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!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

On the Record --- Cool Covers & Jarring Juxtapositions: When "Worlds" Collide!

In May of 1964 the Beatles and other British Invasion acts were dominating the domestic pop music scene and American idols like Bobby Rydell were struggling to survive the onslaught.

Bobby Rydell's rendition of “A World Without Love,” a Lennon-McCartney composition, was released on 45 at a time when the native Philadelphian's career was on the skids. Bobby’s "World" entered the Billboard chart the same week as a version of the song by the English duo Peter & Gordon. Bobby’s record lasted only 6 weeks on the chart and crested at a disappointing #80, (see Shady's Law).

The Peter & Gordon release lasted twice as long and went straight to number one!



No question about it...Peter & Gordon’s recording of “World w/o Love” is great...

but I like Bobby Rydell’s Americanized version of the song even more. In fact, it's my favorite Bobby Rydell recording!



It's always fun to flash back to the early days of a artist's career when their popularity was on the rise.

Emerging teen idol Bobby Rydell appeared on Bandstand around Halloween 1959 and performed "I Dig Girls," the flipside of "We Got Love."



Another great B side could be found on the back of Bobby's next Cameo single "Wild One." With a long chart run that culminated in a top 20 finish in the spring of 1960, here's "Little Bitty Girl."



Unlike some artists of the period, Bobby Rydell had a vocal style that still sounds fresh to me today.

To my ears, Bobby's songs aren't old school, they're swinging school.



Like "Wild One" managed to do earlier in the year, "Swingin' School" made it all the way to the top 5 on Billboard.

Bobby made it three in a row with his next release "Volare," a delightful cover of "Mel Blu Dipinto Di Blu," Domenico Modugno's #1 hit from the summer of 1958. "Volare" spent more than three months on the national chart and remains the one song that I most closely associate with the summer of 1960. In the mid 60s, Bobby sang his oldie on Dick Clark's Where the Action Is, flanked by Jeri Lyn Stapleton (my Pick to Click) and the rest of the Action Kids.



In the spring of 1963 Bobby Rydell scored a top 20 hit with "Wildwood Days," a song that brings back childhood memories of fun-filled weeks spent in Wildwood, OCNJ, OCMD and other Maryland and Jersey beach towns.



My memories of Wildwood, New Jersey extend all the way back to 1953 for it was there on the boardwalk that I tasted pizza pie for the first time and enjoyed my first cone of soft ice cream!

I remember Wildwood's awesome amusement park where I patiently waited in line for a chance to climb aboard every Dell rat's favorite thrill ride, the Wild Mouse.

Down at Ocean City, Maryland I waited in an equally long line for a cup or bucket overflowing with World Famous Thrasher's French Fries. I always added extra salt and doused those thick seasoned potato strips with apple cider vinegar!

Another gastronomic delight that could be found at boardwalk stands in both Ocean Cities was the zesty, tangy Taylor Pork Roll sandwich.

Practically every beach community with a boardwalk had a salt water taffy shop where you could look through the window and watch as the machine pulled large batches of the sticky stuff. Pizza, ice cream, french fries, pork roll, taffy - as a kid I could eat foods like those all day every day and stay skinny as a rail. Not anymore. I gained ten pounds just writing about them!

Returning now the spring of 1964 and our When "Worlds" Collide discussion, it was clear that Bobby Rydell's career trajectory differed sharply from that of Peter and Gordon. In the mid-60s UK-based recording artists were on their way up while here stateside teen heartthrobs like Bobby Rydell were on their way out.

Peter and Gordon and other English Mop Tops might have stolen the spotlight from Bobby Rydell for a while, but vindication came by decade's end when the rock 'n roll revival swept America and Bobby, Frankie, Fabian and scores of other domestic artists of the pre-Beatles era extended their careers and garnered new generations of fans by touring in oldies revues.

Philly's phinest: the phabulous Bobby Rydell.
Forget him? I don't think so!




Have a Shady day!

DELL RAT FEEDBACK!


Toni Deroche said...

I remember going to Wildwood with my parents when I was 4. My dad took me into the ocean for the first time and I started crying and saying, "I don't like this salty pool! Take me back to my pool!" (Wisehaven)

May 22, 2010 1:31 PM

Shady Del Knight said...

I hear you, Toni! I had a similar experience at Wildwood.
I threw a tantrum when mommy wouldn’t let me get on the roller coaster because it’s “just for big people.” Incensed,
I tossed my teddy bear off the pier and into the raging surf below, then stood there in my little pink shorts and Captain Midnight t-shirt and held my breath till I turned blue! Looking back, I realize that my actions were immature, but at the time I thought I had a case. A 37 year old man should be able to make his own decisions!

May 22, 2010 1:37 PM

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you followed me around to all my favorite spots at Wildwood. Believe me, it really hasn't changed that much. The family goes back for a week every year. Beach is wider, rides are newer (Northeaster - no wild mouse), T-shirts are more vulgar, but the french fries and pizza are still great. Taylor Pork rolls are hard to find. Kohrs is still there if you would like another ice cream.

May 24, 2010 9:44 AM

Shady Del Knight said...

Yep - I followed you around! As you might recall I broadsided you on the Scooter ride in my red #7 bumper car on July 19th, 1956 at 2:23pm. I would like to take this opportunity to offer a long overdue apology for my reckless driving. Thanks for your comment, my friend!

May 24, 2010 10:44 AM

Toni Deroche said...

My first roller coaster ride, the Hurricane, was at the Pavilion in Myrtle Beach, SC with my dad. I was about 10.
I screamed the whole way through it but was hooked! The Pavilion closed and was torn down to the ground two years ago. :( Nothing stays the same!

May 25, 2010 6:34 PM

Shady Del Knight said...

I remember going to the Pavilion many times when I vacationed in Myrtle Beach during the 1970s. Sad to know that it's gone now. If you haven't seen it, be sure to check out the Phoebe Cates/Bridget Fonda movie Shag. The late 80s film is set in 1963 Myrtle Beach and is filled with vintage cars, fashions, and dance steps! Thanks again for your comments, Toni!

May 25, 2010 6:40 PM

7 comments:

  1. I remember going to Wildwood with my parents when I was 4. My dad took me into the ocean for the first time and I started crying and saying, "I don't like this salty pool! Take me back to my pool!" (Wisehaven)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hear you, Toni! I had a similar experience at Wildwood. I threw a tantrum when mommy wouldn’t let me get on the roller coaster because it’s “just for big people.” Incensed, I tossed my teddy bear off the pier and into the raging surf below then stood there in my little pink shorts and Captain Midnight t-shirt and held my breath till I turned blue! Looking back, I realize that my actions were immature, but at the time I thought I had a case. A 37 year old man should be able to make his own decisions!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It sounds like you followed me around to all my favorite spots at Wildwood. Believe me, it really hasn't changed that much. The family goes back for a week every year. Beach is wider, rides are newer (Northeaster - no wild mouse), T-shirts are more vulgar, but the french fries and pizza are still great. Taylor Pork rolls are hard to find. Kohrs is still there if you would like another ice cream.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yep - I followed you around! As you might recall I broadsided you on the Scooter ride in my red #7 bumper car on July 19th, 1956 at 2:23pm. I would like to take this opportunity to offer a long overdue apology for my reckless driving. Thanks for your comment, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. My first roller coaster ride, the Hurricane, was at the Pavilion in Myrtle Beach, SC with my dad. I was about 10. I screamed the whole way through it but was hooked! The Pavilion closed and was torn down to the ground two years ago. :( Nothing stays the same!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I remember going to the Pavilion many times when I vacationed in Myrtle Beach during the 1970s. Sad to know that it's gone now. If you haven't seen it, be sure to check out the Phoebe Cates/Bridget Fonda movie Shag. The late 80s film is set in 1963 Myrtle Beach and is filled with vintage cars, fashions, and dance steps! Thanks again for your comments, Toni!

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete

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