High School Yearbook Photo

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

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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Much, Much More to Make You Misty: Part 2 of My 50th Anniversary Salute to Our Home Boys, The Magnificent Men!

1966 was a breakthrough year for  

The Magnificent Men.

Central Pennsylvania's white soul group followed the
release of their hit Dell two-fer "Peace of Mind" b/w
"All Your Lovin's Gone to My Head" with another
double dose of soul.

On September 10, 1966, the band led by Dave Bupp
and Adrian "Buddy" King performed both sides
of their latest single on DJ Robin Seymour's
Bandstand style, Detroit-based television
show Swingin' Time.

Later in the Seymour show, Bupp's boys were back.

They lip-synced the fab flip, "I've Got News."

Around the same time that the Magnificent Men
released the doublesider "Maybe Maybe Baby"
b/w "I've Got News," their long awaited first
Capitol album hit the street. I vividly recall
the impact that long play record made on
 the youth of the Susquehanna Valley.

 As a teenager, there 
 were three coming- 
 of-age milestones 
 that I couldn't wait 
 to reach: 

 * getting my driver's 

 * owning my first car 

 * gettin' over to the 
  Disc-O-Rama and 
 buying my first 
 Mag Men album. 

Well okay, my first kiss belongs on that
list somewhere, but you get the picture.


 A fact of life, a fundamental part of growing up 
 in Central PA, was a love of the Magnificent Men. 

Already soulfully inclined, (no arm twisting required),
Dell rats were all the more receptive to what the
Mag Men were puttin' down because the Men
were a homegrown act with roots
in York and "The Burg."

On that first album and the two that followed,
the Magnificent Men performed original songs
written by Bupp and King along with covers
of rhythm and blues, soul, crossover country
and pop and jazz standards.

The Mag Men didn't just cover other artists.
They interpreted the material and
made it uniquely their own.

In the new millennium, millions more people
were exposed to the version of "Stormy Weather"
recorded by the Magnificent Men.

"Stormy Weather" by the Mag Men was used in the soundtrack of the 2003 Sylvester Stallone crime drama Shade,
a movie about
card sharks.

Dang... I wish
they would have
called it Shady!

The Magnificent Men gave some of us our first
exposure to the recorded works of soul and
R&B artists like the Artistics, Gloria Lynne,
Shorty Long and the Vibrations.

The Mag Men waxed a faithful rendition of "Misty,"
the Erroll Garner jazz standard of the mid 50s
that was recorded and placed on the chart by
the Vibrations in October/November 1965.

With its lush string arrangement and sappy,
overstated romantic lyrics, "Misty" is a
throwback - an old fashioned ballad
light years away from cool.

Yet the Rodentia Intelligentsia were always
eager to give props where they were due.
They immortalized songs like "Misty"
because they reminded them of their
heritage, the kind of music the first
generation of Dell rats listened and
danced to back in the 50s. "Misty"
recalls a bygone era when ladies
and gentlemen roamed the earth
wearing hats and gloves, reciting
simple poems and believing with all
their hearts that love lasts forever.

In addition to introducing us to artists that
were new to us, the Mag Men gave us a deeper
appreciation of artists we already knew including
Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, Arthur Conley,
Joe Tex, the Temps, the Tops, the Pips
and Smokey Robinson.

As much as any teacher, preacher, statesman
or diplomat, the Magnificent Men helped white
Americans and black Americans to understand,
accept and appreciate one other. In the mid
and late 60s, the most turbulent period of
the African-American Civil Rights Movement,
the music of the Mag Men helped to ease
tension and unite a divided nation.
Mister, we could use a few more
Magnificent Men today.



 Thanks, guys! 

Have a Shady day!