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

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On the Record - All That Peace of Mind's Gone to My Head! (Part 1)

"Never assume," a wise man once said.

Therefore, I will not assume that everybody knows about the Magnificent Men. (No, Kenneth...I am not referring to those Flying Machine dudes or the Village People...not that there's anything wrong with that). Perhaps it would be a good idea for Kenneth and any other uninitiated blog readers to watch this clip. Then we'll talk:

If we are going to pay tribute to the Magnificent Men, maybe we should set the stage by saluting the Del-Chords, the integrated, Dave Bupp-led group that spawned the Mag Men.

Let’s back up to 1964 and enjoy the Del-Chords' monster Shady Dell hit “Everybody’s Gotta Lost Someday.” The song was already an established Dell favorite by the time I first set foot inside the place in the fall of 1965. With its enormous popularity and longevity, "Everybody's Gotta Lose" is way, way up there - ranked #2 on my survey of the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell. It also scores a higher popularity-to-obscurity quotient than any other Dell song!

Released on both Impala and Mr. Genius labels, "Everybody's Gotta Lose Someday" is low budget, low tech, primitive, raw, authentic street corner r&b/soul at its finest. The record was promoted on radio stations in York, Lancaster and Harrisburg as well as Philly and Pittsburgh and became a regional hit. This intense ballad was played many times each night at the Dell and was guaranteed to flood the floor with amorous slow dancers. Listen now, remember and appreciate one of the all-time greatest Dell megahits, “Everybody’s Gotta Lose Someday”...

...followed in this clip by the seldom heard killer bee side, “Your Mommy Lied To Your Daddy”...

...another outstanding early career soul classic from Dave Bupp and company.

In January of 1966, a couple of months after my induction into the Fraternal Order of Dell Rats (or FODDER as it is called), another jukebox giant, this one entitled "Peace of Mind" swept into the Dell like a tsunami and proceeded to destroy for the remainder of the year. So began the Shady Dell's Magnificent Obsession.

A sensational northern soul ballad featuring rich vocal harmonies and a powerful, inspirational message, “Peace of Mind” became an instant classic of the genre and the signature song of the Magnificent Men.

With "Peace of Mind," Bupp and company really knocked one out of the park. Kiss it goodbye!

When this snugglin' song began to play in the barn, every Dell Rat grabbed his Minnie Mouse and hit the floor in seconds flat, eager to spend three minutes in heaven. “Peace of Mind” was a megahit with Dell regulars of all stripes and vaulted into the elite Top 5 on my all-time Dell hits list! We simply never grew tired of listening and dancing to it.

"Peace of Mind" kicked off a string of Dell hits for the Mag Men and triggered a blue-eyed soul craze. As 1966 unfolded, recordings by soulful white artists like the Righteous Brothers, the Young Rascals, and Mitch Ryder became some of the most popular picks in the dance hall.

Flip the 45 and you’ll find “All Your Lovin’s Gone To My Head”, an up tempo killer bee that was also huge at the Dell. In England, this strong northern dancer is the consensus A-side in soul clubs and among record collectors.

“Peace of Mind” and “All Your Lovin’s Gone to My Head” delivered a one-two knockout punch at the Shady Dell and it was just the beginning. Throughout 1966, an avalanche of exciting new records poured into the jukebox...songs so indicative of the Shady Dell experience that they are jammed into in the upper reaches of my Dell Greatest Hits list.

(to be continued)

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