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!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Counting Down the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell (#175 to #171)


 It's time once again to put your 

 musical knowledge to the test 

 as we continue our countdown of 

 The 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell! 


You know the drill. I'll give you a line or two of lyrics taken from five of the most popular Dell songs of the mid 1960s. Your job is to Name That Tune. Put on your thinking cap. Here are the lyric samples for the next five Dell songs:


 you give me the joy this heart of mine 
 has always been longing for. 

 Pleasant memories 
 are comin' back to me. 
 Can't you remember 
 the way it used to be? 

 grab the rope, and I'll pull you in 

 The time to hesitate is through

 (#171 is the high energy instrumental 
 B side of "Karate Boogaloo" by the 
 the Emperors, the garage funk band 
 from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.) 


Okay, let's find out how well you did.
Here are the Dell songs in today's countdown:


175. "Bernadette" - Four Tops (March '67)




174. "Hey Baby (They're Playing Our Song)" - Buckinghams (September '67)




173. "Soul Man" - Sam & Dave (September '67)




172. "Light My Fire" - Doors (June '67)




171. "Mumble Shing-A-Ling" – Emperors (July ’67)







How many songs did you correctly guess from the lyric clues? Refer to the grading scale below to determine your musical I.Q.








 All 5 right – 

 Congratulations! You’ve been appointed 

 dean of the College of Musical Knowledge. 



 3 or 4 right – 

 Licensed lyric lover. 



 2 right - 

 Lyrically challenged. 



 1 right – 

 Sign up for remedial classes 

 at the School of Rock. 



 0 right – 

 You just dance and hum along! 


Have a Shady day!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Imaginations Run Wild in Volume 7 of Dueling Doo-Wops!


 It's time to conclude our epic 

 7 part Dueling Doo-wops series, 

 a salute to the finest vocal group 

  sounds of the 50s and early 60s. 


 As always, Dell Rat Ron's here to spin a few 

 of his favorites and I'll be spinning mine.



 Ron, I'd like to be the first to 

 put the needle in the groove. 

 Listen to one of New York's 

 finest white vocal groups... 



 THE IMAGINATIONS 

Driven by the sweet falsetto of lead vocalist Frank Mancuso, The Imaginations, a white vocal group from Long Island, NY, produced quintessential Brooklyn-Italian style street corner doo-wop recordings.



The Imaginations formed in 1961 and their first single release that year was double dynamite. The B side of the record was "The Search is Over," a slow drag snuggler every bit as good as "There's a Moon Out Tonight."

 "The Search Is Over" - The Imaginations (April 1961, 
 uncharted) 



The A side, "Goodnight Baby," was an uptempo, Dion & the Belmonts style recording that featured King Curtis on sax. The Imaginations performed up tempo doo-wop material as well as any of their contemporaries.

 "Goodnight Baby" - The Imaginations (1961, uncharted) 



The Imaginations second 45 had "Guardian Angel" as the jump tempo A side backed with the ballad B side "Hey You." Both sides attracted attention and radio play was split, preventing the record from reaching the national chart. Nevertheless, "Hey You" is remembered as one of the most popular vocal group recordings in the greater New York area during the early 60s. Listen and you'll understand why.

 "Hey You" - The Imaginations (1961, uncharted) 




 Ron, I cheated and peeked at your play list 

 in advance. An't no doubt about it, today's 

 lineup is all killer, no filler! Play away! 


 THE RAYS 

 Shady, listening to Herman's 
 Hermits in one of your posts 
 a few months ago made me 
 think of "Silhouettes", and I 
 think that Peter Noone and 
 his English group used a 
 strange/unique arrangement 
 on it, but I still like it. 
 It's the song itself, and 
 the irony of this insecure, 
 jealous guy going for a 
 walk and freaking out, 
 only to realize that with 
 these row houses in the 
 city, every block looks 
 the same and he got on the 
 wrong one. Even though it's a more fun version, the record 
 by Herman's Hermits lacks the "feel" of the Rays' original. 
 "Silhouettes" is probably one of the most definitive songs 
 of the old "American Bandstand" when it was still in Phila- 
 delphia. That, and the Diamonds singing "The Stroll". 

 "Silhouettes" - The Rays (January 1958, highest chart 
 position #3) 



 The Rays did a follow-up on a different label which didn't 
 do as well. I think it may have broken into WSBA's Top 40, 
 but it didn't receive a lot of airplay there. Dick Clark treated 
 it well, however. My introduction to Claude Debussy. 

 "Magic Moon (Clair De Lune)" - The Rays (October 1961, 
 highest chart position #49) 




Ron, your doo-wop Rays made me think of our Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. Filed
in my memory under "50s R&B/baseball" is Arthur Lee Maye, a baseball player turned doo-wopper! Isn't that how everybody's brain works?



 ARTHUR LEE MAYE 

 AND THE CROWNS 

Former major league baseball player Arthur Lee Maye was also a major league talent in the recording studio. With his group The Crowns, Arthur waxed some excellent slow doo-wop in the mid 1950s. Maye's best recordings were for Dig Records, the label owned by Johnny Otis. My Pick to Click is "This is the Night for Love," featuring Arthur Lee Maye and the Crowns accompanied by Johnny Otis and his orchestra.

 "This is the Night for Love" - Arthur Lee Maye 
 and the Crowns (1956, uncharted) 





 THE SHELLS 

Formed in 1956, the black Brooklyn doo-wop group the Shells had only one hit to their name and it took quite some time to become one. In 1957 the group released the excellent ballad "Baby Oh Baby" on Johnson Records but their single failed to chart. "Baby Oh Baby" was re-released in December of 1960, entered the pop chart on Christmas day, and brushed the top 20 in the winter of 1961.

 "Baby Oh Baby" - The Shells (February 1961, highest 
 chart position #21)



In 1958 the Shells released a slow drag teenage malt shop lament entitled "Sippin' Soda."

 "Sippin' Soda" - The Shells (1958, uncharted) 




 Ron, we're doo-woppin' 

 and there's no stoppin'! 

 What's next on your list? 



 THE SEVILLES 

 Shady, one of my favorite songs from the early days of 
 the Delchords was the Sevilles, "Charlena". This song was 
 popular at the Oaks. 

 "Charlena" - The Sevilles (February 1961, highest chart 

 position #84) 



 The flip side of "Charlena" is a doo-wop ballad called 

 "Loving You (Is My Desire)" which was also frequently 
 requested on Rock 180. 

 "Loving You (Is My Desire)" - The Sevilles (February 1961, 

 uncharted) 




 Ron, please permit me to chime in with 

 an example of a swing era smoothie 

 that got a dandy doo-wop makeover!  


 THE CHIMES 

The Chimes were another great white doo-wop vocal group from Brooklyn. Lenny Cocco and his mates originally picked the name Capris but changed it when they learned it was already being used by another white doo-wop act from the area, the ones who cracked the top 5 with "There's a Moon Out Tonight." Lenny's dad urged the Chimes to wax a cover of the standard "Once in a While" which had been a hit in 1937 
for big band leader Tommy Dorsey. The idea paid off with a hit for the Chimes that just missed the top 10.

 "Once in a While" - The Chimes (February 1961, 

 highest chart position #11) 




 Ron, in Volume 6 we found out 

 how great the Cellos sounded. 

 Looks like the harp was the inspiration 

 behind your final spin of the day. 


 THE HARPTONES 

 FEATURING WINNIE WINFIELD 

 Right you are, Shady.
 The Harptones were 
 originally known as 
 The Harps but later 
 changed their name to 
 avoid being confused 
 with a gospel group 
 of the same name. 
 The Harptones aka 
 Harp-Tones formed in 

 Harlem in 1953 with 
 Winnie Winfield on lead 
 and Raoul Cita as pianist, 
 arranger and guiding force 
 of the act.  The Harptones 
 did one thing very well and 
 stuck with it -- they sang mellow ballads and never dabbled 
 with jump rhythm or rock and roll as did most other groups. 
 Although one of the best loved R&B doo-wop groups of the 
 50s, the Harptones never had a hit on the pop chart and 
 none of their records ever showed up on the R&B chart. 
 "Since I Fell For You" is the jazz and pop standard that was 
 a top 5 hit for Lenny Welch in 1963.  It was composed in 
 1945 by Buddy Johnson and was first made popular that 
 year by Buddy's sister Ella Johnson accompanied by Buddy 
 and his Orchestra. In 1954 the Harptones released their 
 own version of the pretty blues ballad. Excellent though it 
 was the record nevertheless remained uncharted. 

 "Since I Fell For You" - The Harptones (November 1954, 

 uncharted) 




 Ron, to save you from 

 getting carpal tunnel 
let 

 me bring our super series 

  to a close with two more 

  that make
 old school cool. 



 THE RIVINGTONS 

The Los Angeles R&B quartet the Rivingtons are best known for their early 60s novelty dance numbers "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow," "Mama-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's the Word." 



"Mama-Oom-Mow-Mow (the Bird)," the sequel to the top 50 hit "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" didn't perform nearly as well on the chart, bubbling under for one week at #106. However, the dance ditty carried a superb doo-wop ballad on its back, a killer bee called "Waiting." I'm thinking the Rivingtons might be the best kept secret in the doo-wop category!

 "Waiting" - The Rivingtons (January 1963, uncharted 

 B side of "Mama-Oom-Mow-Mow {the Bird}") 



The Rivingtons nail it to the wall and just plain destroy with an impassioned ballad called "Cherry," the bombastic B side of "Little Sally Walker."


 "Cherry" - The Rivingtons (August 1963, B side of 

 "Little Sally Walker," both sides uncharted) 




 And so ends our colossal 7 part 

 Dueling Doo-Wops series. 

 Ron, it's been a blast spinning 

 old gold stacks-o-wax  with you. 

 Thanks, good buddy, for all your 

 help in putting the series together! 

Have a Shady day!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Beyond the Happy Valley of the Dolls!



 KELLY MacNAMARA: 


 WHEN DOES ANY PARTY START? 

 WHEN YOU GET THERE! 


 CREAM 

In mid September of 1967 I arrived at the main campus of Penn State University to commence four years of higher learning. Turned out to be four years of high and yearning... yearning to get back home to the Dell! One of the first things I learned was a new word: jammy. A jammy was an open invitation dance on campus and I attended one the very first weekend. The rec hall in which it was held was jammed with collegians dancing to records. A couple of weeks later I was invited to a very different type of happening - a fraternity party. I was eager to find out if Delta house was anything like My Della Ratta.


It was at that Greek orgy... a wild-and-woolly toga party
at an off campus fraternity house, that I first listened and danced to Disraeli Gears, the latest album by Cream, the British psychedelic blues band made up of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. "Strange Brew," "Sunshine of Your Love" and three other album tracks burned a hole in my soul that night. The party was an eerie spectacle. Strobe lights flashed, shedding the only available light on a basement dance floor that was flooded at least an inch deep in beer. Dark as it was in that cavern I wasn't about to remove my shades because they looked cool and I felt cool wearing them. (I wear my sunglasses at night.) Incense & pepper-
mints
permeated the musky atmosphere. I watched in awe as a couple of toga clad Belushis "swam" across the floor through the suds! Strange brew, indeed! I realized wasn't in Kansas anymore. In that pit of pleasure a band called Cream transported me to a "World of Pain."

 "World of Pain" - Cream (album track from Disraeli Gears
 November 1967) 



"I Feel Free" is the best way to describe the sensation that swept over me at that rowdy Greek frat bash. As I listened to "Tales of Brave Ulysses" I experienced the same sense of freedom and liberation that I had two years earlier the first time I crossed the threshold of the Shady Dell.

 "Tales of Brave Ulysses" - Cream (album track from 
 Disraeli GearsNovember 1967) 



The song "Swlabr" ("She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow") was typical of the mindbending lyrics found on Disraeli Gears. The top 40 umbilical to which I had clung for so many years was severed forever that night. With wall-to-wall bodies gyrating to the psyched out sounds of that Brit blues band and with all manner of mischief and mayhem taking place, the smoky, liquored-up subterranean lair of that frat house resembled
a scene from Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls!

 "Swlabr" - Cream (album track from Disraeli Gears
 November 1967) 





 THE CARRIE NATIONS 


 THIS IS NOT A SEQUEL. 

 THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT. 

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, the 1970 cult classic co-written by Chicago Sun Times movie critic Roger Ebert, centered around a fictional female rock trio called the
Carrie Nations, a name bestowed upon them by the Phil Spectorish young record producer Ronnie "Z-Man" Barzell.


The actresses who portrayed the Carrie Nations rocked the look but lacked singing talent. Vocals for the girl group were therefore provided by Lynn Carey and Barbara Robinson and dubbed in on the soundtrack. Throughout the film the Carrie Nations performed songs that captured the essence of the trippy psychedelic scene that was Hollywood in the late 60s.

If there's one motion picture, one soundtrack that instantly flashes me back to that time, makes every cell in my body come alive and makes me feel young, this is the one.

 THE WORLD IS FULL OF THEM, 

 THE SUPER-OCTANE GIRLS 

 WHO ARE OLD AT TWENTY... 

 IF THEY GET TO BE TWENTY! 


 "Find It' - Carrie Nations (June 1970, 
 motion picture soundtrack Beyond the Valley of the Dolls



 COME WITH THE GENTLE PEOPLE 

 SPREAD LOVE ACROSS THE LAND 

 COME WITH THE GENTLE PEOPLE 

 WE'RE THE ONLY ONES 

 WHO UNDERSTAND 


 "Come With the Gentle People" - Carrie Nations (June 1970, 
 motion picture soundtrack Beyond the Valley of the Dolls



 BEHOLD THE WORLD OF 

 THE BIZARRE AND BEAUTIFUL. 

 IN A SCENE LIKE THIS 

 YOU GET A CONTACT HIGH. 


 "Sweet Talkin' Candy Man" - Carrie Nations (June 1970, 
 motion picture soundtrack Beyond the Valley of the Dolls




 YOU'VE GONE DOWN, SO FAR DOWN 

 NOW WHEN YOU TURN AROUNNND 

 LOOK ON UP, AT THE BOTTOM 

 LOOK ON DOWN, AT YOUR LUCK 


 "Look on Up at the Bottom" - Carrie Nations (June 1970, 
 motion picture soundtrack Beyond the Valley of the Dolls



 DAZZLED BY THE GLITZ AND GLAMOUR 

 OF LA-LA LAND AND HER ROCK BAND'S 

 METEORIC RISE IN POPULARITY, 

 KELLY MacNAMARA DISTANCES 

 HERSELF FROM HARRIS ALLSWORTH, 


 HER BENIGN BOY SCOUT 

 BOYFRIEND FROM BACK HOME. 

 IN THE LONG RUN... WHO 

 WILL WIN KELLY'S HEART? 

 WILL SHE O.D. ON THE SHALLOW 

 SO-CAL LIFESTYLE AND GO 

 RUNNING BACK TO HARRIS? 

 WILL SHE BE CHARMED BY THE 

 HANDSOME, SMUG, ARROGANT, 


 SUPERFICIAL, SELF ABSORBED 

 BOY TOY LANCE ROCKE? 

 OR WILL KELLY GET HER 

 WAY-OUT, KOOKY KICKS 

 BRIDGING THE GENERATION 

 GAP IN A DEVIOUS DALLIANCE 


 WITH THAT VILLAINOUS, 

 MERCENARY, LECHEROUS 

 OLD SLIME BALL PORTER HALL? 


 STAY TUNED! 


 THIS TIME THEY'VE REALLY GONE 

 BEYOND..... 

 THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS! 



 IN THE LONG RUN 

 YOU'LL NEED SOMEONE 

 TO TRUST AND COUNT ON 

 SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY 

 IN THE LONG RUN, 

 WILL THERE BE SOMEONE 

 THAT YOU CAN LEAN ON 

 COME A RAINY DAY? 


Have a Shady day!