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!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Zing Went the Strings Plus a Few Other Things: Remembering My First Slow Dance

==================

I've decided that Annette's to blame!


Yessum...Annette Funicello made me

girl crazy by the age of 6.



Maybe it was the rat in me...


but I fell madly in love with the star

of the Mickey Mouse Club.

Annette was

my dream girl.

I actually used

to fantasize 

that someday 

she and 

would be 

united in 

holy ratrimony.

I wanted to be Annette's tall Paul!

"Tall Paul" - Annette (March 1959, 
highest chart position #7) 



I wanted Annette to be my 

pineapple princess!

"Pineapple Princess" - Annette 
(September 1960, highest chart 
position #11) 



Or maybe even my Shady lady!

"First Name Initial" - Annette (January 1960, 
highest chart position #20) 



I wanted her to have my mice!

"O Dio Mio" - Annette (April 1960, 
highest chart position #10) 



Fast forward to August 1963: 
I was 13 years old and about to enter the 9th grade. 

My church held a dance for kids in junior high and my parents forced me to go. Didn't wanna! I told them it sounded boring but that was code for "I'm scared to death." You see, I had never been to a dance before. I didn't know how to dance and had no interest in learning. For years I had watched the kids dancing on Bandstand and basically knew what to do. The problem was that I just couldn't imagine myself having the nerve to take a girl by the hand, lead her to the floor and embrace her. Dancing was...icky!   Baseball? Football? Basketball? Pool? Pinball? Bowling? Swimming? Bike riding?
Now you're talkin' my language!

When it comes to remembering that dance party I have tunnel vision. Truth is I can't remember anyone else who attended except me and...that girl.


(No, not Marlo Thomas!)


That girl...a young lady that I had seen in church with
her family on Sundays but with whom I had never spoken.
That girl...the one who reminded me so much of Annette!


That vision of loveliness matched in every detail Billy Reed's description of the quintessential heart breaker: big, soulful eyes, thick, lustrous brunette tresses...

and lawd have mercy, chilluns... bless her heart, the girl was an early bloomer, endowed with a figure that many fully grown women would envy. There she stood... directly across the room from me at the church dance! From the moment I spotted her my attention was riveted. Everyone else vanished. I simply couldn't take my eyes off of her!

Records started playing and kids started dancing...but not me. I stood on the sideline frozen in one spot unable to move. Why was I so damn shy around girls? Maybe it was because I grew up with a brother but no sisters in the house. I've always heard that boys with sisters have an easier time relating to girls than boys without sisters. Guys like me regarded girls as creatures from another planet, an entirely different species. I was in awe of them. They made me nervous. They put a whole lotta trouble in my mind. I didn't feel worthy to be close to them. Yet there I was at a church function where I was expected to "perform." The clock was ticking. Sooner or later I had to dance!

I remember a few of the records that played that night.
They included "It's My Party" and "Judy's Turn to Cry" by Lesley Gore, "Candy Girl," the latest hit single by the Four Seasons, and two earlier hits by Frankie Valli's group, "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry."

"Big Girls Don't Cry" - Four Seasons 
(November 1962, highest chart position #1) 



Marcie Blane sang "Bobby's Girl," Little Peggy March sang
"I Will Follow Him," Bobby Vee sang "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," and Jimmy Clanton, who hosted an oldies show in the early and mid 70s on WHEX radio in Columbia, PA, sang his third top 10 hit.

"Venus in Blue Jeans" - Jimmy Clanton 
(October 1962, highest chart position #7) 



After a long string of fast songs the deejay finally slowed things down and couples began swaying to the hit ballad
by Paul and Paula.

"Hey Paula" - Paul and Paula 
(February 1963, highest chart position #1) 



My blood ran cold. This was it. No more hiding. No more stalling. It wasn't that unusual for a guy to sit out fast dances because two or more girls often danced together without waiting to be asked by boys. A slow dance was
a different story. I would be committing a cardinal sin if
I didn't get with the program and invite a young lady to dance. Intellectually I understood that, yet I remained paralyzed with fear, standing there like a statue desperately trying to summon the courage to venture across the room into enemy territory. I wasted the entire Paul and Paula record debating myself.

When a second slow number came on.....that's when it happened! I can't remember if a chaperone came over and nudged me in the direction of that lovely brunette or
if somebody pushed us together and ordered us to dance
or if I finally decided to go for it and ask her myself.


All I know is that somehow...somehow I wound up on the dance floor with that Annette look-alike in my arms. It was my first ever slow dance and, miracle of miracles, I was experiencing it with the most beautiful girl at the party!
She took me halfway to paradise.

"Only Love Can Break a Heart" - Gene Pitney
(November 1962, highest chart position #2) 




It was the first time in my life I had ever been that intimate with a girl, the first time I ever held one.  We danced in silence and with every passing second I became more aware of the chemistry between us...a deep rapport that revealed itself through nonverbal communication...body language. Little by little I held her hand more tightly and she signaled approval by squeezing mine more firmly. Gently I pulled her closer to me. She offered no resistance. Her perfume filled my nostrils and I was intoxicated. Sugar is sweet, my love, but not as sweet as you...

"Blue Velvet" - Bobby Vinton (August 1963, 
highest chart position #1) 



Yes, there I was out on the floor in deep rapport with a dark haired beauty who also resembled a young Elizabeth Taylor.
I was discovering what heaven was like in two-and-a-half minute increments as one slow song followed another. That deejay became my NBF AND BFF when he spun another slow drag. This one sealed the deal and a future Dell rat was born!

"You Belong to Me" - Duprees 
(September 1962, highest chart position #7) 



Instinct took over.  It was as if I was flying on auto pilot.
Slow dancing came naturally to me. In my last post Billy Reed explained what happened next and therefore I won't go into the gory details. Suffice it to say that by the time the music stopped, our dewy bodies separated and we returned to our respective corners, I had concluded that dancing wasn't so icky after all. It was right up there with catching polliwogs. That night that girl and I had real chemistry and shared an electric moment. She knew it and I knew it.

Oh what a night 
Pre-September back in '63 
What a very special time for me 
What a lady, what a night! 

If I could save time in a bottle I would enjoy that golden moment over and over again. Your first time only comes around once and my first dance was as special as it could possibly be. I never danced with my earth angel after that night. I never dated her. I don't remember ever speaking to her again and eventually I lost track of her completely.
In case you're wondering she never showed up at the Dell.
Nearly 50 years have passed since that magical evening.

I was never to see her again... 
nor was I ever to learn what became of her. 
We were different then. Kids were different. 
It took us longer to understand
the things we felt. 

Life is made up of small comings and goings 
and for everything we take with us 
there is something that we leave behind.  


In the summer of '63 
we went to Zimmy's 
pool ten times. 
We saw a dozen 
movies and had 
nine days of rain. 
Car 54 was the 
one to watch.  
Stevie gave it up 
with his harmonica.  
And, in a very special 
way, I lost my fear 
of girls forever. 


Lovely lady, in all likelihood you have long since forgotten 
about that night and about me.  If, by chance, you do 
remember and happen to be reading this, please know how 
special that night was for me.  Thank you very much for 
the dance and for fond memories that linger on! 



Have a Shady day!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blame it on the Bossa Nova? "No!" says Billy Reed, "Blame it on Doo-Wop!"

==================

 What happens when a girl changes 

 from bobby sox to stockings? 


"Bobby Sox to Stockings" - Frankie Avalon 
(July 1959, highest chart position #8) 




 What happens to a boy? 


"Next Door to an Angel" - Neil Sedaka 
(November 1962, highest chart position #5) 




 FACT: Girls mature at an earlier age 

 than boys. 


"The Girl Can't Help It" - Little Richard 
(February 1957, highest chart position #49) 




 What's a guy to do?  

 What happens when Venus and Mars 

 collide on the dance floor? 

 I'll be exploring that touchy topic 

 in this post and the next. 

In February of 1964 the Monarchs, a doo-wop vocal group
based in Louisville, Kentucky, released their rendition of
"Look Homeward Angel," a ballad that had been recorded in 1956 by the Four Esquires and in 1957 by Johnny Ray. The timing wasn't the greatest. The Beatles were red hot. So were other emerging British bands. During the early months of 1964 there wasn't much of a market for Eisenhower era doo-wop. As a result, the Monarchs' excellent single spent 13 weeks trying to gain traction on the Billboard chart but only made it to the halfway point. Had it been released a
few years earlier it surely would have made the top 10 and perhaps would have gone all the way to number one.

"Look Homeward Angel" - Monarchs 
(April 1964, highest chart position #47) 



The Monarchs are still together and in 2008 veteran Kentucky newspaper columnist, radio and TV personality Billy Reed attended one of their concerts. When the Monarchs performed their version of the Five Satins' hit "In the Still of the Nite" Billy was awe-inspired to publish an article entitled In Praise of Doo-wop. Billy's essay does an excellent job of describing the thoughts, feelings and sensations that race through an adolescent male when he merges with a young lady on the dance floor. When I read Billy's article I was compelled to share part of it with you
and punctuate it with a few of my favorite doo-wop oldies.
I made arrangements with Billy to reprint a portion of his column. Here, courtesy of Billy Reed Enterprises LLC and billyreedsays.com are some of Billy's astute observations.


 Even in winter, a lion is 
 still a lion, if you get my 
 drift, and that music – 
 the 1950s and ‘60s stuff 
 the Monarchs do better 
 than just about anybody 
 – always revives bitter- 
 sweet memories of what 
 it was like to be young 
 and clumsy and not 
 exactly sure of what to 
 make of this amazing 
 creature with whom you 
 happened to be slow- 
 dancing on the polished 
 floor of a dim auditorium 
 at the high school or the 
 VFW post or the neighbor- 
 hood parish. 

"You Were Mine" - Fireflies 
(November 1959, highest chart 
position #21) 



 In my mind, she always had big, luminous eyes and thick, 
 lustrous hair and – yes! – a sweet soft body that felt so 
 light in my arms. Maybe her name was Betty or Alice or 
 Martha. Maybe, if you were lucky, she would snuggle up 
 so close you were sure your heart was going to pound 
 right out of your chest. 

"Why Don't You Believe Me" - Duprees 
(September 1963, highest chart 
position #37) 



 And you prayed: 
 God, please don’t let me step on her feet…please don’t let 
 me break out into a sweat…please let this song last forever 
 so I can keep smelling her hair and hugging her waist and 
 feeling her breasts up against me. 

"Have You Heard" - Duprees 
(December 1963, highest chart 
position #18) 



 When my friend Leon Middleton, who has been the 
 Monarchs’ sax player for a mere 46 years, told me 
 about the group’s new gig, I knew immediately that it 
 was a stroke of genius.  He told me they were going to 
 put together a show that would pay tribute to Doo-Wop. 

"One Summer Night" - Danleers 
(August 1958, highest chart position #7) 



 Now if I have to explain what Doo-Wop is, it probably 
 means you’re either very young, very culturally deprived, 
 or very unworthy of serious conversation. In brief, Doo- 
 Wop is what the Belmonts did behind Dion...what the 
 Teenagers did behind Frankie Lymon...and what the 
 Imperials did behind Little Anthony. 

"I'm on the Outside (Looking in)" 
- Little Anthony and the Imperials 
(September 1964, highest chart 
position #15) 



 Doo-Wop is the background music, in other words, that 
 usually is accompanied by synchronized movements. For 
 example, when the Capris did their 1961 classic There’s A 
 Moon Out Tonight (Wuh-huh-ho-ho), the Doo-Wop guys, 
 in unison, would slowly point upward, as if at the moon, 
 before moving their arms slowly downward, also in unison. 
 That’s a classic Doo-Wop move. 

"There's a Moon Out Tonight" - Capris 
(March 1961, highest chart position #3) 



 It’s tough to find Doo-Wop these days and, frankly, I think 
 that’s a major reason the world is in such a mess. Because, 
 you see, Doo-Wop is good for the soul. Doo-Wop makes 
 you mellow and romantic. Doo-Wop makes you want to 
 smile and sing-along and wink at your life’s partner – 
 or maybe just your partner for the night. 

"Since I Don't Have You" - Skyliners 
(April 1959, highest chart position #12) 



 Thanks, Billy Reed. 

 You nailed it! 


Your description of what it was like for a young man to hold a girl in his arms and sway to doo-wop sounds hit home. It brought back powerful, wistful memories of my very first slow dance. My true story is coming up in the next post.

Have a Shady day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Means Fun Part 12: From Here to Maternity - The Joys and Sorrows of Summer Lovin'

xxx
 Our 12 part, 3 month long 

 Summer Means Fun series 

 concludes with a final frantic 

 flurry of songs dealing with 

 summertime love affairs! 

Last time in Part 11 the Beach Boys were licking their wounds over a cheating gal named "Wendy." Jan and Dean found themselves in the same boat (surf board?) in a teenage lament entitled "You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy."

"You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy" is my favorite Jan and Dean song, a lavish, multi-track opus that hit me like a tidal wave in the spring and summer of 1965. The picture sleeve that came with the 45rpm record is one of the most distinctive and collectible of the rock 'n roll era.

As a lifelong fan of horror and the grotesque, I got a kick out of this pic sleeve which shows the dynamic duo posing with frightful friends in a Hollywood wax museum.

"You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy" 
- Jan and Dean (July 1965, highest chart 
position #27) 




Playing identical cousins on her hit television sitcom, prodigious actress Patty Duke was literally beside herself! Like many other child stars on TV and in the movies Patty soon branched out into
a recording career. Patty's most successful single was her first one which finishing in the top 10 during the summer of 1965.

The theme of Patty's hit record is a common complaint among teenage girls that have boyfriends who are the strong, silent type.


 If it's a game I don't want to play it...

 and if it's goodbye why can't you just say it? 


 Whatever ya do, bucko... 

 don't just stand there! 

"Don't Just Stand There" - Patty Duke 
(August 1965, highest chart position #8) 



In June of 1965 the Beach Boys found a cure for their "Wendy" woes. Help came in the form of a girl named Rhonda and the song shot to #1 in the land.

"Help Me, Rhonda" - Beach Boys 
(June 1965, highest chart position #1) 



What's the best way to get over a girl? Get another girl! After all, the one who broke your heart is not the only starfish in the sea. That's the reasoning put forth in a groovy song co-written by Paul Simon along with Bruce Woodley of The Seekers. In July of 1966 "Red Rubber Ball" became a smash hit for the Cyrkle, barely missing the #1 spot on the Billboard chart.

"Red Rubber Ball" - Cyrkle 
(July 1966, highest chart position #2) 



Few acts have duplicated the Beach Boys sound as well as Bruce and Terry. Bruce Johnston joined the Beach Boys after recording under a number of pseudonyms, including The Rip Chords with partner Terry Melcher. Melcher, a fine singer and record producer, was also famous as actress Doris Day's only child. Doris outlived her son. Terry died in 2004 at age 62 after a long battle with melanoma. Listen to the authentic West Coast sound created by Bruce and Terry on their evocative recording "Look Who's Laughing Now."

"Look Who's Laughing Now" 
- Bruce and Terry (1964, uncharted) 



With a nod to my new friend Bouncin' Barb I'd like to wrap up my 12-part Summer Means Fun series with a pair of songs that bring back fond memories of vacations in Myrtle Beach.


I always waited until after Labor Day to head South of the Border to the Grand Strand of South Carolina where I spent the last two weeks of summer. The chill in the air that was already making jackets necessary back in Pennsylvania was nowhere to be found in balmy, palmy Myrtle Beach at that time of the year. Mid September felt like mid July all over again!

I already confessed my passion for Gino Giants. I developed a similar craving for foot long hot dogs served at a snack shop in Myrtle Beach. The place had a jukebox and this late career disco hit by Archie Bell played every day while I munched on my foot long dogs. (Yes, plural - I ate at least two foot longs for lunch every day, sometimes three.  Body surfing works up quite an appetite!)

"I Could Dance All Night" - Archie Bell 
and the Drells (August 1975, highest 
chart position #25 R&B) 



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.

No song conveys that message better than "Beach Baby," the second of my Myrtle Beach memory makers, 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 several well known 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 provided lead vocals for several other prefab studio creations including Edison Lighthouse, White Plains, Brotherhood of Man and other one-hit-wonder acts.

Listen now as Tony Burrows and First Class perform "Beach Baby," the #1 song on my Best of Myrtle Beach play list.

"Beach Baby" - First Class (September 1974, 
highest chart position #3) 



"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... 

 not if you don't want it to! 


 Stay involved. 

 Stay in the game. 

 Stay fit. 

 Stay youthful. 

 Never grow up... 

 never grow old! 

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dell Rat Ron's Got the Lads and Shady's Got the Ladies!

-----------------------------

 Dell Rat Ron Shearer's back to play 
 stax 'o wax at the greatest lil station 
 'n the nation, SDMM. In today's post  
 Ron's spinning some nifty nuggets 
 recorded by male artists and I'm 
 answering with a few of my favorite 
 solo female and girl group sounds. 
 Verstehen sie das? 



 With that I'll 
 exit stage left 
 and say Ron... 
 be my guest! 




 THE MAD LADS 

Shady, The Mad Lads were 
a young doo-wop vocal 
group that recorded for 
Stax/Volt, the record 
company that developed
the Memphis Sound; yet 

they were classified as a 
Philly Sound group. The 
Mad Lads' first record 
"The Sidewalk Surf" b/w 
"Surf Jerk" was released 
on the parent Stax label 
in 1964 and didn't chart. 
Don't think I ever heard it. 
The Mad Lads' first hit, 
"Don't Have to Shop 
Around," an answer song to "Shop Around" by the Miracles, 
was released the following year on the Volt subsidiary. 

"Don't Have to Shop Around" - Mad Lads 
(November 1965, highest chart position 
#93/#11 R&B) 



The Mad Lads followed-up in 1966 with "I Want Someone" 
which in my opinion is just as good if not better than 
"Don't Have to Shop Around." 

"I Want Someone" - Mad Lads 
(March 1966, highest chart position 
#74/#10 R&B) 



Another one of my favorites by the Mad Lads, their fourth 
record, was "I Want a Girl," another sweet ballad. 

"I Want A Girl" (August 1966, 
highest chart position #16 R&B) 





 Ron, you done went 

 and souled out on us! 

 Please permit me to 

 step in for a moment. 


I don't remember hearing it at the Dell, but the Mad Lads' record "Don't Have to Shop Around" was played at the very first party that I attended as a freshman at Penn State.
I might add that the Mad Lads had a string of hits on the R&B side of the ledger, but unlike Motown artists who had
no difficulty crossing over, the Lads' singles were not commercial enough to perform well on the pop chart.

 Okay, Ron, now that we met your 

 Lads... it's time to meet my lassies. 


 THE CHIFFONS 


It was surreal that night in 1984 when I worked side by side with the Chiffons, the great girl group of the early and mid 60s.  Hired by a Tampa Bay promoter, I served as stage manager for an oldies concert that brought together in the same show Freddy Cannon, the Coasters, the Earls and the Chiffons with special guest appearances by original members of the Flamingos and the Tokens, plus Mr. "Birds and the Bees" himself, Jewel Akens!  Earlier that day I sat with Jewel in the empty auditorium and watched the Chiffons rehearse. One of the gals had broken her leg and was in a cast and on crutches. She was quite a trouper because the show and the Chiffons went on as scheduled that evening.

We're all familiar with the Chiffons' three big hits, "He's So Fine," "One Fine Day" and "Sweet Talkin' Guy" and I'm sure you've heard them a million times. I'd like you to hear two seldom heard killer covers by the Chiffons, beginning with
a bitchin' renditchin' of Lesley Gore's "It's My Party" that could have been a hit for the Bronx based girl group.

"It's My Party" - Chiffons (track from 
1963 album One Fine Day



Now, listen to the Chiffons' handling of "My Boyfriend's Back," a song that became a smash hit for the Angels. Released as a single, the Chiffons record lasted just one week on the Bubbling Under survey. That's hard to believe and a terrible injustice (see Shady's Law) because this sensational power platter deserved the top 40!

"My Boyfriend's Back" - Chiffons 
(December 1966, highest chart 
position #117) 



 Ron, it's your turn to do the guy thing. 

 THE TOKENS 

Shady, you mentioned the Tokens in your Chiffons intro. 
In addition to making recordings of their own the Tokens 
also produced records for the Chiffons and the Happenings.  
Let me begin my final segment with the Brooklyn doo-wop 
group's first hit on Warwick records, "Tonight I Fell In Love." 

"Tonight I Fell in Love" - Tokens 
(June 1961, highest chart position #15) 



Up next is my favorite Tokens song off the album The Lion 
Sleeps Tonight. It's my favorite version of  "The Wreck of  
the John B," maybe since it was the first one I heard (a lot).
The traditional West Indies folk song was recorded by 
several artists including the Weavers, the Kingston Trio and 
Johnny Cash.  The title was changed to "Sloop John B" and 
became a top 5 hit in 1966 for the Beach Boys.  I hope you 
enjoy the Tokens' version of "The Wreck of the John B." 

"The Wreck of the John B." - Tokens 
(December 1961, from album The Lion 
Sleeps Tonight



The sequel to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is called "B'wa Nina" 
which means "Pretty Girl". I don't remember if WSBA played 
it but Dick Clark did. I fell in love with it more than "Lion". 

"B'wa Nina" - Tokens (March 1962, 
highest chart position #55) 




 BRENDA LEE 


My turn, Ron. It always impresses me when a country artist crosses over and achieves a hit on the pop chart. Georgia peach Brenda Lee appealed to a wide audience by branching out into pop, rockabilly and rock 'n" roll while remaining faithful to her country roots. She racked up 37 US chart hits during the 60s, ranking her in the top 5 in that category right behind Elvis, the Beatles, Ray Charles and Connie Francis. In December of 1959 Brenda Lee released "Sweet Nothin's," a song that was partly sung, partly spoken and partly whispered. Brenda's record hopped on the Billboard Hot 100 two days after Christmas and spent an astounding 24 weeks (nearly half a year) on the chart, reaching its pinnacle in the top 5 the following April!

"Sweet Nothin's" - Brenda Lee 
(April 1960, highest chart position #4) 



Brenda Lee's name, albeit with a different spelling, is currently enjoying renewed popularity thanks to its use in the hit TNT crime drama The Closer. Series star Kyra Sedgwick plays Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, a Georgia police detective transplanted to Los Angeles where she heads LAPD's fictional Major Crimes Division.


 NANCY SINATRA 


It would be a major crime for me not to include sultry sixties songstress Nancy Sinatra among Shady's ladies. Surrounded by leggy, boot wearing go go dancers, Nancy sizzled in the original promotional film made for "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," the Lee Hazlewood penned million seller that made Nancy a star. A modern remix using the original promo clip launches the boomer classic into the stratosphere!

"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" 
(BSB Remix) - Nancy Sinatra 
(April 1966, highest chart position #1) 




 Thanks for the music and 

 memories, Dell Rat Ron! 

 As always I had a swell time  

 playing tag team with you. 

 We'll be seeing you in your 

 next feature coming soon! 

Have a Shady day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Means Fun Part 11: Summer Flings and Things

xxx
A curious phenomenon
XXXXXtakes place every year
XXXXXXat 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.


Let's begin with "Save Your Heart for Me" by Gary Lewis and the Playboys, a record that climbed the Billboard chart during the summer of 1965, reaching its peak in the top 5 in mid August.

"Save Your Heart for Me" - Gary Lewis 
and the Playboys (August 1965, 
highest chart position #2) 



Hold on a minute, Gary. Let me make sure 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? Come September, the poor unsuspecting others get kicked to the curb and the original boy and girl get back together and pick up where they left off? Hmmm.


The plan sounds oh so simple.  To hear Jan and Dean tell it,
it's as easy as 1,2,3.

"It's as Easy as 1,2,3" - Jan and Dean 
(July 1965, uncharted B side of 
"You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy") 



Breaking it off for the summer isn't always as easy as 1,2,3. In their top 5 hit from August 1966, the Happenings said goodbye at the station with a good bit of trepidation.

"See You in September" - Happenings 
(August 1966, highest chart position #3) 



In July of 1962 Brian Hyland attempted to ensure that his girl would come back to him at summer's end by sealing the deal with a kiss.


"Sealed With a Kiss" - Brian Hyland 
(July 1962, highest chart position #3) 



A summer fling might be just what the doctor ordered to fix your ticker after getting dumped. Beach Boys Mike Love and Brian Wilson wrote a song from a dumpee's point of view and it became a top 50s hit in the summer of 1964. It's all about a heartbreaker named "Wendy."


"Wendy" - Beach Boys (from July 1964 
album All Summer Long, single charted 
in October/November 1964, highest 
chart position #44) 



Solution oriented Jan and Dean found the perfect place to lose the love sick blues. It's Surf City, a place where there's two swingin' honeys for every guy and all you gotta do is just wink your eye. Gosh, old Shady Del never had to go to all that trouble!

"Surf City" - Jan and Dean 
(July 1963, highest chart position #1) 



News flash! Either Jan or Dean (I'm thinkin' Jan) found himself a squeeze in Surf City and now she's his summer girl!


"She's My Summer Girl" - Jan and Dean 
(August 1963, uncharted B side of 
"Surf City.") 



Stay where you are! More hot weather music and memories are coming up in the 12th and final installment of

Summer Means Fun! 


Have a Shady day!