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

Monday, July 2, 2018

Shady Train - Ep. 8: Miracle Rebirth!


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!

Hi there and welcome aboard. You're right on time for a beautiful trip on the Shady Train, and if the sight and sound of soul is your pleasure and what you treasure, you can bet your bottom we got 'em, baby.

And we're very fortunate on this day to have with us
one of the most exciting and versatile talents in our
business. As she joins us to do the title song from
her latest album on the Buddah label entitled
"This Is It," a warm welcome, please,
gang, for-- Miss Melba Moore!

"This Is It" - Melba Moore
(May 1976, highest chart pos.
#9 UK/#10 Dance Club,
#18 Black Singles, from
Apr. 1976 album This Is It

Our next guest is one of our very good friends in addition to being a super talented young gospel and R&B artist. She is here to do her latest single on the ARC Columbia label, a remake of a song originally written for Little Anthony and the Imperials and turned into a top 40 hit when recorded by The Royalettes in 1965. The updated version this young lady is about to sing is guaranteed to become a classic in its own right. The song
is entitled "It's Gonna Take A Miracle" and this is the fantastic "Niecy"-- Deniece Williams!

"It's Gonna Take A Miracle" - Deniece Williams
(May/June 1982, highest chart pos.
#10 Hot 100/#1 R&B, from
Mar. 1982 album Niecy)

And it's a pleasure to introduce our third extraordinary canary in a row. She's a tremendous talent who delivers the goods each and every time she performs whether on record or in person. This is her latest single on Motown's Gordy label entitled "Behind The Groove." Give it up, please, gang, for the irrepressible "Lady T"-- Miss Teena Marie!

"Behind The Groove" - Teena Marie
(May/June 1980, highest chart pos.
#4 U.S. Dance/#21 R&B/#6 UK)

Here's a sound outta Philly that a sho nuff dilly. Formerly with the Delfonics, our next guest has us all in a frenzy because of his latest single on the Atlantic label. It's a biggin everybody's diggin' entitled "Love Won't Let Me Wait."
As he joins us for the first time as a solo performer, let's
get some hands together, gang, for Mr.-- Major Harris!

"Love Won't Let Me Wait" - Major Harris
(May/June 1975, highest chart pos.
#5 Hot 100/#3 Cash Box/#1 Soul,
from 1975 album My Way)

And this Kentucky born band has been rackin' 'em back for the past seven years and showing no signs of slowing down. They are joining us to do the latest single on the Solar label from their hit album No Parking on the Dance Floor. It's a groove that makes you wanna move real smooth, a little thing called "Wet My Whistle," and they are-- Midnight Star!

"Wet My Whistle" - Midnight Star
(Dec. 1983/Jan. 1984, highest chart pos.
#8 R&B/#15 Dance/#61 Hot 100,
#54 Cash Boxfrom June 1983 album
No Parking on the Dance Floor)

And the Train gang's on the right track. They're walkin' the line and gettin' in the swing with a groovy little thing. It's our good friends Kool and the Gang with - "Get Down On It!"

"Get Down On It" - Kool and the Gang
(Apr./May 1982, highest chart pos.
#10 Hot 100, #4 R&B/#3 UK,
from 1981 album Something Special)

And it's the second time around for this exciting band from Atlanta, Georgia. As they join us to do their latest single on the Tabu label entitled "Just Be Good To Me," Let's make some big noise, gang, for-- The S.O.S. Band!

"Just Be Good To Me" - The S.O.S. Band
(Sept./Oct. 1983, highest chart pos.
#2 R&B/#3 Dance Club/#55 Hot 100,
from July 1983 album On The Rise)


That oughta hold you for a while. We'll open another six pack again next time and throw in an extra cool one for good measure, and 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. I knew the Kool and the Gang song and that was it.
    Don, stay cool. Or Kool. Your pick!

    1. Hi, Alex!

      You, my friend, are the early bird for the 144th week a row - a new world record! :)

      Thanks for coming, Alex. That Kool and The Gang number is one of their best known hits, and so I am not surprised you recognized it. "Love Won't Let Me Wait" was a smash in my neck of the woods, and the remake of "Miracle" is Shady's Pick To Click for this post - a classic in its own right.

      Thanks again, good buddy, and have a nice holiday week!

  2. Tom,

    I recall most of your song selections. I always get such a kick out of watch these old Soul Train clips. What fun! The kids always dressed so nice, too. Kool and the Gang is probably my most memorable band featured. Their mewsic always puts the groove in my move. You're more than welcome to join the 4M on the dance floor by adding your link. We're a purrrty laid-back bunch. Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you and Mrs. Shady have a lovely Independence Day celebration!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      How are you, dear friend? Thank you so very much for popping in to witness the "Miracle Rebirth" in episode 8 of Shady Train!

      Like Alex, who is also quite a bit younger than Shady, you are most familiar with Kool and The Gang and their top 10 crossover hit "Get Down On It." Some of the other selections in this set did not make the Billboard pop chart, but instead registered on the R&B and/or Dance charts. However, there are two other top 10 pop hits here, the one by Major Harris and the "Miracle" remake by Deniece Williams which I think is another sensational ballad. I don't remember Niecy's cover from the early 80s, just discovered it recently, and it is a true gem.

      Thank you again for making time for a holiday visit, dear friend Cathy. I wish you and your family a safe and happy 4th!

  3. I feel like I should know those two clips from the mid-70s, but they just don't sound familiar. Must not have made an impression on me at the time.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Kool & the Gang clip. The clothing on the line is every bit as entertaining as the moves! :D

    1. Hi, Kelly!

      I am very happy to see you, dear friend! Thank you very much for dropping in to experience the "Miracle Rebirth" brought to you by "Niecy" (Deniece Williams) along with the other acts in this episode of Shady Train.

      That clip of the Soul Train gang dancing to the hit by Kool And The Gang is, as you can probably tell, another custom edited creation designed to show some of the best dancers and costumes that appeared on the series over the years. Melba Moore's "This Is It" was a huge R&B and Dance hit but only made it to #91 on the pop chart. That helps explain why you aren't familiar with it. However I am surprised you don't remember Major Harris's #1 charting R&B ballad "Love Won't Let Me Wait" which crossed over to the top 5 on the pop side. It was a monster in Central PA.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend Kelly!

  4. Awesome soul train ride, friend Shady … thanks for letting me come along … Am surprised that Major Harris wasn't banned in the States as reminds me of Jane and Serj's Je t'aime … Anyway … wishing you a very happy 4th of July comin up shortly … btw: I entered the North American continent on July 4th, 1982 … Love, cat.

    1. Hi, cat!

      I am delighted to see you, dear kitty friend. Thanks for coming down and hopping aboard the Shady Train! I'm glad you enjoyed the ride.

      I just listened to Serge Gainsbourg featuring Jane Birkin doing "Je t'aime… Moi non plus," the French song banned from YouTube in its English translated form. I don't hear a similarity to the melody of "Love Won't Let Me Wait," nor do I think the Major Harris song is nearly as suggestive. I am sure Major's single raised a few conservative eyebrows in 1975, but not enough to prevent it from becoming a big crossover hit.

      Thanks for letting me know you have been living in North America for 36 years now. I have been a Florida resident since 1984.

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

  5. Another off-the-charts lineup here today. I have to say I loved hearing Williams voice. It was so soothing and sweet that I let the video play to the end! Thanks, Shady for the musical interlude in my day.

    1. Hi, Cheryl-Lee!

      It's so nice of you to come over during your hiatus, dear friend. It means a lot to me. Thank you!

      I agree that this is a stellar lineup of artists and songs brought back to life through the superb restoration work of modern producers and remixers. I'm very happy that you singled out the ballad by Deniece Williams, an updated 80s version of a favorite of mine from the mid 60s, the Royalettes' recording "It's Gonna Take A Miracle." Niecy's cover is indeed a "Miracle Rebirth," a cover so good that it rivals the original. The soulful thrush had the studio dancers in the palm of her hand as she performed the song on Soul Train, one of the great moments in the series' history.

      It is always a pleasure to have you here, Cheryl-Lee, and I am happy to know you enjoyed the soothing, sweet sounds of Shady's Pick To Click, Deniece Williams. Enjoy your holiday week, dear friend!

  6. You and Don Cornelius have done it again! Another great Shady Train post. My favorite, as I'm sure you already know, is "Get Down On It" by Kool & the Gang. I love that song! Actually that's the only one I really recognize from this six-pack. I remember Melba Moore but not for anything in particular, just her name. I think I recognize "This Is It" but not sure.
    The other song I like here is "Wet Your Whistle". I really dig their colorful outfits!

    And naturally, the best part of this post for me was the Soul Train dancers grooving down the line... Fun stuff!

    Hope you have a great week Tom.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Thank you, Michele!

      Of the seven songs in volume 8 of Shady Train, "Get Down On It" is the one garnering most of the comments and praise so far. I hope you enjoyed listening to and learning about the other six songs in the post including my favorite, the cover of "Miracle" by Deniece Williams. Deniece is perhaps best known for her earlier disco hit "I've Got The Next Dance" and her later R&B dance-pop smash "Let's Hear It For The Boy." Much earlier in her career, in 1968, Deniece recorded under the name Deniece Chandler and covered another 1965 soul recording, "Yes, I'm Ready," the Barbara Mason hit.

      Thanks again for coming, Michele, and enjoy your week!

  7. Wow! The Shady Train arrived once again in great form! So very soulful Mr. Train- master!

    That Teena Marie is really something, isn't she! "Behind the Groove", a song I've never heard, but a very cool song. She has great stage presence and attitude! I loved her performance of this song. I felt a Michael Jackson flair about her, and think they would have done a great duet together!

    Talk about 'soulful', Deniece Williams is all over it! You mentioned the song, "It's Gonna Take a Miracle" was written for Little Anthony-I can see how he could own that song, but she did it a great service with a great voice!

    These are all pretty darn good song choices and voices, Shady! Don't know any of them, but they're all worthy of exposure and praise.

    Of course, I love the Soul Train dancers. This group today is definitely one to be reckoned with! The costumes are so delightfully extravagant, and where do all of these different dance moves come from? I have a favorite today? Let's see-Melba Moore is so pretty and has a lovely voice. Ahhh...Major Harris with "Love Won't Let Me Wait". Well, this song does sound familiar, and I love it! What a colorful group Midnight Star is with their costumes and cool dance moves!

    Where does that leave us? Oh...yes! The SOS Band! "Just Be Good to Me"! Talk about soul with a bit of funk! This song boasts a fabulous beat, great vocals and instrumentals...Shady, the story line is so believable, it gave me chills! As did all of your offerings today, this song brings back great memories of the soulful days, that are still with most of us!

    Thank you so much for these new introductions of days gone by 'unsung' heroes and heroines. I apologize for being so late. You know how life "grabs" you by the tail from time to time. Have a great week, and a safe July 4th, Dearest Shady!♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      I am very happy to see you, dear friend! Thank you very much for swinging over to find out what all the fuss is about as I present "Miracle Rebirth," the 8th ride of the Shady Train, featuring spotlight artist Deniece Williams and friends.

      I'm delighted that you took time out of your busy evening to dig into each of these songs, Suzanne. I have been waiting to reply to a comment about Teena Marie and you have given me my chance. You and I agree that Teena had flair, pizzazz and stage presence. I think she was one of the most underrated R&B singers of the 80s. Teena achieved six top 10 R&B singles, three top 10 Dance singles and only one top 10 pop single, the crossover hit "Lovergirl" in 1984. What I also wanted to mention about Teena is the tragic accident that ultimately led to her early death. Imagine this. Teena was sleeping in a hotel room when a large picture frame fell from the wall and landed on her head! The injury was so severe that she suffered seizures for the rest of her life which lasted only six more years. Teena Marie died at age 54 a month after suffering a grand mal seizure. Her story has one of the saddest endings in "rock" history, don't you agree? What a terrible loss to music.

      The other artist I am delighted you mentioned is The S.O.S. Band, one of my favorite acts of the disco and post-disco years, the group that featured the lead vocals of the mesmerizing Mary Davis whom you see in that composite video wearing at least two different costumes on stage. You are so right, Suzanne. If you listen to the words of "Just Be Good To Me," a song written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the team with the magic touch, you realize that it tells the truth and describes countless relationships. In all of her songs recorded with The S.O.S. Band, Mary Davis proved to be an excellent storyteller who made a powerful connection with the listener. The loud blast from the organ at the 20 sec. mark of the video sounds like the arrival of the mother ship in Close Encounters. Tabu Records got it right. All of the S.O.S. recordings for the label are top notch. By the way, a superb cover of "Just Be Good To Me" was later recorded by R&B artist Deborah Cox and sounds so much like the original it is difficult to distinguish between the two.

      I would hardly call it arriving late to show up on day one with an outstanding comment, Suzanne. Thank you again for spending some quality time in the Shady. I wish you and your family, near and far, a safe and happy holiday, dear friend!

  8. I feel like I've been transported via a time machine into the 70s. Even though this is the time I grew up in, I am not familiar with a lot of this music. I think it's because my parents didn't like it, so they kept the music of the 50s and 60s playing on the radio.

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thanks for coming over, dear friend. I am happy to see you!

      Ha! Your story reminds me of my own childhood. My parents disliked rock 'n' roll and the Beatles and were constantly trying to get me enthused about country music and the big band sounds of the 30s and 40s. I suspect kids of every generation go through the same thing.

      Although you are not familiar with much of the music offered in my Shady Train series, I hope you enjoy listening and learning.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend Sherry, and have a safe and happy 4th!

  9. I am so glad I came here and listened to such great music

    1. Hi, Jo-Anne!

      How are you, dear friend around the world? Thanks for coming all this way to ride the Shady Train. I'm delighted to know you enjoyed the song selection on today's show.

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

  10. They're all class acts, but I liked Melba the best.

    1. Hi, Kirk!

      Thanks for swinging over, good buddy! I agree that this episode of Shady Train is wall to wall class acts. You are the first to single out Melba Moore. I'm glad you did, glad she is finally getting some attention, because I like her, too.

      Have a safe and happy holiday, good buddy Kirk!

  11. Hi Shady,

    Thank you for getting me grooving on my birthday! Soul music is the best way to celebrate turning the big 2-9. :D

    I'm really only familiar with Teena Marie's "Feels Like I'm In Love," but I really love the video you posted. I might have to check out more of her music.

    Have a great Forth of July, dear friend!

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Happy birthday to you, dear friend, "born on the fourth of July." Hey, that sounds like a good title for a book and movie! :) You are 29 today? Shucks, I have half-used jars of mayonnaise in my refrigerator that are older than that! :)

      Dear friend, you are getting Teena Marie confused with Kelly Marie, the Scottish artist I recently featured. Teena Marie was a California singer and songwriter who died prematurely as a result of a freak accident in which a large framed picture dropped from a wall and struck her on the head.

      I wish you and your family a great holiday celebration and, once again, happy birthday to you, dear friend JM!

    2. Ohhh! You're right, I remember reading about that and it was sad.

      Thank you and thank you for cheering me up.

    3. Any time, dear Jessica!

      Thanks again for checking in. I wish you a safe and happy weekend, dear friend JM!

  12. Some super cool tunes for a super hot day up North! We're doing the 90de in 100% humidity numbers and sweating to these oldies from Don! I knew some of the artists today, but not the tunes but that's not surprising from me is it? Hope your July 4th is fun and I think you're even cooler down there than we are up here...but then again, you've always been "cooler" than me! Ha! Take care Shady!

  13. Hi, YaYa!

    I couldn't get the "reply" function to work and so I am using the comment box instead. Thank you very much for coming over on the 4th of July to sample the songs in Shady Train #8.

    I'm pleased to know you consider these tunes to be super cool. I think they are, too, and I was happy to find these pristine uploads on YouTube. The restoration work on the sound and picture makes it seem like these performances were taped last week instead of 30 to 40 years ago.

    I just stepped outside to view a fireworks display and it is nice and cool and breezy. We had a T-storm a few hours ago and it cooled temps down nicely for us.

    Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend YaYa. I hope you are capping off a wonderful holiday with your family. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  14. Hi Shady,

    That was quite a throwback train ride! I knew most of the songs! I love Denise Williams! I mostly remember her for her mega hit, “Let’s hear it for the boy”! Also Teena Marie! What a blast from the past! I use to love dancing to her song, “Lovergirl”! My all-time favorite song on this post was the very sexy, “Love won’t let me wait”! That was quite a mood setter back in the day!

    It was a lot of fun re-living these golden oldies dance tunes. Thank you, Don (Shady)
    for bringing them back to our memories!

    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, Toni!

      Thank you very much for joining the fun on the 8th ride of the Shady Train. I am excited to see you, dear friend!

      I suspected that you would be familiar with most of these sounds of the 70s and 80s. Like you, I best remember Deniece Williams for her MTV hit "Let's Hear It For The Boy." As I did my research for this post, I learned a few more facts about Deniece. First of all, I was surprised to learn that she is only a few months younger than Shady! I thought she was much younger. Turns out she has been recording since the late 60s and on her early recordings used her middle and last name - Deniece Chandler (Deniece spelled "Denise" on the record label). Her 1968 single "I'm Walking Away" was a popular play on the Northern Soul scene in England.

      I am also pleased that you gave Teena Marie her props. She was loaded with talent and a victim of a freak accident that led to her early demise. (Read details in my replies to Suzanne and Jessica Marie.) "Love Won't Let Me Wait" was indeed a smokin' snuggle song and a very big hit in Central PA as I am sure you remember.

      Thanks again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend Toni, and enjoy the rest of your week!


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