Sunday, July 12, 2009
Mom & Pop Quiz: What is the Biggest Story, the Single Headline that Best Defines the Shady Dell of the 1960s?
A. the Beatles
B. the Doors
C. the Vietnam War
D. Helen's Cherry Cokes
E. None of the Above
Here are the "wrong" answers and my rationale:
A. We didn’t need to go to the Dell to get our daily Beatles fix because they were everywhere; they saturated the mass media.
B. The crowd I hung out with was only luke warm about embracing the drug-influenced psychedelic imagery, protest rock, and introspective message music that was being ushered in by the Beatles, the Doors, and other acts. “Where are they going with this?" many of us wondered.
C. There might have been some who went to the Dell and sequestered themselves in the snack bar with John discussing the Vietnam war and other serous matters. Call me shallow, but I went to the Dell to dance in the barn, celebrate my youth, and have fun.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
That’s the Shady Dell that I remember!
I didn't consider Friday night at the Dell to be the time or the place to get into heavy discussions about the problems of the world.
D. Helen's cherry Cokes were indeed an essential part of 60s life at the Dell, but they were not the biggest Dell story of the 60s decade.
IMHO, the single biggest headline of the 1960s at the Shady Dell, the most important phenomenon, was...
white kids digging black music!
...digging it, dancing to it, singing it, buying it, feeling it, making it their own - irrespective of the escalating racial tensions in York, PA and across America.
During the early 60s, the all white Dell gang turned records by the Five Keys, Five Satins, Little Anthony & the Imperials, the Jive Five, and Tommy Hunt into golden classics.
In the mid-60s, a new class of Dell rats turned songs by the Temptations, James Brown, Sam & Dave, the Van Dykes, the Capitols, the Four Tops, the Isley Brothers, Edwin Starr, Junior Walker, the Marvelettes, the Vandellas, Jimmy Ruffin, the Fantastic Four, and the Emperors into all-time jukebox favorites.
The Dell crowd also lent overwhelming support to white R&B and blue-eyed soul groups that paid homage to black artists, their music, and their culture.
These included the Magnificent Men, the Righteous Brothers, the Young Rascals, and Mitch Ryder.
The prolific soul, R&B, and blue-eyed soul artists mentioned above were the heaviest hitters on the Dell jukebox. They were the major players that contributed the bulk of the soul music to the Dell soundtrack during the mid 60s. Several of those acts have been or will be featured in their own separate articles.
There were other notable soul artists and songs that also gained immortality at the Dell. Everything started to come together during March Madness 1966 and continued through the warm weather months of that year. In my next post, I'll introduce the one-hit-wonders of the Dell's Summer of Soul.
Have a Shady day!