Shadows of Knight
Shadows of Knight
And although they set out to be nothing more than a "typical" rock group, they made some of the most a-typical records of the 60's! Forming in late 1965, the Shadows Of Knight were all friends and aquaintances, except for lead singer Jim Sohns, who they stole from a rival group. Their early sounds were highly influenced by black music, and white British interpretations of black music. Venturing into hard-edged r&b, the group made two LP's for Dunwich Records within their first year (both now available again, thanks to Sundazed Records). These albums are essential to anyone who loves the gritty early sounds of groups like the Rolling Stones and the Pretty Things.
Of course, it's their version of Thems' "Gloria" which shot them to the top of the American pop charts. Their rise to fame was fast, and the pressures were very difficult for the group to handle. By 1967, the group, dissolusioned with mis-management began to fall apart. Guitarist Jerry McGeorge went on to form the understated H.P.
Lovecraft and both bassist Joe Kelly and drummer Tim Schiffour held out for more straight ahead blues in the Joe Kelly Blues Band. Jim Sohns held on. By late 1968 Sohns was the only surviving member, legally getting the Shadows Of Knight name for himself. The "group" was then contracted by bubblegum producers Kasenetz and Katz to record under that name for their Teem Records label. Grabbing at any straw handed to him, Sohns quickly moved to New York, assembled a group of musicians and when on to record some of the best records of the bubblegum genre. A master at interpereting popular sounds, Sohns was able to take teen appeal and mix it with his gritty soulful voice for an unbelievable version of "Shake".
Jim is also quite obviously the vocalist of many other soulful bubblgum songs under various psuedonoms for the K&K labels. Firmly experienced in the bubblegum genre, and sensing another change in popular music, Jim began to have an interest in harder rock 'n roll sounds. His last great single is perhaps the most perfect melding of rock and bubblegum sounds in "Run, Run Billy Porter"/ "My Fire Department Needs A Fireman". Although Sohns continues to this day to keep the Shadows Of Knight name alive, he lost his chart topping drive in 1969, and began to re-hash is previous Chicago career, and subsiquent records are neither timely or so empassioned. © Glynis Ward 2001 - 2007 [Published 11 July 2001] Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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