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"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

Monday, February 29, 2016

How Sarah Got Her Groove Back!

Welcome to

How Sarah

Got Her Groove Back...

the latest post in my series

Version Sacrifice!

I introduced Sarah Collins in Version Sacrifice 2.

NADV 1502031AM1 Sarah Collins. Picture : Adrian Murray (1502031AM1)

She's the mum of two in Yorkshire, England,
who underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor,
bounced back to health and became a sensation
on YouTube posting shot-at-home videos of
 herself singing covers of American originals.

Sarah also appears at clubs in England and other
parts of Europe fronting the band Keep The Faith.
So captivated am I by Sarah, by her touching
story and by her singing, that I began this
new series in which she will compete
against herself. That's right, Sarah is
running unopposed. Listen to the
two original recordings along with
the two covers by Sarah and let me
know in your comment which of
Sarah's performances you prefer.
Sarah's all set to sing so let this
one woman Version Sacrifice begin!


Stax Records ruled Memphis but the Hi Records
mill cranked out its share of excellent, silky smooth
soul recordings that featured solo singers backed by
the Hi Rhythm Section and The Memphis Horns.
The most successful Hi artist was Al Green.
Al's label mates included recording artist
and producer Willie Mitchell, the bluesy
southern R&B/soul man O.V. Wright
and St. Louis R&B thrush Ann Peebles.

Ann achieved the biggest hit of her career with
"I Can't Stand the Rain," a song she co-wrote.
Dripping with drama, Ann's record cracked
the top 40 on the Pop Singles chart and
made a run at the top 5 R&B in the fall
of 1973. "I Can't Stand the Rain"
starts out sounding like a
coffee commercial!

 "I Can't Stand the Rain" - Ann Peebles 
 (November 1973, highest chart position 
 #38 Hot 100/#6 R&B

Ann Peebles is ineligible.
Do not vote for her... or else!


Beatle John Lennon loved
"I Can't Stand the Rain,"
and is quoted as saying,
"It's the best song ever."
English songbird Sarah Collins must be fond of "...the Rain," too, because she posted her homemade cover of the song on YouTube.

 "I Can't Stand the Rain" 
 Sarah Collins cover 


In December 1968/January '69, Marvin Gaye's
version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"
became Motown's biggest hit single to date.
A few months later, Marvin's follow-up single,
"Too Busy Thinking About My Baby," originally
waxed by the Temptations and released on their
1966 album Gettin' Ready, cracked the top 5.

 "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" 
 Marvin Gaye  (June 1969, h.c.p. #4) 

Marvin Gaye is ineligible.
Do not vote for him... or else!


Now here's Sarah Collins and her
convincing cover of Marvin Gaye's
"Too Busy Thinking About My Baby."

 "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" 
 Sarah Collins cover 

It's time for you to vote.

You listened to both originals 

and both covers by Sarah Collins.

Which cover gets your vote,

Sarah's version of 

"I Can't Stand the Rain"

or Sarah's rendition of

"Too Busy Thinking About My Baby"?


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.

Have a Shady day!


  1. It's nice to see Sarah back on your blog. She's terrific and I remember her winning her first battle. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby is a typical Motown love song-- there is nothing wrong with that-- but I Can't Stand The Rain has more to say and is the better song of the two. I also think Sarah sings it better-- sounding very much like Ann Peebles. I am going to give my vote to I Can't Stand The Rain.

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks for reporting in and voting in my latest Version Sacrifice.

      It pleases me to know that you enjoy Sarah's singing. I think she's the greatest. It's an interesting piece of trivia about John Lennon singling out "Rain" as "best song ever."

      I will record your vote for "Rain" and thank you again for joining us today.

  2. goodness gracious i love her style and her voice. and her lovely story as well!
    this week, of course it is very difficult to choose a favorite, but i'm going to pick, 'i can't stand the rain'!!!
    happy new week!

    1. Hi, dear Abigail!

      My goodness, you are up and about quite early this morning. Thank you very much for spending some time in the Shady!

      I'm delighted to know that you enjoy English songstress Sarah Collins. I think she does a marvelous job on everything she covers and I wish I could see her club act. I will add another vote for "Rain" and thank you once again for participating.

      Have a wonderful week, dear friend Abigail!

  3. Yo Shady, I never heard of Sarah. She sure can sing an R&B tune. SHE'S GREAT!!
    Where did you find her? She's Outstanding. She moves my soul!! Out Of Sight!!

    1. Hi, Davy!

      I found Sarah Collins last summer on YouTube. I was putting together that band battle with two artists covering Tami Lynn's "I'm Gonna Run Away From You." The YouTube search for the Tami Lynn original yielded Sarah's superb cover. I subscribed to her channel and decided to create this new series How Sarah Got Her Groove Back.

      Thank you very much for taking time to comment, Dave. I'm happy to know that your ears match mine and that you recognize Sarah's greatness. As Mayfield would say, "Woman's Got Soul." Stay tuned for more great covers by in Sarah in future posts!

  4. Now that is a tough vote! She has an amazing voice. And doesn't hurt that she's also beautiful.
    I'm going to say the second one. Yes, the video influenced me, because she's really smiling and having a good time.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for joining the fun as I showcase Sarah Collins vs Sarah Collins in my latest Version Sacrifice.

      You are right. "Rain" is a sad, bluesy song. "Too Busy" is a happy, fun song. You chose the latter and I will enter your vote for "Too Busy." Be on the lookout for the voting results post coming this Sunday.

      Thanks again for dropping by and voting, good buddy Alex!

  5. Tough one. I'm going with Alex on this one.
    Hope Mrs. S is feeling better soon.

    1. Hi, Sandra!

      Thank you very much for coming over and exercising your right to vote. I will add your vote for "Too Busy" and let you know this Sunday which song survived the Version Sacrifice.

      Thanks again and have a great week!

    2. Coming back from a brain tumor....miraculous

    3. Sarah's story is inspiring, that's for sure. Now recovered she makes the most of her life and sings every song with passion and joy.

      Thanks, Sandra!

  6. I liked, I Can't Stand the Rain. That's a cool song, and I thought she sounded even better than the original. What a great story about her overcoming adversity. I like this lady!

    1. Hi, dear Sherry!

      Thank you for being here for the latest round of Version Sacrifice. I'm thrilled to know you are inspired by Sarah's story and enjoy her singing. What a compliment for you to assert that Sarah's cover of "Rain" surpasses the original! I will add your vote for "Rain" to the ballot box. Please check out this Sunday's post to see which cover wins.

      Thanks again for your visit, vote and comment, dear friend Sherry!

  7. Tom, Sarah is definitely awe inspiring with her story rebounding from brain surgery to remove a tumor. I remember you sharing this story awhile back and you know had I not seen her then I would swear that she is a black R&B artist. She has that bluesy mojo down pat. Both covers are excellent, but I think I'm gonna give my vote to I Can't Stand the Rain. Thanks for sharing two nicely done covers by a very talented woman, my friend. Have a tunetastic week!

    1. Hi, dear Cathy!

      Thank you very much for popping in to participate in another Version Sacrifice. Sarah's story is indeed uplifting, isn't it? She has a great outlook on life and is an inspiration to us all. I agree that she sounds like a black R&B artist. She's got soul, that's for sure. Lately, I have discovered quite a few Brit birds who sound like black artists born in the U.S.A.

      I will enter your vote for "Rain" and thank you again for your visit, vote and kind comments. Have a wonderful week, dear friend Cathy!

  8. Wow! whatta recovery comeback story. Sarah Collins has that "blue eyed" soul you talk about, Shady. (although, I think her eyes are brown!)
    I really enjoyed both songs but, "I can't stand the rain" won by a nose in my book!
    "after all, you only live once, right?!!" She writes on her FB page.
    You go, girl! You sound wonderful!

    1. Hi, dear Toni!

      Thank you very much for making time for a visit and a vote, dear friend! It's so cool of you to check out Sarah's Facebook page. Don't you wish you could go to a club where she and her band are performing and dance the night away?

      Yessum, Sarah is a great example of a blue-eyed soul artist. She doesn't just imitate U.S. R&B/soul artists. You can tell that she actually feels the songs as she sings them. Such joy comes through in her performances!

      I will add another vote for "Rain" on your behalf and I thank you again for being here today, dear friend Toni. Have a great week and please come back this Sunday to find out which version is the soul survivor!

  9. Your posts are always uplifting, dear Shady, but this one is exceptional!
    It's good to see and hear Sarah once again, she pours a great deal of soul into anything she sings; with a smile that shines like daybreak!
    So, in the space of ten minutes I've been smiling and humming along but because you posted Marvin Gaye, now my happy feet are going at it too! Don't tell Marvin, but I like Sarah's version best ;-)

    1. Hi, dear Diedre!

      How are you, dear friend? Thanks for coming over for another edition of Version Sacrifice.

      If this post or any of my posts make you smile, hum along and tap your toes, then it's mission accomplished. That's what I am here for - to give you a place to forget your cares for a while and enjoy good music and great friendship.

      I'm tickled that you agree with me that Sarah is something special. The world could use more like her. Ten Zany Birds author Sherry Ellis opined that Sarah's "Rain" surpassed the Ann Peebles original. Now here you are telling me you like Sarah's version of "Too Busy" better than Marvin's! I am not about to argue because I am completely sold on Sarah. I will record your vote for "Too Busy." Please check back this Sunday and witness democracy in action as I reveal the final score and announce the soul survivor.

      Thank you again for playing, dear friend Diedre, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  10. I can sing and I can dance and I can hoola hoop too, but prolly not that guuud ... Love, cat.

    1. Hi cat!

      How are you, my dear Canadian friend? Thank you for coming all the way down here to experience the soul styling of English sparrow Sarah Collins. Seems like you enjoyed spending some time in the Shady today and I thank you. If you care to voice your choice for one version or the other, come on back between now and Saturday night and I will gladly accept your vote and declare a winner Sunday. Until then, please take good care of yourself, dear friend cat!

  11. First let me say, Good Evening! Second, I can see why you like this lady. Good voice, great story. Kinda why I fell for Bobbi Martin.

    Down side is, that song I Can't Stand The Rain. I didn't like it in Eruption's disco-fied cover, and I can't say as I think much of the original either. (Wow, me and John Lennon disagree on something- AGAIN.) However, it is a good way to tell you'd like Sarah singing ANYTHING, because if there would a been a tune I would have turned her off on, it might well have been this one, and I didn't. (Unlike Ann Peebles, sorry).

    Gosh, I'm grouchy on a Monday! Anyway, easy vote for the Marvin cover. And don't be afraid to post more of Sarah!

    1. Hi, Chris!

      Thanks for dropping in and helping me stage another Version Sacrifice, good buddy! You do seem crabby today. Did you wake up on the wrong side of Scrappy? :) As Dr. Donald D. Rose, my favorite DJ, used to ask: "Did you wake up grouchy this morning... or did you let her sleep?"

      I never heard of Eruption or their discofied rendition of "Rain." I went to YouTube and spent exactly 13.5 seconds trying to get into it before I needed to bail out. Setting the wrong songs to a mind numbing disco beat is what led to disco's downfall. "Rain" is a great song, a sad song. I love the way Ann performed it and I love Sarah's authentic cover. I'm sorry your ears don't agree.

      I'm glad you found a lot to like in the Marvin Gaye cover, Chris. I will add your vote for "Too Busy" to the tally. Hustle back here this Sunday to find out which ditty prevails. FYI - I already have four more installments of How Sarah Got Her Groove Back in the pipeline. Thanks again for your visit, comment and vote, good buddy!

  12. Sarah Collins is a marvel..I really enjoyed her when I heard her before and her story is very uplifting. I thought her version of "I Can't Stand The Rain" was better than the original..not sure I agree with John Lennon however! The second cover from Marvin Gaye was equally good although I loved Marvin's original. So how do I choose? Well, even though I didn't really like the Rain tune, I did love Sarah's voice in it and that's how I'm voting on this one. Hope you had a nice freebie day on this lovely Leap year!

    1. Hi, birthday girl YaYa!

      Happy leap year day to you and thank you very much for coming over and participating in the latest round of Version Sacrifice.

      Gosh, you are the second reader in a row who doesn't care for the "Rain" song, a soul classic that's music to my ears. I'm happy to know you enjoyed Sarah's cover, though, and I will add another vote for "Rain" on your behalf. Stay tuned for the final score and the announcement of the winner this Sunday.

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend YaYa. Take care and we'll chat again soon!

  13. I have to go with I can't stand the rain. she has that soulful voice with jazz. she does a nice job on the second one but I loved her voice in the first. didn't you showcase her before?? she is an amazing lady

    1. Hi, dear Birgit!

      Thank you very much for coming by this evening to experience my latest Version Sacrifice!

      Yessum, I showcased Sarah Collins in a post last August. As you might recall, Sarah defeated Kiki Dee, singing a cover of Tami Lynn's song "I'm Gonna Run Away From You." I'm very pleased to know that you appreciate Sarah's singing as much as I do.

      I will add another vote for "Can't Stand the Rain" and I thank you very much for participating. Watch your vote count when I declare the soul survivor in Sunday's follow-up post. Until then have a great week, dear friend BB!

  14. I'm going with I can't Stand the Rain. I've always really liked that song, and Sarah did a really good job with the cover.

    1. Hey, Mary!

      How are you? I'm happy to see you back here at SDMM and pleased to know that you enjoyed the way English singer Sarah Collins performed "I Can't Stand the Rain." I will add your vote to the tally and the soul survivor will be announced this Sunday.

      Thanks again, Mary!

  15. Shady! She is amazing! I love her background too. I'm going with her Marvin Gaye cover!

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thanks for coming by, dear friend! It's Super Tuesday and you are just in time to vote in Shady's latest Version Sacrifice.

      I'm happy to know you appreciate Sarah's singing and her compelling back story. I will put you down for "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" and I thank you for voting. Check the final vote count in my next post on Sunday.

      Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend JM!

  16. She sings so powerfully. Love her covers.

    1. Thank you, Lux! I'm so happy to know that you enjoy Sarah's cover songs. Thank you for stopping by, dear friend, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  17. I might be mistaken, but I think someone recently used one of Sarah's songs in a BOTB instalment. Unless, you have used Sarah before here.
    Both versions are very well done. It's odd to see her sitting at her computer recording. Seems kind of 'off' somehow, but it absolutely works. She's such a great come-back story.

    Of the two songs presented, please give my vote to "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby".

    For me, my writing is my baby, and unfortunately, I've been too busy TO think about my baby.

    Great instalment!

    1. Hi, Jeffrey!

      Thank you very much for coming over to play Version Sacrifice, good buddy! (I hope you are feeling better today.)

      You're right. I used a cover song by Sarah Collins in a banned battle last summer. Sarah beat Kiki Dee in that contest. I'm excited to know that you dig Sarah's vocals and that you are inspired by the story of how she got her groove back.

      I will add another vote for "Too Busy" and I thank you once again for participating. Get well soon, Jeffrey!

  18. Hey Shadester- oh how I've missed you and your posts. I haven't been reading any posts in ages. Sarah has such a wonderful voice. Its hard to decide which one I liked the best but I think i'll go with the Marvin Gaye song.

    1. Hi, dear Holli!

      I've missed you, too, and I am very happy to see you back here, my sweet friend. I hope you are in better spirits and that your life is on the upswing. Please remember that you are on my mind and in my prayers.

      I'm pleased to know that you enjoy Sarah's singing. I will add another vote for the Marvin Gaye cover and thank you again for making time for me today. Please take good care of yourself, dear friend Holli!

  19. Kathleen Mae SchneiderMarch 2, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    Thanks for showing how Sarah Collins speaks to our souls with her amazing talent to translate her life experience into her music.

    I'm sure that when Sarah sings "I Can't Stand the Rain", it resonates with a lot of us, if not for the exact same trigger of memory, than for her soulful rendition that comes from a heart that has known and overcome a lot of both physical and psychic pain.

    This is also true in a reverse sense for "Too Busy Thinking About my Baby". I like that the selections you picked showcase Sarah's ability to express both ends of the emotional spectrum.

    She sings with so much expression (no doubt resulting from her brush with mortality and triumph over illness), that regardless of the subject of the songs, the feelings are unmistakable as they swing from regret and the torment of loss in the first song to unbridled happiness and joy in the second.

    While both songs, originals included, sound good to me for different reasons, I'm probably out of my depth to judge their musicality, so I'm going to vote this time on emotional impact. "Too Busy" is uplifting at a time when I really could use some positive energy, so put me down for that one.

    When I read Toni's comment recounting what Sarah
    wrote on her Facebook page, I remembered something the comedian Joe E. Lewis said: "You only live once- but if you work it right, once is enough."

    1. Hi, Kathleen!

      I am very happy to see you tonight, dear friend. Thanks for making time to experience these encore performances by the versatile English singer Sarah Collins. Sarah reminds me of your mother, Margaret, who faced numerous health crises over the years but always bounced back. Both ladies are survivors. They don't dwell on the past. They are grateful for every new day and approach life with enthusiasm.

      It makes sense to me that you are in the mood for a happy song these days. Therefore, I will record your vote for Sarah's Marvin Gaye cover "Too Busy."

      The polls close Saturday night and the soul survivor will be announced in my next post Sunday morning. I hope you can look in.

      Thank you again for visiting, reading, listening, voting and leaving such a wonderful comment, dear friend Kathleen. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  20. Wow, Sarah Collins has a fabulous voice! I never heard of her before now so thanks for the introduction.
    I like her doing both of these songs but I think I like I Can't Stand the Rain best. Her voice blew me away!
    I'll have to check out more by her. Her story is very touching and she is definitely a strong-willed woman. Her talent is surely healing her -- while impressing others. Fantastic!

    Thanks for all your well-wishes for my Mom. She's doing pretty good now. Still weak and very very tired but each day she'll get a little stronger. I really appreciate all your thoughts and especially your sweet email! Thanks Shady!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, dear Michele!

      Thank you very much for coming by to experience these two exciting vocal performances by soulful English songbird Sarah Collins. It pleases me to know you like Sarah's singing and are inspired by her personal story. You can look her up on Facebook by using this address:

      If you visit Sarah on FB, tell her Shady sent you. I will add your vote for "Can't Stand the Rain" in what is shaping up as a very close race. Find out which song prevails in my next post this Sunday.

      I am very happy to know that there haven't been any more frightening episodes standing in the way of your mother's recovery. I hope you and your dad enjoyed seeing the Michael Moore film Where to Invade Next at the "mugs and movies" style theater the other evening.

      Please take good care of yourself and your mom and dad, dear friend Michele, and thank you again for making time for me today!

    2. Hey Shady,
      Hope you're having a great day! Just wanted to let you know that I'm passing on the Music & Words Award onto you. You may already be participating through someone else. Of course, there's no obligation to participate. I just finished my post and it was fun to do. Here's a link to my post with the details:

      All is going well here today! Things are looking up...
      Thanks for all your thoughts.
      BTW: the Michael Moore movie was GREAT! See it if you get a chance...

      talk soon,

      Michele at Angels Bark

    3. Hi, dear Michele!

      Thank you very much for thinking of me for this award. I appreciate it so much! I will need to give some thought to my answers and put the post together when I get some time.

      I'm so glad to know that your mom is on the mend and that you have some peace of mind for a change. Happy to learn that you enjoyed the Michael Moore movie, too.

      Again, thank you for being a very special friend to me, Michele, and for giving me the Music & Words Award!

      Bless you!

  21. I remember when you showcased Sarah the last time, Shady and became an instant fan. She has a fabulous voice! Please put me down for "I Can't Stand the Rain". She sings it better than the original artist and it's the type of smokey blues style that I love.

    1. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

      I hope you are feeling better than ever today, dear friend. Thank you very much for dropping by to witness... indeed to take part in... my latest Version Sacrifice.

      No girly voices in this post, right? :) I'm glad you remember Sarah Collins from the battle last summer in which she defeated another English thrush, Kiki Dee, on a cover of a song by U.S. R&B singer Tami Lynn. I'm thrilled to know that you have become a fan of Sarah. You aren't the first person to suggest that Sarah's smokey bluesy cover of "Rain" is better than the Ann Peebles original. What a compliment!

      I will enter your vote for "Rain" and I thank you once again for being such a great friend and coming over even when you aren't feeling 100%. It means a lot to me, Debbie.

      Stay tuned for the naming of the V.S. soul survivor this Sunday. Until then, please take good care of yourself. Bless you, Debbie!

    2. Definitely no girly voices! ☺ Sarah deserves every accolade that comes her way! I'll tune in tomorrow to witness her victory.

      Thanks for your caring comments, Shady. I'm feeling fine, now. Cheers!

    3. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

      Thank you very much for returning to the scene of the grime. (Spellung is correkt.)

      I do care about you, dear friend, and I am very happy to see you back in action. The blog world isn't the same w/o you in it.

      The votes are still "pouring" in. :) Who will win... the powerful incumbent, Sarah Collins... or the worthy challenger, Sarah Collins? Tune in tomorrow and find out! :)

  22. My vote, Rain. No one sings a song better than Marvin.

    1. Hey hey hey, Brian!

      How are you, good buddy? Thanks for coming by to voice your choice in my latest Version Sacrifice. (Did you see Dave Bupp's comment?)

      I will add your vote for Sarah's rendition of "Rain" and I thank you once again for participating. Check back and see the final score in tomorrow morning's post.

      Take care, Brian!





  24. Hi Shady, I'm so sorry I missed the voting. Sarah Collins is marvelous. I loved how she sang both songs. I'm glad she has a career in singing; she sure deserves it. I thought "I Can't Stand the Rain was the hardest song to sing and she did it perfectly.

    The Marvin Gaye song was really nice. Loved the music and the lyrics were cute. She did that one perfectly too. Thanks for sharing her talent here on your blog.

    1. Hi, dear Belle!

      I am very happy to see you and sorry you missed the voting period on this one. It seems like you would have ended up casting your vote for "Rain" but, either way, your vote would not have affected the outcome of the contest. I'm so glad you enjoy Sarah's soulful covers.

      Thank you again for being a loyal friend, dear Belle. Please come back and see me again soon.

      Love and God bless!

  25. I vote for Sarah,, Always. Lover her madly.

    1. Hi, MisterMac!

      Welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I love Sarah madly, too. As you might have noticed, this is one contest she couldn't lose because she was competing against herself. Click forward to my current post to view the voting results.

      Thank you again for visiting my blog and for helping me spread the positive word about this fine singer, Sarah Collins!

  26. Missed the voting but I enjoyed listening to the songs. Sarah has a fantastic voice.


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