High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Feathers Are Flying as Austin Powers Introduces... Five Zany Brit Birds! :)

 Allow myself to introduce........myself. 

 I'm Austin Powers...super secret spy, 

 international man of mystery, bon vivant, 

 swinging playboy and irresistible babe magnet. 

 London is my home, shag is my bag, 

 planet earth is my playground and 

 danger is my middle name, baby. 

This year I'm planning a traditional
Valentine's Day... going to bed early
so that I can make it home before
the rooster crows.

 Oh come on now. I saw you crack a smile 

 just then, pussycat, admit it - Yeah! 

Mr. Knight is off doing something shady
and he invited me back to emcee the annual
Valentine's dance here at SDMM, the most
shagadelic station in the nation. The place
is packed to the rafters with blokes and
birds so let's get the party started.
Dellions & Dellettes, I bring you
my V-Day Brit bird hen party
featuring five of the greatest
girl pop singers in the UK.
By the way, you can learn
more about this gaggle
of geese in my new book




When it came to recording covers of American
soul and girl group hits, the late, great English
singer and songwriter Jackie Trent had a gift.
Jackie's renditions often rivaled the originals.
Listen to the powerful punch Jackie delivers
as she sings "Reach Out," the song made
famous by Motown's Four Tops.

 "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" - Jackie Trent 
 (from 1967 album Once More With Feeling


Mally Page, Jackie Trent's younger sister,
was part of the English quartet Two of Each.

As a solo artist Mally recorded the Tony Hatch
composition "Life And Soul Of The Party"
and released it on a single in
the spring of 1966.

 "Life and Soul of the Party" 
 Mally Page (May 1966) 


One-off, no-hit-wonder mystery girl Sarah Jane
has been compared to Marianne Faithful in terms
of vocal quality and singing style.

In 1966 Sarah Jane released a dramatic version
of "Listen People," the song that became a top 5
U.S. hit for Herman's Hermits that same year.
Don't look now but Sarah's sensational slab
just might be the definitive version!

 "Listen People" - Sarah Jane 
 (May 1966) 


Liverpool thrush Simone Jackson had a brush with
greatness when she was backed by the Beatles
 in September 1962 at the Cavern Club, a bill
that also included future British Invasion
act Freddie and the Dreamers.

Simone released only three singles in her career.
One of them was "Pop Pop Pop-Pie," a cover of
a dance record that became a top 40 Halloween
hit in 1962 for the Philly girl group the Sherrys.

 "Pop Pop Pop-Pie" - Simone Jackson 
 (October 1962) 


Welsh songbird Tawny Reed was only in her teens
when she released two of the best Northern Soul
singles of the Sixties, "Needle in a Haystack" and
"You Can't Take It Away."

"Needle" was released in the U.S. on Red Bird,
earning Tawny the distinction of being only Brit
girl to have a single issued on the legendary U.S.
girl group imprint. It's shocking that neither of
Tawny's soulful sizzlers became a hit. Here's
"Needle in a Haystack," a barn burner that
rivals the Motown Velvelettes' original!

 "Needle in a Haystack" - Tawny Reed 
 (October 1965 UK/November 1965 U.S.) 

 I hope these super sounds put you in 

  a shagadelic mood, baby. Oh behave! 

 This is Austin Powers... 

 international man of mystery 

 (and music history)... 

 saying ciao for now. 

 Let's do it again real soon, baby... 

 You know you want to... YEAH! 


  1. Hi dear friend, Shady,

    I request all of the songs! They are amazing and sound like a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine's Day!

    Enjoy your day, dear friend! Jessica

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thanks for coming to my V-day dance party, dear friend! I'm delighted to know you enjoyed the tweets of these 5 zany Brit birds, brought to you by Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

      I wish you a happy Thursday and an enjoyable Valentine's Day, dear friend Jessica!

  2. It's great to see the return of Austin Powers to the Shady Dell. He hasn't aged a bit since last Valentine's day--lol. I agree with Jessica Marie--these are all winners. My favorites are the British covers of the U.S. hits Reach Out, Listen People and Needle In A Haystack.

    Another fun post, Shady!

    1. Hi, dear Kathryn!

      Thanks for joining the fun today. Back by popular demand, Austin Powers has returned with a selection of songs recorded in the 60s by female singers in the UK. I haven't featured any Brit girl pop in a while and decided now is a good time. The distinctive sound of British recordings is refreshingly different, isn't it?

      I was thrilled to find that Sarah Jane cover of "Listen People" on a various artists girl group compilation. It's a rarity and not much is know about the artist other than the fact that she has a Marianne Faithfull vocal quality and style. Seems like your ears match mine because "Listen People" and "Needle in a Haystack" are my Picks To Click in this song set.

      Thank you again for contributing, dear Kathryn, and have a great day!

  3. YEAH BABY! I never heard of these 5 beauties before, Austin but, I do like their tunes!I must say that my favorite on this post is Jackie Trent's, "Reach out". I loved it when the 4 tops song it, too! "Listen people" came in second. I liked Sarah Jane's sultry/breathy voice.
    Shady, you are hilarious your multiple personalities---OH! Behave!
    "It's fricken freezing (in) here" (York)!" I've got to see if my bits and pieces are still working!!" Seriously! Hope you are enjoying warmer weather in FL!

    1. Hi, dear Toni!

      How are you today, dear friend? Thank you for popping in for a look and a listen. These 5 zany Brit birds were unknown to me until I got into the genre a few years ago. I love the sound and I'm glad you enjoyed these tunes as well. Sadly, Jackie Trent died last year. She was a very heavy contributor to English pop music of the 60s, both as a singer and as a composer with partner Tony Hatch.

      "Freezing" can be a good thing up north if you're talking about 32 degrees. If you mean it's a lot colder then that, then I hope you will bundle up and be careful on the icy roads. I well remember those sheets of glass (ice) on the roads produced by the constant melting and freezing (not to mention potholes).

      Thank you again for coming by, dear friend Toni, and enjoy the rest of your week and weekend!

  4. All well before my time!
    Although you definitely need Austin Powers to fill in for you again. Maybe he can bring some sex bots next time.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for popping in, good buddy! I'm glad you enjoyed the latest antics of my frequent flier guest host, Austin Powers. I will work on rounding up those fembots for a future post. :)

      Have a great Thursday and V-day, good buddy Alex!

  5. This may not fit into the Dell but while I'm thinking about it:) I'd like to hear more about your days as a newscast producer.

    1. Hi, Sandra!

      Thank you for dropping in, dear friend! I couldn't find an email address for you so I went ahead and answered this question on your blog. I hope you enjoyed Austin's zany Brit bird song selections.

      Take care, dear friend Sandra!

  6. Hey, Mr. Powers ;-)
    Nice parade of talented ladies with voices ranging from powerful, perky, eerily soft; yet strident (Sarah), bubblegum and classic R&B (Tawney)!
    I'm sure you had all the Dell-ites dancing their socks off:-) Great V-Day Hen Party!

    1. Hi, dear Diedre!

      Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend! I am pleased to know that you are tapping your toes to these tunes brought to you by Austin Powers. Invariably, Brit girl recordings of the 60s have a refreshingly different sound and are extremely well produced. I just love them! Blue-eyed soul artist Tawny Reed kills on that Velvelettes cover and I am thoroughly enchanted by mystery artist Sarah Jane's breathy interpretation of the Herman's Hermits hit. To me it's the new definitive!

      Thank you again for spending some time in the Shady, dear friend Diedre. Enjoy the rest of your week and your V-Day this Sunday!

  7. Hey, AP,

    Shady always leaves you some good tunes to entertain with on Valentines!

    I will say Sarah Jane was my favorite. I never really cared that much for the Hermits' version. I like this one's baroque a-la Left Banke arrangement, and while I don't quite catch Marianne in the vocal (of course, remembering that I know exactly ONE of her songs), there is something... familiar... in it, in a misty, obscure where-have-I-heard-that way. Kinda Shelby Flint-ish, I think.

    1. Hi, Chris!

      Thanks for coming to the hen party, mate! This bloke is stoked to know that your ears matched mine on "Listen People." That is actually my You/Tube video upload. I discovered the song a couple of years ago on that Here Come The Girls comp CD, wanted to use it on SDMM and got tired of waiting for it to show up on You/Tube. Another upload of it exists but the sound quality never suited me, so I did it myself. Thanks for reminding me about Shelby Flint. I owned a copy of her 45 "Angel On My Shoulder" and just now payed it on Y/T to refresh my memory. I agree. Shelby does sound similar to Sarah Jane. I wonder if anybody ever saw them in the same room at the same time. :)

      Thanks so much for lending an ear, good buddy Chris. I'll see you in 1962 on Time Machine tomorrow!

  8. I'm in a shagadelic mood now! Great presentation of these 60s girl groups. I really liked Jackie Trent's Reach Out. Loved the Sarah Jane album cover!
    Question: why was Pop-Pop considered a Halloween hit? Does it have to do with the release date? I didn't find the lyrics particularly halloweenie...
    I also really liked Needle in a Haystack.
    I never heard of these artists so thanks for the intro.

    Was a long scary day today: my mom had her heart surgery. She came through it just fine. She's in the cardiac ICU for a few days then will be transferred to another floor for another 3-5 days. The surgery was uneventful and there were no bumps in the road. It was unnerving waiting in the waiting room for hours (the surgery was 4 hours long) but we felt so much better yesterday after learning more about the surgeon: he is literally the best heart surgeon around and doctors from ALL OVER THE WORLD come here to Austin to watch him operate! Many of the heart procedures done around the nation (and world) today he developed. The woman in Pre-Op told us yesterday that we were really lucky to get on his list because he has a long waiting list. Thanks to my cardiologist (also a great doctor) for getting us in! So will be taking care of my Dad for the next few months while mom recovers. It's going to be a long road back. The surgeon told her this is going to knock the wind out of her for some time and that she'd have to take two steps back in order to take a step forward. But my mom is a trooper. She's a superwoman when it comes to surgeries so I'm confident she'll be feeling better real soon!

    That's all that's happening on my end this week. I skipped doing my Wednesday Notable Quotable feature. I didn't even think about it until just now. Oh well. There's always next week...

    talk soon.
    Great post Shady!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, dear Michele!

      What a blessing it was for your mother to be placed in the skilled and capable hands of that great heart surgeon! I am very happy to learn that she came through the operation w/o any complications and is on the slow road to recovery. Thank you very much for taking time to let me know how the day went. I will keep your mom and dad in my prayers, Michele!

      I love how you ask me challenging questions. It shows that you pay attention to the details of the post and that is the mark of a great friend. I will try to answer your question about the "Pop Pop Pop-Eye" song, covered here by Liverpool lass Simone Jackson. The original version of the song was recorded in the U.S. by the black Philly girl group The Sherrys. The song was apparently inspired by the song "Popeye (The Hitchhiker)" by Philadelphia singing star Chubby Checker in which the Popeye dance is described. "Popeye (the Hitchhiker)" was released as the flip side of "Limbo Rock." "Limbo Rock" entered the Billboard Hot 100 Sept. 8, 1962 and "Popeye" one week later on Sept. 15. The Sherry's record entered the Hot 100 a few weeks later on October 6. All three songs - the two by Chubby and the one by the Sherrys, reached their peak of popularity around Halloween that year. In addition, Philadelphia TV horror host John Zacherle (also spelled Zacherley) released his album Monster Mash just in time for Halloween that same year. The album included a parody of "Popeye (the Hitchhiker)" called "Popeye (the Gravedigger)," sung to the same tune:

      << Standing by the side of his grave
      Wonder what he's doing there?
      Shoveling, cause he's digging a grave,
      I sincerely hope he doesn't have me in mind.
      Popeye's been digging there and he's digging deep.
      Yes, he's been digging there for 3 weeks without any sleep.
      He's got bloodshot eyes, is it any wonder, horrible horrible popeye! >>

      So you see that all of those related "Popeye" songs peaked around H-ween 1962 and they are therefore all linked together in my memory.

      I am also tickled to know that you dug "Needle in a Haystack." It's a barn burner!

      Thank you again, Michele, for making time for me when you have a million other things to do. I pray that your mother's recovery will continue to go smoothly. Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend and happy Valentine's day!

    2. Thanks for your prayers for my mom Shady. She's doing good. In pain and weak, but good.
      Thanks for explaining and answering my Halloween question. I definitely remember Monster Mash! Loved that song.
      Hope you're having a good weekend!

    3. Hi, dear Michele!

      I was just thinking about your mother earlier today and hoping she's doing fine. I hope you and she note day by day improvement - baby steps toward full recovery.

      I am having a great weekend, Michele, and I wish you and your family a happy one as well!

  9. I was in Jack's office getting some therapy..on my foot, not my brain..when I had some time to listen and enjoy this fun post. The tunes were good and I especially enjoyed "Listen People". It was always a fav of mine with Herman's Hermits and Sarah Jane rocked it! What I've learned over the time I've been here with you and all your stand in hosts, is how many music choices have been out there and how little actually get played or make it big. Being in the right place at the right time...just plain luck I guess...determines who gets the brass ring. You've found and introduced many singers who (or is it whom) I've never heard of but sure had the ability to be stars. Thanks for that! I hope you have a very romantic and fun Valentines Day with Mrs. Shady!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa!

      Thank you very much for coming down this evening, dear friend! (Did you have an outdoor b-b-q and pool party today? :)

      I am delighted to know that you enjoyed listening to these Brit girl songs of the 60s. I am especially pleased to see the positive response by you and other readers to "Listen People," an obscure gem that I found on the various artists girl group anthology Here Come The Girls. I fell in love with the song the very first time I heard it and vowed to use it in one of my posts on SDMM. The problem I encountered was that the only version available on You/Tube for the last couple of years has relatively poor sound, so I went the DIY route, used my Moviemaker, and created that You/Tube video myself. If I had used Sarah Jane's version in a band battle against the Herman's Hermits' original, I think she could have pulled off a victory, don't you? I wish I knew more about the artist, but info is sparse, even in the booklet that came with the CD. Sarah Jane deserved to make it big as a recording artist and I'm glad you agree.

      Thank you again for your cheery visit and comment, dear friend YaYa. I wish you and Jack and Chubbs a pleasant weekend and a happy V-day!

  10. Do Ya think I'm sexy...I can play the theme from Definition:) Gotta love Austin and these great fem bot voices! I especially love the first one and I know this song well. To me, Jackie Trent sounds and that is a real compliment! She has a great voice and style

    1. Hi, dear BB!

      Thank you very much for coming all the way down from Canada this morning, dear friend!

      I am thrilled to know that you liked the Four Tops cover by Jackie Trent. I have featured Jackie's soulful recordings in previous posts and have more of her work coming in the future. Jackie and her boyfriend (and later husband) Tony Hatch were responsible for composing some of the best UK sounds of the 60s including most of Pet Clark's hits. It's a shame we lost Jackie to illness eleven months ago at the age of 74. As you might have noticed, artist #2, Mally Page, is Jackie's singing kid sister.

      Thanks again for joining the fun, dear friend Birgit!

  11. This is a nice selection, Shady. I would like to know what the Pop Pop Pop-Pie dance looks like...

    1. Hi, Ashton!

      Thanks for pop pop-popping in, dear friend! As I told Michele (above), the Sherrys' single "Pop Pop Pop-Pie," (covered by Simone Jackson in the UK), was apparently inspired by the Popeye dance described in the lyrics of the Chubby Checker single "Popeye (the Hitchhiker)" which began its chart run a few weeks before the Sherrys' record was released. Lyrics from Chubby's dance record include the following:

      << Standing on the side of the street
      Clapping both his hand to the beat >>

      << Well now clap your hands
      And thumb your thumbs
      That's how the popeye dance is done >>

      << Double timin' with that thumb...
      Tryin' but nobody comes >>

      Here's the full song:

      Can you picture it? You assume a stance like a hitchhiker and wave your thumbs in the air like you're trying to hitch a ride. (It just occurred to me that you might be too young to know what hitchhiking is! :)

      Thanks for your visit and comment, dear friend Ashton!

  12. Austin may be your best Emcee yet, Shady, I mean, Cheerful Rosey Cheeks:) wink wink

    1. Haha! I hope that moniker doesn't stick, dear Sandra!

      Have a great evening, sweet friend!

  13. Great post. I really loved the 60's British invasion.
    I remember Listen People but never heard Sarah sing it.
    All the dancers behind Tawney Reed was my teen years. But oh my goodness Jackie Trent ... what a voice ! Boy could she sing.
    I really enjoyed this post. Thank You.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Hi, dear Gayle! Hi thehamish!

      Thank you very much for attending my Brit bird hen party. I'm thrilled that you joined the chorus of those singing the praises of Sarah Jane. It's too bad Sarah is an English lass. Popular as she is, if she had been born in the USA, I think she could get elected president!

      That Tawny Reed clip is a great one, isn't it? It gives us a glimpse of the young Brits of the 60s, how they dressed and their wild enthusiasm for UK acts covering U.S. Motown and blues. The gifted singer/songwriter Jackie Trent had powerful pipes. Sadly her voice was silenced last March. She was only in her mid 70s!

      Thank you again for your visit and cheery comment, dear friend Gayle!

  14. I wonder if they'll ever do a remake of Austin Powers. And who would portray it. :)

    1. Hi, Lux!

      Thank you for coming by, my dear Philippine phriend! :)

      Good news! I saw on the IMDB that Austin Powers 4 has gone from "rumored" status to "announced." Naturally Mike Myers will be back in the lead role. If the Zoolander guys can make a comeback, so can Mike Myers!

      Thank you very much for coming, dear friend Lux!

  15. First of all, thank you so much for the little plug for Ten Zany Birds! That was cute!

    I like the Pop Pop Pop Pie song. I'm wondering what kind of food might go good after dancing to that song - pot pie or Popeye's spinach. ;-)

    Have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Valentine's Day!

    1. Hi, dear Sherry!

      Thank you for dropping in to check out my Five Zany Brit Birds post! I'm so glad you didn't miss it. :)

      Ha! That's a funny observation about the "Pop Pop Pop-Pie" song. There's plenty of interesting Philly-related trivia surrounding the song and record. The song was penned by Madara and White, architects of the Philly sound of the 60s before it became The Sound of Philadelphia in the 70s via the team of Gamble & Huff. Using the group name The Spokesmen, Madara & White released the single "Dawn of Correction," an answer record to Barry McGuire's hit "Eve of Destruction." Madara & White also produced records for our hometown honeys The Pixies Three of Hanover, PA. As far as I have been able to determine, the song "Pop Pop Pop-Pie" was merely a response to the Popeye dance craze of 1962 ignited by Chubby Checker. I can't find anything that links the song to the famous cartoon character. R&B singer/songwriter Don Covay released a dance record called "Popeye Waddle" shortly after Christmas that same year (1962).

      Thanks again for coming to the party, dear friend Sherry, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  16. I really enjoyed these songs. My favorite singer was Jackie Trent and her sister Mally. They sure had strong voices. Jackie did an amazing job with 'Reach Out.' That would be a hard song to get right and she did it.

    Loved the video and song by Tawny Reed too. Simone being backed by the Beatles! That would be wonderful.

    1. Hi, Belle!

      How are you, dear friend? Thank you for coming down to Austin Powers' Brit bird bash!

      I agree that Jackie Trent had powerful pipes. Mally, too. I have all five of these recordings in my personal collection. They are delightfully refreshing, the covers convincing, and the production quality top notch. Can you understand why I became such a big fan of British girl pop recordings of the 60s and collected hundreds of them on CD in recent years?

      I'm very pleased to know that the post entertained you, dear friend Belle. Thank you again for making time for me and enjoy the week ahead!

  17. Oh behave! I like it the retro girl pop!The Austin Powers intro was a perfect match. Well done and thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi, Mike!

      Thanks for coming by, good buddy! I'm glad you liked the music and the set-up. It's BOTB day and I will be over soon to see what you are presenting.

      Have a great week, Mike!

  18. 'Mr. Knight is off doing something Shady.' Ha!

    1. Oh behave, Sandra... or not! :)

      Happy Monday to you, dear friend!

  19. What a fun post presented here today. I'm so glad I did not have to choose which bird I loved the most, they were all groovy.
    Jackie Trent - Now I know where Meagen Trainer got her look from.
    Mally Page - Probably my favourite song if I had to choose.
    Sarah Jane - You mean besides travelling with the Doctor, she sang as well? I never knew that.
    Simone Jackson - Performed at the Cavern Club with the Beetles? How cool is that! Far-out Man!
    Tawny Reed - Interesting video. The only thing that would make it better would be if she were put in a go-go cage and someone actually taught her how to dance. She dances like a white girl.
    If Austin is going to be picking the birds from now on, he's welcome back any time!

    1. Hi, Jeffrey!

      Thanks for attending the hen party, good buddy! I appreciate your input on every song and very happy to know that you consider them all groovy.

      I wish that I could accurately describe what it is about Brit girl recordings that I like so much. I suppose it's because Brit girls put more zest, fun and joy into their recordings than most stateside female singers do. The horns used in the recordings were sensational and the production quality achieved in the London studios during those years was superb.

      Austin Powers is slated to make quite a few curtain calls in the coming months and years, good buddy Jeffrey, so please stick around. Thanks again and have a great week!

  20. Tom, what fun it was to have Austin Powers emcee your Valentine's Day picks. None of these female artists ring a bell, but I really did like Sarah Jane's rendition of Listen People. I don't know if I remember Herman Hermits doing this or not. I guess I need to go find their version now and give it a listen. Thanks for the smiles and the music, my friend!

    1. I went to YouTube and found Herman's Hermits singing Listen People. I can't decide if I like them or SJ better. I'm glad you're not pitting them against each other or else I'd have a devil of a time coming up with a winner. :D

    2. Hi, dear Cathy!

      Thanks for popping in and joining the fun, dear friend! I'm glad you found Austin Powers amusing. (He's a legend in his own mind :)

      Thanks for following through and listening to the Herman's Hermits version of "Listen People." I'm surprised you never heard it. It reached #3 on the Billboard chart in 1966. I suppose you are too young to remember the hits of '66. Yessum, it would have made an interesting band battle to pit Sarah Jane against Peter Noone. I would have voted for Sarah and, based on the response from other readers, I think she might have collected enough votes to win.

      Thank you again for dropping by, dear friend Cathy, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  21. Not familiar with most of these birds. Fun stuff. But the "Pop Pop Pop Eye" was no Twist.

    When you get around to your post about American "Birds" don't forget me.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi, Lee!

      Thanks for the fly-by, good buddy! :) I'm glad you had fun reading about these Brit birds and listening to their sweet tweets. As you recall the Popeye was among the hundreds of dance crazes inspired by the original Twist. Few if any came close to its popularity.

      Good news! I have many American girl groups and female solo singers coming up in future installments of Echos and other series.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, Lee!

    2. I almost forgot, Lee. You will meet three exciting female American singers in my very next post which starts tomorrow. I hope you'll join me!

  22. Super fun post!!! I liked all of the songs but I liked Sarah Jane the best I think.
    Trying to get caught up on your posts. It will take me some time but I'm getting there.

    1. Hi, dear Holli!

      I am delighted that you took time to catch up on some of the recent posts you have missed. That's super nice of you!

      I am especially pleased to know that you like Sarah Jane. I created and uploaded that video to YouTube specifically for use in this post. Sarah's "Listen People" is my favorite song in this post, too!

      Thank you again for making time for me, dear friend Holli!


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