Jim Sohns, who died this week, was only 16 when he became the singer in a new Chicago band, The Shadows Of Knight.
One of the band once said: “The Stones, Animals and Yardbirds took the Chicago blues and gave it an English interpretation. We’ve taken the English version of the blues and re-added a Chicago touch.”
The Shadows, as they first called themselves, gormed in 1963 at their school Prospect High in a subirb of Chicago.
Their initial lineup consisted of lead singer Jim Sohns, lead guitarist Wayne Peppers, rhythm guitarist Norm Gotsch, bassist Warren Rogers, and drummer Tom Schiffour.
After a couple of line-up changes (Joe Kelly came in on lead guitar for Peppers and Jerry McGeorge on rhythm when Gotsch joined the army), they finally found out about Cliff’s backing band of the same name.
In the spring of 1966, as the newly elongated Shadows Of Knight, they released their first single, a cover of Van Morrison’s Gloria.
It captured the swagger of Them’s original recording and became a Top Ten hit in America. But they never matched its success and began to crumble within a year.
Sohn tried to keep things going with an all-new lineup before breaking up in the seventies and reforming with a other all -new band in the nineties.
I came across them for the first time on the Nuggets compilation, which included their second single, Oh Yeah – almost note-for-note the same as Bowie’s Jean Genie.
RiP Jim Sohns