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, June 22, 2017

Shady Train - Ep. 3: Centipede!


Shady Train...

the hippest trip in America!

60 nonstop minutes across the

tracks of your mind into the

exciting world of Soul!

And now, here's your host...

Don Cornelius!

Hey there and welcome aboard. You're right on time for another mind blowing journey on the big train... so let's roll.

(Don's intro is on video.)

"The Cisco Kid" - War
(Apr./May 1973, highest chart pos.
 #2 Hot 100/#5 R&B, from Nov. 1972
album The World Is a Ghetto)

 AT 52:08 MARK!

We are super excited to welcome aboard the big train for their first visit an extremely talented R&B and electro-funk band from Atlanta, Georgia. They are here to do their latest single on the Tabu label, an absolute smash entitled "Take Your Time." A great Shady Train welcome please, ladies and gentlemen, for the Sounds of Success, a.k.a. -- The S.O.S. Band!

"Take Your Time (Do It Right)"
The S.O.S. Band (June/July 1980,
highest cht. pos. #1 R&B/#3 Hot 100,
from June 1980 album S.O.S.)


And things are lookin' mighty fine out on the Shady Train line as the gang gets into a groove that makes you wanna move real smooth. It's the Dazz Band with a biggin' everybody's diggin' -- "Let It Whip!"

"Let It Whip" - The Dazz Band
(May-July 1982, highest chart pos.
#1 R&B/#5 Hot 100, from
1982 album Keep It Live)

We now switch live to Burt Sugarman's Midnight Special where one of the best and longest lasting R&B groups of all time is about to perform. Formed in the late 50s, the trio is now reaching its peak in the 70s on Philadelphia International Records. Let's get some hands together, gang, for the mighty O'Jays, runnin' down a slick sound we know is one of the baddest things around. They call it-- "For the Love of Cash Money!"

"For The Love of Money" - The O'Jays
(June 1974, highest chart pos.
#9 Hot 100/#3 R&B, from
Nov. 1973 album Ship Ahoy,
perf. on The Midnight Special

AT 1:00 MARK!

They are five beautiful brothers who have labored long and hard with one purpose in mind, and the recent certification of their second consecutive million selling record on the Atlantic label indicates that their purpose has finally been achieved and establishes them firmly at the very top of the music world. If you will, please, a thunderous welcome for-- The Spinners!

"I'll Be Around" - The Spinners
(Oct./Nov. 1972, highest chart pos.
#3 Hot 100/#1 R&B, from
Apr. 1973 album Spinners)

We are very pleased to have with us on the show a lovely and talented young artist who is contributing her share to the Jackson family legend. As she joins us to do her latest single on the Columbia label entitled "Centipede," a great welcome please, gang, for Miss-- Rebbie Jackson!

"Centipede" - Rebbie Jackson
(Nov./Dec. 1984, highest chart pos.
#4 R&B/#24 Hot 100, from
Oct. 1984 album Centipede)

Now meet a talented young singer and multi-instrumentalist from Cincinnati, Ohio, who began her career as a backing vocalist for the Gap Band. After a stint as lead singer of the girl group Klymaxx, she gained an international following as frontwoman of the German Eurodance group Snap! and after that recorded with the popular British group Soul II Soul. In between she was a solo artist recording for the Total Experience label. As she joins us to do the first single from her debut album Pennye, a song entitled "Change Your Wicked Ways," let's make some big noise, gang, for Miss-- Pennye Ford!

"Change Your Wicked Ways" - Pennye Ford
(1984, highest chart pos. #25 R&B,
from 1984 album Pennye)


That oughta hold you for a while. Come on back and get into it with us again next time. You can bet your last money, it's all gonna be a stone gas, honey. I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love...peace...and soul!


  1. Good morning Tom!
    I love the 80s and Pennye Ford is my favourite in this new compilation you posted. She started singin' just one year before I was born !

    1. Hi, Katia!

      Welcome back, my old and dear Italian friend! I am very happy to see you today. Thank you for being the early bird.

      I am delighted to have Pennye Ford singled out right from the start because she is an exciting find. I didn't know about her until recently when I discovered this song of hers on a various artists disco-funk album I purchased. Pennye's vocal quality and singing style remind me of Chaka Khan. I am delighted to know that Pennye is your Pick To Click in this post.

      Thank you again for joining the fun today, dear friend Katia!

  2. Kathryn AndersonJune 22, 2017 at 3:05 AM

    It is great to see the Shady Train back on the tracks— and once again it featured a terrific lineup of soul singers and songs.

    I used to watch the Cisco Kid on television— but I didn’t know there was a song of the same name. I do remember the group War. If memory serves they had a connection to Eric Burdon— am I right about that? It was interesting to watch the Soul Train dancers on the Cisco Kid and Let It Whip videos and take note of the clothing and dance styles of the period. The O’Jays and Spinners are two great soul groups and I enjoyed both of their performances. I had forgotten about the Centipede song by Rebbie Jackson. It was fun to hear it again and watch her performing it on Soul Train. I never heard of Penny Ford— but she is also a talented singer and I liked her video. Why wasn't she a bigger star?

    I am already looking forward to my next ride on the Shady Train!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks a lot for dropping in early and for leaving this excellent comment.

      You are correct, my dear. The band War was conceived by Eric Burdon of the Animals and by Brill Building record producer Jerry Goldstain whom, as you might recall, was a member of the famously fake Australian band The Strangeloves. War backed Eric Burdon on his hit single "Spill the Wine" and then put together an impressive string of hits on their own. "The Cisco Kid" is one of my favorites. The early and mid 70s were the golden years of Soul Train. Don Cornelius wore his hair in that blown out Afro style and, as you can tell by his intro of the War song, he was the epitome of cool.

      Nine years elapsed between the release of "The Cisco Kid" and "Let It Whip" and you can see the difference those nine years made in the styles and attitudes of the Soul Train gang. I'm sure you saw the guy doing tricks with a basketball while "Let It Whip" was playing. As the years went by, the Soul Train dancers dressed and danced more provocatively. Some wore costumes, brought props to the studio to add to the funkiness and even did little acting skits while they danced. In spite of being the coolest cat around, Don Cornelius was old school at heart. He didn’t always approve of the new styles of music, dance and dress, particularly during the rap years.

      I am delighted by the number of vintage video performances on YouTube that have undergone dramatic restoration, making them a real pleasure to watch and bringing the excitement of the era back alive. The videos in this post have sharp, bright clear picture quality, vivid colors and clean sound, making it seem like the performances took place only yesterday instead of 35 to 45 years ago.

      It is a mystery to me why Pennye Ford isn't better known, but she performed with some great groups and bands and did some excellent solo work. Pennye is a familiar name, face and voice to lovers of vintage R&B and electro funk.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, Kathryn!

  3. ... glad u "somewhat" recovering from you recent "storm", friend Shady ... wishing you well ... we are just recovering from a different kinda storm ... but apart from no power/ internet for 24 hours everybody seems okay ... Love, cat.

    1. ... thank you for soldering on, friend Shady ... Purrs, cat.

    2. ... soldiering ... I hate spelling mistakes ... cat.

    3. cat cat cat cat cat!

      I didn't know your area got hit by a vicious storm a couple days ago! I am so sorry, dear friend, and glad to know you are AOK. I watched the raw footage you sent me which includes sound bites of witnesses who were lucky to have escaped the freak storm's wrath uninjured. It was amazing to see power lines toppled, huge trees uprooted and roofs torn off apartment buildings and the mall. A couple of weeks ago I saw a picture of a Canadian man mowing his lawn with a tornado approaching from behind. I admit that it didn't occur to me that Canadians get their fair share of strong storms. I am so glad you are safe and well, dear friend cat. Thanks for letting me know!

    4. ... so home sick right now, friend Shady ... ederlezi ... Love, cat.

    5. I am learning a lot of new things from you, dear friend cat. Thank you for your return visit and have a safe and happy weekend!

  4. Definitely some good music here, Shady! Takes me back in time! I loved The Midnight Special and plan to feature a clip from show with the Spinners sometime in the future. The Spinners and the O'Jays both put out some excellent music.

    1. Hi, Kelly!

      Thanks for dropping in for Shady Train Ep. 3, dear friend! I am happy to see you.

      It seems like we share similar tastes in music, Kelly, and I encourage you to run more of it on your blog. I recently purchased the remastered CD Very Best of The Spinners and added it to my lineup of random soul, funk and disco selections. The sound quality is superb.

      Equipped with the latest digital technology, YouTubers are restoring vintage clips from Soul Train, The Midnight Special and other music series, domestic an foreign. Shortly after I started this blog in 2008, I became worried about the future of music on YouTube because of the copyright crackdown. In the last few years, however, there has been a tremendous surge in great looking, great sounding material being uploaded with more being produced day by day, making it hard to keep up with it all.

      Thanks again for taking a look at my latest edition of Shady Train, dear friend Kelly. I'll see you at your place tomorrow!

  5. Good evening, Shady. Hope I didn't make too much noise sneaking in so late! I made it over this morning, but wasn't able to get back until now. And,'s like "old home week" around here tonight with Bill Withers, and the O'Jays! What a great video of Bill Withers announcing some of the artists. It was such a treat to see the Soul Train Dancers shuffling down the line to "Cisco Kid". That was one fun song, wasn't it! You know, I'll bet little Michael Jackson picked up quite a few moves from these dancers-they really had it going on!

    Now, I don't remember SOS Band and Dazz Band, but I have to say they put out some pretty good dance music.

    I did enjoy Pennye Ford's "Change Your Wicked Ways", even though I don't recall hearing it before. I think the videos produced during the 70's and 80's were the best. You can really get a hold of what the artist is about, and feel their talent draw you in to their story!

    The Spinners, "I'll Be Around" is a true soul surviving story told by this remarkable group! The lead singer has a voice range that beckons and takes you by the hand, so to speak! This has always been a favorite of mine, and I have never seen the video-thank you Shady! And, the O'Jays looked fabulous, not only in appearance, but, attitude and cool dance moves!

    Well, I look forward to the next Shady Train installment. This was wonderful, and, I, too am glad to have you back! I Hope you are doing well, and, not getting too much sultry weather out your way. Take care, dear friend. ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Last night I hit the hay around the time you were writing your excellent comment, but I am up bright (dark) and early to read it and reply. Thank you very much for joining the fun and taking a ride on Shady Train 3, dear friend!

      Somehow I neglected in other replies to mention the outstanding S.O.S. Band. Led by soulful singer Mary Davis, the S.O.S. Band has become one of my favorites acts. Earlier this year I bought their 2CD import anthology The Very Best of S.O.S. Band. The compilation is awesome - great songs, including all of their charting singles, plus high quality remastered sound. Their label, Tabu Records, really had its finger on the pulse of R&B/dance music, and some of the band's other singles are even better than the one featured in this post, their first release and worldwide hit "Take Your Time (Do It Right)." The S.O.S. Band will make several more appearances in my Shady Train series and I am sure you will appreciate in their other songs Mary's unique ability as a song communicator and the band's tight musicianship. The Dazz Band cranked out their share of hit singles, too, and they will also be returning in future episodes.

      Soul Train was must see TV during its golden years of the early and mid 70s and I rarely missed an episode during that span. "The Cisco Kid," a song I well remember, is a product of that period. The band War had an impressive string of hits and they too will be back in my Shady Train series as will The Spinners and the O'Jays, two of the top soul/R&B acts that got their start in the 50s and 60s and exploded in popularity in the 70s with the help of Soul Train.

      I am very pleased that you enjoyed Pennye Ford, too. She is an exciting find for me this past year and I couldn't wait to get this cool video of hers into the lineup.

      Yessum, it is nice to be back and allowing music to take my mind off of my grief. Our Central Florida weather has indeed turned steamy and the a/c is turned up to the max.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and wonderful comment, dear friend Suzanne. Take care of yourself and Scootie and I will see you again soon!

  6. Ah Shady, this is a kick-ass post! I am definitely grooving on so many of these picks. They are really bringing back memories.
    I love War hits Cisco Kid, Low Rider and Spill the Wine. Such take-me-back songs. Reminds me of cruising around in my '71 Monte Carlo on warm summer days, windows down and the 8-track blasting...

    And then you really throw in the Soul Train nostalgia with some great R&B by the O'Jays and the Spinners. You spotlighted favorites of mine with these two bands. You know what I like about the classic R&B bands performances? Their fantastically tight and in-sync choreography and their stylin' in the matching outfits: it all made for such a visually exciting experience. You don't see that very often anymore. That's a shame too. But I guess it's all remnants of a golden age, forever seared in our memories.

    I haven't heard the SOS Band's Take Your Time (Do It Right) in such a long time. You have chosen some high quality remastered recordings. I love their electro-funk sound. Sounds terrific in my headphones!

    And the Dazz Band! That group reminds me of some of my years in Washington DC. You know most of my musical tastes tend to lean toward the classic rock genre -- which made my years working for Washington's Classic Rock station WCXR (105.9 FM) a career dream job! But I also went through my phases of hanging with other formats for a bit during those years (1985-1991). In particular I was keen on WPGC (95.5 FM) which was essentially an Urban Contemporary format but they also flirted with branding it as Contemporary Crossover. That station played some great music. I wish I could get a hold of some of the daily playlists from back then. Where would I find such a thing? I figure you or John from The Sound of One Hand Typing would know the answer to that one...

    I also listened to another Urban Contemporary, Howard University's station WHUR. I had a good friend who was the music director and also the morning DJ there (Jesse Fax) so I often listened to him in the mornings while getting ready for work. WKYS (Kiss FM) was a big powerhouse U.C. station as well. (You've no doubt heard of Donnie Simpson, yes?). Anyway, it's been a long while since I've listened to a U.C. format. We don't have Urban Contemp stations here in Austin. The area's demographic makeup wouldn't support it.

    On another note, I have never heard of Rebbie Jackson! Am I the only one who doesn't know the Jackson's have an older sister??
    And I've never heard of Penny Ford either. But I enjoyed her "Change Your Wicked Way." Had a really good beat.

    Thanks for another fun ride on the Shady Train -- "the hippest trip in the Blogosphere" :)

    Have a good weekend Tom!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Wow, I am thrilled to be sipping my morning coffee and reading the superb comments that came in overnight - yours and Suzanne's.

      Thank you very much for sharing so many interesting memories with me, dear friend. I am delighted to know that you are enjoying the HQ sound and video quality of these vintage videos. There are 47 more episodes of Shady Train in the pipeline, and many more great (kick-ass) performances in store. Taped in the 80s, 70s and even 60s, classic performances like the ones in this series are today being given a fresh coat of paint and a new lease on life thanks to modern digital remastering and restoration techniques. I am so in awe of what is now being done with the music of my g-g-generation that it has inspired yet another new blog series which I hope to begin next year.

      I'm excited to know that you enjoyed the War band's "The Cisco Kid" and glad you mentioned a couple of their other hits - "Spill The Wine" (Eric Burdon & War) and "Low Rider." Two more of their singles that made a big impression on me thanks to hearing them on Soul Train are "Me And Baby Brother" and "Outlaw."

      Yessum, once upon a time the members of nearly every music group and band wore matching outfits. Rock bands made it cool to dress down and different, and the practice of wearing matching costumes faded away. Synced choreography also went out of style.

      Thank you for sharing so many great memories of your career years in radio up in D.C. I wish I knew for sure where you could locate old radio play lists. From time to time I have seen radio station top tunes surveys on eBay and you can also view some by doing a Google image search. Maybe John can give you a better lead.

      Rebbie Jackson, the oldest of the famed Jackson family siblings, was essentially a one hit wonder. "Centipede" cracked the top 5 on the black chart and made a run at the top 20 on the Hot 100, but none of her other singles made the pop chart. In 1988 Rebbie penetrated the R&B top 10 with the single "Plaything." I am pleased to know that you appreciated the look and sound of Pennye Ford, for me one of the most exciting finds of this series.

      Thank you again for riding the big train and for your super comment, dear friend Michele. Have a safe and happy weekend!

  7. Welcome back, Shady!

    I am loving Soul Train, as this is one of my favorite shows. Your selection had me grooving and has me hoping that I can roller skate to these classics tonight. :)

    Have a great Saturday, dear friend!

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thanks for coming by for a rollicking ride on the Shady Train, dear friend!

      If you check with the DJ at the rink, he might have a couple of these Souldies and play them for you. It's worth a try. Regardless, I hope you have a great time skating tonight!

      Thanks again for your visit and enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear friend JM!

  8. Welcome back to posting and the soul train style is just the ticket. Centipede song is kind of funny. And the one groups with the gal made me laugh because it seems all lip syncing to moi:) I also loved the dancing and the one couple who didn't move their heads at all! I thought the man's head was placed on by a computer:)

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      How are you today, my dear Canadian friend? I'm happy to see you and thank you for coming!

      I'm glad you had fun on your Shady Train ride. "Centipede" is Rebbie Jackson's biggest hit and signature song. Penned and produced by brother Michael, it is a catchy song that is helped along by backing vocals supplied by Michael and by The Weather Girls. The Weather Girls aka Two Tons o' Fun are best remembered for their big hit "It's Raining Men."

      Lip syncing was not uncommon back then and was not the scandalous practice it has become in recent years. With all the video manipulation possible nowadays you never know for sure if what you are seeing is real, but I have no reason to believe these Soul Train clips were doctored.

      Thanks again for joining the fun today, dear friend BB, and have a wonderful week ahead!

    2. Hi Shady-Oh it was the thing to lip sync back then so who cares nowadays:) I created something for you...Margaret and hope you like it

    3. Thank you so very, very much, dear Birgit. Your card brought tears of joy to my eyes. I will email Kathleen immediately.

      Thank you again for your kindness and generosity, dear friend BB!

  9. Hey Shady,Very Good sounds! I had forgotten that CENTITPEDE was a really
    BAD JAM!! Rebbie is part of the Jackson
    family. Boy she sure looks like a Jackson. Keep up the good work Mr. Shady! Later Shady My Man!

    1. Hi, Davy!

      How's it going, my old friend? Thanks for hopping aboard the big train as it takes you "across the tracks of your mind into the exciting world of Soul!"

      I remember how much you enjoyed the other installments of Shady Train and I am pleased to welcome you back here today to sample some "grooves that make you wanna move real smooth." I didn't mention this before, but the booth announcer's intro, Don Cornelius's show open and close, plus many of his song intros are taken word for word from Don's mouth exactly as he uttered them on his TV show. I needed to transcribe most of his intros because the tapes that contain them are of poor audio quality. There are hundreds if not thousands of Soul Train clips on YouTube but most have low audio and/or dark, faded video and don't measure up to my rigid Shady Train standards. :) However, I found enough great clips from Soul Train, The Midnight Special and Bandstand to provide great looking and great sounding material for this 50-part series. Stick around and you will see and hear.

      Michael's writing and producing skills along with his backing vocals helped make "Centipede" one of the "baddest sounds around" and "a biggin' everybody's diggin' for sister Rebbie, and she sold the song nicely in this performance on Soul Train.

      Thanks again for joining the fun, Dave, and stay tuned for lots more Soul, R&B, funky horn bands, etc. coming up in future episodes of Shady Train.

      Have a great week, good buddy!

  10. Nothing beats a little Soul Train for breakfast! I listened while I had my coffee, then my toast, then considered eating more food from the fridge while I played yet another clip. Thanks, Shady.

    1. Hi, Cheryl!

      Thank you very much for coming over for a ride on the train, dear friend!

      Golly, I never thought my Shady Train series could contribute to unwanted weight gain! :) Come to think of it, my next post coming later this week might have the same effect on you. You will see what I mean when I publish it. :)

      I'm delighted to know you liked the Soul Train TV series and dig my Shady Train blog series. Thanks again for coming, dear friend Cheryl-Lee and enjoy the rest of your week!

  11. Shady, there is a song called Music is love... it seemed appropriate to mention that here

    1. Hi, Spacer Guy!

      Welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I notice on your profile page that you follow Alex J, BB and Cheryl-Lee, and that probably explains how you managed to find my little corner of the world. I am very happy to have you over, S.G.

      I never heard David Crosby's "Music Is Love" until today and I thank you for turning me on to it. I just finished listening to the song on Y/T. It is a beautiful chant and brings back that golden era at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius when there was so much optimism and idealism in music, the kind CSN gave us.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, Spacer Guy. I hope you will return to SDMM soon!

  12. Tom,

    You're not going to believe this but I came by over the weekend and I forgot to comment. lol My brain is a frazzled and here I am up waaay past my bedtime. We got home a little while ago after finally getting up with DD#1. I took her a bday cake, card, and present. Yesterday, she turned 29. It was good to spend time with her. Anywho, I didn't watch a lot of the Soul Train back in the day but I enjoyed viewing it on occasion. I also wasn't really big into soul mewsic either. I appreciate this genre more nowadays. Is Rebbie Jackson the sister of the famous Jackson 5s? I don't recall her at all nor do I remember "Centipede". I like her dress , the way it scoops up on the side - very 80-ish! Of your song selections, the O'Jay's hit tune is the one I'm most familiar with. Did I tell you I met one of the O'Jay's? I can't remember which one now. Anyhow, he lived at the time and was a minister of local church. I don't know if he's still around or not but that was interesting. Gotta jet. It's bed time!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      I just now found your comment, dear friend. Thank you very much for staying up late to visit SDMM and express so much. I appreciate it!

      I can understand why your brain is frazzled from dealing with DH and his vision issues all this time and planning a birthday celebration for your older daughter.

      I am well aware that you are a fan of soul and urban dance music nowadays even though you were not a regular viewer of Soul Train.

      Yessum, Rebbie is the sister of Michael Jackson and the other famous singing Jacksons. She is basically a one-hit-wonder because "Centipede" was by far her most successful recording, helped along by backing vocals supplied by Michael who also wrote the song and produced the record.

      It must have been a thrill to meet one of the O'Jays in person! I watched Soul train for years and I could tell that host Don Cornelius knew and really admired the O'Jays. Don often poked fun at the guys and joked around with them on the show.

      Thank you again for making time for a visit and a great comment, dear friend Cathy. I hope you and DH are having a restful 4th weekend.

    2. Tom,

      No worries with not seeing my comment before now. I get overwhelmed sometimes and miss commenters.

      Thanks for sharing that Rebbie is the sister of the Jackson Fives. That's interesting that she didn't go beyond her "One-Hit Wonder" status or maybe she just didn't want to push her career hard enough. Perhaps she decided to live a less stressful life. Show biz is really hard.

      Many of those old groups, like the O'Jays were truly awesome. Whenever I see these retro features of one of these groups/artists singing they seem happy and glad to perform for their fans. I don't get those sort of vibes from singers today for the most part. Some are more appreciative than others but as a whole they seem a bit more snubby for lack of a better word.

      Have a good day, my friend!

  13. Hi, Mike!

    You will get no argument from me, good buddy. Soul Train was must see TV, especially during its peak years in the early and mid 70s.

    Thanks, Mike!

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