Dell Rat Ron Shearer's back
and he's haulin' sixteen tons
of soul cargo! Meanwhile,
I'll be spinning some super
sounds by white artists.
Go Ron, GO!!!
Shady, I came
across a couple
of very soulful
songs by a young
lady from our teens.
Judging by some of
the songs you have
turned me onto,
I think you may
enjoy them. They
will definitely melt
the lady listeners,
as they did in their
May I present
Ms. Theola Kilgore
with her first hit and
then her follow-up.
"The Love of My Man" - Theola Kilgore (June 1963,
highest chart position #21)
"This is My Prayer" - Theola Kilgore (September 1963,
highest chart position #60)
This ballad was a consistently popular request on the
Rock 180 Club and the Dell Jukebox. This vocal group
was from Philadelphia. The Capris group that recorded
"There's A Moon Out Tonight" was from New York City.
Every girl that I knew melted over this song and it was
always a great reason to wrap your arms around the most
appealing young lady and slow dance to it with her. It
brings tears to my eyes to hear such a well-loved song in
the earlier years of the Dell (for me) and my early teens.
The Capris, "God Only Knows" (1954/55)
Ron, I got chills and
fever after hearing
They are prime examples of the slow, sweet, unsophisticated, gospel-tinged doo-wop R&B songs that were cherished by the Dell rats of old.
At this point let's dry our eyes and add
a refreshing dash of vanilla extract to
the mix. Please listen to a few of the
treats that I brought along for the ride.
Memphis, Tennessee's Royden Dickey Lipscomb wisely chose the stage name Dickey Lee. Dickey is best known for his weepy teen tragedy hits "Patches" and "Laurie" but along with telling ghost tales he also knew how to lift our spirits. Case in point: "I Saw Linda Yesterday," a Dion DiMucci derivation ("Runaround Sue" meets "Lovers Who Wander") and one of the great feel good records of the early 60s.
"I Saw Linda Yesterday" - Dickey Lee (January 1963,
highest chart position #14)
Compared to British invaders who rocked hard, Herman’s Hermits were on the teen pop end of the spectrum. The group’s image was clean cut and wholesome. Lead singer Peter Noone was cute and cuddly and had a boyish voice. Little girls squealed and parents approved. In early 1967 Herman’s Hermits surprised me with "There’s a Kind of Hush," a mature, sophisticated piece of work featuring restrained Peter Noone vocals and lush orchestral backing. It was a welcome departure from "I'm Henry VIII, I Am," a maddening nursery rhyme ditty, and similar adolescent material that the group released. "Hush" performed well in the USA, cracking the top 5 on the U.S. pop chart.
"There's a Kind of Hush" - Herman's Hermits (April 1967,
highest chart position #4)
Fast forward to the early 1990s: Peter Noone dropped by the Tampa TV station where I worked as production manager. He was touring with an oldies revival show and visited our studio to tape a promotional interview. I can testify that Peter still looked much the same as he did in the following video which was recorded a quarter century earlier. Here, rendered with the same laid back maturity, is the B side of the "Hush" single and a top 40 hit, "No Milk Today."
"No Milk Today" - Herman's Hermits (April 1967,
highest chart position #35)
Ron, I see you cuing up
another favorite of mine.
Let's hear it!
For all the people who are tired of hearing "Do You Love
Me", a song I still love by the Contours, let me give you a
break with one of their many other good songs, this one
later covered by the J. Geils Band.
"First I Look At The Purse" - Contours (September 1965,
highest chart position #57)
Ron, you're the boss, hoss!
Let's wrap things up with
two more solid senders!
My admiration for Lesley Gore continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Her many excellent Brill Building style recordings are durable evergreens that still sound fresh and still provide solace in a world replete with cynicism, chaos and violence.
I never get tired of listening to Lesley Gore's songs...even her best known million sellers. Slap one of her seldom heard killer bees on the turntable and I'm over the moon!
Here's one of my favorites. "Run Bobby, Run" is the flip side of "You Don't Own Me" a smash hit that rocketed to #2 at the height of Beatlemania.
"Run Bobby, Run" - Lesley Gore (February 1964,
uncharted B side of "You Don't Own Me")
GENE AND DEBBE
Let's slow it down and make it mellow
with a timely tune and a titillating TV
tie-in. (Say that 5 times fast!)
Tonight NBC will roll the dice and premier the somewhat controversial new television series The Playboy Club hoping that viewers will multiply like bunnies. Let's turn back the clock to 1968 when the Nashville duo of Gene and Debbe (sic) gave us "Playboy," a top 20 hit that went on to sell a million copies. Gene and Debbe recorded country style pop and released records on TRX, a subsidiary of the Nashville based Hickory label. Debbe had a velvety, kittenish voice that reminded me of Hickory vocalist Sue Thompson only a little more seductive. Gene and Debbe were one-hit-wonders but their "Playboy" was like butta and I never get tired of it!
"Playboy" - Gene and Debbe (May 1968,
highest chart position #17)
Ron, you have something to add?
Shady, reading your blog is
bringing so many songs back
to me and I hope you don't
mind me sharing them with
you. Feel free to pay them
forward, and I hope you don't
mind me turning you onto songs
you missed or reminding you of
songs you've forgotten. I'm just
doing for you what you're doing
Not only don't I mind, Ron, I greatly appreciate your contributions! The way I see it we are all learning from
Ron, thanks for comin'
'round here and bringing
us a musical mother lode!
Have a Shady day!