CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
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
HELLO STRANGER ..... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cruisin' 1957 With the Rockin' Bird


 It's time to salute another volume 

 of the Cruisin' series and gaze 

 at a few more nostalgic 

 soda pop print ads. 


 The year is 1957.  Let's cruise 

 east to Philly where a deejay 

 known as The Rockin' Bird 

 is flying high at a radio 

 station called Wibbage! 


 Joe Niagara - WIBG, Philadelphia 






 THE HEARTBEATS 

Joe Niagara loved doo-wop and this one,
"A Thousand Miles Away" by the Heartbeats,
was one of the best group ballads of the 50s.

 "A Thousand Miles Away" - Heartbeats 
 (February 1957,  highest chart position #53) 





 SHEP 

 AND THE LIMELITES 

In the spring of 1961 former Heartbeats leader "Shep"
Sheppard gave us another classic doo-wop ballad,
this time with his new group Shep & the Limelites.
"Daddy's Home" nearly topped the pop chart,
halting at position #2 while Roy Orbison's
"Running Scared" and Ricky Nelson's
"Travelin' Man" took turns at #1.

 "Daddy's Home" - Shep & the Limelites 
 (June 1961, highest chart position #2) 







 JOE BENNETT 

 AND THE SPARKLETONES 

In the fall of 1957 South Carolina rock 'n rollers
Joe Bennett & the Sparkletones achieved an impressive
19 week chart run with the frantic paced "Black Slacks,"
a record that finished in the top 20 and gained them
national exposure. To me the Sparkletones sounded
like The Everly Brothers hopped up on Jolt Cola.
I dug what those boys were puttin' down!

 "Black Slacks" - Joe Bennett & the Sparkletones 
 (October 1957, highest chart position #17) 




If "Black Slacks" fit your musical taste try "Penny Loafers
and Bobby Socks" on for size. The Sparkletones' follow-
up single was released in December of 1957 and halted
just shy of the top 40. Although not as big a hit as
"Black Slacks," "Penny Loafers and Bobby Sox" is my
Pick to Click, one of the rockinest records of the 50s!

 "Penny Loafers and Bobby Socks" 
 Joe Bennett & the Sparkletones 
 (December 1957, highest chart position #43) 




By 1957 when I was 7 years old I had already been
playing deejay more than two years in my downstairs
game room. I spent hours at a time sifting through
 stacks of 45s that belonged to my parents and
teenage brother, listening, learning and
evaluating the songs on both sides.


"Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley,
"Wake Up Little Susie" by the Everly Brothers and
"Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly were a few of the
45s left behind by my brother when he joined
the Air Force and moved away. I played
those records countless times on my
tiny tinny toy turntable.



 JOHNNIE RAY 

My parents loved Johnnie Ray and bought his records.
Although merely a child I could tell that Johnnie had
a certain something, a soulfulness, that set him
apart from most pop singers of the WWII
generation. Johnnie infused songs like "Cry"
and "The Little White Cloud That Cried,"
the A and B sides of a hit 1952 single,
with a pre-rock 'n' roll R&B hipness
that made a connection with young
people. Johnnie became a teen idol.

In 1956 Johnnie waxed "Just Walkin' in the Rain,"
a single that rode the U.S. chart more than half
a year and spent 7 weeks at #1 in the UK.

 "Just Walkin' in the Rain" - Johnnie Ray 
 (single charted 28 weeks from August 1956 
 to March 1957,  highest chart position 
 #2 USA/#1 UK at Christmas 1956) 




My favorite Johnnie Ray single, "Yes Tonight, Josephine,"
came out in the spring of 1957. The record, produced by
Mitch Miller, shot to the Top of the Pops in the UK but
performed more modestly in the U.S., only reaching the
top 20. "Josephine" was closer to rock 'n' roll than the
pop pabulum they were singing on Your Hit Parade
and I spun this platter a gazillion times!

 "Yes Tonight, Josephine" - Johnnie Ray 
 (May 1957, highest chart position #18) 





 Don't miss the next thrill packed 

 episode of Cruisin' coming soon! 


Have a Shady day!