CAN SHADY DEL KNIGHT
KEEP YOU ENTERTAINED
WHILE HE'S AWAY FROM HIS
BLOG FOR THE HOLIDAYS?
"Jingle Bell Rock," a single released by Indiana born country singer/guitarist Bobby Helms was one of the many two-siders to enjoy popularity at the Shady Dell. Both sides of the record were enduring seasonal favorites.
"Jingle Bell Rock" first became a nationwide hit at Christmas time in 1957.
Every December thereafter, the song would magically show up on the Dell’s dance hall jukebox just in time to engender a festive holiday mood.
"Jingle Bell Rock" - Bobby Helms
(December 1957, highest chart position #6)
You might think that the Dell's inner circle would have avoided this old countrified Christmas classic, dismissing it as square. Instead, the gang eagerly got into the spirit of the proceedings and made it their own.
The B-side of the single, a nursery school ditty entitled "Captain Santa Claus," produced an extraordinary reaction at the Dell. The record begins with a series of bizarre and instantly recognizable sound effects. Naming that tune in seconds flat, the crowd would erupt in gleeful, childlike laughter.
Jubilant rats would leap to their feet, head out on the dance floor, and skip around the room hand-in-hand like merry little elves. At the Dell, even the coolest kids were capable of letting their hair down on occasion and acting silly, particularly at Christmas when Bobby Helms was serenading us.
"Captain Santa Claus" - Bobby Helms (December '57, B side of "Jingle Bell Rock")
The popularity of these two perennial holiday classics allows me to once again make an important point about the Dell rats of the 1960s. They were always eager to embrace the songs of the past and preserve the traditions of their 50s predecessors.
DOES SHADY DEL KNIGHT
WISH YOU AND YOURS THE
HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS?