become a
celebrity on YouTube thanks to videos of her
singing at home. In no time Sarah won me
over with her excellent covers of past hits.
You can tell by Sarah's delightful smile
and the utter joy with which she sings
that she feels lucky to be alive and
thankful for every new day.

 "I'm Gonna Run Away From You" 
 Sarah Collins' cover of Tami Lynn 


Millions know English songstress Kiki Dee
as Elton John's partner on the hit 1976 duet
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart." Fewer are
aware that she was the first white, female,
blue-eyed soul singer signed to Motown's
Tamla label. Kiki started out as a session
singer backing Dusty Springfield and others.

In February 1966 Kiki released a percolating cover
of Tami Lynn's "I'm Gonna Run Away From You."
Upon its release, Kiki's single competed head to
head with a version released by an unknown
UK artist named Antoinette. The two British
singles canceled each other out and both
flopped. Here's Kiki Dee's power-packed
platter released with the modified title
"Why Don't I Run Away From You?"

 "Why Don't I Run Away From You?" 
 Kiki Dee (February 1966) 

The moment of truth has come.

One version must be sacrificed.

Which artist performed the better

cover of "Run Away From You"?






Stay tuned for my follow-up post 7 days from now
in which I will cast my vote, count the ballots
(including hanging chad and dimpled chad)
and announce the winner.

After voting here today, please make time
to swing over to my good buddy
Alex J. Cavanaugh's 
blog and cast your vote in his
Battle of the Banned!

Have a Shady day!