The Shadows of Knight were a garage and blues rock band formed in Chicago that became famous during the late 1960s. They are best known for their cleaner version of the Van Morrison-penned garage rock standard, "Gloria," in which the band made a small but significant change to the lyrics, substituting "then she calls out my name" for "and then she comes in my room."
In 1964, five students from Prospect High School in Mt. Prospect, Illinois formed a band that would later become known as The Shadows Of Knight. The initial lineup consisted of Jim Sohns (vocals), Norm Gotsch (rhythm guitar), Warren Rogers (lead guitar), Wayne Pursell (bass guitar), and Tom Schiffour (drums). Pursell left the band in 1965 and was replaced by Joe Kelley (d. September 1, 2013). First known as The Shadows, the band soon after changed its name to The Shadows Of Knight to avoid a name conflict with the same-named British band. The Shadows Of Knight performed actively in and around the Chicago area and became the house band at The Cellar in Arlington Heights. During a concert in which they played their cover of "Gloria," they caught the attention of Dunwich Records producers Bill Traut and George Badonsky which led to a contract with the record label. By December 1965, guitarist Jerry McGeorge had replaced Norm Gotsch just before the band began recording "Gloria."
The Shadows Of Knight debuted on the Pop/Rock charts in 1966 with "Gloria," which became a Top 10 hit and topped the original raunchier version by the Van Morrison-fronted band, Them, due in large part to a ban of the latter song by many radio stations around the country. "Gloria" was followed later that year by the Bo Diddley-penned "Oh Yeah," which made the Top 40. The Shadows Of Knight then had three minor hits with "Bad Little Woman" (1966), "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" (1966), and "Shake" (1968).
During the band's peak commercial period, The Shadows Of Knight recorded two albums now considered to be garage rock classics: "Gloria" (1966) and "Back Door Men" (1966). The band also toured with such top acts as Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars. In late 1966, original band member Warren Rogers was drafted and replaced by Dave "Hawk" Wolinski, and the following year, Jerry McGeorge, Joe Kelley, Tom Schiffour, and Wolinski all left the band. By the end of 1967, the only original member remaining was Jim Sohns who, over the years, continued fronting various incarnations of the band on the oldies circuit. On August 20, 2016, four original and early members of the Shadows Of Knight - Jim Sohns, Jerry McGeorge, Hawk Wolinski, and Tom Schiffour - reunited and performed in concert for the first time in 49 years at the Q-Bar in Glendale Heights, Illinois.
- Jim Sohns discusses the making of "Gloria" and how the band got its name in an interview with Gary James of classicbands.com.
- Legacy.com remembers Joe Kelley.
- The Shadows Of Knight announce a reunion concert to take place August 20, 2016.
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The Shadows of Knight
- Gloria 1966
(This song also became a hit for Them (1965) and the Doors (1983, originally recorded in 1969).)
- Oh Yeah 1966
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