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

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Like the Smoke from a Cigarette..... Temptations No Dell Rat Could Resist!

The Temptations were huge at the Dell. They placed more songs on the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell than any other recording act. And that's a fact, Jack! Let's have a listen starting with the Temps' highest ranked Dell song!

At the #8 spot on my list of the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” was the most popular Temptations song at the Ettlines' teen canteen. The record showed up in the jukebox in late May of 1966 and was played heavily all summer long. The crowd couldn’t get enough of this marvelous Motown dance floor filler.

That 45's got some junk in the trunk, cuz there's a genuine killer bee on the backside called "You'll Lose a Precious Love."

“You'll Lose A Precious Love,” an exquisite ballad penned by Motown poet laureate Smokey Robinson (the Temps' principal writer/producer), was one of the most frequently played snuggle songs during that endless summer of 1966 and quite simply one of the greatest slow dance picks of the mid 60's. As such, "...Precious Love" staked its claim to the lofty #23 position on my Shady Dell survey. Blood, sweat and tears blended and steam rose from the Dell's dance floor whenever this awesome smooth groove played!

"Get Ready,” a Temptations classic that emerged during March Madness 1966, holds down the #42 position on my Dell songs survey.

Four years later a cover of "Get Ready" by Rare Earth, Motown's psychedelic white soul band, went top 5 nationally and became a much bigger hit than the Temptations' original. Rare Earth's marathon 21:30 jam of the song filled the entire side of their self titled 1969 debut album! Let's hit rewind and watch the Temps gettin' ready on the teen music program Shivaree!

Reaching its peak of popularity in November of 1965, the shuffle paced "Don't Look Back" lands at #56 on my survey.

Gordy designated "Don't Look Back" as the B side of the
"My Baby" single but it definitely made the Dell's A-list.
"Don’t Look Back" boasts a dynamic arrangement and sincere, heartfelt vocals by Paul Williams, one of the great unsung lead singers of 60's soul.!
I really don't
think so!

"Don't Look Back" is my Pick to Click because it gently touches the emotions without becoming syrupy - a flaw
that by 1968 was becoming evident on some Temptations recordings. The brilliantly understated "Don’t Look Back" is right in the pocket – a mid tempo Motown masterpiece!

"Beauty is Only Skin Deep," a top 5 national hit for the Temptations, is linked in my memory to the 1966 York Fair and the start of my senior year at D-Town. At #67 on my survey "Beauty" was another high ranking Dell song, one that orchestrated my after school misadventures during the fall
of '66.

Ranked at #71 on the Dell hits list is the Temptations classic “Since I Lost My Baby.”

The song gained national popularity in August of 1965 and was already an established hit at the Dell by the time
I climbed the steps a couple of months later, slid John a quarter, and entered for the first time Violet Hill's version
of the Magic Kingdom.

A smash hit at the start of 1965, the Temptations signature song "My Girl" is in the Dell Top 100 at #83. Truth be told, I'm sick and tired of hearing it! For a quarter of a century "My Girl" was played ad nauseam on oldies radio and became even more overexposed when it turned up as the title song of a hit movie in 1991.

Falling just outside the Shady Dell Hot 100 at position #101,
“You're My Everything” from August/September of 1967 is another Temps tune that's irrevocably linked in my mind to the York Fair. This superb soul single also brings back memories of a special lady that I was dating at the time. June, this one's for you.

Ranked at #108 is "Fading Away," the B side of "Get Ready." With lyrics that include a reference to the smoke from a cigarette, "Fading Away" is old school and, some would argue, politically incorrect.

Charting at #160 on the Dell survey is "My Baby." The song
is another great one by the Temps but the fabulous flip side, "Don't Look Back," went for considerably more spins on the Dell jukebox.

Having scored a major hit in March of 1970 with their remake of "Get Ready," Rare Earth again dipped into the Temptations' catalog, this time with a psychedelicized cover of "(I Know) I'm Losing You." The 45 edit went top 10 in September of that year and the full length 11 minute version was included on the band's second album, Ecology. I loved Rare Earth and collected their albums and singles, but as Dobie Gray reminds us, the original is still the greatest. From November 1966 and ranked at #167 here's the version of "I'm Losing You" by the Temptations.

These outstanding soul songs, along with several others from earlier in their career, represent the best of the Temptations. By 1968, recordings by the Temptations were becoming overproduced and the vocals overwrought.

By the end of the 60's decade the Temps, along with the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Edwin Starr and other artists (including our Magnificent Men) had drifted away from their soul roots and were following current trends.

They enjoyed commercial success exploring social awareness themes and psychedelia, but to me the Temptations were no longer quite as temptin' as they once were. The Temptations were becoming resistible.

When it comes to proving my earlier the better theory, nobody does it better than Motown.

Have a Shady day!


  1. Great post and the Temptations are a great band. They truly don't make music with this much soul anymore.

  2. You got that right, Israel. Thanks for your comment. I hereby bestow upon you the coveted title of honorary Dell rat!

  3. didn't know this group thanks for sharing!

  4. It pleases me to know that my blog enabled you to Meet the Temptations. Thank you for your comment, Katia!

  5. I grew up in Flint (Detroit's dirty little sister city for the unacquainted) and I always equate good times when I hear the Temptations...seemed like u could always hear it playing on neighborhood porches during the summer time.

    great taste friend

  6. Those were the days, my friend. I'm glad you like my salute to these Motown memory makers. Thanks for your comment, Matt!

  7. "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," is terrific, so dancable. When I was watching, "Get Ready," I noticed the skinny pants and the Go-Go Dancers. Ah, my youth. My sister Chloe was a Go-Go Dancer at a bar in San Bernardino. Love the song too. Fi-fie-fo-fum, here I come. Love it.
    I really liked the back-up on "Since I Lost My Baby." They were a great group.

  8. I love reading your blog, Belle, especially when you write about your early life as a California girl. I'm sure your sister also has some fascinating tales to tell. Whenever I watch old clips that feature go-go dancers I hunt for actress Teri Garr (Close Encounters/Tootsie). Teri was a regular go-go dancer on Shindig and danced in the legendary T.A.M.I. Show and other musical variety programs. Goldie (Laugh-in) Hawn was also a mid 60's go-go dancer. As always I thank you very much for your comment, Belle!

  9. I love the Temptations! Shady Dell Knight i'm so sorry for being a stranger! Thanks so much for all your kind words, your comments always make me smile! I love reading all about The Shady dell and only wish I had been a Teenager in 60's Pennsylvania! I could have danced the night away to The temptations at The Dell, and you know I would have been a regular. x

  10. Thanks for reaching across the pond with your own words of kindness, Kelly-marie. Yours is an outstanding blog. I still can't get over your Twin Peaks bash and you as brunette temptress Audrey Horne! You are definitely Dell rat material and I officially welcome you to the club!


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