Original Dell rat and soul
connoisseur Ron Shearer is
back as my guest blogger
and he's got a gunny sack
stuffed full of goodies!
These are the type of songs that
true Dell rats like the best and
respect the most: seldom heard
gems by underappreciated artists.
Ron, put the needle
in the groove and
play some platters!
BILLY BUTLER &
Shady, as I'm sure you
know, Billy Butler wrote
one song for the Magnifi-
cent Men, "Babe I'm
Crazy 'Bout You." Billy
was Jerry (the Ice Man)
Butler's younger brother.
Here is the best selling of
his songs with his group
the Chanters (originally
called the Enchanters).
The Del-Chords and
Mag Men probably sang
all of their songs. This
song was written by
Curtis Mayfield, lead for
"I Can't Work No Longer" - Billy Butler & the Chanters
(July 1965, highest chart position #60)
This was one of my favorite Delchord songs, which was
written by Curtis Mayfield. I think that Major Lance did
just as good a job on his recording as the Delchords did
on their live covers of it. Is Major backed up by the
Impressions or by Billy Butler and the Enchanters?
A frequent discussion around Dave, Buddy, Ike, etc.
when Curtis Mayfield was involved in any recording.
Curtis Mayfield and Billy Butler were big influences on
the Magnificent Men.
"It Ain't No Use" - Major Lance (July 1964, highest chart
Ron, you're on a
genuine soul roll
and puttin' down a
wailin' pound of
Now let me answer with some
I'd like to play a couple of seldom heard nuggets by Ronnie Dove that were waxed early in his career before his string
of hits began on the Diamond label. Like Tommy Roe, Ronnie Dove started out recording in an authentic rockabilly style.
I enjoy this side of Ronnie just as much if not more than his country/pop recordings!
RONNIE DOVE & THE
Ronnie played it smart, resisting the label and stereotype
of a teen idol. The Virginia born singer honed his craft in Baltimore nightclubs singing covers of Elvis Presley songs. Ronnie formed a vocal group called the Bell-Tones and continued playing Mid-Atlantic venues. Ronnie and the Bell-Tones made their first record in Baltimore in 1959. It only takes a few seconds to realize that "Lover Boy" was derived from the Elvis hit "Teddy Bear."
"Lover Boy" - Ronnie Dove and the Bell-Tones
Buddy Knox had the most famous rendition of this rockabilly standard but here's young Ronnie Dove and his group (now spelled Beltones) with their follow-up release, a fab version of "Party Doll."
"Party Doll" - Ronnie Dove and the Beltones
(July 1961, uncharted)
Now let's fast forward a few years and listen to a recording from Ronnie Dove's Diamond catalog. "Hello Pretty Girl" never climbed above the lower half of the Billboard Hot 100 but it's a great Ronnie record that deserves to be heard.
"Hello Pretty Girl" - Ronnie Dove (January 1965, highest
chart position #54)
Ron, back to you on the soul side!
Shady, my next featured soul artist is Mitty Collier, a
'Bama born songbird who flew to Chicago, became part
of that city's burgeoning soul scene and in later years gave
up secular recording, became a preacher, and recorded
gospel songs that included "I Had a Talk With God Last
Night." While listening to Theola Kilgore in one of your
posts earlier this year, I was reminded of Mitty Collier
who I originally heard late night on the Dick Biondi Show
on WLS in Chicago. "I'm Your Part Time Love" was
Mitty's first single and "I Had a Talk With My Man" was
her first crossover hit. She followed it up with "No Faith,
No Love" and her biggest hit called "Sharing You." Dell
Rat Ron had 'em all.
"I Had a Talk With My Man" - Mitty Collier
(November 1964, highest chart position #41)
Today's soul serenade concludes with an instrumental by
Jackie Hairston called "Hijack." This single was released
by Atco immediately after Arthur Conley's "Sweet Soul
Music." "Hijack" was produced by Otis Redding and
features Hairston's organ and a real funky beat. One
of the clerks at Waxie Maxie's turned me onto "Hijack"
and the flip side, "Monkey On My Back," a vocal with
Jackie accompanying himself on organ (also produced
by Otis). The A-side is by far hottest.
"Hijack" - Jackie Hairston (April 1967, uncharted)
Ron, let me take us home
with two more toe-tappers.
I loved The Lloyd Thaxton Show because it gave me my first look at some of my favorite artists as they staged lip sync performances of their latest recordings. Younger readers might not realize that lip syncs were common in the 60s and that there was no shame or scandal associated with them like there tends to be today.
Lead singer Larry Henley and his Nashville based trio the Newbeats performed several of their hits and misses on Thaxton's Los Angeles based music, comedy and dance program.
The Newbeats turn up again and again on this blog because my respect for them has grown tremendously in recent years. Granted, some of their recordings missed the mark. Their lame cover versions of million sellers by super groups like the Beatles and the Supremes did not help the cause; but other covers and original songs are right in the groove. These Nashville cats made old school cool! Here's a great example - a non-charting single called "A Patent on Love."
"A Patent on Love" - Newbeats (November 1966, uncharted)
I love Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon but I never heard his single "Patty Baby" until a few days ago. However, I was very familiar with the tune. How can that be? Freddy used the instrumental backing track to "Patty Baby" and sang a different set of lyrics to create a jingle for Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsburg, the popular DJ on Boston radio station WMEX.
If you're feelin' low he'll make you smile
at 15-10 on your radio dial
Arnie Ginsburg on WIMM-EX radio!
Cannon's jingle was inserted in the 1961 volume of Cruisin',
the album series that featured legendary DJ's performing seamless recreations of their original radio broadcasts of the 50s and 60s, in this case Arnie Ginsburg's Night Train show. It was an anachronism for the producers of Cruisin' to take a jingle made from a 1963 record and plug it into a 1961 radio show, but listening to the program was way too much fun to complain. Rock 'n' roll is here to stay!
"Patty Baby" - Freddy Cannon (June 1963, highest
chart position #65)
Starting next month I'll be
saluting every great volume
of the Cruisin' series from
1955-1970. I hope you'll
come along for the ride!
Thank you Dell Rat Ron
Have a Shady day!