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

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dell Rat Ron Presents: When Soul Meets Rock 'n' Roll!


“I don't know 
if we can teach 
the world to 
sing in perfect 
harmony yet, 
but we can 
at least form 
a band!”

- Ron Shearer

 Our good friend Dell Rat Ron 

 is back to play more stacks 
 o' wax at the greatest little 
 station 'n the nation (SDMM). 
 Take it away, Ron! 

 Shady, I'd like to begin with Otis Redding 
 and one of the most awesome of all killer bees. This is the 
 song that I heard for the first time while standing in line 
 outside the Howard Theater in Washington DC, waiting to 
 get in for the next show. Unfortunately, Otis didn't repeat it 
 in the set that I saw him do. 

 Afterwards, I discovered Waxie Maxie's Record Store 
 a couple blocks away, where a young man named Herbie 
 Feemster played every Otis Redding side they currently  
 had on 45 until I found this on the B-side of the original 
 "Respect". Herbie Feemster left the record store as Herb 
 Fame on tour, and later teamed up with a succession of 
 ladies who he dubbed Peaches and plugged into his long 
 running Peaches and Herb performing and recording act. 
 Herbie's efforts in finding this song have always meant 
 more to me than any record he ever recorded. I don't 
 know if anyone can duplicate Steve Cropper's guitar 
 chords in this, and Booker T. has an easy organ back- 
 up.  Don't know if you've ever heard this, but this is one 
 of my all-time favorite recordings. I hope you enjoy it, too! 

"Ole Man Trouble" - Otis Redding 
(October 1965, uncharted B side of 
"Respect" #35 Pop/#4 R&B) 

Ron, I agree, Cropper's chords are other-worldly on that one! Please allow me to halt the proceedings and tell you 
how delighted I am that you mentioned Herb Fame. I saw Peaches and Herb in concert along with Sister Sledge on the grandstand at the York Fair in 1979.

During his career Herb recruited no fewer than six different women to sing with him as "Peaches," but my favorite Peaches was the original, Francine Barker
aka Francine Day, who teamed up with Herb to record "Close Your Eyes" as well as Golden Duets the very first record album that I bought at the campus record store as a freshman at Penn State.

That 1967 album included two of my favorites soul songs,
a cover of "Love is Strange" and this one, "Two Little Kids."

"Two Little Kids" - Peaches and Herb 
(January 1968, highest chart position #31) 

 Ron, what else 

 ya got for us 

 today, buddy? 

  Shady, have you ever heard the original "I Knew You 
 When" by Wade Flemons on VeeJay Records?  
 When Billy Joe Royal later recorded it, I wanted to cry. 
 Mr. Flemons deserved the recognition, I think. His 
 arrangement I consider far superior, as well as the vocal. 

"I Knew You When" - Wade Flemons 
(October 1964, uncharted) 

 I'm going to finish with a triple play from the early Delchord 
 days at the Oaks, three songs by a rock 'n roll duo called 
 Don & Dewey. These guys recorded on Specialty Records 
 out of New Orleans, Little Richard's original label.  Don and 
 Dewey never had a hit of their own but several songs that 
 they wrote or recorded became hits for other artists. Here's 
 the Don & Dewey original of "Farmer John" which later 
 became a hit for the Premiers. 

"Farmer John" - Don and Dewey 
(February 1959, uncharted) 

 Here's a rocker that I only heard sung by the Delchords 
 frequently. I found out what the song was from Dave Bupp 
 but, for some reason, never found a copy of it. 

"Jungle Hop" - Don and Dewey 
(April 1957, uncharted) 

 One last encore by Don & Dewey, which we all watched 
 the Righteous Brothers perform on Shindig and Hullaballoo

"Justine" - Don and Dewey  
(May 1958, uncharted) 

 Ron, as long as we're rockin' 
 the soul, I'd like to bring  
 another Don to the party.  

In the late 50s, long before he formed the Goodtimers and recorded hits like "Mercy, Mercy" and "See Saw," southern R&B vocalist Don Covay recorded under the name Pretty Boy and was backed by Little Richard's band. On the famed Sue label in 1959, Don released "Believe it or Not," a rock 'n roll recording ostensibly derived from Bobby Darin's "Splish Splash," and Larry Williams' "Short Fat Fannie." The record is unique because it makes reference to some 30 popular songs. This video's a winner, too, because it contains rare 1950s dance footage!

"Believe it or Not" - Don Covay
(1959, uncharted) 

Finally, let's jump forward to the late 60s and finish strong with a couple more killers by Otis Redding! Lifted from the album In Person at the Whisky A Go Go and released after his tragic death, the Otis Redding version of James Brown's funk megahit "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" reached the R&B top 10 and just missed the pop top 20. Frankly, I'm way tired of hearing the James Brown version but the Redding rendition still sounds fresh to my ears.

"Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (live) 
- Otis Redding (December 1968, highest 
chart position #21) 

I can't listen to this next posthumous release without picturing myself dirty dancing with Jennifer ("Baby") Grey.

"Love Man" sizzles and I can't understand why such an excellent up tempo recording stalled at #72 on the pop chart!

"Love Man" - Otis Redding (June 1969, 
highest chart position #72)  

 Thank you, Dell Rat Ron, 

 for sharing with us another 

 super set of songs! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Hi there Tom. I'm ahead of the game today! Regrettably, I hadn't heard of any of the songs chosen by Dell Rat Ron today, apart from the Otis Redding ones of course, but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy listening to them. I always learn something when I pop over to see you! Just out of interest, my daughter (not Gawgus!) has two stepsons. One is called Otis (after Otis Redding) and the other one is called Hendrix (after Jimmy Hendrix). Eli's second name is Toots, after Toots and the Maytals, but I don't support you have heard of them at all. Ruby is named after Ruby Tuesday by The Rolling Stones, so, as you can imagine, my son-in-law is very into his music! Hope you are enjoying the long weekend dear Tom.

  2. Thisisme - I find it fascinating that your daughter and her husband named their children after rock musicians and song titles! Just think - Ruby could have been named Lady Jane! (LOL) Why did they choose "Violet" as her middle name instead of "Tuesday"? A groovy name can get you noticed and open doors for you. (Every Tom, Dick and Harry is named Tom, hee hee.) I had heard of Toots and the Maytals before but I wasn't terribly familiar with them until just now when I visited Wiki and read about that popular Jamaican ska/reggae group. Thank you very much for posting such an interesting comment, dear Thisisme!

  3. Me again! Yes, Ruby Tuesday would have been a wonderful name, wouldn't it?! They called her Violet after her grandma on her dad's side.

  4. Thanks, Thisisme, I was just wondering about that. Although this is a sad day for you I trust that your departed friend Doreen is well aware that you paid tribute to her today and shared your feelings about her with your friends! I can tell that she was a fine person and meant a great deal to you.

  5. A great way to start this holiday! Ron and Shady! The opening quote was a good one, Ron. Interesting story that Herbie Feemster became the "Herb" teaming up with Peaches. One can just feel that soulful cry in "Ole Man Trouble". Enjoyed the song and video of "Two Little Kids". Never before had I heard the expression, "champagne eyes", from "Farmer John"; making a note of it. I smiled at the line from "Justine", ♫gonna get clean for my little buttercup♫. (Let's hope so!) Shady, loved it that you saved the best for last. I have been known to play the YouTube version of Patrick Swayze dancing to "Love Man" over and over ... I've seen me do it! ☺ Also, I really like Otis's version of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag". Well, once again let's hear it for Ron and Shady for another fantastic post!

  6. Cindy - You are the original girl with the champagne eyes and I can't help wondering if you were also the original farmer's daughter of legend and lore. (LOL) I'm so glad you could relate to these songs. The original Peaches and Herb was my favorite duet team at that time and their cover of "Love is Strange" is superb. When Herb brought his latest Peaches partner to the stage of the grandstand at the York Fair in 1979 and they sang their disco era hits "Reunited," "Shake Your Groove Thing" and "Roller-Skatin' Mate" the thrill was gone, at least for me, because I missed that 60s soul sound. Thank you very much for your intelligent comments again today, dear friend Cindy, and I hope you have a great week!

  7. How interesting this post is! (As are they all at the Shady Dell.) I found it very enlightening to read about Herb of Peaches and Herb. I did not know there were multiple Peaches. What a cool story about his prefame self. I always like to hear tidbits like that to help round out the person in my mind. Otis Redding- there's never been another like him. What a talent!

    Once again, you've helped me to learn so much more than what I knew. Thanks to you both and have a laborless Labor Day!

  8. I am in agreement that this was both an enjoyable and informative step back in time musically speaking. I also enjoyed reading all the comments and found Diane's contribution especially intriguing. Thank you for keeping us tapping our feet, Shady, even though I admit to being out of my depth here, since I am not even remotely a music boff!

  9. Happy Labor Day Tom. As Thisisme said I also didn't know most of the groups or their songs but I did have fun listening and learning new tunes to me at least. It is always a joy stopping my your place. Have a super great week.

  10. Shelly - Thank you, dear friend! I wasn't even aware that there were 6 different Peaches until I did my research for this post. Although "Dock of the Bay" was Otis Redding's biggest hit I liked these Atco singles better and they still sound fresher to me today. We must not forget that Otis was a talented songwriter, producer and arranger as well. Thanks again, dear Shelly, and I hope you have a nice lazy day, too!

    Desiree - As you have probably noticed I regard the comments as a very important part of a blog. It is here that threads are followed, new information is exchanged and friendships are solidified. Thisisme's comments were indeed interesting because I never would have known that her dear little Ruby was named after a Rolling Stones song. Knowing that you are not a music enthusiast makes your visit and your support of my blog all the more meaningful. Thank you very much, dear friend Desiree!

    Odie - Happy Labor Day to you, my friend! I hope you put away the books during this holiday weekend and had some fun and frolic with Linda and Rocky. It's quite alright if you didn't recognize most of these songs and artists. All that matters is that you enjoyed your visit. Thanks again, good buddy, and have a great week!

  11. Sorry I've been MIA Shady but I'm still here. I must admit that Otis Redding was and is still one of my favorites. There's just something about his voice and way he sings. Makes me smile inside! Great post. And thanks for the supportive comments!

  12. Oh Barb, it is wonderful to see you here again. I know you have a lot on your plate and I do appreciate you taking the time to come over. You might remember how Otis Redding enjoyed a spike in popularity in 1886 when Jon (Two and a Half Men) Cryer in the role of Duckie did that memorable lip sync performance to the Otis record "Try a Little Tenderness." Thank you very much for your visit, Barb. It means a lot to me, dear friend! Take care of yourself and have a happy Labor Day!

  13. Very interesting and entertaining post, as usual :) It’s pleasure to listen to all this fabulous music.

  14. L.I.B. - Hello, dear friend! I suppose you don't know what to make of this old, obscure American soul music that we like to play, but I'm certainly glad you came over to give it a whirl. You're a delight, my friend, and I truly appreciate your visits. Have a safe and happy week ahead in Poland, Libby!

  15. I am so touched that you have decided to become one of my newest followers! Thank you very much indeed and, WELCOME!

    I am fully aware that most of us have committed ourselves to following more blogs than we can comfortably handle, but the temptation to join even more becomes quite a challenge when faced with some thoroughly delightful personalities, of which you rank high in the stakes, so, even though I am not au fait with the musical genres of your preference (my personal preferences lie with light classical, orchestral, Celtic, Chant, Eastern styles and other native styles such as Spirits of the Sun People. I enjoy vocalists such as Sarah Brightman, Loreena McKennit, Enya, Josh Groban and similar), I am attracted to your personality and hope to learn a bit about other styles of music along the way. My husband enjoys a far wider range of musical styles than I do!

  16. Desiree - Hello again, my friend! It's true. There are only 24 hours in a day. As much as I would like to I simply can't go on indefinitely adding more and more blogs to my stream. If I did I wouldn't have time to read them, post intelligent comments or even write my own blog. Frankly, I reached the tipping point a couple of months ago and vowed not to join any more blogs. Yet, how can I not make room for one more when I encounter someone of your caliber? You chose to support my blog even though much of what I am presenting is foreign to you. You looked beyond the differences and discovered that we have much in common. You and I share a love of animals, nature and gardens. I love learning about types of music to which I have never been exposed. We will have fun learning from each other.

    Thank you once again, dear Desiree, for giving me and my blog a chance and for finding a way to relate to what I'm doing here. Have a wonderful week!

  17. Ron and Shady- I loved listening to Otis Redding again. He is just a great singer. I hadn't heard any of the others before but really liked Herb and Peaches. They looked and sounded wonderful together. Because of this blog, I have decided to dedicate one day a week to just listening to old music because it brings such joy to my heart. So thanks for the push to put more music in my life.

  18. Belle - Most definitely you should put more music in your life. Music is a tonic that's good for whatever ails you. I use it daily. In my reply to Bouncin' Barb's comment I forgot to name the movie Pretty in Pink although most people probably remember Duckie trying to impress Molly Ringwald in the record shop with his lip sync to "Try a Little Tendnerness." It's a classic brat pack movie scene of the 80s. I'm so glad to see you expressing humor on your blog. Humor is another tool for beating the blues that we should all use every day. Thank you very much for your visit and comments, dear friend Belle!

  19. I do love the song Ole Man Trouble but I never really sat and listened to the guitar before now. Well I have to say thanks to Ron for pointing out the masterful guitar playing behind Redding's smooth as butter voice. Hope you had a wonderful three day weekend Shady!

  20. Amber Blue Bird - I did, thank you! I hope you did as well. Otis is one of those artists from the 60s that many younger people know about and love. He was multitalented and his sudden death in a plane crash remains an incalculable loss to music. Thank you very much for swinging by, dear friend Amber, and enjoy your short work week!

  21. Hi Tom,
    I've dropped in to say I enjoyed your musical repast today. My husband is still ill with the kidney stone, so I'm rather busy shuttling liquids etc. Other complications on the horizon but we are taking it all one day at a time.
    Your tunes help take my mind of our current situation and I dream of 'Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay'!

    Thanks again and I'll keep checking in because you have to know how lovely your tunes help us all feel!


  22. Sush - It means the world to me that you made time for a visit and that my tunes helped to cheer you. I've been thinking about you and praying for a positive outcome for your husband. As you know our friend Odie's family is also currently in crisis. My thoughts are with all of you! Take good care of yourself, Sush, and thanks again for your kindness.

  23. Unfortunately, the mentioned artists remain totally unknown in the middle-eastern Europe...

  24. Wanilianna - Really? Even Otis Redding is unknown in your part of Europe? It matters not. What matters is that you found something to like during your visit here even if it's only my expression of gratitude to have you as a friend. It always makes me happy when you come by and say hello. Please return again soon, dear Wanilianna!

  25. you know how much i love "dirty dancing"...thanks for sharing a little of its soundtrack! most of all, "love man" is in the part of the movie i like the most!


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