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!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Beauties and the Beasts: Introducing The Leading Ladies of Modern Metal!


Got a couple of hours?

Of course you do! :)

OKAY, I KNOW THERE ARE 
16 VIDEOS HERE BUT HEY, 
IT WAS EITHER THIS OR 
A TWO PART SERIES AND
NEITHER OF US WANTS THAT!

TELL YOU WHAT, JUST SAMPLE 
A FEW SECONDS OF EACH VIDEO, 
OR PLAY MY 2 PICKS-TO-CLICK
FAIR ENOUGH?  IF YOU CAN 
STAY LONGER YOU'RE AN 
A-LIST FIEND FRIEND!


It's Halloween and that gives me an excuse
to shock and surprise you, doesn't it? I know
I promised there'd be no more heavy metal
on the blog this year, but I had to break my
promise because this stuff's refreshingly
different and I couldn't wait to share it
with you. I want you to experience the
most exciting development in recent
rock history - heavy metal bands
with female lead singers.


Come with me on a world tour and meet
the lovely ladies of modern metal.
Some are self-taught. Others are 
classically trained divas.


Please don't run for the hills at the sight of
the word metal. I assure you that this is
some of the most beautiful, passionate
and spiritual music ever made.


Most of the videos you are about to watch are
atmospheric, brilliantly directed productions
that resemble movie scenes. The songs would
lend themselves nicely to motion picture
themes and soundtracks.


As you scroll down and watch these videos one by
one you will experience a range of vocal styles.
The first few bands feature female vocalists
with pure, clean voices singing power ballads
and operatic progressive metal.


Watch the last few videos at your own risk.
They might scare you because they feature
bands that are fronted by iron maidens,
the scream queens of modern metal!


These banshees growl, screech and rage.
Their music and their videos are intense,
brutal, abrasive and "transgressive."


Please embrace the concept that heavy music laced
with screams and death growls is a valid art form.
The women are talented singers and their bands
are made up of serious, accomplished musicians.


STREAM OF PASSION

Country: NETHERLANDS/MEXICO

LEAD SINGER: Marcela Bovio

Gothic metal is inspired by gothic fiction.
It is dark, mysterious, atmospheric, melancholy
and introspective. In recent years goth metal
has moved into the mainstream in Europe and
that's where we find many of the artists in
this post including Stream of Passion, a
Dutch progressive/gothic/symphonic metal
band that features the beauty and virtuosity
of Mexican singer/violinist Macrcela Bovio.

SHADY'S PICK TO CLICK #1

"Out in the Real World" - Stream of Passion 
(single released February 2006 from
2005 album Embrace the Storm)




XANDRIA

Country: GERMANY

LEAD SINGER: Lisa Middelhauve

Next we have Xandria, a symphonic gothic
metal band from Germany. You'll forget
you're listening to "metal" when you hear
Lisa Middelhauve sing "Eversleeping," a song
from Xandria's second album Ravenheart,
"an epic, symphonic metal jewel!"

"Eversleeping" - Xandria 
(from 2004 album Ravenheart)




DELAIN

COUNTRY: NETHERLANDS

LEAD SINGER: Charlotte Wessels

Now please listen to Delain, a Dutch progressive,
gothic and power metal band led by jazz and
clasically trained thrush Charlotte Wessels.

"April Rain" - Delain 
(from 2009 album April Rain)




AFTER FOREVER

COUNTRY: NETHERLANDS

LEAD SINGER: Floor Jansen

Another Dutch band, After Forever, performed 
progressive influenced symphonic metal. 
Leading the pack was operatically trained 
mezzo-soprano Floor Jansen.

"Energize Me" - After Forever 
(from 2007 album After Forever)




NIGHTWISH

COUNTRY: FINLAND

LEAD SINGER: Tarja Turunen

Nightwish is a long running Finnish symphonic and
gothic metal band. At the time the following video
was made the band was led by lyric soprano singer
and songwriter Tarja Turunen. Watch and listen
as Nightwish performs "Nemo," a song from their
breakthrough 2004 U.S. album Once.

"Nemo" - Nightwish 
(from 2004 album Once)




WITHIN TEMPTATION

COUNTRY: NETHERLANDS

LEAD SINGER: Sharon den Adel

Together since the mid 90s, Within Temptation is
yet another Dutch band performing symphonic metal
and gothic rock. Singer/composer Sharon den Adel
is a primarily self-taught mezzo-soprano who
sings like she's had years of training.

"The Howling" - Within Temptation 
(from 2007 album The Heart of Everything)




SIRENIA

COUNTRY: NORWAY

LEAD SINGER: Ailyn

Norwegian gothic symphonic metal band 
Sirenia is currently led by Spanish singer 
Pilar Giménez García, stage name Ailyn, 
a young woman chosen from more than 
500 who auditioned for the job. Ailyn 
adds pop princess commercial appeal 
to the band's look and sound resulting 
in a winning combination!

"The End of It All" - Sirenia 
(February 2011 single from 
album Enigma of Life)




ELIS

COUNTRY: LIECHTENSTEIN

LEAD SINGER: Sabine Dunser

The goth/symphonic black metal band Elis hailed
from the tiny alpine Central European country
of Liechtenstein between Switzerland and Austria.
The story of lead singer Sabine Dunser reads like
a tragic chapter of a gothic novel. In 2006 Sabine
finished laying down vocal tracks for the band's
third album, Griefshire, and soon afterward
died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was only
in her late 20s. Listen to Sabine's angelic
voice as she sings the German language
song "Der Letzte Tag" ("The Last Day").

"Der Letzte Tag" - Elis 
(from 2005 album 
Dark Clouds in a Perfect Sky)





SOULSLIDE

COUNTRY: GERMANY

LEAD SINGER: Sandra Schleret

Soulslide is an German gothic/symphonic metal band.
At the time this video was made Austria's Sandra Schleret
 was their lead singer. Two years later Sandra took over
as lead singer of Elis following the untimely death
of Sabine Dunser. All of the women in this post
have great voices but Sandra's beautiful singing
is best of all. It brings tears to my eyes!

SHADY'S PICK TO CLICK #2

"Into Despair" - Soulslide 
(from 2004 demo Lost in You)




EVANESCENCE

COUNTRY: U.S.A. (Little Rock, Arkansas)

LEAD SINGER: Amy Lee

I never dreamed Little Rock, Arkansas would be
home to a post-grunge, alternative and goth
metal band, but it sure is. Two time Grammy
winner Evanescence is led by singer/pianist
Amy Lee who was age 20 when she co-wrote
and the band recorded "Everybody's Fool."

Note that the clip begins with what appears 
to be a commercial, but it isn't. It's all part 
 of the band's conceptual video!

"Everybody's Fool" - Evanescence 
(single released June 2004 
from March 2003 album Fallen)




LACUNA COIL

COUNTRY: ITALY

LEAD SINGERS: 
Christina Scabbia 
Andrea "Andy" Ferro

Sometimes more is more. The Italian gothic, 
symphonic, progressive, industrial power metal 
band Lacuna Coil ("empty spiral") boasts two lead
singers, a male and a female, who alternate vocals.
The result: 100% pure Dark Adrenaline.

"Trip the Darkness" - Lacuna Coil 
(October 2011 single from 
2012 album Dark Adrenaline)




AMARANTHE

COUNTRY: SWEDEN

LEAD SINGERS: 
Elize Ryd 
Jake E 
Andreas Solveström

Sometimes even more is more. Amaranthe,
a melodic pop/death metal band from Sweden,
boasts not one, not two but three lead singers.
Jake E and Elize Ryd perform the so-called
"clean" vocals while Andreas Solveström
handles the "harsh" vocals. It's an exciting
blend of styles backed by a powerful band.
This is how ABBA might sound today if they
were still together and something had gone
terribly, horribly, WONDERFULLY wrong!

"Hunger" - Amaranthe 
(single from April 2011 self titled album)




IN THIS MOMENT

COUNTRY: U.S.A. - Los Angeles

LEAD SINGER: Maria Brink

What happens when the beauty becomes the 
beast? You're about to find out. In August
I introduced bold and beautiful Maria Brink  
and her Los Angeles based metalcore band 
In This Moment. As you might recall, Maria 
and the guys performed a sizzling cover 
of the Blondie hit "Call Me." In this duet 
with her boyfriend Adrian Patrick from
the band Otherwise, Maria's clean vocals
are interspersed with fits of screaming.

"The Promise" - In This Moment  
(October 2010, from album 
A Star-Crossed Wasteland)




STRAIGHT LINE STITCH

COUNTRY: U.S.A. - Knoxville, Tennessee

LEAD SINGER: Alexis Brown

Tennessee metalcore band Straight Line Stitch is
one of the few heavy metal acts to feature an
Afro-American female lead singer. On the band's
single "Conversion," the incendiary Alexis Brown
switches back and forth from a conventional
singing style to a raging heavy metal howl!

"Conversion" - Straight Line Stitch 
(single from 2011 album 
The Fight of Out Lives)




OTEP

COUNTRY: U.S.A. - Los Angeles

LEAD SINGER: Otep Shamaya

Now meet Otep Shamaya and the Los Angeles
nu-metal, goth and alternative metal band
named after her. Otep goes deep, reciting
dark, tortured poetry that suddenly explodes
with a savage fury rarely achieved by female
vocalists. Goth rocker Marilyn Manson is
quoted as saying, "That girl scares me."
Watch and listen and you'll know why.

"Ghostflowers" - Otep 
 (single from April 2007 album The Ascension)




THE AGONIST

COUNTRY: CANADA

LEAD SINGER: Alissa White-Gluz

The Agonist is a metalcore and melodic 
death metal band from Montreal, Canada 
with alluring front woman Alissa White-Gluz. 
Like the other scream queens, Alissa employs  
a schizophrenic singing style. While her band  
shreds their instruments, Alissa shifts gears
from sweet to psycho, bringing to mind
Linda Blair's bout with demonic
possession in The Exorcist.

"Thank You, Pain" - The Agonist 
(from March 2009 album 
Lullabies for the Dormant Mind)




And there you have it, friends and neighbors -
the operatic divas and screaming mimies of
modern heavy metal. If you think about it,
these women are the Wanda Jacksons of the
new millennium, breaking through barriers,
refusing to conform to preexisting notions
of how a female singer should look or act
or the type of material she should perform.
Some of this music is an acquired taste
but if you're like me and hungry for more
I invite you to check out these other
female fronted heavy metal bands:

Blood Stain Child
Diabulus in Musica
Krypteria
Macbeth
Domina Noctis
November-7
Ecliptyka
Iwrestledabearonce
Tears of Magdalena
Leaves' Eyes
Dreamer
ReVamp
Unsun
Eths

Have a Shady day and a

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Dad, Born 100 Years Ago Today


My dad, now there was a man

To me he was everything strong

He never did wrong,

my dad

Dad and Tommy on one of our first hikes together

I borrowed lyrics from "My Dad," a song that
Paul Petersen turned into a hit record, in honor
of my father, Walter E. Anderson. Had he lived,
my dad would be 100 years old today.

Dad loved the great outdoors

He wasn't much 

in the eyes of the world

He never made history

No, he wasn't much 

in the eyes of the world

But he was the world to me, 

my dad

Dad (left of dart board), Mom (far right), Tommy (center)
with my aunt, uncle and family in our basement game room

My father was not among the rich and famous
but he was one of the most universally liked,
loved, trusted, admired and respected
citizens of York, Pennsylvania.

I wouldn't trade my dad for any other in the world.

When I was small 

I felt ten feet tall

When I walked by his side

And everyone would say,

 "That's his son"

And my heart

 would burst with pride,

my dad

With my mother, Evelyn, and my father, Walt, Christmas 1956

My father died Christmas Day, 2001, three months
after the 9-11 terror attacks. No doubt the stress
and anxiety that he and every other American
experienced in the weeks and months following
the attacks contributed to his demise.

It is a sad coincidence that his father, my
grandfather, also died on a Christmas day.

The gifts my dad gave me were greater than gold.
He generously gave his time, attention and love.
Thank you very much, Dad, and happy birthday!


My dad, now there was a man.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Son of Good Vibrations - Dell Rat Ron Presents the Long Awaited Sequel!


 Like our blue-eyed soul brothers, 

 the Magnificent Men, this group  

 took the oft recorded standards 

 "Misty" and "I Wish You Love" 

 and made them their own. 





 They were the Vibrations aka 

 the Marathons aka the Jayhawks, 

 one of the best and most versatile 

 vocal groups of the 50s and 60s. 


Welcome to Part 2 of Dell Rat Ron Shearer's series paying tribute to the Vibrations.  We're changing the rules of the game in parts 2 and 3. For every song that Ron introduces, I'll play Six Degrees and answer him with a record
that is somehow related.


 Ron, this time you get the first spin! 


 THE JAYHAWKS 

 Shady, the Los Angeles 
 based group's biggest 
 hit as the Vibrations was 
 "The Watusi" in 1961. 
 That same year they also 
 released the hit record  
 "Peanut Butter" using the 
 name The Marathons.  
 The act got started in the 
 mid 50s as The Jayhawks.
 They scored their earliest 
 hit on Flash Records with 
 "Stranded in the Jungle," 
 the follow-up to their first 
 single release "Counting 
 My Teardrops" b/w 
 "The Devil's Cousin." 
 Incidentally, "Stranded 
 in the Jungle" was covered even more successfully by 
 the Cadets, another fine Rhythm & Blues group that also 
 released records under the alternate name the Jacks. 
 Here is the Jayhawks original which cracked the top 30 
 in the summer of 1956. 

 "Stranded in the Jungle" - The Jayhawks 
 (July 1956, highest  chart position #29) 




 Okay, Ron, here's my first 

 six degrees answer song. 


 SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS 

From the name Jayhawks it's only a hop, skip and a jump
to Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the Alice Cooper of the 1950s.


Hawkins was nicknamed a black Vincent Price for his ghoulish stage performances in which he emerged from a coffin and performed with macabre props that included a smoking skull on a stick and rubber snakes. As the story goes Hawkins and his band members were all drunk when they recorded "I Put a Spell on You." Regardless the studio session yielded Hawkins' biggest career hit and the record became a million seller even though it never appeared on the Billboard or Cash Box charts. Many radio stations refused to play the record because of its voodoo theme and because Hawkins' drunken grunts were considered sexually suggestive.

 LET'S REVIEW: 

 * TABOO THEME (CHECK) 

 * RECORDED WHILE IN AN ALTERED STATE (CHECK) 

 * ANIMAL SOUNDS THAT MADE THE CHURCH LADY 
   CLUTCH HER HANKY AND GRAB HER HEART (CHECK) 


 Shucks... this record's got 

 all the compulsory elements 

 for rock 'n roll greatness! 

 "I Put a Spell on You" - Screamin' Jay Hawkins 
 (October 1956, uncharted) 





 THE VIBRATIONS 

 Here's a killer bee for you, Shady. "Wallflower," the flip side  
 of the Vibrations' hit "The Watusi," was especially a favorite 
 at the Oaks. I like it as well, if not better, than the A-Side. 

 "Wallflower" - The Vibrations 
 (March 1961, uncharted B side of "The Watusi") 




 THE STATLER BROTHERS 


 Ron, I turned your 

 title around and I'm 

 countin' flowers on 

 the wall with the 

 Statler Brothers! 


 "Flowers on the Wall" - The Statler Brothers 
 (January 1966, highest chart position #4) 








 Shady, the last single the 
 Vibrations waxed for the Checker 
 label was called "Dancing Danny," 
 a great piece that our local 
 Delchords used to perform. 





 "Dancing Danny" - The Vibrations 
 (1964, uncharted) 




 DANNY WILLIAMS 


 Ron, I'm thinking of 

 another Danny who's 

 struggling to hold back 

 his tears.  Know why? 



 Danny Williams is all verklempt because 

 his little angel is getting married today. 


 No, not that Danny Williams..... 


 This Danny Williams! 

 "White on White" - Danny Williams 
 (May 1964,  highest chart position #9) 



 Thank you, Dell Rat Ron, for 

 helping me shake things up 

  today with more of your 

 good great Vibrations!  


 We'll see you back here for 


 the Pt. 3 finale coming soon! 

Have a Shady day!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Demise of the Dell, Part 2 -- Fighting City Hall


I am delighted to welcome back my friend and guest blogger Kathleen Mae Schneider who is here with the latest chapter of
In-Dell-ible Memories, a chronicle of her mother Margaret's childhood at the Shady Dell in the early years of the 20th century.


Chapter 7  

The Demise of

the Dell - Pt. 2 

Fighting City Hall

by 
Kathleen Mae 
Schneider



"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field. I'll meet you there." -Rumi

   Our dog Sheila, napping contentedly in the sun, suddenly lifts her head toward the sound of barking dogs as it drifts across the pasture from a nearby farm. Sniffing the air for a sign only she under-
stands, and sensing no real danger, she responds with a small disgruntled ‘woof” of her own before returning to her siesta.


Sheila, our 6-year-old 
German Shepherd/Australian cattle dog 
(with the one floppy ear!)

   My grandfather would have loved Sheila as he
did all dogs. Sounds of their barking meant that his kennel at the Shady Dell was thriving and his family's future was secure. However, his dogs were not only his livelihood; they were his pride and joy. George Andrew Brown's beagles, hounds and terriers, known to be of the highest breeding, quality and training, were in demand by scores of repeat customers. The sizable fortune he acquired was built on this solid reputation and his reliability as an honorable businessman.


Picture and caption from the 1916-1917 catalog

   George had been in the dog business since a boy and had years of practical experience as a breeder, raiser and breaker of hunting and sporting dogs of all kinds. He himself hunted bear, deer, wildcats, turkey, coon, opossum, skunk, rabbits and quail and he knew how to employ hunting dogs to bring success in the field.

Another illustration from the same catalog

   As it turned out, George's expertise and love
of dogs was both a gift and a curse. The dogs made his wealth but they were a major reason he lost it.



   Until now this series has been gleaned mostly from Mother's memories, seen through her innocent eyes as a child living at the Shady Dell. Mother and her siblings grew up with dogs
as this wonderful early 
photo of Ethel, an older sister, shows.



   As I research the history of the Brown family, however, I'm uncovering much that Mother was never told in her 101 years. While archived documents tell a lot, they leave just as much untold. Mother and two of her sisters were too young to understand what happened, and my aunts and uncles who were old enough kept it to themselves. They took the answers to the grave many years ago. So from here on out we will encounter many unsolved mysteries.

A letterhead from my grandfather's business

   Despite glowing testimonials in his catalog,
many of George's neighbors did not approve of 100 to 200 dogs on his property above Violet Hill.
They drew up a petition in which they complained
of Mr. Brown's dogs "making loud, gruesome noises, both in the day time and in the night time and the constant howling and noises were emitted by said dogs to the great damage and common nuisance of the neighborhood."


   In the fall of 1921 my grandfather was indicted and there was an inquest. Despite pleading innocent to the charges, his case went to trial in January 1922 and he was pronounced "guilty". He was then sentenced to four months in the York County jail.


   By agreeing to pay court costs and "abating
the nuisance" in 90 days, George's sentence was delayed. In March he bought a 63-acre farm twelve miles south of the Dell near Loganville at a cost of $3,500. He established another kennel at the farm and sent most of his dogs there, but that didn't stop the complaints. At another trial in September he was sent to prison, supposedly because he had not removed all of the dogs from the Dell.


   After serving a month in jail, George changed
his mind and decided to get out of the dog business entirely. He sold the new farm and had his sons close down all his businesses, selling his re-
maining valuable dogs at a sacrifice. He claimed that a new road replacing the one that ran by
his property caused his automobile enterprise
to collapse because of lack of traffic.



   The garage that once bustled with REOs and Cadillacs stood empty, much as it did for the
next century. George also stopped selling his homemade medicines.


   George was now 49 years old with four children still at home. Since he was running out of both money and options, he was clearly a broken man. Petitioning through his lawyer for early release from prison, he stated that "his enemies have done him unjust harm and have driven him from his home. They caused him great financial loss, and that he cannot, and positively will not under any circum-
stances, live among his enemies any longer."



   The last time I visited the Dell house, I was struck by the beauty of this glowing stained glass panel above one of its matching front windows. Illuminated by the morning sun, it seemed a sad testament to my grandparents' lost dreams. When they built the house, perhaps they added this expensive stained glass because they felt their prosperity was assured. Instead, their financial ruin meant that they had to leave behind the house they loved.


   My daughter Elisabeth and I visited the Shady Dell property for the last time, also in the autumn. I told her the story of George's trial and imprisonment. As she stood in the doorway of her great-grandfather's barn, she imagined George tending his dogs in this same spot during that tragic September
90 years earlier.



   Except for the faint chorus of crickets in the underbrush, the old barn stood silent. Seeing its ancient hand-hewn timbers and moss-covered walls, Lis and I felt an undeniable connection to George's life. It was easy to imagine his confident and energetic stride when this barn was new, the sounds of his prized dogs and myriad other animals, his multiple enterprises that flourished for a while
in this place.

   I think George would be happy to know that although his wealth didn't last, his family and beautiful home survived. With his descendants now numbering in the hundreds and the Shady Dell house now refurbished and home to another family, he could still be proud that he and Allie started it all back in 1912. Surely he would be pleased that one of his 10 children, Margaret, lived long enough to be persuaded to tell his story to another gener-
ation, ensuring that his life and times will not be forgotten.

   In the next chapter, my grandfather's back-
ground as well as his personality will come into sharper focus. His choices and certainly some of his impulsive actions were partly to blame for his downfall and conspired to make his life a tragedy waiting to happen. Please visit us again for:


In-Dell-ible Memories
Chapter Eight

Curious (about) George

With love to Mother and to All,
Kathleen

PREVIOUS CHAPTERS: 
Chapter 7: The Demise of the Dell, Pt. 1 Harvest of Tears
Chapter 6: The Dream Becomes a Nightmare
Winter Count: Margaret's 2013 Birthday
Happy Birthday, Margaret! Oldest Living Dell Rat Turns 101
Chapter 5: Home Sweet Dell
Chapter 4: Allie's Rats, Pt 2: Margaret's Pig Tale
Chapter 4: Allie's Rats, Pt 1: Hill and Dell
Chapter 3: The House on the Hill 
Chapter 2: Margaret is Born...and So Is the Dell 
Chapter 1: The Beauty and the Butcher
Introduction: My Shady Dell "Roots"
Margaret's Birthday