Once again it's time to salute a few
of the records that narrowly missed
being included on my list of the
200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell.
Why didn't these records make the cut? In some cases it's because they were ubiquitous. If a record achieved wide-
spread popularity outside the Dell it did not qualify as an elite, esoteric hardcore Dell song. Some records simply didn't have an easy dance beat. Others, for one reason or another, did not resonate quite as well the rodentia intelligentsia. Nevertheless these recordings deserve an honorable mention and a spin because they were all played at the Dell and all contributed to the soundtrack of my youth.
LOOK.. LISTEN.. AND REMEMBER!
THE ROYAL GUARDSMEN
Novelty records like "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" and the perennial holiday favorite "Captain Santa Claus" put every Shady soul in touch with his or her inner child! When records like these played rats filled the floor and all manner of hijinks, horseplay, monkeyshines, shenanigans & tomfoolery ensued!
250. "Snoopy vs. The Bed Baron" - Royal Guardsmen
(December 1966/January 1967, highest chart position #2)
An underrated Motown group, the Elgins took their best shot with "Heaven Must Have Sent You." The record went top 10 R&B but stalled halfway up the pop chart. In the spring of 1979 Bonnie Pointer resurrected the cool song and turned it into a modest disco hit.
237. "Heaven Must Have Sent You" - Elgins
(November 1966, highest chart position #50)
THE BOX TOPS
The Memphis based Box Tops were one of the leading
blue-eyed soul bands of the 60s. Their huge international
hit "The Letter" was a refreshing new sound at the Dell.
"The Letter" brought The Summer of Love to a close, wrapped up my two year stint as a nightly Dell patron
and escorted me off to university life. In fact "The Letter" reminds me more of campus dance socials and frat parties than it does of the Dell. At a time when pop singles were getting longer, a trend started by the influential and self-indulgent Beatles, "The Letter" was very short, running less than two minutes. For decades short singles like "The Letter" were the bread and butter of AM radio but by the late 60s AM stations were rapidly losing listeners to FM stations that played full length album tracks and long commercial free music blocks.
224. "The Letter" - Box Tops (October 1967, highest
chart position #1)
With vocals smooth as silk, Deon Jackson scored his biggest hit with "Love Makes the World Go Round." The record flirted with the Billboard top 10 but lost traction and fell just shy of the winner's circle. Jackson's jukebox giant showed up at the Dell in late January 1966 and remained popular the rest of the winter.
221. "Love Makes The World Go Round" - Deon Jackson
(March 1966, highest chart position #11)
? (QUESTION MARK)
& THE MYSTERIANS
"96 Tears," a garage punk classic, went all the way to #1
for Rudy Martinez and his Mysterians. Their follow-up, the equally tough and bold "I Need Somebody," stopped just short of the top 20.
216. "I Need Somebody" - ? (Question Mark) & the
Mysterians (December 1966, highest chart position #22)
THE ROLLING STONES
* As mentioned earlier "The Letter" by The Box Tops has a short running time, less than two minutes; yet two hit singles immediately spring to mind that have much shorter running times. Clocked at a little over a minute-and-a-half each, "Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs and "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" by Lesley Gore are two of the shortest songs on record!
* On the other end of the spectrum is "Hey Jude" by the Beatles with a running time of over 7 minutes!
* The album track "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" is the longest title in the Beatles catalog. "The Anaheim, Azuza & Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review and Timing Association" by Jan and Dean is another example of a loooong title. So is "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" by Brian Hyland. My next bubbling under pick, "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" is one of the longest song titles in the Rolling Stones catalog if not the longest.
Released in September of 1966, "Mother, Baby" was the second Stones single in a row to underperform on the USA chart, barely making the top 10 and remaining on the list
only 7 weeks. The Rolling Stones reclaimed domestic chart supremacy at the start of 1967 with "Ruby Tuesday" which also hit #1. While the kinder, gentler psychedelic Stones of '67 were an acquired taste for some Dell patrons, the rough and ready rats had no problem embracing the hard rocking "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby" in the fall of '66.
211. "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing
In The Shadow?" - Rolling Stones (October 1966,
highest chart position #9)
"Nowhere Man" is the only Beatles song on my list of the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell. Several other Beatles sides were played frequently in the dance hall during the mid 60s, but I saved them for these Bubbling Under lists in order to give some glory to lesser known artists and songs that were more popular at the Dell than anywhere else. Released as the flip side of the Fab Four's "Paperback Writer" single, "Rain" is considered by many to be the greatest of all Beatles B sides. The recording is a product of studio experimentation and innovation including the technique of varying the speed of the lead and backing vocals and adding backward vocals to the final mix. At the Dell "Rain" covered the floor with line dancers throughout the fabled Endless Summer of 1966.
207. "Rain" - Beatles (June 1966, highest chart position
RAIN - A Tribute to the Beatles, a show inspired by the Broadway production of Beatlemania and launched in the mid 70s, continues to tour America. In a twist of irony two of the original Beatles imitators have since died, the performers who played the parts of George and Ringo.
Stay right where you
are, brother rat. More
great songs from the
Dell's Bubbling Under
list are coming soon!
Have a Shady day!