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

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Submission Hold: Round 2 of My Sports Exclusive... The WWF Grudge Match!

Welcome to Round 2 of my

WWF (Wow What Fun)

Grudge Match!

This is the series inspired by the pro wrestling
exhibitions I watched on TV as a kid. Today I
present, for your entertainment and edification,
three original recordings, three cover versions
and one that heavily samples an original.
I'd like you to tell me which recording
or recordings you like most.


WWF Grudge Match


Remember, ladies and gentlemen...

This is only an exhibition...
This is not a competition...
Please... no wagering.




You say you never heard of The Beatles?
What goes on? Do you wanna know a secret?
I should have known better. You need Help!
FYI - Help! is the title of the 1965 Beatles
movie and soundtrack album that followed
A Hard Day's Night released the previous
year. Here's the title song, ranked in the
top 30 on Rolling Stone's list of the
500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
 In case you forgot by now,
it's called "Help!"

"Help!" - The Beatles
(Aug./Sept. 1965, highest chart pos.
#1, from OST of the 1965 album Help!)


The Brit new wave/dance-pop trio Bananarama
is in the Guinness record book as the all-female
group with the most charted records in the world.
In 1989 the Bananarama girls were joined by
Lananeeneenoonoo, a Bananarama spoof act,
in this clever cover of "Help!"

"Help" - Bananarama
feat. Lananeeneenoonoo
(Feb. 1989, highest chart pos.
#3 UK/#2 Ireland)


"Sweet Dreams

(Are Made Of This)"


In the summer of 1983 the British new wave duo
Eurythmics, featuring the vocals of Annie Lennox,
achieved a worldwide chart topping hit with
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)."

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
- Eurythmics (Aug. 1983, highest chart pos. #1)



She's back! My fave - hometown girl made good.
She's one time Tampa Bay resident Skylar Stecker
(her dad played for the Bucs), the young woman I
voted Pop Artist of the Year for 2016. That year
Skylar teamed up with the EDM dance music
production duo JX Riders (Dave Aude and
Martin Kierszenbaum) and topped the U.S.
Dance chart with this killer kover of
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)."

"Sweet Dreams" - JX Riders ft. Skylar Stecker
(July/Aug. 2016, highest chart pos.
#1 U.S. Dance Club)


"Reach Out

I'll Be There"


In the fall of 1966, Motown's Four Tops
claimed the #1 spot on both the pop
and the R&B charts with "Reach Out
(I'll Be There)," today considered
the group's signature song.

"Reach Out I'll Be There" - Four Tops
(Oct. 1966, highest chart pos. #1)


The Tamperer was an Italo dance group
that featured the vocals of American singer
Maya Days and became famous across Europe
for recordings that heavily sample the hits of
U.S. artists. Listen for The Tops' "Reach Out
I'll Be There" in "Get Up Get It On," a song
on The Tamperer's 1996 album Fabulous.

"Get Up Get It On"
The Tamperer feat. Maya
(from Mar. 1999 album Fabulous)

AT 1:30 MARK!



In 1983 the Kalamazoo, Michigan, singer,
songwriter and producer Narada Michael
Walden released a cover of "Reach Out
I'll Be There." Walden's single made
the top 40 on the R&B chart.

"Reach Out" - Narada Michael Walden
(April/.May 1983, highest
chart pos. #40 R&B)

I'm grappling with the idea

of bringing you more volumes of

WWF Grudge Match

in the near future.

Stay tuned!


  1. Tom,

    Yes, do bring more WWF Grudge Matches on, my friend! *applauds*

    In round one, I could've gone with either the original or cover, so I had to give it a second listen to pick a definite winner. It's a close call but I think I'm going with Bananarama. The vid featuring the Lananeeneenoonoo was a lot of fun, except for the shirtless guys who added nothing to it. Don't get me wrong, I like men. I'm married to one but honestly this just makes them look goofy. I shall look forward to more editions of WWF Grudge Match, my friend. These were fabulous!

    Round two absolutely goes to Eurythmics. I did not care for the cover version of "Sweet Dreams".

    Finally, in the last round I can say clearly The Four Tops original cut trumps the copycat.

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thank you very much for popping in this morning, dear friend. I know you are busy with A to Z preps and your visit means a lot to me.

      Gosh, this is the second post in a row that contains a vid that features dancing men who call attention to themselves and are more of a distraction than an attraction. (See Boys Town Gang in my previous post.) I never even noticed those shirtless guys in that video - too busy watching the women. I am thrilled to know that Bananarama & Co were capable of beating the Beatles in my exhibition match.

      Nobody seems to like Skylar Stecker as much as Shady does. I am completely sold on the up-and-coming singing star who lived here in the Tampa Bay area in her childhood. Her "Sweet Dreams" cover reached #1 on the Dance chart.

      I remember listening to Narada Michael Walden's cover of "Reach Out" in the clubs during my bachelor years. I think it's pretty cool and that's why I introduced it in this post along with the Euro act The Tamperer with their club single "Get Up Get It On" which samples the familiar Tops tune.

      Thank you again for being the early bird today, dear friend Cathy!

    2. Tom,

      I remember Skylar from a previous post. I didn't care for the way she covered "Sweet Dreams" considering she hit the top of the Dance charts. It just didn't do much for me.

      Narada Michael Walden does a good job covering "Reach Out" but I don't remember him at all. I will visit YouTube to try to jiggle my memory listening to his tunes. The Temperer ft. Maya "Get Up Get It On" cover didn't suit my ears and if this is a general sample of their mewsic style then I probably won't care for it. However wanting to be fair-minded, I will search for a playlist to see if my opinion still stands. Thanks for stopping by for some giggles. I have three weeks of my A2Z Challenge posts done. I'm pleased with my headway and hope to finish it up next week,then I can breathe. :) Have a good weekend, my friend.

    3. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks for returning to chat, dear friend! It always amazes me how there are subtle differences in recordings that can make a big difference to an individual listener. For example you are the one who turned me on to the music of Kat Graham. I think Skylar Stecker performs in a similar style although Skylar's material is more innocent and age appropriate. Euro dance and Italo disco are not for everyone and I doubt you will find much to like delving into the Tamperer's catalog.

      Thanks again for coming back over, dear friend Cathy, and enjoy your weekend!

  2. Beatles over Bananarama any day.
    Skylar's version had a rocking edge to it. Definitely like that one better.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for coming over to my WWF Grudge Match, good buddy! (Please... no wagering.)

      So, I hear you saying that the version of "Help!" by Bananarama isn't peeling to you. :) Not your taste? :)

      I am very pleased that your ears match mine on the exciting R&B dance pop zinger Skylar Stecker. Gosh, the girl is still only 15, turns 16 next month, and her edgy rendition of "Sweet Dreams" was recorded two years ago!

      Thanks again for joining the fun and rendering an opinion on the tuneage, good buddy Alex!

  3. I think with these I'm going to go with the original, though that's not to say some aren't good renditions. I think, in general, we all tend to like best the version we heard first (with some exceptions!). I had a post about that once...

    1. Hi, Kelly!

      Thank you very much for popping in to check out my second WWF Grudge Match. (If you are tempted to place a wager on the outcome of these three matches, please don't. I promised mama I wouldn't promote or allow gambling on SDMM. :)

      I agree with your reasoning, dear friend. If you hear a new song and like it, chances are you become anchored to that particular recording of it. It becomes your favorite version until a version comes along that you like better. I just came back from that 2016 post of yours. I am happy to know that you like the late great Joe Cocker and his Beatles cover. Cocker is an acquired taste and I appreciate his unique style. Meanwhile some of my other friends turn thumbs down on his recordings.

      Thank you again for sampling some sounds with me today, dear friend Kelly, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  4. You have the best, most interesting and funny posts.
    This sorta has all of them.
    I like the originals because of when they came out and what the songs meant to me at the time.
    Great post.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Hi, Gayle! Hi, Winston!

      I am very happy to see you, my dear Arizona friends. Thanks for joining the fun!

      What a kind compliment you paid me, Gayle, but look who's talking. I could say the same about your (and Winston's) posts. However, I really do appreciate the validation, especially coming as it does from you.

      Seems you got yourself "anchored" to the originals of all three songs in the match. A few of these covers were brand new to me when I recently discovered them on YouTube such as "Help!" by Bananarama, the English girl group that drew inspiration for its name partly from The Banana Splits TV series of the late 60s which I am sure you remember.

      I'm glad I was able to trigger some memories by posting these songs, dear friend Gayle. Thanks again for coming and enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. I couldn’t listen to all of them here unfortunately but I still prefer the original Beatles and I always love the Eurythemics with their excellent videos. The girl is good but nothing special. I prefer the original of I’ll be there as well. I must be one for the old guard

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      How are you, dear friend? Welcome back and thank you for coming!

      Are you saying that one or more of these vids are blocked in your country? I'm sorry to learn of it and sorry you don't see the star potential in my home girl Skylar Stecker. I'm happy to know you enjoyed the three original recording presented here. They are hard to beat.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend BB, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  6. I'll stick with the originals except for Help. I will throw Deep Purple's cover of Help into the mix since I never was much of Beatles fan. I can't say that I remember the Beatles ever being that "in" at the Dell either. Jerre

    1. Hi, Jerre!

      I'm very happy to see you, good buddy! Thanks a lot for coming to the WWF wrestling match.

      I never knew you aren't much of a Beatles fan. As you know, my stint as a regular rat at the Dell ran from the fall of 1965 to the fall of '67. During that span five Beatles singles were played frequently on the dance hall jukebox: the doublesider "We Can Work It Out" b/w "Day Tripper," "Nowhere Man," "Paperback Writer" "Yellow Submarine" and another doublesider "Penny Lane" b/w "Strawberry Fields Forever." However, none of these Beatles biggies made my list of The 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell (mid 60s) because I wanted to leave space on the survey for genuine "Dell songs" - obscure B sides and recordings by little known artists that became big hits at the Dell.

      I never heard Depp Purple's version of Help! I just listened to the six minute album track on YouTube and enjoyed it. I like the way it slowly builds before erupting in a fiery instrumental jam.

      Thank you again for being here, Jerre. This is going to be a huge year at SDMM and you are going to be part of it. Look for a post that features you and other original rats coming in June followed shortly thereafter by the biggest surprise in the history of the blog.

      Take care, Jerre!

  7. Hi Shady!
    It's the Beatles, Skylar and Four Tops for me as I grab a quick lunch when it's almost time to think about dinner!
    Good tunes, great match, my friend ;-)

    1. Hi, diedre!

      Thank you very much for dropping in, dear friend. I am delighted to see you!

      If voting were allowed (which it isn't :) then, so far, the vote distribution would be more even than I expected. Please keep in mind that wagering is also verboten. :)

      I'm pleased to learn that your eyes and ears detect something special about Skylar Stecker, an up-and-comer still in her mid teens.

      Thank you again for making time for a visit, dear friend diedre. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  8. As always, great songs and awesome post! Thanks for sharing these.

    1. Hi, Gina!

      Welcome back to Shady Dell Music & Memories, my old friend. Gee, I think it has been a couple of years since we last connected. I am very happy to see you!

      I'm glad you enjoyed my latest batch of music and memories, Gina. I'll be over to your place soon to see what you're up to. If you'd like to start following SDMM regularly then I will happily reciprocate.

      Thanks again, Gina, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  9. I thought this would be a slam dunk with "Help". I mean, seriously, I'm a Beatles fan through and through but I'm shocked to say that I loved Bananarama's version. So fun and frankly that's a song that would be hard to mess up! Next, I will go with the Eurythmics..even if the video seemed a bit creepy! (but you know I love a little creepy). Last but not least...The Four Tops...slam dunk the best here. Sorry, but the others were not good to my ears. But I'm not a music critic or anything! Thanks for the match! Hope all's well in Florida and have a good rest of your week.

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you very much for coming down, dear friend. I'm delighted to see you!

      Those Bananarama ladies, along with the spoof act Lananeeneenoonoo, are claiming their share of imaginary votes in this exhibition match. (I'm BETTING that some people are wagering on the outcome even though it is strictly prohibited. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the humor of the B-rama song and video cover as much as I did.

      As you recall I spent most of the year 2016 covering the artists and songs of modern dance pop, dance rap and dance rock. Few of my friends if any appreciate those styles as much as I. I am a Skylar Stecker believer, named her Pop Artist of the Year, and love her zesty cover of "Sweet Dreams" which reached #1 on the U.S. dance chart. In the last couple of years I also developed a taste for Euro dance, Italo disco and electro funk and that is why I continue to present acts like The Tamperer feat. Maya.

      I'm happy to know you had some fun with the post, dear friend Yaya. Thank you again for coming and enjoy the rest of your week!

  10. The Beatles and Bananarama are timeless. For me it's like Michael Jackson songs. It transcends time and generation.

    Awesome dance beats. I played on 1:30. :)

    1. Hi, Lux!

      How are you, my dear friend on the other side of the world? Welcome back!

      Bananarama cranked out a lot more music than I realized. It was exciting for me to discover their cover of "Help!" along with the funny video produced with a little Help from their friends, those B-rama posers Lananeeneenoonoo.

      I love recordings that stand the test of time and remain fresh to the ears. Unlike the recordings of some artists (such as Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes), the musical output of the Beatles, Bananarama and Michael Jackson are indeed timeless.

      I'm glad you enjoyed these American and Euro dance beats, dear friend Lux. Thanks again for joining the fun this week. I hope you will come again soon!

  11. Hi Shady! Well, well, well! I'll always prefer the Beatles "Help", but you know, Bananarama really did a great cover. Like the Beatles, they are so cute, and the video was entertaining and musically sound!

    Oh, Annie and the Eurythmics! Gotta love that song always. Skylar does a good job, but I have to stick with the original-what a voice! Annie is so powerful!

    This one has to be my #1! I can't deny my guys, the 4 Tops any credit on "Reach Out"! They exhibit so much emotion in their voices, I feel as though they sang the song for me. They bring it home, therefore, they own it! Good job on the other two numbers, "Get Up Get It On" and Norada Michael Walden's cover. These are excellent dance/disco songs.

    Thank you so much, Shady for taking us back, bringing some smiles to my morning. Of course I'm running behind, but at least I'm still running. Have a great weekend! "Grudge Match" rules! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thank you very much for coming by, dear friend! I was getting worried about you again and preparing to email you over the weekend, but I didn't want you to think I was merely fishing for a blog comment. I hope you and Scootie are both feeling at least a little better by now. I haven't stopped thinking about you both!

      Those Brit girls, the Bananarama trio, are getting their share of props pitted as they are in this exhibition match against The Beatles. That surprises me.

      The Four Tops are hard to beat and I am thrilled to discover that finally - FINALLY - the many great recordings in their Motown catalog are starting to turn up on YouTube remastered, remixed, and, in the case of vintage film and video clips, nicely restored. The H-D-H sound is terrific, but Motown's vinyl albums and 45s really sucked in terms of audio fidelity, with an awful lot of shrillness and hissing on the highs. Now at last I am finding some decent sounding Tops tunes to share with you in future posts.

      Thank you again for joining the fun this week, dear friend Suzanne. I wish you and your loved ones a safe, healthy and happy weekend!

  12. I like the remakes, but prefer the originals. Sorry to be so predictable.

    1. Hi, Kirk!

      Thanks for coming, good buddy! I no longer try to predict how people will react to my content. I have been surprised too many times. It pleases me to know that you liked all seven recordings. I think you are the first person to give all versions thumbs up.

      Thanks again for reporting in, good buddy Kirk, and have a great week ahead!

  13. Hey Shady! Happy Sunday...well actually I think it’s monday now. So, Happy Monday!
    I loved the WWF theme —-I’m a big WFF fan, of the Wow What Fun variety, NOT The wrestling kind...

    I really liked the video of the Beatles doing their #1 hit Help! Loved the skit with the umbrella and Ringo in the back, being Ringo.
    I also really enjoyed Bananarama & the Lenoo gang. That was some silly fun and quite hilarious even though I like my Fab Four, I’m giving this one to Bananarama et al...

    In your second match up, put me down for the Eurhythmics. Skylar’s version was okay but paled in comparison to the original.

    And your third match up surprised me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Four Tops and thought no way would I vote against them but Holy Cannoli, I really liked the contender you chose for them. Put me down for Narada Michael Walden, all the way! I will definitely be checking out more by him.

    Thanks for the introductions!
    Shady’s WWF was indeed fun!
    It’s kinda crazy over here. Not only is it Spring Break but my mom is having her gall bladder out on March 23 and I’m having my shoulder surgery — either rotator cuff repair or reconstruction, depending on what the surgeon finds when he gets in there—- on April 2.
    Plus I have yet to even start on my taxes...
    And now, on that note, I’m going to put my head under the covers and go to sleep.
    Nite nite...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thank you for coming, dear friend! It was very nice of you to stay up late to read, listen and comment on my latest WWF Grudge Match, a thinly disguised BOTB w/o voting. :) (Also, no wagering allowed! :)

      I'm delighted that two of the covers I picked for the contests won you over. Bananarama's "Help!" cover has been singled out by several other people, but I think you are the first to sing the praises of Narada Michael Walden. I remember hearing Walden's bold update of "Reach Out" in clubs during my second stint as a bachelor. It bowled me over then and I never get tired of listening to it. Glad you like it, too.

      I wish you and your mother well as you undergo back-to-back medical procedures in the coming weeks. I will be thinking about you and praying for the best possible outcome.

      Thanks again for making time for me, dear friend Michele, and have a great week!


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