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!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Means Fun (Part 6) ---------- Flings 'n Things

A curious phenomenon takes place around the start of summer.

According to the rules of dating etiquette outlined in pop songs, its perfectly acceptable for a guy and a girl to take a break from going steady and have a "summer fling or two." Some of my favorite songs explore that theme, and I would like to share them with you.

"Save Your Heart for Me" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys climbed the Billboard chart during the summer of 1965, reaching its peak in the top 5 in mid August.



Now, let me make sure that I got this straight. You're tellin' me that young lovers agree to go their separate ways during June, July, and August, with the understanding that they will both date other people. When the time comes, the unsuspecting others get kicked to the curb and the original boy and girl get back together and pick up where they left off. The plan sounds simple.

According to Jan & Dean, "It's as Easy as 1,2,3."



"It's as Easy as 1,2,3." is the killer bee on the other side of "You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy"...

...one of my favorite Jan & Dean songs and one of the most collectible picture sleeves of the rock 'n roll era. "You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy" is a lavish, multi-track opus that hit me like a tidal wave in May and June of 1965.

As a lifelong fan of horror and the grotesque, I got a kick out of this picture sleeve which shows the dynamic duo posing with friends (or is it fiends?) in an L.A. wax museum. I remember buying this 45/pic sleeve combo at Mailman's in Queensgate. Let's listen to my Pick to Click, "You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy."



Jan & Dean also had summertime hanky panky in mind two years earlier.

From June of 1963, here's the killer bee side of "Surf City" entitled "She's My Summer Girl."



Summer love can be fleeting. It can ignite spontaneously in the rarefied atmosphere of a vacation getaway. Promises of forever are sometimes made but quickly broken once routine life resumes in the fall. All that remains of the whirlwind romance are bittersweet memories to treasure for a lifetime.

To complete my Summer Means Fun series, I bring you "Beach Baby," a mid-70s late summer classic by the Tony Burrows-led studio group called First Class.

Although Tony Burrows isn't one of the more familiar names in pop music history, his voice is heard on a number of bubblegum classics.

Burrows is credited as having sung lead on more hit singles for more groups than any other artist. In addition to fronting First Class, Burrows sang lead for several other prefab studio creations including Edison Lighthouse, White Plains, Brotherhood of Man and other one-hit-wonder groups.

"Beach Baby" is wistfully nostalgic and, at the same time, buoyant and exhilarating.



With its catchy melody and exquisite Beach Boy-inspired harmonies, "Beach Baby" is five minutes of bubblegum bliss, the ideal metaphor for an extended period of fun in the sun. But as the song’s lyrics concede:

Long hot days, cool sea haze, jukebox plays, but now it's fading away.

Remember Dell rats...
summer never has to end if you don't want it to.

Stay involved. Stay in the game.
Stay fit. Stay young. Stay alive.

Never grow up...never grow old!

Have a Shady day!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Means Fun (Part 5) -------- THEY'RE SOUPED UP FOR THRILLS AND THERE'S NO LIMIT TO WHAT THEY'LL DO!

CALL THEM PUNKS...

CALL THEM ANIMALS...







...BUT
YOU
BETTER
GET
OUT
OF
THEIR
WAY!









THE TURNED-ON GENERATION...

HOPPED-UP ON ROCK & ROLL!

SPEED DEMONS WHO LIVE FOR KOOKY, WAY-OUT KICKS!






Peg Phillips:
"They're BACK!
Oh, God, Tom...
they're BACK!"









It was American Graffiti, White Rose style back in the 60s.

On warm spring and summer nights, muscle cars in all shapes and sizes cruised the loop.

Most of the clean machines that entered the lot at Gino's kept right on going. Few of them ever pulled into a parking slot, even if one was available.

Two reasons:

1. Why take the risk of some clod dinging your door?

2. Got places to go and people to impress.

Hey, listen to what's coming on the dashboard radio! It's our buddies Jan and Dean with their car classic from the summer of '64, "Hot Stocker!"



Most of the hot cars made a leisurely pass through Gino's lot, continued down the slope to the exit, and turned right on Market Street.

If it was going to happen, that's where it happened. As soon as his guided missile was aimed down the straightaway, the pilot hopped on it, peeled out, and laid a patch!

Tires squealed and smoked as one car after another roared down eastbound Market...

...each driver trying to get rubber in all four, shut 'em down, make a trophy run...

...and grab the low E/T down the asphalt aisle.

Helpful hint to drivers: Your funny car needs to have its drag chute deployed by the time you get anywhere near Mt. Zion Road because that's where you will be required to negotiate a left turn and blast off toward your next destination...Avalong.

Time for another tune by Jan and Dean, this one an epic surf rock instrumental called "Quasimoto" aka "B Gas Rickshaw, Alternate Version."



Ten minutes later, some of the same cars would be back at Gino's to wow the crowd again.

Those that didn't bail and head back into downtown York completed the east side circuit by taking Industrial Hwy. to Memory Lane, and turning left back onto Market.

Oh, I almost forgot. You could also eat at Gino's! On a typical evening, I would consume 2 Giants, large fries, onion rings, a chocolate shake and an apple pie.

Unsolved mystery: How were we able to wolf down that much junk food night after night and never gain an ounce?

While you're thinking of an answer, let's enjoy this seldom heard fab flip from August 1963.

Here once again are Marcy Jo and Eddie Rambeau with "The Car Hop and the Hard Top."



Correct me if I'm wrong......but I'm pretty sure that toe-tapper was covered by Marilyn Manson. Yes? No?

That wraps-up my salute to warm weather wheels, but there's still one more episode of Summer Means Fun remaining. Next time, we'll examine the rules of dating etiquette as they pertain to summer flings! I advise you to take notes because there'll be a pop quiz.

Have a Shady day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Means Fun (Part 4) -------- RON HOWARD POPS THE CLUTCH & TELLS THE WORLD "EAT MY DUST!"

IT'S RON HOWARD LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN HIM BEFORE!





WARNING:
THIS IS NOT
YOUR GRAND-
DADDY'S
OPIE TAYLOR!





RON HOWARD'S BACK...HE'S BAD...






...AND MERCY
SAKES ALIVE...
HE'S PUTTIN'
THE HAMMER
DOWN!











Don't worry...I'm not going to attempt a review of these Opie opuses. I just wanted to acknowledge Roger Corman, master of the quick 'n dirty, as one of my favorite moviemakers.






* LOW BUDGET?

* NO BUDGET?

* NO TIME?

* NO PROBLEM!








In this post and the next, I'll continue my month long Summer Means Fun series with songs and memories about hoppin' in your car and headin' out.

June is the time of year in Central PA when the window of opportunity for warm weather fun at long last opens.

After several false starts during April and May, spring finally got its act together.

The interminable waiting is over. A change in attitude no longer requires a change in latitude. Vacation's finally here and an endless summer lies ahead.

Time to get over to OCNJ, OCMD, Rehoboth, Cape May, Wildwood, or LBI.

Time to cool off at Zimmy's, Wise Haven, Playland, or one of the other pools. Time to cruise the loop to show off your wheels.

I brought along some of my favorite hod rod tunes to help get you in the mood.

"Bread and Butter" might have been the Newbeats bread and butter, but I liked their badder songs better. (Say that 5 times fast!) The killer bee side of that hit single is a good example. Extolling the virtues of the Chevrolet Corvair, here's "Tough Little Buggy" by the Newbeats from July 1964.



I spent many warm evenings during the 60s sitting in the parking lot at Gino's 15-cent Hamburgers watching the parade of muscle cars go by.

All evening long, guys in high performance vehicles would turn off East Market and crawl through the U-shaped lot nice and slow...

...giving the assembled multitude the longest possible opportunity to gaze in envy...

...at the kind of machines that real men drive.

The Pontiac G.T.O. was one of the more common species to gather at nightfall around the watering hole.

Jan & Dean put a killer bee tribute to the powerful car on the flip side of their smash hit "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena." From July of 1964, here's "My Mighty G.T.O."



A guy like me, who sat in shame behind the wheel of his dad's Nerdmobile, had two choices. He could wear a paper bag over his head (recommended), or get defiant about it. Hey mang, you think your Vette's bad, yeah? Word up - my little Nash Rambler's got push-button automatic...so eat your heart out!

If you've ever owned a lemon, a clunker, or a heap, you can relate to our next ditty. From December 1963, here again are Jan & Dean with "Schlock Rod."



Pontiac Chieftain ‘50 at The Circle Diner by Graham Reynolds
More car tunes and drive-in memories are coming up next time in Part 5, so stick around!

Have a Shady day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

John Ettline: Every Dell Rat's Dad

John Ettline never had children of his own; yet, as every Dell rat knows, John would have made a great father.

In winter, John always made sure the barn was warm enough by keeping a blaze going in the fireplace.

If you had car problems when it was time to leave, John was the go-to guy for help.


Windshield needed scraping?

Car buried in the snow?

Your heap wouldn't start, Bunky?

Locked your keys inside your car, genius?

Mr. Ettline was
Johnny-on-the-spot!



Problems at home? John was always willing to dispense wisdom.

John Ettline was like a dad to us all!

Things to know and remember about John:

* John always looked out for the welfare of his family.

* John lived at the YMCA for a period of time with his brother George.

* John had a profound love of horses. He once owned a rare WWII era photograph of Hitler, Mussolini, and some high ranking officers enjoying the company of women. John traded that vintage photo for a picture of a beautiful horse.

* John possessed a photographic memory. He could always match a face with a name.

* John always had his nose in a newspaper. he knew a lot about a lot of things. He was extremely knowledgeable about current events, city, state and local politics, history, and sports.

* John sponsored a number of baseball teams in the York area, providing them with T-shirts.

* John relished the role of host. He loved to entertain, make people feel right at home, and show them a good time. He got a kick out of seeing kids having fun in a setting of his own creation, the Shady Dell.

* John's quiet manner commanded respect. He was loved by family, friends and all of the kids who attended the Dell!

Please play this clip as we honor John Ettline...every Dell rat's dad!



Happy Father's Day, John!

We love you and miss you!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Means Fun (Part 3) ---------- V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N

School's out forever.
It's time for sunnin' and funnin'...dancin' and romancin'...
and I've got just the right songs for the occasion!

Connie Francis was one of the most successful international pop icons of the late 50s and early 60s. In recent years, I have grown increasingly fond of this talented and versatile songbird.

In 1962, Connie Francis invited kids everywhere to put away their books and have a ball in the summer sun. She didn't have to ask me twice. Here's one of Connie's many top 10 hits, "Vacation."



The underrated Gary Lewis is back with another great warm weather memory. In the spring of 1965 I took advantage of a breakfast cereal promotion from Kellogg's Corn Flakes. I sent in a box top and received by mail a free floppy disc record which contained three songs by Gary Lewis & the Playboys: "This Diamond Ring," a customized cereal song entitled "Doin' the Flake," and "Little Miss Go-Go," the original flip side of Gary's hit single "Count Me In."

That killer bee, "Little Miss Go-Go," soon became my Pick to Click. From May and June of 1965, here are Gary Lewis & the Playboys!



Those transistor sisters bring back memories of the summer of 1964. I remember floating in my backyard swimming pool listening to WSBA when a new song began to play. It had such a fresh, exuberant sound that I ditched my raft and swam over to the deck to be closer to the radio.

SUMMER TIME, SUMMER TIME, U.S.A.
SUMMER TIME, SUMMER TIME, U.S.A.
School is out and we're glad that we passed.
Summer time is here at last.
There's so many things that we wanna do.
And we can do them now that school is through.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh-oh-oh-oh
It's summer time 'cross the U.S.A.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh-oh-oh-oh
From San Francisco to Philly, PA.


Boasting bright, sparkling clean Brill Building production and angelic girl group harmony, the song sounded like it was being performed by the cheerleading squad at a high school pep rally. Somewhat derivative of Jan & Dean's "The New Girl in School," but with a different theme and lyrics and a high energy beat, "It's Summer Time U.S.A." by the Pixies Three, a trio of young women from Hanover, Pennsylvania, was simply irresistible!

The record played in heavy rotation on the Mighty 910 and dominated for the rest of the summer. The Pixies Three made such a splash with "Summer Time U.S.A." that I almost found myself asking, "John, Paul, George and who?"



Although “It’s Summer Time, U.S.A.” was a major hit in our neck of the woods, it occurred to me that the kids mentioned in the lyrics, those living in cities like L. A., Frisco, and Chi-town, might never have even heard the song.

This Pixies Three record is another example of the killer bee phenomenon. The original A side, “The Hootch,” flatlined when jittery radio station program managers put 2 and 2 together and got 5. Since “hootch” is a slang term for hard liquor, the Einsteins in the suits surmised that the song promoted underage drinking. If they would have bothered to listen to the lyrics, they would have realized that “the hootch” was actually a new dance craze supposedly reaching our shores from Liverpool.

While some stations yanked the Pixies record off their playlists, savvy stations like WSBA flipped it and began to push “It’s Summer Time, U.S.A.” In doing so, another killer bee was born. For decades, "Summer Time U.S.A." has been one of my all time favorites. Recently, “The Hootch” has also grown on me to such an extent that it's now my Pick to Click! Listen to the Pixies singing "The Hootch," one of the featured songs on my soon-to-be-revealed list of The 10 Most Exciting Records Ever Made!



That fabulous Pixies platter is a coin toss that you simply can’t lose. Both sides rule!

Let's wind things up with the song that inspired this summer series, Jan & Dean's version of the Fantastic Baggys' surf/sand/hot rod classic "Summer Means Fun." J&D made the song one of the tracks on their album Little Old Lady From Pasadena.

From July of 1964, here's Jan & Dean with "Summer Means Fun."



Coming up in Part 4 of Summer Means Fun, some of the greatest summer car tunes of the 60s. I hope you'll join me!

Have a Shady day!