Shadows of Knight

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Shadows of Knight 17
Artist / Musician
Artist / Performer

The Shadows of Knight

The Shadows of Knight is an Illinois band from Chicago that plays a version of British blues influenced by their native city.  They are best-known for their hit single “Gloria” and are deemed one of the most famous garage bands of the 1960’s.

The group formed in 1964in their hometown of Mt. Prospect, IL, a northern suburb of Chicago as the Shadows.  Upon learning of a British band already using that name, they changed it to the Shadows of Knight as their high school team mascot was the Knights and as a nod to the British Invasion.  The original members were Roger Spielmann (guitar), Norm Gotsch (guitar), Wayne Pursell (bass), Tom Shiffour (drums), and Jimy Sohns (vocals).  In 1965 Joe Kelly (guitar) replaced Pursell.

The Shadows of Knight became the house band at The Cellar in Arlington Heights and began packing the club with over 500 teenagers every time they played.  A performance in support of the The Byrds at McCormick Place in early 1965 attracted the attention of Dunwich Records producers who witnessed their performance of Van Morrison’s “Gloria”.  The song was recorded and released on Dunwich and rose to #10 on the Billboard national charts.   The Shadows of Knight released the Gloria album followed by the Back Door Men LP. Subsequent singles released were Bo Diddley’s “Oh Yeah” (#39), “Bad Little Woman” (#91), and the powerhouse “I’m Gonna Make You Mine” (#90)

By 1967 Jimy Sohns was the only original member left in the band.  A Move from Chicago to New Your City after signing with Buddah Records resulted in a 1969 single “Shake” which reached #46 nationally.

In 1992 a live recording “Raw “n” Alive at the Cellar” was released on Sundazed Records which captured a performance at the club where they first gained local popularity.

Jimy Sohns carried the legacy of the Shadows of Knight and performed many shows until his passing on July 29th, 2022.