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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Santa, You Sleigh Me: Secular Sounds For Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree!



Meanwhile, and you and I are painting
the town. In this post and the next we'll be
dancing to some of the most memorable
secular sounds of the season, records
that reached their peak of popularity
around Christmas time in the
mid 60s to early 70s.

 The jukebox is pumped full of coins 

 and the first 45 is set to play! 


Christmas 1971: "White Lies, Blue Eyes" by
Bullet was #1 with a bullet on my turntable.
Our good friend Music Mike is here
to intro this rockin' relic!

 "White Lies, Blue Eyes" - Bullet 
 (Christmas 1971, highest chart pos. #28) 


From Music Mike we switch to Magic Lanterns,
an English one-hit wonder group featuring the
rousing vocals of lead singer-songwriter
Jimmy Bilsbury. At Christmas 1968,
The Magic Lanterns cracked the
Billboard Top 30 with the pop
rock nugget "Shame, Shame."

 "Shame, Shame" - The Magic Lanterns 
 (Christmas 1968, highest chart position 
 #29 Hot 100/#17 Cash Box/#3 Canada RPM


On their top 20 hit single "Lies," the New Jersey
pop/rock band the Knickerbockers successfully
imitated the sound of the Beatles.

One hit wonders in terms of the top 40 singles,
the Knicks might have been more successful
if they had released "Lies" a year or two
earlier. By late 65 and early 1966 when
"Lies" was on the chart, the Beatles'
"cute period" was coming to an end.
The Fab Four were transitioning away
from standard boy-girl love songs and
dance tunes and producing music with
greater depth, maturity and complexity.
Enough armchair speculation! "Lies" is
a groovy record and that's the truth.

 “Lies” – The Knickerbockers 
 (Christmas 1965, highest chart pos. #20) 

Now let's hear from the first of three great
Chicago area bands (in addition to Chicago)
that released records in the mid to late 60s.

All three had hit singles on the chart
during the month of December - one at
Christmas '66, one in '67 and one in '68.


The Cryan' Shames performed a smooth,
ear pleasing blend of pop rock and
garage and achieved a string of hits
in their home market of Chicago.

In the summer of 1966 the Cryan Shames
reached the top 50 nationally with a cover
of the Searchers hit "Sugar and Spice."
During the Christmas season that year
the Shames released the follow-up,
"I Wanna Meet You."

It was a groovy record and played often
on WSBA radio in York, yet it lasted
only 4 weeks on the chart and stalled
at #85. That's a cryan' shame!

 "I Wanna Meet You" - The Cryan' Shames 
 (Christmas 1966, highest chart pos. #85) 

Stay tuned! I'll introduce

the other two Chi-town

bands in my next post.

Can you guess their names?

(Chicago isn't one of them.)

See you then!


  1. Nope, no idea! Especially since most of those you featured were one-hit-wonders, and if those two bands are the same, then it could be anybody.
    Not sure how I'd feel being a one-hit-wonder band...

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for dropping in! You gave up guessing too soon, because the other two Chicago bands are not one-hit-wonders. They have a total of 9 hits between them.

      Some of the greatest sounds of the 60s were made by one-hit-wonder artists, groups and bands. Many of those acts deserved longevity but were unable to repeat their one time success.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, good buddy Alex!

  2. It has been so long since I heard Shame Shame that I forgot who recorded it. I remember that song and Lies but didn't know the others.

    Who is that guy Music Mike? I remember Sugar and Spice --but only the version by the Searchers. I agree that the Knickerbockers sounded a lot like the Beatles when they were starting out.

    With all the traditional holiday music being played at this time of the year --it was an interesting idea to remind us of the secular songs that were on the chart around Christmas time. Great job, Shady!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thank you for attending this week's platter party. I hadn't heard "Shame, Shame" in many years either, and was very happy when I came upon it on YouTube recently. SDMM is a storehouse where I keep my all time favorite recordings and "Shame, Shame" ranks as one of them, along with the other tunes in this post.

      Music Mike is an avid record collector and former radio station disc jockey, music director and general manager. For years Mike has been introducing great yet seldom heard recordings of the past, many of them one-hit-wonders like "White Lies, Blue Eyes." Check him out on internet radio:

      Yessum, the Cryan' Shames covered the Searchers hit "Sugar and Spice" and gained a modest stateside hit (#49). Their follow-up single, "I Wanna Meet You," a record I liked even more, rode the chart only 4 weeks and stalled at #85, but it was played often on WSBA.

      I think it was a case of bad timing for the Knicks. They came out with an early Beatles sound at a time when the Beatles were changing along with the entire pop music landscape. The era of the serious songwriter was underway and tastes were shifting to more complex, introspective songs like the ones coming from Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel and the Beatles.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear Kathryn, and have a nice day!

  3. The Cryan Shames look like they're from the seventies, but still have a sixties kind of sound. They must be at the point where the music styles were starting to change.

    Thank you so much for going back to the Ten Zany Birds party link and leaving a comment! Your comment was so nice (as they always are)! I appreciate your thoughtfulness!

    1. Hi, dear Sherry!

      Thank you very much for coming over! The Beatles influenced the look and sound of countless U.S. bands. By late 1966 the Beatles were growing their hair longer and domestic bands followed suit. The homegrown act the Monkees also had a tremendous impact and many bands imitated them. If you refresh this page and look at the freeze frame of the YouTube video, you might agree that the second band member from the left looks like Monkee Peter Tork.

      It is my pleasure to support a talented lady who is helping children learn to read and count. You are also a loyal friend and I hope you will stick with me through the coming year and beyond.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear Sherry!

    2. I certainly plan to stick around and visit your blog. You are one of my favorite bloggers. You're such a nice guy! Too bad we meet only in the blogosphere. There are so many bloggers - you included - that I'd like to meet in real life!

    3. Hi again, dear Sherry!

      That is very nice of you. I keep regretting that we knew about each other for four years (via the blogs of mutual friends) before we started following each other. You are one of my favorite bloggers, too!

      Have a wonderful weekend, dear Sherry!

  4. A very cool post, Shady, thank you so much for sharing. I have no idea, by the way. I hope your Wednesday will be as nice as you are, dear friend. Hugs. :)

    1. Hi, dear Linda!

      Thank you very much for making time for a visit this morning!

      I am sure you will recognize the two Chicago area groups that share the spotlight in my next post. I had the pleasure of corresponding with the lead singer of one of those bands a few years ago and it was a highlight of my blogging career.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post, dear friend Linda, and I invite you back here next Tuesday when I present Part 2 of my salute to seasonal secular sounds. God bless!

  5. Hey Shady! Happy Holidays. I like your Christmas edition by featuring songs that peaked around Christmas time. Brilliant!

    I don't remember Bullet or their song White Lies, Blue Eyes but I really like it! Great song.
    And love Lies by the Knickerbockers! They do sound like the Beatles. I bet some people think the Beatles are singing this song...

    Hope you're having a great holiday season, you and Mrs. Shady. Spread lots of cheer, like you always do... :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thank you for coming by and sampling some songs in the Shady!

      Isn't that Bullet record great? As Music Mike mentioned in his intro the single was nearly ideal for the top 40 radio format, not only because of its commercial appeal, but also because of its "cold open," a radio programmer's dream, which made for an exciting transition coming out of a station i.d. jingle.

      Yessum, I was one of those teenagers who thought I was hearing the latest single by the Beatles the first time I listened to "Lies" on the radio. It's a shame the Knickerbockers became trapped in a time warp and couldn't adapt to the changing tastes of late 60s record buyers.

      Thank you again for your visit and kind comments, dear friend Michele. I hope you and your parents and dogs are having a great holiday season, too. I very much appreciate your friendship and support. Enjoy your Texas day, dear friend Michele!

  6. Gosh - I didn't know any of these songs, with the exception of "Lies". Knickerbockers sound exactly like the Beatles!

    Hope you enjoy the holidays, Shady!

    1. Hi, Dixie!

      Welcome back to Shady Dell Music & memories, dear friend. I've been missing you.

      I try to avoid posting the obvious big hits that everybody knows. For example, the highest charting record in this batch is the one you remember, "Lies" which reached #20. I picked the other three because they are great recordings that, I believe, deserved to finish higher on the chart. I hope you enjoyed listening to them and learning about them.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Dixie. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  7. You can definitely tell 50/60s music can't you.
    I like Shame, Shame.

    1. Hi, Sandra!

      How are you doing, dear friend? Thanks for stopping by.

      I loved the brassy, horn driven bands that were popular in the late 60s. Chicago is one of them, but they aren't featured in this two-part series. You'll need to stay tuned to find out which acts take the stage in my next post.

      Thanks again, dear friend!

    2. Hey Shady,
      I'm probably the only child of the 60s that isn't a Chicago fan. I did enjoy Doc Severinsen though:)I look forward to the next post:)
      Have you noticed the clothes are heading back to the 60s?

    3. Hi, Sandra!

      I started watching The Tonight Show in the 50s when Steve Allen was host and Skitch Henderson was bandleader. Over the years I saw literally thousands of Doc Severinsen performances. Thanks for the memories. (Doc is still alive and now age 88.)

      Yessum, every few years the bell-bottoms and other 60s styles come back in fashion. It's great fun to relive my favorite decade.

      Thanks for coming by, dear friend Sandra!

  8. I mostly stopped listening to top 40 radio after 1967 so I guess I missed "Shame, Shame" & "White Lies, Blue Eyes". I remember the Cryin' Shames, but I don't remember the song you featured here. "Lies", however, I remember well. Great song.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi, Lee!

      Thanks for coming by, good buddy! After 1967, I found myself torn between AM and FM. When I left home for college in the fall of 1967, I took with me my collection of 45 rpm AM-friendly records. When I arrived on campus I entered an FM world. It seemed like 95% of the students listened to longer album tracks on their radios and played rock albums on their stereos. I was a fish out of water until my exposure to that culture turned me into a fan of harder and heavier rock and album-oriented FM radio broadcasts.

      If three out of the four records presented in this post are new to you, then I hope you enjoyed them and enjoyed learning about them.

      Thanks again, Lee!

  9. I remember White Lies, Blue Eyes' well. I like it a lot, better than 'Shame, Shame' which I also remember. It's good though.

    'Lies,' is a great song in my books. It had everything going for it. I'love have to go look up the Knickerbockers and see if I know any of their other songs. I bet I do because their name is s familier.

    It's no surprise I don't know the Cry an Shames since they were mostly heard in the east. A cute song.I haven't got a clue about the next two bands, but I'm interested to see who they are.

    My computer crashed. Good thing my husband gave me a tablet. It is almost as good.

    1. Hi, dear Belle!

      Thank you very much for coming down, dear friend. I'm sorry to learn that your computer crashed. Thank you for soldiering on and making time to share your thoughts with me about this week's post.

      I am shocked to find out you remember "White Lies, Blue Eyes." So far, I think you are the only one. In early 1972 when that Bullet record hit the chart, I was newlywed to Mrs. Shady #1. I bought the record and played it often in our first apartment. Wiki seems to have solved the mystery that Music Mike mentioned. Wiki identified the members of the Bullet band as Roget Pontbriand (keyboards, vocals) who went on to play with K.C. and the Sunshine Band and Wild Cherry ("Play That Funky Music White Boy"). Other members, according to Wiki, included Ernie Sorrentino and Mike Micara.

      I'm pleased to know that you enjoyed the rollicking single "Lies" by the Knickerbockers. I believe this clip is from the Nov. 27, 1965, episode of Hollywood A Go-Go. Other charting songs by the Knicks included "One Track Mind," "High On Love," "Chapel in the Fields" and "Love is a Bird."

      Thank you again for spending time with me, dear friend Belle. Enjoy the rest of your week and your weekend.

      God bless!

  10. What a terrific lineup! Only one I hadn't heard of (Magic Lanterns) and "Lies" was wildly popular among the teens in my aunt's era. I guess I wouldn't mind being a 'one hit wonder'; wonder being the operative word;-)

    1. Hi, dear Diedre!

      Thank you very much for coming by, dear friend! You are tied with Belle (above) for remembering 3 out of 4 songs in this post.

      You make a good point. There's no shame (Shame, Shame?) in being labeled a one-hit-wonder, not if your one hit was wonderful. :) All four of these are music to my ears and that's why I selected them for your enjoyment.

      "Lies" is the biggie that most of us remember best, an exciting record that should have done at least as well as "Liar, Liar" by the Castaways, which peaked at #12.

      Thank you again for checking in and checking out this week's post, dear friend Diedre. Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend!

  11. You were not kidding, some real treats featured here today. Wow, I agree about the Knickerbockers. The first chord had me wondering if you accidentally included a Beatles song instead of the Knicks.

    1. Hi, Jeffrey!

      Welcome welcome welcome back, good buddy! It's good to know that you enjoyed these AM radio ditties of the mid 60s thru early 70s.

      The New Jersey Knicks put on a full court press with "Lies," a spot-on imitation of the early Beatles sound. Ironically, there seemed to be a Beatles fan backlash toward this sound-alike band from the U.S. "Lies" stalled at #20 when it should have cracked the top 10 and subsequent Knickerbocker releases sold modestly or poorly.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, good buddy Jeffrey, and have a great weekend!

  12. Sorry I was late to the barn, apparently you and Bobby G got the detriment of late postings into my feed. And I'll be a bit later, because I have used up the strength I have before supper on other things (Time Machine for one) and I'll be back when I have a chance to enjoy the music (Though I knew several of these tunes). Unless I get stepped on by Joy Harmon or shot by Granny beforehand.

    1. Hi, Chris!

      AOK, good buddy. Your credit is good here. I'm already tickled silly knowing that you are familiar with some of this tuneage. I hope that means you likey.

      Come on back when you have more time. This post runs through Monday.

      Take care, good buddy Chris!

    2. Okay, I REALLY loved the Magic Lanterns, and definitely liked the Cryan Shames. Them I had heard of before, just not that song.

      I would have gotten here sooner but I had to deal with a recalcitrant browser (had to teach myself how to RE-activate the desktop icon function) and a obdurate dog (Insisted on being chased through the house shouting that he was about to get his butt kicked).

      Also, don't worry about being late to Time Machine- some idiot set the day on the schedule, but not the TIME...

    3. Hi, Chris!





      I'm glad I have the Merriam-Webster dictionary bookmarked! :)

      Thanks for making good on your promise to return and sample my song selections, good buddy!

      Are you saying what I think you're saying?... that you have found another tune for the Martin Ten? I'm happy to know you dug The Magic Lanterns to the max (that's the greatest extent possible). It certainly is a catchy tune. I've had it stuck in my noggin all day. Only problem is that the lead singer of the version running thru my head is Granny Clampett.

      I am also happy to know that you liked the Cryan Shames. Along with their hit "Sugar and Spice," the Shames' other charted singles included "Mr. Unreliable," "It Could Be We're In Love," "Up On the Roof," "Young Birds Fly" and "Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles, David Smith & Jones."

      Thanks again for joining the fun, good buddy Chris. My next stop is your Time Machine so hang on!

    4. I won't make promises, but I have gone through the "long way around" method to get it on the M10 playlist- find on Youtube, run through the YT to MP3 downloader, pull up on local files.

    5. AOK, Chris! I just finished writing my book over on TM. Thanks a lot for the return visit. I wish you and Scrappy a safe and happy weekend!

  13. Hi Shady!
    Another good listening post! My fav on this post is Shame , Shame! All tunes are new to me except , "Lies". I remember that one well but , I don't think it was the Knickerbockers that sang it--do you know who it might have been?
    I don't remember hearing on WSBA "I wanna meet you" on my black & white clock radio sitting on my nightstand when I was 7! But , I do remember playing the game "bet your bippie" way back then--ON WSBA not Laugh-in!!!!
    Have a great week! I hope you finished all your Christmas shopping!!!!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, dear Toni!

      Thank you very much for coming over, my great friend!

      I'm excited to know that your favorite of this batch is "Shame, Shame by The Magic Lanterns, burning' up the boss lines at Christmas 1968. I love all of these but that one seems to be the one starving for reader love and attention. The Knickerbockers had a top 20 hit with "Lies" and sounded a lot like the English Moptops. Maybe your brain is superimposing the Beatles over the Knicks. There were other hit songs derived from the word "lie" including "Liar, Liar" by the Castaways. Is that the one you're thinking of?

      I vaguely recall WSBA playing "Bet Your Bippie" but I can't remember how it was played. Can you tell us?

      Thank you again for dropping in and for this excellent comment, dear friend Toni. Enjoy your Friday and your weekend!

  14. Ahhh, 1971...I was graduating from high school, breaking up with a boyfriend and started working in surgery after graduation as a nurses aide. I thought it was going to be temporary but they asked me to stay and then I went back to school and here I am still working in surgery 44yrs later. I remember some of these tunes quite well and call me crazy but I think Bullet could fit right in today with that song. I really liked it. Of course I remember the Knickerbockers and they sure did sound like the Beatles! I excited that you included a Chicago band as I'm heading out there tomorrow for Christmas with my family. I'll look forward to the next post! Almost the end of this year..can't believe it! Have a great weekend Shady!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa!

      Thank you for dropping in for a visit, my sweet friend!

      I always love your comments because you take time to reminisce and share tidbits about your life, enabling me to know you better. I applaud you for having the stick-to-it-ive-ness to last 44 years in such a challenging healthcare profession.

      I'm thrilled to know that you enjoyed the pop rock sound of Bullet and the Knickerbockers' signature song "Lies" which had millions of radio listeners thinking they were listening to the Fab Four.

      I wish you a safe trip over to Chicago and hope the weather isn't too nasty. Please drive safe.

      Yessum, 2015 went whizzing by. At this time of the year I count my blessings, and our ongoing friendship that now spans several years is one of them. Thank you for sticking with me, dear friend YaYa.

      Take care of yourself, Kathleen, and have a happy weekend with your dear mother. God bless!

  15. Well Lies is by far the song I know best here. I spent a few years believing that it was the Beatles who sang it. I suspect I'm not alone. Shame Shame.. though I don't think I actually remember that song, it is a very familiar sound.

    I'm looking forward to hearing which Chicago bands you'll feature. There were a few great ones from the 60s and 70s. So hopefully, the next time I click over here, you'll Bring it on Home to Me. It would be Kind of a Drag if I missed the post. Good thing I don't have to wait until September (badiya). ;)

    Yeah, those performers were my guesses.

    1. Hi, dear Hilary!

      How are you, my special friend? Thank you for coming down.

      "Lies" was the highest charting of these four singles and is the one most of us remember best. There was a Mississippi group called The Gants making records around the same time. Gants lead singer Sid Herring looked like Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits and sounded like Beatle John Lennon:


      I see you started guessing which two Chi-town groups are coming up in my next post (Tuesday). Looks like you are on the right track with one of your clues, but Sam Cooke is not one of the featured acts. Stay tuned!

      I am so pleased to see you, dear friend Hilary. Take care and have a great weekend and I hope to see you again next week when I present Pt. 2 of my secular seasonal sounds series!

  16. Happy holidays, dear friend Shady! I love all of the tunes you posted! :)

    1. Thank you, dear Jessica Marie! With so many Christmas hymns and carols being played at this time of year, I thought I'd remind readers of some of the secular singles that were riding the charts during the holidays back when I was young.

      I'm glad you enjoyed my latest batch of tuneage. Have a wonderful weekend, dear friend Jessica!

  17. I do not remember much of the 60s ... nor of the 70s ... but came back to life again in the early 80s ... married, babies, job ... all that ... Awesome blog post, Mr. Shady ... smiles ... Love, cat.

    1. Hi, cat!

      How are you, my new friend? I am very happy to see you! I have known quite a few people who missed the music of certain decades for those same reasons. My guest blogger Kathleen Mae Schneider was exposed to very little of the music I present because she was studying classical music and taking piano lessons at the time.

      If you "came back to life" in the early 80s, then you were fortunate to experience what I often refer to as the last great decade.

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend cat. I will be over to see you soon. Take care and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  18. 'Santa you sleigh me.' Ha!
    Have an awesome Sunday.

    1. Hi, Sandra!

      I'm happy to know the title of the post made you smile (or laugh). I hope you enjoyed a tune or two.

      Enjoy your Sunday, dear friend!

  19. Merry Christmas, Tom! All of these retro bands are only familiar to me in name only. I do not recall any of these songs. I think it's partly because I was too young at the time of each of these song release dates. The Knickerbockers REALLY do sound like the Beatles. I have had a blast this year being introduced to some classic oldies here on Shady Dell and I'm eager to keep visiting in 2016 to see what you have in store for me. Your warmth and funny sense of humor is makes your posts entertaining. Have a very Merry Christmas, my friend and God bless!

    1. Hi, dear Cathy!

      Thank you very much for coming over to sample some secular sounds in the Shady. (Say that five times fast! :)

      In my 7+ years of blogging I have discovered that most readers ten or more years younger than host Shady don't remember 60s music nearly as well. I'm glad you noticed how much the Knicks sounded like the Beatles on their signature song "Lies," a record that was popular at Christmas 1965 when I was a Shady Dell newbie.

      Cathy, I am very thankful that you and I crossed paths this year and became good friends. You are an asset to the blogging community and I think very highly of you. Thank you for being a faithful follower and getting to know the real me, the man behind the mask, so to speak. I am very grateful for all you expressed in your comment. You belong here, Cathy, and I look forward to keeping you entertained in the coming year.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family, dear friend Cathy!

      God bless!

  20. Wow, flashback.
    I think I know most of these songs or they just sound familiar. Of course I know the Knickerbockers.
    Thanks for some very interesting music information. Even if I never vote for the "rocker" that has better hair than I do !
    Have a lovely holiday.

    Merry Christmas.
    cheers, gayle and thehamish
    Sounds like a band name to me.

    1. Hi, Gayle!

      Thank you for dropping by, dear friend! I see you brought my bow-wow pal thehamish with you. :)

      I'm happy to know these holiday season secular songs seemed familiar and that you enjoyed learning more about the bands that recorded them.

      I wish you and your canine companion a lovely holiday too, Gayle. I am very happy that you chose to follow SDMM this year and I am thankful for your friendship. I hope you will stick around and allow me to entertain you in 2016.

      Merry Christmas, Gayle and thehamish! (That would make a great band name. You two could be the next Captain & Tennille! :)

  21. Happy Monday to you and Mrs. Shady.
    Chat with you in blog land tomorrow.

    1. Hi, dear Sandra!

      I hope your Christmas week is off to a fine start. Thanks for the poke. I'll see you tomorrow, my dear friend!

  22. well Shame Shame indeed that i'm so late to this festive post. Blame it on the busy life. But the cool thing about blog posts is that they sit here until you're ready to catch up! Something i'm thankful for.
    SANTA YOU SLEIGH ME. And so does Shame Shame. That song in particular sounds a lot like something the Beatles would give us, doesn't it?
    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Shady!

    1. Hi, dear Abigail!

      Hi, sweet little Daisy!

      Thank you very much for coming over for Part 1 of my series saluting secular sounds that rode the charts at Christmas time when I was your age.

      I find it interesting that you and a couple of the other readers singled out "Shame, Shame" as a favorite. It's a great recording, yet I don't think I have heard it played on the radio a single time in the 48 years since its chart run. Maybe that's because it barely reached the top 30 on the Billboard chart. Over the years too many oldies stations have played familiar top 10 hits over and over again while ignoring gems like this one by the Magic Lanterns. I agree that the sparkling clean production and use of brassy horns on "Shame, Shame" makes it similar in style to some of the Beatles mid 60s recordings.

      Thank you again for your true blue friendship, dear friend Abigail. I hope Daisy finds a new toy and a box of Jerky-Treats under the tree this Friday.

      Merry Christmas to you and your whole family!

  23. I had to take multiple visits to enjoy this post. Bullet really grabbed me with their song. I really enjoyed the Beatle sounding Knickerbockers. The other songs were fun to listen to as well. Thanks so much for sharing!


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